The Modern Wholecloth Mystery Quilt

Free Motion Quilted SpoolsGood Morning, Confident Quilters! (YOU will be soon!)

Today we are starting The Inbox Jaunt’s first ever


(To my knowledge this is a first in quilting history…LOL!)

Every week we will have a short assignment—less than thirty minutes.

The end result will be a surprise…

I can tell you this:

  • The project is a small wall hanging.
  • There is no piecing or appliqué (whole cloth)—just free motion quilting.
  • There will be prizes in the end…(Sign up for FLICKR now!)
  • EVERYONE can do this.
  • If this goes well, we will do it again…

There are several lessons built into this project.  My hope is that YOU will have more confidence in the entire quilting process by following along.

Of course, there will be a special emphasis on free motion quilting.

Pin Basting

We will learn a little about:

  •  Design
  • Quilt Preparation
  • Marking/Marking Tools
  • Thread
  • Binding
  • Personalizing
  • Free Motion Quilting
  • And much more…

It’s going to be fun and it’s going to help me accomplish my #1 goal for 2015:

Getting YOU to Free Motion Quilt with Confidence!

So let’s get started:


Cotton Solid Fabrics

Choose your fabrics:

You will need two fat quarters (18 x 22 inches) of solid 

The top fabric:

A medium to light fabric in a color you LOVE—no leftover scraps….no muslin…no white… You must choose a color that inspires you right now!

The backing fabric

A light or medium light solid. White is okay here, but any light color will work. Again, choose something you like…not the dregs of your stash…(Which begs the question…why do you keep those fabrics…but I digress…)

As you know, I love Robert Kaufman Kona solids.  I buy them at my local quilt shop whenever I can (We must support our quilt stores!)  or From Hancocks of Paducah.

Cotton Solid FabricsChoose and wash your batting:

If you’re not sure if you should wash your batting, you might like this blog post by the amazing quilter, Sue Garman.  Sue pre-washes all her batting.  Scroll down the post for step by step photos of how she washes and dries her batting.   Sue claims that ALL battings shrink–despite what the label says–and I have to agree.

NOTE–I don’t usually wash my batting, but I think I am going to try a few samples with and without washing…If YOU have time, add this to your assignment this week.

Light weight battings like Warm and Natural cotton work well for wall hangings, but use what you have…(For an more on battings read HERE.)

This might be a chance to try a new batting like bamboo, silk, or wool. (Wool might be too puffy for this project so if you want to try it-pull the layers apart and use 1/2 layer.  (Read more about separating wool.)

Cut the batting

Cut the batting two inches larger than your fabric. Batting is cut larger than the top fabric to allow for shift and the shrinkage that occurs with quilting.  (Note-if we were stitching a very large quilt, we would cut the batting eight to ten inches larger than our quilt top.  We would cut our backing fabric larger as well.)

Iron and Spray StarchIron the fabrics and batting

Iron the fabrics with a little spray starch. It’s important to begin with a wrinkle free quilt.  Once the quilt is quilted, the wrinkles will never come out!  Also, If you are not using a Supreme Slider on your sewing machine bed, the starch on the batting will help the quilt slide better.

Basting SprayThe Quilt Sandwich

Baste the layers of the quilt together.  Because this is a small quilt, you have a few choices:

NOTE-We will be marking our quilts next week so you may prefer to wait to layer the quilts sandwich.

The Practice Sandwich

Each week we will be practicing techniques, motifs and threads on a scrap sandwich.  If you have time this week, create several practice sandwiches to have on hand.  The practice sandwiches must have THE SAME batting, and similar fabrics.

That’s it!

If you have any extra time…DOODLE…always, DOODLE!

Sewing Motif DoodlesBe Confident!



Agatha Christennedy

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

126 thoughts on “The Modern Wholecloth Mystery Quilt

  1. Okay I cannot wait to try this but I have a question or two. First what size should out practice sandwiches be? Where is the flicker group I join?

  2. I have the same question I have never been on flicker how do I sign up for it . I’m totally looking forward to this FMQ thank you Lori for your site it is so great

  3. My main sewing machine is totally nonfunctional now despite 6 times to the shop in 14 months for repair.I have an old mechanical machine someone gave me that only sews straight and zigzag with no supplemental attachment feet. BUT I will be reading along to learn what I can. Thanks..

    • Marta You can still free motion quit on it. If you cant lower the feed dogs you can cover them with aSupreme Slider or with a taped down notecard with a hole cut out for the needle. Thats really all it takes.

      • I don’t know what a Slider is but I have a great supply of all sizes of notecards! Thank you…I will be ready, set, go !

  4. I will enjoy joining in with this since have many UFOs – mostly tops awaiting quilting. So, what I really need to do is learn how to do it myself instead of paying someone else to do it!

  5. I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months and am FINALLY getting the hang of FMQ. I actually finished two baby quilts with your snowflake motif. Practice has been the big learning tool for me. Really looking forward to this series! Thanks for all your efforts.

  6. So, after reading the posts here yesterday, I am still a little confused. You said 2 FQ’s. Is that one for the top and one for the bottom, or are the 2 FQ supposed to be for two tops of sandwhiches?

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  12. Okay I’m late, but I will try to catch up. My first question is you say to use a solid that you love, but solids leave me cold. Can I use a subtle tone on tone solid that looks like suede?

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  14. Count me in. Sounds like fun to me, been wanting to learn how to machine quilt for a long time. I have a quilt top finish just needs to be quilted. Was going to find someone to quilt it for me, but the time has come I need to learn how to do it myself. Thanks so much for your time and helping all of us.
    From Ohio

  15. I am a late enterer (some might say a late bloomer because I always seem to be late), but I am joining in. I love your free motion quilting. Are you really sure that I can do this? I have been trying for a long time now. Thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it… Kay

  16. I was in hospital, now wanting to join this group, which I already did, making a copy of the instructions for the past month, and trying to catch up…You have already done a lot, very impressed with your tutorial, and I can even ask questions,…this will be a lot of fun….I like all the questions from this group, you have helped me lots with your questions. Lori, I love your sight and have today exposed a lot of people to the inbox jaunt,…..all good things I have to say! Thanks for doing this, I also really appreciate your sharing of your expertise. …..Donna

  17. Just joining today. Sounds like so much fun, but I need to catch up! LOL I am washing my batting now. Seems weird, but will be fun to see if it makes a difference. Thanks Lori for this cool project QAL!

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  19. Hi Laurie I just started this mystery series and am so excited. I love your site and am improving my.machine quilting because of you. Thank you so much. My question is can I use a bag in or marbled fabric for the top?

  20. What I want to know is can I join, but still have access if I don’t get started right away? Also, I’m confused about all the comments being a year or more older?

    • We did this project last year. You have access to all the lessons in this project on the top bar under “quilts longs”. Enjoy!

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