The Sunflower Sampler Quilt-a-Long Begins Today!!!

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters!

For a little change of pace this month we are replacing our Motif Tuesday Tutorials with The Sunflower Sampler Quilt-a-Long!

The finished quilt shown here, is a quilt I stitched several years ago on a piece of hand-dyed fabric.  This will give you a general idea of what we are making, but some of our motifs will be different.  Furthermore, I will offer options for motifs along the way, so your quilt may look quite different.

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy


This is the roadmap for where we will finish this week:

There are step-by-step photos of each part, so don’t worry–it’s child’s play!

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy


How big you say?  Any size!  This projects works for any size quilt. I had a piece of orange fabric that  was 21 x 23 inches…so that’s where I started.

If you have a fat quarter–use that.  If your fabric is bigger–that’s fine too!  If you want to make a square–no problem.  If you need a quilt that is 40 x 40–you can do that too!

Make a quilt sandwich.

I used a light cotton batting and spray basted it with Sulky KK2000 Temporary Adhesive Spray  (Sulky’s KK 2000 is my new favorite basting spray–it’s odorless, ozone friendly and sprays more accurately than other adhesives.)


Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy


Now you are ready to mark…

Draw a one inch border around the entire quilt.  Do not quilt past this line.   This will give us room for squaring and binding.

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

I like to mark my quilts with chalk–it’s easy to see and easy to erase.  This is the Dritz Quilting Chalk Cartridge Set.  It comes with several colors and a sharpener.  (I usually use white.)

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Next, add a 1-1/2 inch border on the inside of the outer (no-quilt) line.

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Align a long ruler from corner to corner and mark the diagonals.

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Draw the horizontal center line of the quilt by drawing a line perpendicular to the sideline and through the center point of the quilt.  (To find a perpendicular line–place any line of the ruler over the drawn sideline.)

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

In the same way, draw the vertical center line.  Your quilt should now look like this:

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Add “tick marks” along the horizontal axes–3 inches to the right of the center and 3 inches to the left of the center.

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Add tick marks along the vertical axis–4 inches above and 4  inches below the center point.

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Sketch in an oval using the tick marks…

This does not have to be perfect.   Once we add the Sunflower’s Petals–it won’t matter at all.

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

When you are finished, your sandwich should look something like this:

Sunflower Sampler, FMQ, Lori Kennedy

Now the fun begins…

The Quilting!!!  Can’t wait, can YOU???

Lots more quilting, doodling and The Dog and Quilt show this week.  Stay tuned!


PS…This post contains affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase (at no additional cost to you), I may receive a little “pin money” to offset the costs of The Inbox Jaunt.  Thank you for supporting…

PPS…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!

60 thoughts on “The Sunflower Sampler Quilt-a-Long Begins Today!!!

  1. Beautiful! I moved house this Summer so, I haven’t had the time yet to get back to practising my FMQ, this may be the perfect way to get started again! Thank you so much Lori! Off to get my fabrics marked out now! Christine x

  2. This is just the project I’ve been needing to stretch my quilting skills. Thank you.
    I’ve been a reader for a little while and am in awe of your creativity.

  3. You make this look so simple…thank you…I’ve been receiving your emails since I joined about 2 weeks ago. I’m new to this.

  4. Looking forward to starting this one – love the fact colors and sizes can be just about anything! Thanks for bringing this one together. Another wonderful way to learn new techniques and ideas that can be used again and again.

  5. I LOVE sunflowers! This will be a great project. I keep thinking of Shelly’s sunflower design from your class at JCCFS and wishing I could stitch along with her.

  6. Do you have suggestions for thread? 50 wt? 40 wt? This is perfect timing. I have a table runner I have been nervous about quilting. I’m hoping this will give me the practice I need!

  7. You have me inspired with this sunflower. Have been ‘watching’ your free motion tutorials Without ever getting down to doing them. Here I go! Thank you so much for your inspiration

  8. LOVE the sunflower and your designs. Looking forward to working on this project! (I have to restrain my use of exclamation marks in my comments on your blog or every sentence would have one.)
    –Greetings to the Folk School grads-

  9. So lovely. I’ll be watching, but not sure I’ll be doing the actual sewing. Do you have a button that I can post on my blog to let my friends know? Or can I copy the photo and link it back to you as a button on my sidebar?

  10. Sorry, me again. I’m a total beginner, have only done some practice FM and one FM quilted child’s wallhanging growth chart for my husband’s granddaughter, which I was happy with. I would love to join in on this for more practice. Upon taking out a fat quarter and ironing it with steam, the vertical fold lines will not totally come out. Is there a secret? 🙁 Thanks so much, this looks like so much fun. I love looking at your emails and someday will get to more of them. We’ve just moved a few months ago so much other to be done first. Used to live in Forest Lake, MN, and here just before we moved I learned you are in Stillwater!

    • Here are some things I have used:
      1) a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water, or
      2) Procter & Gamble’s Downey Wrinkle Releaser
      Test on small area first to see if it stains or alters the fabric in any way.
      Spray on the crease to saturate, then press with iron set at temperature appropriate for the fabric.
      I had another product that worked very well – wish I would have bought more because I threw out the bottle when it was empty and now I can’t remember the name. It was not easy to find. Perhaps it is no longer being made. Maybe ask your local professional laundry service for hints if you live in a larger community that has one.

      • Thanks Holly. I’ll try that. I now live in the middle of nowhere in Arkansas. Beautiful views and serenity, no laundry. LOL

    • HI Carol. I have found that the best way is to spray the crease with water and then let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the water before you press with an iron. Best Press also works well.

      • Thanks Denise, I will try the Best Press. I’ve tried the water and iron. Just not working. I am not too happy as I’m wondering if this is going to happen with alot of my fat quarters. Wish I had a better way to store them, but there is only so much room in a house and folded keeps things neat. I have some panels I want to “play” with making wall hangings and sure hope they don’t do this, altho I’ve stored them open as much as possible with less folding, but even they have to have some folds.

  11. I’m in the process of moving and won’t be sewing again for awhile. Will I be able to access this in a month or two? I love Sunflowers and this is just what I need to make! Thank you.

  12. Got my machine all ready to FMQ and was actually disappointed that today was only marking. But ahhhh, looking forward to the fun and learning. Another quilt top is just sitting and waiting for me to get some practice under my belt before I tackle it. Gotta Divide and conquer that quilt top. Doing a Quilt-a-long made me stop all projects and just join you! Yay!

  13. Pingback: Getting Ready for Quilting | A Quiltmaker's Album, Book Two

  14. This is great! Have an idea for a sunflower quilt so this will be perfect! Also looking forward to the doggy and quilt pics later this week! Thanks! We are in New Bern, NC and weathered Hurricane Matthew. The river is very broad here but towns about an hour away (Kingston with the Neuse River) and Greenville (Tar River) are in trouble with the rivers not completely crested yet. A very slow moving disaster in the making. Please keep these people in your prayers – very sad.

  15. Oh… what a wonderful challenge … I’m just starting with FMQ … you are so inspiring!! Will look and see if I have everything to quilt alond woth you all!!

  16. Hi, got my sunflower project ready for the next step. Is this a weekly lesson or did I miss something. I am excited to get started. Thank you Elaine

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