Tuesday Tutorial-The Loopy Leaf

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Good morning, Quilters!  Welcome back to Tutorial Tuesday at The Inbox Jaunt--where every week we add a free motion quilting motif to our collection.  I am sewing on a Bernina 820--a domestic sewing machine with an extra wide harp, but I have sewn all of these motifs on a Bernina Virtuosa 150 with a standard harp size.  ( I have quilted king quilts on my Bernina 150 domestic sewing machine–it can be done!) Of course, all of the motifs can be stitched on a long arm quilting machine if you’re lucky enough to have one… Whatever you have–“Make it work, people!” (Any Project Runway fans out there?)

Before I begin today’s tutorial, I want to remind everyone that all of the Tuesday Tutorials can be found in the Quilts tab above.  There are more than 40 free tutorials for you to try.  Feel free to Pin and share them–for personal use only!  I am very encouraged that many of you are using the patterns in your quilts and I want to thank the quilters who have sent photos of their work to me!  I love to see your creations!

Also, check out yesterday’s post: Peculiar Children–On My Nightstand.  There are several book recommendations from readers in the Comment section.  Several great ideas for books and books on tape–thank you to all who contributed!

Now, without further ado…The LOOpy Leaf!

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Begin by drawing three lines or rails.  In the sample below, the lines are one inch apart, but any size will work. Begin stitching on the middle line.  You may add an optional spiral.  Stitch a curved line toward the bottom rail, then curve back up to the middle rail.  Looks like a shallow bowl…Notice below how the pointy tip of the leaf is achieved…Stop here.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Next, reverse directions and mirror the bottom of your leaf.  This curve does not need to be a perfect mirror image–most leaves in nature are not perfectly symmetrical.  Stop NEAR your first stitches, but do not cross over.   This helps avoid the build up of threads at one point that causes a messy look.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Now stitch next to the first line of stitches until you have room to begin the loops.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

The loops are stitched toward the center “rail”  line, but not over it.  If your leaves are larger or smaller, adjust the number of loops you add.  For the two-inch leaf below, I was able to add three loops on each side.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

After you complete the third loop, stitch into the point of the leaf, reverse directions and stitch parallel to the upper leaf until you have enough room to begin looping again.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Stitch the upper loops and end NEAR your previous line of stitching.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Now trail back through the center of the leaf and out of the tip to begin the next leaf.  This line can be curvy or straight, but I think it looks best if your are consistent throughout the project.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

I really like the character of this leaf.  It can stand alone or be stitched in a border.  For variation, stitch the leaves at angles instead of a straight line border.  This variation looks great in very wide borders.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

I hope you will all have time to doodle this and then quilt it this week.  August is a very busy month with vacations winding down, sports winding up and everyone getting ready for school…

PS–I have some really exciting Back-to-school motifs I can’t wait to show you!  September is going to be very busy for The Inbox Jaunt— more tutorials, more projects, a  King Arthur Flour cookbook giveaway,  a stencil giveaway, more on threads, tension, doodling, Iphoneography tips…Let me know what you’d like to see….

Stay tuned!  (And tell your friends about us!)

Stitching and Doodling Here in Minnesota,


22 thoughts on “Tuesday Tutorial-The Loopy Leaf

    • Yes, I would love to! Do you know anything about how that is done? Websites, tutorials, etc? I am far better behind a sewing machine than behind a computer…I am also looking at publishers…September Things To Do

      • Actually, I know far too much about it! 😀 In simplest form, you can make a Word doc and export to PDF. That’s it. Then use a service like ejunkie to host the file for download and payment.

        Here at wordpress.com they may not let you sell things from your blog, so you may have to move to self hosted.

      • Hi Andrea, When I dashed off my first note to you I didn’t realize that I you wrote the book on WordPress! I am a novice blogger, but I do think I need to switch to WordPress.org. I am scared to do it–do you think I should pay the $129 fee or follow the instructions? Also, do you recommend BlueHost?

      • Bluehost is okay, yes. The $129 fee is only if you want wp.com staff to change for you. You *could* figure it out with one of the for dummies guides in hand. Blue host also has a one click installer. There’s an Export option as well that grabs all your posts and comments.

        I work for studiopress.com full time now. On my work breaks, I quilt. 🙂

  1. Thank you Lori, you continue to amaze me. I am going to practice, practice, practice. I think “they” say that 10,000 hours of any practice makes you a master….one hour down 9,999 to go. Have a peaceful day.

  2. wow, i love the break down of all the steps. is the bobbin thread a different color? If it is, did you do it for demonstration purposes, or for another design element? Or is it my eyes or computer?

    • I probably used whatever was in my sewing machine–oops! I usually use thread that matches the upper thread or thread that matches the fabric–the top fabric that is!

  3. I love this motif! Why, you may ask? First, I love trees, and we all know where leaves come from. Second, the design looks fairly forgiving in that any variation that’s unique to my style/idiocyncrasies would still look “right”. Third, I like the range of places and ways it can be used. Another good one, Lori!

  4. Dear lori do you have any problems with your foot jumping is there anything I can do to stop this I have a Bernina 440 and love it. I get so excited to see you have made another tutorial they are so beautiful many thanks xxx

    • I’m not sure what you mean by the foot “jumping”…Perhaps you need to increase the presser foot pressure? Also, don’t forget to lower the presser foot–that can cause the foot to jump. Send more details…

  5. I love the Loopy Leaf design. I’ve used some of your designs in one of my quilts but I don’t know how to get them to you. Just email? I was waiting for your ocean waves after your wind but it didn’t come when I needed it so I just developed your wind a bit to make a big “crashing” wave on my nautical quilt, for a border. I like the way it came out so thanks for the inspiration! Good luck with your e-book.!

  6. Your tutorials are awesome! I am hoping soon to sit for hours at my machine with a whole cloth quilt and sample them all to my heart’s content. You make every one of these motifs look doable!

  7. You know, I always thought that “free-motion” quilting was done completely freehand, without any markings on the quilt top. Looking through your tutorials, I am struck by how many different motifs require (or at least greatly benefit from) marking lines to guide spacing, etc. My question is, at what point would you do the marking if this was a big quilt instead of a small sample? Do you mark the entire quilt top before you layer it and baste it for quilting? Or do you mark the quilt sandwich as you go, and if so, how do you keep your lines straight when you’re drawing on a puffy quilt sandwich? Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful tutorials, by the way!

    • Great question—I think I will address this more in an upcoming post. I do a combination of marking methods-but as little as possible. Most quilts have “built in” lines established by the piecing–so I follow those. In addition, I may (not always) mark a few lines before I begin quilting. The rest I add as I stitch. I like to be spontaneous, but lines are absolutely necessary.

Comments are closed.