Mystery Quilt-a-Long — Swimming Along!

Mystery Quilt-a-Long, Machine Quilting

Good Morning, Quilters, Doodlers and Fishermen!

Hope your quilts are coming along swimmingly…

Last week we stitched Rows 3, 5, 12, and 13 HERE

We are stitching Rows 7 and 11 this week.

Row 11

Let’s add a little character to our quilts–

In Row 11 add one row of the School of Fish tutorial.

machine quilting, Fish


This motif is easy--if you spend the time to doodle first!

If you’ve never stitched The School of Fish, plan to doodle it at least one hundred times, before you stitch it!

Doodling a motif 100 times should take less than fifteen minutes.

Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away.  Doodle for fifteen minutes and then stop.  If you don’t feel comfortable with it, repeat the doodles again tomorrow.  Doodle again for ten to fifteen minutes and stop…and repeat this for a few days until you feel comfortable enough to stitch the motif without hesitation.

Several short doodle sessions over a few days are much more effective than one long session.  Your sub-conscience is an amazing processor of information–let it do the work!


Row 7

In Row 7, add The Paperclip design

Paperclip, Free Motion Quilting

Follow the doodle sequence above to learn this versatile motif.  Once you learn to doodle this motif I am certain you will stitch it into your next ten quilts because it is so pretty, so easy, and it just flows…Truly one of my favorites!  (I know, I know…I say that a lot!)


Our Mystery Sampler is really starting to take shape in only a few minutes per week!

(AND It is so much cuter than those plain ole muslin samplers with motifs filling squares on a grid-argh!!!  Wouldn’t YOU agree?!?)

Mystery Quilt-a-Long, Machine Quilting

Once you learn The Paperclip and The School of Fish, make a notecard for your personal motif libraryRead more HERE.

Doodle Cards, Lori Kennedy, Free Motion Quilting I used the notecards a lot while planning my second Craftsy video and included them in Creative Free Motion Techniques:  Doodle to Design  (Doodle the motif on scratch paper 100 times or until it is fluid, then make your notecard and throw the rest away.)

By the way, both of my classes will be 50% off until the end of this week–so take advantage of the great savings! (Divide and Conquer 50%)


If you would like to make this sampler a little easier, you could replace the Fish in Row 11 with Beginner Loops or Paperclips.


and a challenge…with winners…it’s not what you expect!…(backstage drum roll)

Love a Mystery,


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!


12 thoughts on “Mystery Quilt-a-Long — Swimming Along!

  1. I’m massively behind here, though meaning to get back at my FMQ. I wonder, though, if you could be so kind as to link some of your posts on thread choices, etc. into your “Tutorials” section, for easy reference? I want to play around some with some samples, but would like a list of threads, needles, etc. and I seem to recall that you have discussed these things more than once – but can’t find the posts. You blog is an invaluable resource, and I want to be able to use it as a companion reference to your Craftsy classes. 😉

  2. I may have missed seeing this posted, so pardon me for asking again, but do you have all the lessons for the current Nautical Themed Quilt-Along posted in one easy access tab? I, too, am not able to get at this right now and it is so time consuming to page back through days and days of blog posts to find the Quilt-Along Tuesdays. I’m leaving on a trip and am taking along pad & pens to doodle so would like to be able to quickly access the pertinent lessons quickly.
    Maybe this is a “duh” for all but me. 😛

  3. The links to past posts and tutorials for the designs today are so helpful. I agree this is much more cute than the plain ole muslin samplers! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Is there a trick to keeping the lines parallel and kinda equal distance apart on last week’s waves? I’ve doodled this over and again and tried stitching it and I’m not having much success. I thought I’d ask before I added it to the quilt. Thanks for sharing this project! I’m having a lot of fun with it! 🙂

    • It just takes practice. No tricks. But if the lines aren’t parallel make it look like that’s what you intended-really off everywhere and it will look great in your quilt.

  5. I am so glad I found you blog. I am enjoying all your posts, but especially the mysteryQAL. I look forward to Wednesday morning – I am in Australia- when it turns up in my inbox. Thank younfornanswering last week’s question. My new one is, do you use your BSR or just lower the feed dogs. I have a Bernina 820 and find the Bsr quite hard to manage.

    • I just got a Bernina with the BSR and indeed found it somewhat distracting and difficult. The solution (as usual) was practice, practice and more practice. Don‘t look at the needle or at the foot. Llike driving, look at where you are going. I used the practice pieces to make covers for my machine as well as a new ironing board cover.

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