Are Quilts Art?


Kona Color Card

Welcome to Open Line Friday!  Anyone can ask a question–feel free to do so in the “Comment” Section below, and everyone answers…

No question is too small…we will try to help…

I loved the responses from my question last week:  “Who taught you to sew?”.   Everyone was so thoughtful in their responses…so nostalgic…great reading.  Thank you!

Kona Color CardToday, I will start the ball rolling with a question (but please feel free to add your question, too!)

Do YOU consider your quilts Art?   Put another way…do YOU consider yourself an artist?

Kona Color Card

Does it matter?

Kona Color Card


I think most of us have a hard time thinking of our quilts and projects as “art”–but the danger here is in not taking ourselves seriously enough, and not availing ourselves to established “Art Principles” when we work…

What do YOU think?

I’d love to hear!


PS…As you know, I use a lot of Kona cotton for my tutorials and projects.  I recently purchased this color card HERE.  It is so much easier than picking colors from a computer screen-most are very unreliable.  Another tip….Kona solids are bargained priced at Hancocks of Paducah–just $5.47/yard!

PPS…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 re-blog, pin, tweet, etc with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thank YOU!

Eight Steps to Free Motion Quilting on Applique


free motion quilting, appliqué


Today I would like to offer a few hints for free motion quilting an appliqué block by walking you through my thought process as I worked on this little quilt.

I started with this “orphan block”  made years ago.  (The pattern is from Erin Russek-you can find similar ones HERE.  She has many free appliqué tutorials – though I don’t use her appliqué method…more on appliqué later this summer…)

Applique, Free Motion QuiltingI added three borders for interest.

Layered a quilt sandwich with Warm and Natural batting.

Then the fun part…I pulled several threads choices…all Rayon: Sulky 40 wt and Robison-Anton Twister Tweed- I love the texture of this thread. (I used Aurifil 50 wt in the bobbin.)


Next, I looked at the pattern and decided what I wanted to emphasize.  Naturally, I wanted to emphasize the appliqué.

  • The area you want to “pop” or emphasize receives only minimal free motion stitching.
  • Everything around the “pop” area-is heavily free motion quilted.


Begin by free motion echo quilting around all of the appliqué.

In this quilt, I echo stitched three times around the appliqué pieces.

Then I was restless…

Applique, Free Motion Quilting I added a few details that matched the theme of the appliqué it was surrounding…scallops on the leaves, swirls that resemble flower stamens…

Then I echo quilted around those motifs.  I added a few circles for more visual interest…

Applique, Free Motion QuiltingFMQ THE APPLIQUE PIECES

Once the background was finished, it was time to consider the appliqué pieces.

While I wanted to minimize the quilting on the appliqué so it would “pop”…If you don’t add any FMQ to these pieces they look bare–or like you just forgot to quilt them…

I used this Dritz chalk marker to draw a few ideas…

Applique, Free Motion QuiltingOnce I was happy with the design, I stitched it with the Robison Anton Twister Tweed.

I added a few stitching lines to the leaves as well.

Applique, Free Motion QuiltingON TO THE BORDERS

On the small blue border, I opted for circles–to highlight the purple appliqué circles.

On the yellow border, I thought the quilt needed something more quiet and linear to contrast with all the circular patterns.

On the outer blue border, I kept the quilting a simple pattern.  The fabric is very busy and elaborate quilting does not show on “busy” fabrics.

Applique, Free Motion Quilting


Applique, Free Motion Quilting


Applique, Free Motion Quilting

In summary:


  • Decide the elements that should “pop”.
  • Quilt the background–the area that is not emphasized.
  • Echo quilt around the appliqué pieces at least twice.
  • Add other free motion quilt motifs.
  • Echo quilt those elements until the background is complete.
  • Add a limited amount of free motion quilting to the appliqué pieces.
  • Quilt the borders–using elements from the body of the quilt and linear patterns if the body of the block is very busy.
  • Finish the quilt and send a photo to or post to Flickr or add a photo to Instagram #theinboxjaunt!

Applique, Free Motion QuiltingNow I’m off to my garden to find some flowers that will match…

This will look great on my kitchen table with a vase of flowers…

On second thought, I have someone special I’d like to send it to…

I’m off to UPS…


NOTE:  This vase quilt was stitched on a Bernina 820 without a stitch regulator.  Topstitch 90 needle.  Aurifil cotton 50 wt in the bobbin and Robison Anton and Sulky Rayon 50 wt on top.  Warm and Natural batting.  Dritz chalk marker.

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, etc. with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!