Doodling: Curls to Spirals

Doodle:  Curls to Spirals


Good Morning, Quilters, Doodlers and Quilt-Doodlers!

I have a BIG CRAFTSY announcement tomorrow…but first….

Today in our series “Better Quilting through Doodling”  we are doodling theUpward Curl that ranges anywhere from a slight curl to a tight spiral.

This little flourish finds it way into most of my doodles and most of my quilts.  Once you add this to your repertoire, I’m sure you will see it pop up even when you aren’t thinking about it.

Use lined paper to get started.

Start with the basic shape:  From the center, curve out then up adding just the slightest hint of a curl.   Echo back to the center and create the right side.

Doodle:  Curls to SpiralsDraw that shape many times (Many HUNDREDS of times if you like–I do!).  While you are doodling, notice how difficult it is to create the same shape on the right and left–in other words, how hard it is to be perfectly symmetrical.

Don’t worry about asymmetry–that gives hand drawing and quilting it’s unique look!
Doodle:  Curls to SpiralsOnce you are comfortable with the basic shape, try adding a little more curl to each shape.

Then try creating a fern by stacking the basic shape.Doodle:  Curls to SpiralsLater, combine the upward curl with spirals to create an even more interesting pattern.Doodle:  Curls to SpiralsWouldn’t this be a pretty piece of stationery?Doodle:  Curls to SpiralsAs you doodle, try to create larger and larger versions.  You will notice the movement becomes more fluent–that’s when you’re ready to try stitching it.

This may take thousands of repetitions…but that really doesn’t take long!

Commit to doodling every day-while you’re on your phone, or waiting at a carpool or when someone else is driving, while watching TV, waiting for water to boil…..a few minutes here and a few minutes there and you’ll have 1000 reps in no time!  (Notice I didn’t ask you for 1000 reps of burpees or pushups?)

Tomorrow:  The BIG CRAFTSY Giveaway Begins!  Woo HOO!

See you for more details!


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


20 thoughts on “Doodling: Curls to Spirals

  1. Thank you for your doodle lessons! It is becoming easier and easier. Like you say, practice everyday, 100s of times. Your lessons got me to start!

  2. It seems like this is the type of design I usually tend to quilt and love spiraling. Can’t wait for the Craftsy announcement!!

  3. Lori,
    As other doodlers, I often find myself frustrated by the left curl that is so much prettier than the left side. I am predominately right handed although anything in sports finds me “a lefty.” I don’t know the reasons but I’ve noticed that the left handed doodle holds the pen/pencil loser. Now to try a looser grip with the right hand.

    Thank you Lori for the encouragement & examples.

    • Me too Marta–was told by the dentist today to use a larger pencil, like a carpenters pencil. I looked at HD & the pencils I saw are flat—-will ask again next month.

    • I go to the dollar stores to get kid’s sketch pads. The work great for doodling and practice repitions and practing larger travelling motifs. I don’t feel guilty about using too much paper in one sitting as the pads are only a buck.

  4. Yes, carpenter’s pencils are flat. You can use either edge..the sharp side or the flat side for variety of effects. You can also try a #3 or #4 artist pencils. An ebony pencil leaves a mark similar to charcoal..I don’t think all those are what we are after in doodling to produce something akin to the stitches a sewing machine makes: a single line for our FM…Lori, any input here ???

    • Any pen or pencil that feels good to you will work. We are just trying to develop fluid motions and muscle memory.

  5. Thanks for all your lessons and tips. You are a very generous person. I am retired and so appreciate you….now on to doodling!

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