Applique and Free Motion Quilting – A Design Tip

Thistle Quilt,  Applique, Free Motion QuiltingAPPLIQUE AND FREE MOTION QUILTING

My mother has been hanging my “artwork” on her refrigerator for years…All those school drawings and doodles.  I’ve really never stopped sending my mother these little tokens–She remains my biggest fan!

I only have one photo of this Thistle Quilt as I sent it off to my mother years ago.  It’s made with my hand dyed fabrics and commercial prints.

This represents my early free motion quilting (Any earlier than this is not publishable!)


I echo stitched around the motifs several times and then added a few swirls and bubbles.

The border was stitched with straight line quilting using a standard sewing machine foot–not free motion quilting…The straight lines create CONTRAST-(Read more about Contrast HERE.)

This a great way to handle quilting around appliqué designs…Give it a try on an “orphan block”.

What about you?  Who’s your biggest fan?  Do you send little pieces to your mother every once in a while?  (HINT, HINT to my five daughters!)

I’d love to hear!


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





16 thoughts on “Applique and Free Motion Quilting – A Design Tip

  1. Rosemary B here:
    Well good morning!
    This block representation is beautiful. I have never ever done applique. I want to learn.
    In January we were informed that someone was coming to quilt club that was going to show us back stick applique. I was very excited and brought my extra large notebook and camera to learn.
    Well, she did just that – showed us all of her projects, every single one of them. even her very first quilt she ever made. one and a half hours.
    I was crushed lol

    Mothers. They are special and wonderful. Despite a stroke, my mom is still doing very well. You know I have my parents close to me now.
    Isn’t it great being a mother>
    Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  2. My mom was my #1 fan no matter what I chose to create! Now it’s my daughters who are my fans…and requesting quilts…even suggesting specific patterns!! I’m glad they like my quilts, but if they want a specific pattern they have to make it themselves!!! Great idea to mix echo quilting with other designs – helps keep it interesting for the quilter too – echo quilting can get boring!!!

  3. Very nice. My biggest fans are my co-workers & a few of my boys’ friends. I haven’t done any small projects just for fun. I wish I had time. Maybe in 10 years when I retire…..

  4. Such a pretty little quilt…and what a wonderful idea to use orphan blocks!!! You never cease to amaze me. My biggest fan(s) are my 3 daughters. They want everything I make and most times want a duplicate of what one of them has received…lol. Probably tied for biggest fan was my mom….I just lost her a few months ago…but she was so enthusiastic about any new technique or pattern I had mastered and was so eager to try it herself…I have her quilt tops to finish now…going through her ufo’s is both a blessing and a trial. Thanks, Lori….Inbox Jaunt makes me so happy.

  5. Lori, I love your small quilt…the colours and your stitching. My biggest fans are my family…husband, daughter, grandchildren and , bless them my 90year old parents.

  6. That is a great tip for the FMQ around applique. I have only done a little wool applique and I think I will apply this idea on the next one I stitch.
    My Mom is a big fan, but also a big quilter, so she doesn’t need much of what I do. I have made her many small quilted tree ornaments and a table topper.
    My two daughters are the ones that I think appreciate my work most, and they often receive some of my smaller pieces, and have been recipients of bed quilts as well.

  7. Tell you what, having these beautiful Russian Thistles on the refrigerator sure beats weeding them out in the yard! Love it! I think making quilts of weeds is a good idea.

  8. Love to see how you apply the quilting to your blocks/quilts. That’s the part I have the most trouble with. I just can’t seem to visualize what to do with my completed tops.

  9. I only wish my Mother was still with me to see my work…….she was into quilting some 25 years ago and I was not interested in it then. I got bitten by the quilt bug about 5 years ago but she had passed about three years earlier. She would have been so pleased to share the hobby with me. Now my husband is my biggest fan and so encouraging. I love your little quilt, Lori, and your hand dyed fabrics………so very sweet.

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