Doodle Lessons?


Happy Friday, Everyone!

It’s been a busy week here at The Inbox Jaunt–in fact it’s been a very busy month!

I’ve been working on a few very very exciting projects…one I will share next week…

The other needs a bit more tweaking before The Reveal…

You’ll be the first to know…As these projects are a direct result of YOU making recommendations, sharing The Inbox Jaunt, etc…

So let me take this opportunity to say “Thank YOU!”

Thank you for sharing, talking about The Inbox Jaunt, telling your guilds, writing letters to magazine editors, sharing ideas, re-blogging, tweeting and Pinning!  Thank you..



Let’s get to work on Open Line Friday.

Yesterday’s post, My First Doodle Quilt, generated a lot of questions about  the process of doodling.

Questions/Comments like:

  • What advice do you have for someone who can’t doodle or draw? (See below)
  • Do you worry about creating a continuous line while you’re doodling? (Not at first)
  • I bought a notebook, but I haven’t doodled anything yet…(Not possible in my mind…)

I’ve been contemplating this idea for a while and I think it’s time for:


MY question is…Can you teach someone to doodle?

The answer…I don’t know…but I’d like to try!

Would you like to join me?

If so..


1)  Buy a 9 x 12 Sketchpad, a lined notebook, and a ream of inexpensive typing paper.

(I hate to tell people to buy anything…but sometimes a new notebook is just the right thing to kick off a new project!)

2)  Search out a variety of pens and pencils that you already own…(see how frugal I am!).   Look for Flairs, Sharpies, pencils, crayons, rollerballs, gel pens, even old make up pencils and my favorite, a fountain pen ( I LOVE to draw with my fountain pens!)

3) Start with the typing paper…Fill up five pages of typing paper–one side only–with doodles using all of your marking pens.  If you don’t have a “doodle”  just draw figure “8”s and circles.  If you’re musical, draw notes. Scribble.  Anything.  Just get the pens moving and decide which ones you like best.

  •   Which pens feel best in your hand?
  •   Which looks best on the paper?
  •   Which rolls smoothest across the paper?

I know this sounds a bit too basic, but just like having the right thread matters in quilting, having the right pen matters in doodling.


Starting next week we’ll have a “Doodle Together” assignment.

The long term goal is to turn our doodles into quilts.

So let’s collect a caboodle of pens and doodle some noodles!



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

46 thoughts on “Doodle Lessons?

  1. I bought a sketchpad a couple weeks ago. It’s blemish free, just waiting for some drawings! Looks like that will happen soon!

    • this might have something to do with doodling not sure BUT I just finished a quilt top for my sister and I just can’t get started on it cause i just don’t know what I want to quilt on it- any help would be appreciated.

  2. I had great fun with pages of hexies I was going to cut up for English Paper Piecing. They were the wrong size, and I had several typing-paper pages of them. My daughter, grandsons, and I sat around one Saturday morning with colored markers and, using the hexagon shape as a starting point, made some beautiful doodle art! Just saying: to start with, maybe work within a shape so you don’t feel that the whole page is too much!

  3. Lori, I like that you told people to just start with scribbling or making marks. Sometimes the mental block of having something artistic in your hand is intimidating. Just getting used to moving pencil/pen on paper is a good start. Your comment earlier this week about moving fast so that your left brain doesn’t take over is very good, too. Not even thinking about your paper and pen and letting your mind go elsewhere is probably what some need to work on. Most of my doodles are geometric but I would like to work more towards more organic production. Thanks for going this direction.

  4. Lori I just found you blog this week but am excited I did. I really want to learn to FMQ. I know it takes practice, practice, practice – now I just need to make time to practice, practice practice……

  5. I love doodling! good idea to use a variety of writing elements!
    I remember my grannie 😉

    Hey Doddle doodle, the cat and the fooddle
    The cow jumped over the moon
    The dish ran away with the spoon!

  6. I have always loved to doodle! But, until I retired & did more quilting did I put the two together. Now, I am practicing the free motion quilting too. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! I have a book that I bought just to doodle in & some zentangle too.. I love your blog.

  7. What size quilt sandwich do you have on hand for the time when you are ready to take your doodling to the sewing machine?
    As a beginning free motion quilter, I want to thank you for all the wonderful ideas. I was so happy to see that ‘meandering’ isn’t necessarily the place to begin.

    • You can free motion quilt with a quilt as big as you like as you don’t have to move the quilt, I start in the middle and work sideways, then a few up and then down and then around and all the time the quilt is facing me, so handy!! I use Westalee templates and machine foot and so handy, just love it!

  8. For those who are frugal (stingy), you don’t have to buy new typing paper. I have been playing with quilting designs with paper and pencil before stitching for years. I save scrap paper that is clean on the back (from junk mail and other sources). I 3-hole punch the ones I want to save and put them in a binder to peruse when I am planning the quilting for a completed top. I have always said a kindergardener can draw better than I can, but with practice I found I could sketch and stitch some pretty designs.

  9. I am so excited to start this. I doodle at work (when on conference calls) but do not carry that back to my quilting. Maybe Thursday assignments will give me the push to try to overcome my FMQ nervousness. Thanks for the inspiration

  10. I bought my sketch books to practice your weekly tutorial. I know I like flowers, and random designs. Last week I tried a feather, and stitched it onto a fabric with my new King tut thread, and made it into a pillow. I’m not a good doodler, but wintering in Florida, I can doodle palm trees. Pointy branches, different heights… I’m still working on my Mystery thread project, as I get new threads and colours.
    I can say that my confidence has improved a lot, I look forward to the daily blog. Sure would be fun to see what people have made! Thanks Lori.

  11. I love doing this. I will.
    Boy, and just think, i used to get into trouble for doodling when I was a kid,
    I have some notebooks.
    Lori, you are really an inspiration

  12. I also love Zentangling, which is also a form of doodling. I get lots of ideas searching the net. I love your daily emails. I used the bee pattern on my granddaughters quilt last week and they were very easy after the first couple were done.

    • Yes, I agree! Zentangle is a great introduction to folks who feel like they cannot doodle or draw. Yes, they can!! Rick and Maria have started a great movement. I “tangle” to relax after a day of longarming for others. With a recent elbow injury it allows me to continue to retain my muscle memory for quilting designs. Allison in Plano, TX

  13. Thank you! I’very got the pads galore, notebooks and writing instruments by the tubfull . I just really can’t seem to doodle. I look forward to this journey.

  14. I already have the sketchbook but haven’t used it. I’m making a commitment to myself to do this! I can’t wait to start.

  15. I am a constant doodler and have starting noticing patterns around me that I can incorporate into quilting. I tend to doodle in church (Yes, I am still listening) and on anything available. I have started a 3 three ring notebook at your suggestion with some of my doodles. I think now I will take it a step further and start just a doodling notebook. I love the frixion pens for my doodling and they come in a variety of colors. I also love to google things for ideas. And the Ipad is such a nice tool to have because I can snap a picture of it and they just put the Ipad by my sewing machine and use it as inspiration.

  16. Can’t wait to do this with you! Already have the sketchbook and have reams of cheap typing paper already! Just need to find the perfect pen/pencil!

  17. Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one who has trouble doodling! Thank you for taking this on and sharing it! I can hardly wait to get over my doodle-block!!!!
    Thank you!

  18. Wow! Talk about being in the right place at the right time! This is just the info I’ve been waiting to find. Thanks, Lori!

  19. Lately all I’ve been asked about is how to start fmq! My first suggested step…..A Walmart $1.00 sketch pad (with the Crayolas!) and start doodling. The response is usually a momentary blank look and then….”Like I used to do in high school!”. The connection between doodling and fmq gradually dawns and I can see the “light bulb” slowly come on and the excitement begin. Love those moments!!!!!! Looking forward to your great idea!!!!!!!

  20. My favorite besides a large sketch pad and a Sharpie (no erasing allowed) is a large piece of acrylic masked around the edges, and dry erase markers – can doodle, erase and doodle again (take photos of things you like) and can audition the doodle on a quilt top by laying acrylic over the top!

  21. If people have trouble doodling starting with pages like ‘hexies’ as above is great. Then start changing shapes, or use the dividing line between hexies to build on. Turn them into feathers or vines. Turn your hexie into a flower.
    Diane in Wyoming

  22. My favorite paper to doodle is tracing paper..It has a great surface. Also, don’t tell anyone, but I wash paper from the meat market. I use dish washing liquid and spray
    with light solution of bleach,.( Usually there is an inner wrapper touching the meat that is the one that goes in the trash). My “new” paper dries in the sunlight from a window and then I iron it smooth. It is ready for me to use when I need to doodle/plan a 12 1/2 inch block.

  23. Thanks for doing this! I’ve been trying to doodle on my iPad mini using an app called Paper by 53. There are little notebooks with pages to fill and many colors and pens to choose from. I like the hex idea, too.

  24. I got a set of gel pens for Christmas, but just got around to opening them up this week. That and a new sketchbook really put me in a doodling mood. I love doodling in color! I find inspiration a lot from Zentangle designs. Most can be simplified. Sometimes you just need to pull out a simple shape or two that can be turned into a continuous line design. Of course the best place for inspiration is your blog, Lori!

  25. Hi there! I just found you blog by way of Pinterest…..I was looking up Free motion quilting and spotted some of your lovely designs……I just took an all day FMQ class yesterday so I am new to this and one thing she recommended was to doodle too! So when I saw this post I thought this would be a good way to keep me motivated! Thanks!

  26. Really want to say Thank You for everything you share, I love all the great ideas going on in your blog! Can’t wait to get started putting them in a quilt or two.

  27. Pingback: Think Spring! | The Inbox Jaunt

  28. I’m really looking forward to your lessons. I’ve never been able to doodle. Just filling pages with marks was frustrating but also a little freeing because I didn’t have to make it look like anything yet. Thanks for the gentle push and I’m looking forward to the next assignment.

  29. Pingback: Let’s Doodle Together–Doodle Lesson One | The Inbox Jaunt

We'd LOVE to hear! Please reply...