The Chain Stitch-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

FMQ, Tutorial, Chain StitchGood Morning, Quilters!

Welcome back to Tuesday Tutorials–YOUR place for step by step, free motion quilting tutorials...

Today we’re taking a page from hand embroidery and stitching the Chain Stitch. It’s a beautiful hand stitch, but it’s even better in free motion quilting!FMQ, Tutorial, Chain StitchWouldn’t this  be beautiful on the bottom of a skirt?  Or on the borders of a tablecloth?  Perhaps on a pillowcase.  Be creative!  Once you’ve learned a motif, find as many uses for it as you can!

Don’t limit your free motion quilting to quilts!


Begin by drawing a line to follow.  The line can be straight or wavy–or spiraled into a circle.  Doodle first and you might be surprised…

Begin by stitching an open oval on the line.FMQ, Tutorial, Chain StitchStitch back to the other side. FMQ, Tutorial, Chain StitchStitch ON the previous line of stitching to the top of the first chain–a few stitches ahead of the drawn line.

NOTE-In the photo below, the stitching is offset slightly–this is for demonstration only.  Stitch ON the previous line of stitching.FMQ, Tutorial, Chain StitchBegin the next set to continue the chain.FMQ, Tutorial, Chain Stitch

FMQ, Tutorial, Chain StitchPlease take a few minutes to doodle this design and then stitch a few before next Tuesday…

We’re stitching some REALLY COOL variations of this motif next week.  Stay tuned…

NOTE-This tutorial was stitched on my Really Cool BERNINA 770 QE– A great machine with a beautiful stitch, huge bobbin, buttons to lower and lift the needle and so much more! (While sitting in the Really Comfy-BERNINA chair–available at dealerships everywhere- or SeBear Patch Quilting Co in Minnesota.

I used Sulky 40 wt Rayon on top and Aurifil 50 wt cotton in the bobbin, Warm and Natural cotton batting.

Hope YOUR stitches are Happy,


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  Thanks!

20 thoughts on “The Chain Stitch-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. Love you Lori! I saw this in a floral type design. This is just wonderful and will be in my next border. I love your being able to make and think of different variations, one thing I can’t seem to do. Have you ever considered making a book with all your wonderful motifs? If so, I want it for my reference. Just cannot say enough about how talented you truly are and how very generous in all your work and sharing it with all of us. You are one amazing woman! Thank you so much for all your time etc. Have a great day. It is raining here in Michigan. I am off to go sew and practice. Claudia

  2. Thanks Lori. I am new to your blog and really appreciate all your ideas and tips. I have a question. Are you having any electrical problems with your Bernina machine? I have the same machine and in the past, when my iron cycles off and on, it has blown out the motherboard. I have it on a surge protector, so I don’t think that is the problem. I can’t have the iron on at the same time the machine is running. For a quilter, this has posed a real inconvenience!

    • I always keep my iron on a separate circuit. I haven’t had electrical problems on any of my BERNINA s.

    • Don’t mean it is funny but I had to laugh..Our guild has blown things out at a church and the library when we used irons at a sit N sew..Now we have to check with any building’s maintenance folks and take turns with fewer irons..

      • I have been to other events where the irons had to be in a hall outside the sewing rooms because we were blowing fuses!

  3. The paisley is one of my favorite and easier designs to do so I appreciate more ideas to vary similar moves! Thank You, I enjoy your blog and look for it every day.

  4. I looked at your chain stitch for the longest time (before scrolling down to the tutorial) and wondered how in the world you did that. Ah-ha,,,,,by stitching over a portion of the line. You can’t even see the double stitching. By stitching right next to it in the tutorial photo you show how easy it is. No one will every know 🙂

    Tavette – S. Fla.

  5. I am new to your blog and have a question. Do you quilt with a rayon in the needle most of the time or is it only for demonstration? I thank you for your lessons. I can only quilt in the ditch so these lessons are extremely helpful. Thank you.

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