The Doodle Heart-A Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Free Motion Quilted HeartGood Morning, Quilters!

Just days to go before St. Valentine’s Day…chocolates, roses, love letters, hearts….

This tutorial is called “The Doodle Heart”  because I have been doodling this motif forever..long before I tried quilting!

Doodles make great quilt motifs because they are already hard-wired into our brain…


The Rails

When first learning this motif, you may want to draw a few lines to get the proportions right.

The Doodle Heart is a square motif.  Start with any size square that fits YOUR quilt and then divide it into quadrants.

The full squares in this tutorial are 2 inches by 2 inches and then subdivided into 1 inch quadrants.

Begin stitching on the lower middle line.  Stitch out toward (but not quite touching the outer  right edge.  (The widest part of the heart should be near the midline.) Spiral in-keeping the curve inside the upper right quadrant.

Free Motion Quilted HeartContinue to spiral inward.  If your square is larger than 2″, you may have more spirals…

Free Motion Quilted HeartStop at the center and spiral out again.  Taper to the bottom starting point.

Free Motion Quilted HeartCreate the left side of the heart the same way.  Spiral in and stop.

Free Motion Quilted HeartSpiral out and taper down to the bottom point.  (If you want to add an inner embellishment…stitch it now.)

Free Motion Quilted HeartFrom the bottom point, echo stitch the outer edge of the entire heart.

Free Motion Quilted HeartThe heart should look like this:

NOTE-Add more than one row of echo stitching around the heart to increase the size.

Free Motion Quilted HeartYou may add inner embellishments–a small heart, your initials…

Free Motion Quilted HeartTie off to begin the next heart as I did below or add a connecting loop-de-loop to begin the next heart.

Free Motion Quilted HeartThis motif can be combined in many ways and looks great as a border as well as a full block motif.  Vary The Doodle Heart by changing the proportions–elongate the lower quadrants, or widen the square.

Have fun with this–or Stitch YOUR OWN DOODLE!  We’d love to see it!

Later this week:  My 2015 Valentine Mini Quilt with lots of Doodle Hearts…

Tomorrow:  The MYSTERY…The Picture is Coming Together…

Thursday— “Tension Troubleshooting” article…I hope to have this ready by Thursday???

Happy Stitching,


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


31 thoughts on “The Doodle Heart-A Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

  1. It’s always so exciting to see a new design in my in-box from you. IMMEDIATELY I follow your stitching with my cursor. By doing that it makes perfect sense why you start at the middle line vs. the outer line. My 1st thought before doing this was to start at the outside, but no…… Now I see why.

    The little squares you drew make it easier to keep thing in proportion until we get the “hang of it”. You know how to start my day off right by sending your stitch-by-stitch demos.

    Tavette – S. Fla.

  2. Wow to have my notebooks back from highschool…heehee! I did a lot of doodling then! LOL! I have some Valentines to make this week so will give this a shot! 🙂 Really cute!

  3. Would make just the best quilted post cards… will definitely do and send!!! Also Flickr it for all to see! My new Juki 2010Q is being delivered today… Can’t wait to try that baby out! Some of the Top free motion work is being done on a Juki (Leah Day, and Cindy Needham) Picture me so excited!!!!

  4. Your tutorials are inspiring. I’m going to try it as an allover-varying the size of the hearts and adding spirals to travel. I’ll try doodling it first.

  5. Thanks for the heart tutorial, I actually figured it out pretty close by DOODLING!!! About the Mystery, I could have sworn that SOMEWHERE (???) it said to go ahead and stitch a spool in P50 or C50. Am I nuts?

      • What do you mean??? Why are you asking about my family? Boy, you’ve got me stumped, aren’t we all part of this group?

      • Sorry–no offense meant…You asked I could have sworn that SOMEWHERE (???) it said to go ahead and stitch a spool in P50 or C50. Am I nuts?–I responded: yes, stitch the spool in the center square. I don’t know you well enough to answer your question…. It’s an old joke that didn’t translate well via internet. ARgh!
        Yes, add the spool C50 if you have cotton thread of 50 weight. That spool goes right in the middle of the grid.

  6. Rosemary B here
    Awww Lori. This is so sweet. I absolutely adore this.
    I read every day, but not always comment. The twins (92 year olds) have been keeping me very busy. I have been enjoying your daily lessons and advise
    Thank you for that.

  7. Love your designs! This was a fun one for Valentines. Tried to save a copy in printfriendly & it came up with a cognitive psychology report instead. Interesting!

  8. I saw this featured on Sulky’s facebook page and just had to come check it out. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I’m just learning to fmq so I do appreciate when it’s explained so clearly how to do a particular design.

    • So glad you came! You might also like “the extra-sweetheart border”. Look for it on the tutorial page. Or put the name in the search bar

  9. Pingback: Valentine’s Day-Coming Soon! | The Inbox Jaunt

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