Water and Ice-A Machine Quilting Tutorial

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters!

Welcome to all our new followers from The Quilt Show, Pinterest, Facebook and more.  There has been a lot of interest in the Ruining Quilts post.  It is clear–we all have some fears associated with machine quilting.

Fear no more-YOU are in the right place!

We will help you find YOUR way to beautiful quilts and beautiful quilting.

If you are new to The Inbox Jaunt, you might want to start with The Motif Library-with more than 100 step-by-step tutorials.

And I consider doodling an essential skill–so check out the Doodle Lesson page as well.

Not sure how to set up your machine for quilting?  Try Twelve Steps to Machine Quilting HERE

And for a video version – try one of my Craftsy videos (50% off for readers of The Inbox Jaunt)

This will give you a good start– then stick around for the tutorials, quilt-a-longs, giveaways, patterns, product reviews, books, magazines, open forums…..

Everything to HELP YOU gain confidence with machine quilting!


Today’s tutorial is a pretty swirling pattern that could be used as a background fill or allover motif on any quilt. I could also imagine it on an art quilt creating the texture of water or the swirls on top of ice.  Any figure skaters in the group?

After hours of doodling, it seems Water and Ice looks best when stitched at an angle-as opposed to straight vertical lines.  No need to draw diagonal guidelines–just “eyeball” this one to keep it loose and water-like.

Begin by stitching a wavy line.

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Add another wave-extending slightly farther to the right.

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

To add a swirl, curl in…

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Then back out again.

(NOTE-The swirl is similar to a sideways Paperclip-Tutorial HERE)

Paperclip, Free Motion Quilting

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Curve around and extend a little farther to the right.

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Combine wavy lines and swirls.

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Then stitch back, adding wavy lines and swirls.

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Water, Ice Machine Quilting Tutorial, Lori Kennedy

Makes me think of Florida…
Sunset, Lori Kennedy

What about YOU?

Any Water or Ice quilts stirring in YOUR sub conscience?

We’d love to hear!

Lots more quilting all week–including How to Ruin Your Quilt with Stippling.

Happy Stitching!


PS…This tutorial was stitched on my BERNINA 770QE (just love the stitch formation!) with Sulky 40wt Rayon thread on top and 50 cotton Aurifil in the bobbin.

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 share, pin or re-blog with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  This post may contain affiliate links.  Thanks!

22 thoughts on “Water and Ice-A Machine Quilting Tutorial

  1. I love your motifs and machine quilting philosophy, in general. I’m signed up for your Craftsy Classes. I used one of your flower motifs to finish a quilt for my granddaughter back in March. This one — water and ice — is wonderful.

  2. Oooooh!!! I have a wallhanging from my trip to Salt Spring Island, BC three years ago that would really look good with this design on the water! Thank you, thank you! Off to doodle. I am working hard on my UFO’s and this one is at the top of the pile, but suffering from your “paralysis by analysis”! I did finish a baby quilt yesterday and didn’t know what to quilt on it. I followed your Mom’s advice (and mine LOL). Just sit down and DO it. I put the needle down and started stitching and went with what came out of the needle! Too funny how we get so bogged down. But, practise makes perfect eh? And, now I have a new motif to add to my doodle book. Maybe I’ll work on that one tonight if I have a chance…high time it gets finished. Hugs from Canada.

    • I LIVE on Salt Spring Island, and was gladdened to see your comment. I’m pleased to see our little island has inspired you, as it does me every day.

  3. Yes! Love this. Just what I needed. I am having coffee on a Lake Michigan beach. The lake is beautifully angry this morning. This is the perfect design for the quilt I have waiting back in Mid Missouri. Thank you.

  4. I often search your site for ideas such as turtles, or birds. I have a water theme in an Applique project, and really like this idea. I’ve used wavy lines, waves , but this idea is great. Always creative, thanks.

  5. I just think it is awesome that you still teach us a new pattern every week whilst you are becoming so popular. Thank you Lori! You have my two thumbs way up!

  6. Really want to learn how to machine quilt. Went out and bought sketch books and will start with the basics. So happy I found your site. BTW, my maiden name was Kennedy!

  7. Lori Kennedy you break down the patterns so a. Beginner like me has the courage to try it!
    Thank you for your “War against Stippling” …;)

  8. Wow Lori, I really love this as it looks like it could really be an all over design that is achievable with a little work. Appreciate!! I will try it on my practice quilt.

  9. Do you draw lines or draw your doodles on the quilt or truly just machine doodle? I am brand new to free motion quilting. I have previously only done lines and ties. I want to continue to improve what I am doing.

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