Modifying Free Motion Quilt Motifs

Sailboats Free Motion Quilting

Do you ever see a quilt pattern that is designed as a border, but you need a “fill” pattern?  Have you ever admired a square free motion quilt motif, but you needed to fill a circle?  Today’s challenge is designed to help you think of ways to modify any pattern to suit your quilting needs.


Change any of the free motion quilt motifs found HERE  (or by clicking the Red Apple in the Sidebar)  into an all-over or “filler” pattern and show us your results.  Doodle or stitch–we’d love to see it!


In the image above, I used The Sailboat tutorial and modified it to use as an all-over, continuous line design.  It took a bit of doodling, but I think it will look great on a summer quilt I am planning.  This practice piece (etude?–sounds more polished?) was stitched with Robison Anton Rayon on top and Aurifil 50wt in the bobbin using a Schmetz 80Topstitch needle on my Bernina 820–a domestic sewing machine with an extended harp space–without a BSR.

Doodle, Saillboat, Continuous Line Design

Please share your trials with the group by linking up below–just follow the smooth sailing InLinkz instructions–easy!  Once you’ve all had a chance to try InLinkz, I will be offering new challenges and new ways to win a few very nice prizes!



PS…All tutorials, information and images are property of Lori Kennedy@The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  You are encouraged to share with your friends, guilds, re-blog and Pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thank you!

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25 thoughts on “Modifying Free Motion Quilt Motifs

  1. Lori, thank you. The pictures are on their way. I usually work from my iPad and I do not have a URL. My daughter says I’m hopeless on the computer but I’m learning…

  2. I once was practicing my feathers(on paper). I was making fairly large feathers, so I filled in each feather w/ smaller feathers. I liked how it looked.

  3. Well, Lori,
    I tried my hand at using the Inlinkz.. it was pretty simple once I used my tablet instead of my regular computer with its popup blockers. With the way I have firefox set up, it couldn’t even see the inlinkz button. The tablet, however, was quick and simple… sorry I didn’t have a really creative sample to post, but figured it was better to just give it a try

  4. The InLinkz button……its pretty straight forward, but I don’t have a blog so what url do I use? Slowly, slowly learning like you and Wanda.

    • Judy, when I posted my photo, I didn’t know what URL to use, either, since I was just uploading a photo that only exists on my hard drive. I used the URL, knowing it wasn’t right.. It seems that when you click on my photo (the pink one) it just cycles back to this same page. I would have preferred to find a way to let it link to a larger version of the thumbnail. Experiment with posting something so we can see how it works without a URL .

      • Pat. I thought you could only link to a blog. Or you can start an account on Flickr (free). Upload photos to that and then link to that URL. I may be able to change the link settings so you can post a larger photo. But the best way will still be via Flickr or a blog.

      • Pat. Your photo shows up fairly well and I am able to enlarge it on my iPhone to be able to see pretty well. Very nice work. I live all the different motifs together. So how did you get your photo to link up. I can’t find any directions from the inlink co on how you did it. You must be a computer whiz!?

      • I just tried another upload.. the oak leaf sketch. That sketch I put first on a Flickr page and used the URL for that individual photo for the InLinkz request for a URL.

        For the pink photo that I posted earlier I just used the InLinkz direct upload option like this: Click on the ADD YOUR LINK under the photos that are posted. Then in the InLinkz section that says ” Image Source,” click on the second tab that says UPLOAD. Then CLICK TO UPLOAD A FILE… and get it from your hard drive or from your camera card. Then, I think, you must choose the SELECT button, then the DONE! button.

        Explaining is harder than doing… just like sewing.

  5. Lori, I see you use rayon thread for the top thread, and it looks beautiful. I am planning some free motion quilting on a fine linen fabric, and I have some rayon embroidery thread(60 wt) that would be a great match. I’m wondering though, how well does rayon hold up for wear and longevity ? Lola

    • Lola….I use rayon thread in the top thread all the time…love the shine/brilliance. I haven’t had any issues and some of the quilts have been laundered several times.

    • Hi Lola. I have not had any problems with wear. Rayon thread is great for FMQ. Don’t use it for sewing seams. Also if you throw your quilt in the dryer, use a warm heat not hot. And don’t iron Rayon thread. It is less heat resistant than poly and cotton.

  6. I am out of town right now, but plan on trying this out when I get home (and get caught up!). I see the link to add my pics when I have them, but where do I go to see the pics these wonderful ladies have already sent? I’d love to see what they’ve been doing as well. Thank you Lori for this wonderful blog and your generosity in sharing with us.

  7. Lori, I was able to put my pictures in Klickr but my name did not show. It says they are by You. So I now have a new name. Anyway everyone can see what I did with your free motion design. I am not that good at it yet so I put the Sweetheart border on the diagonal and did a stippling heart design for filler. It was fun.

      • Lori, I got your message. Thank you very much. I tried to put the pictures on and it sort of works. I think I’m better at sewing. Anyway can you see them. I’m not sure why Christa’s picture is there. She is my oldest granddaughter. I cannot seem to remove it. Tim is my husband.

  8. You are an inspiration to me! I have a Bernina 820 and use it on the Bernina quilt frame (made by the Grace company). Are you using the quilt frame or are you moving the fabric? Do you make large or small quilts? Thanks again for all you are sharing. Cathy

      • Lori,
        The on my desktop computer, the animation only showed up after I clicked on the alligator photo and then it “ran” only once and I couldn’t get it to do it again. My computer has a lot of pop-up blockers. When I checked on my tablet, the animation ran right in your web posting and also again when I click on the alligator… it looks like there are about 5 frames that alternate, then it is stationary.

      • It is set up to only run a few times–(more than that makes ME dizzy!). To get the animation to run again, you must refresh your screen. Thanks for letting me know that it worked. BTW–the alligator was a little children’s stencil I found at JoAnn Fabrics.

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