Claire’s Peony-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

FMQ, Peony, KennedyGood Morning, Quilters!

It’s Wednesday and we have our Tuesday Tutorial!  My computer is feeling better now…I had to upgrade my Mac and found Apple is no longer supporting my photo organizing and processing package, Aperture.  I had a few minutes of pure panic thinking my photos were lost…

For the long-term, this new system will be great, but in the short-term it is very time-consuming!


Let’s talk about pretty posies…My five daughters, including the bride, Claire.  Claire was married in May and chose peonies for all the bouquets so I thought it would be appropriate to have this gorgeous flower as a motif on her wedding quilt.View More:, we will learn Claire’s Peony–a BEGINNER motif…it fits into any square and…FMQ, Peony, Kennedyis perfect for the center of the Wedding Ring Quilt.



Begin by drawing a square and marking the center.  Any size will work, from small to very large.  In the sample below, we are stitching an 8 inch square.

FMQ, Peony, Kennedy

Stitch a spiral directly in the center of the square and then stitch five scallop shaped petals around the spiral.  Try for five evenly spaced petals, but the flower will be lovely with 4-1/2 or 6…anything goes, really!
FMQ, Peony, KennedyNext, echo stitch the petals.

NOTE-Echo stitching gives any motif more boldness.  Whenever stitching on The Big Quilt, echo stitch a motif for more emphasis–it really helps.  In the case of Claire’s Peony, we are echo stitching each row of petals as well as the outer edge of the motif–very dramatic!FMQ, Peony, Kennedy

Stitch another row of scallop shaped petals.  This row will have several more petals than the previous row.   Avoid lining the petals up with the points of the petals all in the same place.FMQ, Peony,LCKennedy

Echo stitch this row of petals, then begin another row of petals.  Each successive row will have more petals.

Add as many rows of petals necessary to nearly fill the shape.


The echo stitching on the last row of petals is a little different…

Stitch all the way around creating the new layer of petals.

Begin echo stitching…

FMQ, Peony,LCKennedy

Then add a leaf in the corner.

Echo stitch the inside of the leaf.

FMQ, Peony,LCKennedy

Once the leaf is completely echo stitched…

FMQ, Peony,LCKennedy

Follow the line of the petals, add a vein, and continue around the Peony, adding more leaves and embellishments.

FMQ, Peony,LCKennedyIt looks best if you add small and large leaves around the Peony and perhaps an occasional spiral tendril.

FMQ, Peony, Kennedy Gorgeous!  Claire’s Peony!

This would make a perfect pillow…or add it to YOUR next quilt–any quilt with a square block or The Wedding Ring Quilt

Tomorrow, we’ll look how to modify this motif to create a border and fill the “melons”-the shape where the Wedding Ring Quilt intersects!

Throughout November we will continue to talk about Tips and Tricks for THE BIG QUILT!

May your stitches (and your computer) be 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, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

28 thoughts on “Claire’s Peony-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. Beautiful! You make everything look so easy! Love the quilt and can’t wait to see it in all it’s glory! Gorgeous family too!

  2. I love peonies! When I saw the quilt d peony at the top I thought, “This doesn’t look beginner at all!” but then when I read through your explanation I thought there is hope I can do it. I am eager to try it!
    Five daughters! What a blessing!
    Thankful the computer woe is behind you. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  3. How timely is this!? I’m in the process of “finishing” a wedding ring quilt that my Mother-in-law’s mother did over 50 years ago. It’s only the top, and the stitching has come undone in several places. I’ve pressed all the seams in one direction, hoping to make the quilting easier. It’s all hand done, but I’m not a hand quilter, so I’m doing it on the machine.. The quilt is very uneven and “poochy”. I’ve had to pleat it in several places to try and flatten it out. I’m going to quilt in the ditch
    around the circles, and maybe, echo quilt. I couldn’t decide what to put in the center, but the peonies seem to be a perfect solution. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do for the melons. Thank you!!!

    • What a blessing…your 5 beauties! Peonies are one of my favorites also. I have 3 rows of my granddaughter’s wedding quilt finished, plus all the arcs. She’s been married 3 years. So I’m going to have to get with it! These motifs are perfect. I’m definitely a beginner FMQ. This has lit my fire! Thanks so much for helping all of us. You have it all figured out for me. 😍

  4. Lori….Your daughters are beautiful! Each one of them! I have 3 daughters and thought I beat the odds with 3 beauties. I love the peony motif…I’ll use it alot…I’m already thinking of other large areas where I can use it. Thanks once again for your generosity.

  5. The peony quilting is beautiful and so are your daughters. What a beautiful memory for the bride by bringing the peony back into her wedding ring quilt. She is one lucky daughter. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beautiful family Lori….. don’t know how you find time to do all the things you do!!! You should have posted a picture of the beautiful bride’s Mother as well….. I am sure you looked stunning. Love your peony motif!!!

  7. Beautiful daughters! Congratulations. Thank you for the peony motif. I already tried it, and it is lovely indeed. Peonies were also the flowers at my oldest son’s wedding, and one of my favorites.

  8. Absolutely LOVELY! I’m new at all this….getting ready to FM my first every pieced quilt…baby size….with 4 1/2″ squares….was looking for *flowers* to fill some of the squares. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Really appreciate all your creations and how generous you are to share them with *us*. ***smiles***

  9. Peonies are my favorite flower, so thank you for this tutorial. I think it would be perfect for a quilt I recently finished using Asian fabrics. Each block has a plain white square in it, and I was having a hard time thinking of something I wanted to put there. Mine will have to be smaller, though.

    You have a lovely group of daughters, a real treasure.

  10. Five beautiful daughters what a blessing! What a great picture.
    Have you been able to adjust to your stitch regulator on the new machine or
    are you still doing it the old way?

    Happy Sewing

  11. Beautiful women and a beautiful motif. I really think that the echo quilting and the leaves around the edge really polish the design.

  12. Pingback: Rules for Quilting “The Big Quilt” | The Inbox Jaunt

    • I have a hand pieced grandmother’s flower garden that I’ve been procrastinating quilting for years. I just couldn’t find a design that was special enough but still suitable for my FMQ skills. I think this would be perfect. Your tutorials are so clear and helpful.

  13. Pingback: Big Flowers, Small (Quick) Quilt | The Inbox Jaunt

  14. Pingback: Perfection? No Thanks. | Needle and Foot

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