100 Hours, 1000 Hours, 10,000 Hours


Doodle Quilt, LKennedy

My First-Ever Doodle Quilt, 2011

In my first free motion quilt class (circa 2001), I remember the instructor telling us that when we’d practiced for 100 hours, free motion quilting would start to feel more natural.

In her book, The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp contends that it takes 1000 hours to get good at any skill.


And in the book,Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell writes about the “10,000 Hour Rule” to attain mastery of a skill. Outliers: The Story of Success

I don’t know if it’s 100, 1000, 0r 10,000 hours…

But I DO know this:


Poinsettia, Free Motion Quilting, Quilt

Poinsettia Quilt, 2014

YOU can do this!

Happy Stitches!


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

PS..Both quilts were stitched on a domestic sewing machine:  Bernina 150.   The Spiral Flower Quilt is stitched with Aurifil 50 wt cotton in both the top and bobbin.  The Poinsettia quilt was stitched with Sulky Rayon thread on top and Aurifil cotton in the bobbin on Robert Kaufman Kona fabric with Warm and Natural cotton batting.



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 lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

The Wooly Mittens-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial


“When the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…

As long as you love to sew

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…!”

Good Morning Quilters and Quilt-Lovers!

Welcome to the 2015 Edition of Tuesday Tutorials!  Another 50 Tutorials already in the works….

Just to get you warmed up, we’ll start with a pair of mittens-The Wooly Mittens.

This motif could be stitched in a border OR use the connecting stitches to travel to create an allover motif to cover an entire quilt.

Pair The Wooly Mittens with Snowflakes  and  Spirals–(Reminiscent of Snowballs)– and you have a gorgeous, complex quilting pattern.

So let’s get started:


Begin by drawing three lines or “rails” (NOTE–Rails are guidelines to help keep stitching straight or to help maintain proportions.)

Draw the top and bottom lines, two inches apart.

Draw the middle line 3/4″ above the bottom line.

Begin stitching on the middle line.  Stitch a rounded petal shape and stop before reaching the middle line.

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy003Stitch the thumb by stitching a small petal shape.  End ON the middle line.

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy004Stitch ON the middle line – connecting up to the beginning of The Mitten.  

Stitch down one stitch and echo stitch this line.

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy006Stitch the cuff of the mitten by stitching several long petal shapes.

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy007Then outline the cuff and end near the thumb.

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy008Stitch a loop-de-loop..and begin the right Wooly Mitten.

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy009Add a Snowflake…and begin again.

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy011Now YOU’RE ready for a snowball fight, to build a snowman, make a snow angel, go skiing, snowshoeing…

Mittens.FMQ.LKennedy012One thing I’ve learned in my ten years here…Minnesotans don’t stop for a little snow…

They go ice fishing, sledding…

But then again, some of us stay INSIDE…

and QUILT!

Warm Wishes,


PS…Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the First Installment of our Free Motion MYSTERY Quilt-a-Long….It’s going to be fun, fun, fun!  (and educational!)

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 and tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!