The Square Flower-A Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

No School again today!

No School again today!

With weather like this, we need to bring a little greenery into the house.  Today, I bring you flowers…not just your average posie, but The Square Flower-designed to fill all those squares we love to quilt.  This sunny little flower can fill any square – large or small- quickly and easily.

The Square Flower Tutorial

Begin by drawing a square-any size square will work.  If you have a 4 inch ruler-use that.  If you have a block with six inch squares-perfect!  If you’re square quilt has 12 inch blocks-that will work just great.  This adaptable little flower will bloom wherever it is planted!  

For the tutorial below, I drew a four-inch square.  Mark the middle--just eyeball it.  No need for precision today…

Begin the flower by stitching a spiral center.  From the spiral, stitch out to the edge of the square to create the petal and curve back to the center. Leave a little space between the petal and the spiral–we are going to fill that in later.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial, The Square Flower

Curve back toward the edge of the square to create another petal.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial, The Square Flower

When you reach a corner, you can make the petal turn the corner–as in the top right petal below, or the petal can just reach into the corner–like the bottom right petal in the image below.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial, The Square Free Motion Quilt Tutorial, The Square Flower

Continue clockwise around the center spiral until you create this little beauty.  The  Square Flower below is lovely.    You can stop right here if you like…

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial, The Square Flower

However, if you would like more detail…you may need more detail if your flower is very large… add a double line to each of the petals.  To do this, stitch counter clockwise around the spiral.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial, The Square Flower

Stitch a line into the petal-curved or straight, and back out of the petal, all the way around the flower.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial, The Square Flower

Perfect!  If you still need a little more stitching, echo around the outer edge of the flower-(see first photo above)

The tutorial above was quilted with Aurfil in the bobbin, Robison-Anton Rayon on top, using a Schmetz 80 Topstitch needle-on my Bernina 150-domestic sewing machine.  (You don’t NEED a long-arm–Make it work!)

Tomorrow, I will share photos of a small, sunny little vase quilt I am stitching to bring a little summer back.  (You’ve heard of Christmas in July–let’s start our own Flowers in January movement!)

Thursday-Stencil winners announced!

Next week–Variations on The Square Flower…I know you’re going to have fun!

If you still need more color in your day…check out Faye’s Tumblr blog…Color Route Co.–it is particularly colorful this week!   (Faye is one of my five daughters.)

Happy Gardening,


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to pin and re-blog with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, contact me at  Thank you.

60 thoughts on “The Square Flower-A Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

  1. Thanks, Lori. I have a quilt with 9″ squares of flowers with black sashing almost ready to quilt and was mulling over how to do it. This will work beautifully.

  2. Love this design…thanks for the tutorial!!! Your daughter’s blog makes me smile…enjoyed all the great pics 🙂

  3. LOVE this flower! Thank you! And thanks for keeping us up to date on what your temperatures are doing. Makes New Hampshire’s temps not seem so bad. Ah, Spring will come eventually.

  4. Where ever I am, I always follow your daily posts. My dear friend and quilting buddy are in Maui vacationing. Daily we discuss your tutorials and posts. Lori, you are such a highlight and inspiration to us. Many, many thanks. ALOHA!

  5. Thank you Lori,

    You make my day every Tuesday with your wonderful tutorials. I always think; “I believe I can do that!”, after I finish reading them. You may have it cold outside, but your posts are warm, inviting, and encouraging.

  6. Another fantastic design, Lori! Makes me want to get to my machine. Might as well. Not going out today. It was negative 15 this morning here also. Our schools are closed too. It’s a good day to quilt!

  7. I love this pretty flower! Just finished a quilt top this morning that has some 5 inch squares that need to be quilted !! I’m on it..Thanks so much! Glad you still have electricity. Ice predicted for south GA tonight. Our grands are on sleds in East TN even as I write…Thanks again..

    • Marta, can’t wait to see how your quilt looks! Wouldn’t it be awful to be stuck in the house all week without a sewing machine. I guess I will quit complaining, it could be worse!

  8. I just posted my Square Flower practice piece on Flickr.. showing black thread on pink for my topside. The two purple photos are the back. On the purple ones you can see bearding (?) from the white batting. I assume you will tell me to change my needle to a sharp one. I’m very pleased, though, with the outcome. With these square flowers, it doesn’t matter how many petals you end up with or if you have a “corner petal” or split the corner between two petals. If you get wobbly, that doesn’t seem to matter either.
    One more question, though: I find myself not turning the fabric at all and then suddenly I’m sewing where I can’t see. Lori, do you have a rule about when to turn the fabric?

    • Hi Pat, Your flowers are fabulous! I am thrilled to see them. I like how you made a 4-square–the same size as your larger flower. Well done! Loved the Swirls and Twirls, too! Looks like you are having fun.

  9. You are so right….we do need some flower love right now!!!! Am picking up a client’s quilt tonight…..maybe there will be squares!!! A wonderful motif! My head is conjuring up variations as I write this!!!!!! Thanks a bunch….hugs…………..

  10. Hi Lori, I just discovered your site about a month ago or more and oh my gosh, you are one brilliant gal and I love your tutorials!!!! I want to thank you so very much for all your hard work and for sharing with people like me that want to learn more than straight line quilting. I do just a wee bit of free motion and it is the same over and over design. But now, thanks to you, I can learn more things and I LOVE this one for the block flower. I am going to try this on paper first and than do my trial and error on a practice sandwich…..I am thinking spring already, it is 1 above here in Michigan. Stay warm….Claudia

    • Hi Claudia, We are so glad you joined us! and thanks for the very kind words…We are currently experiencing a heat wave–it’s 1 above here, too. Isn’t it funny how that seems warm now?

  11. Your timing is impeccable! I am making two queen size triple Irish chains right now (literally taking a break from assembling top #2). I planned to do a dahlia/chrysanthemum kind of thing in the squares on one but was stumped for the second quilt. A square flower will fit nicely I think!

    (And please don’t hate me but we thought it cold today, it went down to 7°C [44°] in Victoria, BC. The snowdrops are almost done, and I saw cherry buds yesterday.)

    • As jealous as I am of the warm air, I’m even more jealous that you can see buds! It will be a long time before we see anything but snow here in Minnesota! I’d love to see photos of your quilts when you finish them!

  12. We are in a heat wave in Aus! But better than being snowed in! Love this flower in a square can’t wait to try it. Thanks for your great tuition. I have a brand new long arm so these simple patterns are great for me. Cheers

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  14. A friend gave me her quilt to practice on and I used this pattern in the 4 inch and 8 inch blocks. It was a hit with the women in my quilt group. I’ll be using this pattern over and over again. Thank you!

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  16. Thank you Lori! I. Used this for my D9P and it came out nice. With such a big square, I made the inner petals swirly. I really had fun!

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