Evidence and Deduction: The Mystery Quilt-a-Long

Thread Samples, Free Motion quilting

Good Morning, Quilters, Tailors, Seamstresses and Spies!

Today we are following the thread of evidence… we’re hot on The Thread Trail…if you will..

THE PLAN:  Stitch the evidence together in a logical order so we can make a few deductions…

This step may take several weeks to complete.  Do not rush the process-enjoy it!

As you sort your thread box, choose samples from different types of thread and stitch them onto your grid.  Do this in random order, or stitch side-by-side comparisons of some of your threads.

Thread Samples, Free Motion quiltingYou could compare Polyester to Rayon:

Thread Samples, Free Motion quiltingOr two cotton threads of different weight:

Thread Samples, Free Motion quiltingOr same weight, different manufacturer.

Or same weight, different fiber:  polyester v. cotton.

Establish your own order based on the threads you prefer and what is in your thread box.  (Last week, I recommended that you put Cotton 50 wt in the center box and Polyester 50 wt two boxes over.–Don’t feel compelled to follow those instructions…)

Thread Samples, Free Motion quilting


  • Stitch samples of Cotton, Rayon, Polyester, Silk, Metallic and Monofilament (Either one can be used as the “M” in the top right corner.)  If you don’t have any one of these threads in your collection, add it to your “BUY” list.  (Yes, I’ve talked to your husband…)
  • Use a permanent marker to create a label for your spools (Finally a  label that won’t fall off!)  (See Open Line Friday-(Comments too) on Permanent Markers.)
  • Write down the Fiber, Weight, Manufacturer and Thread Name if it has one (for example, Superior’s Extra-long staple cotton is called “King Tut”.)
  • If you have more information to add:  where purchased, price, tension adjustments,–write that information on the back of the square. (We used a light colored solid backing for easier note taking!)
  • Leave the upper left corner free…We have one more clue to add….

Thread Samples, Free Motion quilting


Last week, I enjoyed a few hours stitching and was very surprised by some of the results– For example, the look of 50 wt cotton thread from different manufacturers is very different!

I also found several “new” favorites!…though I’m a firm believer of the old Girl Scout vow:  Make new friends, but keep the old….It’s important to have a few reliable “old friends” on which to depend!

This Spool Sampler will be an invaluable tool any time you sew -not just when free motion quilting.

If you find a thread is too thick or too thin, too shiny or too dull…You will be able to quickly find a replacement…

Thread Samples, Free Motion quiltingFILLING IN YOUR GRID

If you have time, I recommend spending an hour or so stitching and comparing threads at one time.  I promise this is WELL WORTH your time!

If you don’t want to take an hour, add threads each time you begin a new project or buy a new thread.  There’s no hurry to finish The Sampler.

Consider making more than one Sampler–depending on how many threads you own–or want to try!


As you make comparisons, write your conclusions on the back of this Sampler–All the information in ONE PLACE…

And share your new knowledge with “The Group”–

We’d LOVE to hear!

There’s still a bit of MYSTERY left–What goes in the upper left hand corner???

Only the shadow knows, (Prompt eerie music…)


Find all the Mystery Quilt-a-Long Tutorials HERE.

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

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 lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!


Free Motion Quilting-A Fun Exercise

Free Motion Quilting, Fabric TracingGood Morning, Quilters!

Welcome to St. Valentine’s Day Week!  I laughed out loud to hear that many of you saw a face in yesterday’s Silent Sunday!  I ALWAYS see faces, but I did not see a face in the iron gate.  I saw a heart!

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays–especially for quilting.  The colors and motifs are PRETTY!

The new header motif is The Extra Sweetheart Border–with a little flourish added on top and bottom.  It’s a very pretty motif and you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to use it.  It looks great on almost any quilt (maybe not Ness’s Football quilt…)

Free Motion Quilting, Fabric TracingHave you ever tried fabric tracing?

Fabric Tracing is a free motion quilt technique where you stitch along the fabric’s printed design.  (Adding your own embellishments along the way!)

It’s a great way to practice free motion quilting.

Free Motion Quilting, Fabric TracingWhen you’re finished, both sides of the fabric look great.

Use your quilted fabric as a quilt or to make something like a purse or a pillow.

You’ve just created your own coordinating fabrics:  a printed side and a solid side with matching motifs!

Use the printed fabric for the front of the pillow and the solid quilted fabric for the back!  Gorgeous!  I bet you could sell them on Etsy!

Free Motion Quilting, Fabric TracingTry to find large prints with fairly simple designs for best results…

I’d love to see what YOU make!

PS…Does anyone know of any WordPress compatible software that would allow readers to upload images for everyone to see–bypassing Flickr?

Tomorrow is Free Motion Quilting Tutorial Tuesday…and I have a pattern you’re sure to LOVE!


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 lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!