Doodling–Adding to “The Sweep”

Doodling, Quilting

Good Morning, Quilters and Doodlers!

Today we are continuing with “The Sweep” and adding on…

This may seem like a silly doodle–but it is one of the most important doodles in machine quilting.  It is an “Essential Doodle” Read more HERE.

Don’t short change this doodle–100 or 1000s of times is not too many.  Remember 1000 times will only take a few TV shows…

Quilt Doodles

Once you have the right and left “Sweep” down–that is, you are fairly comfortable with the motion…

Echo-doodle back to the center line.  Do this exercise for both the right and the left sweep.

Fill pages and pages in your notebook.

Doodling, Quilting

Then connect the left Sweep by traveling up the center line between each Sweep.

See if you can develop a little rhythm.

Doodling, Quilting

Next, doodle a few pages of the right Sweep, connecting between each one.

As you do this, you may find that one side is more natural than the other…(I can look at my samples and tell.)  Don’t fret–this is normal.  Just work on getting a nice smooth line and again, try to find a comfortable rhythm.

Doodling, Quilting

Finally,  combine right and left Sweeps to make this gorgeous leaf pattern.

Wouldn’t this be a pretty border?

Add it to a piece of stationery–lovely!

Doodling, Quilting

Once you are really comfortable…stitch it!

Even The Basic Leaf contains a variation of the Sweep.

Doodling, Quilting

Remember–the fastest way to improve your machine quilting is through doodling!

Happy Quoodling,


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!


13 thoughts on “Doodling–Adding to “The Sweep”

  1. I had thought I would work on the sunflower. Maybe not…grin. I can’t seem to make anything that small. I finally got my machine to stop skipping giant stitches. I’ll just practice making circles and lines.

  2. Lori, I’m practicing the doodles and sharing your website with my circle friends. We’re lovin’ it. Thanks so much for your tutorials.

  3. I went through a whole page before they even started to look anything close to uniform. I do see why this helps and how each person’s might differ a little and become their own signature style. I did not quite understand what you meant when you said that. I will be a disciplined student. Thank you so much.

  4. Lori, you forgot something very important! Last week, we got to skip dusting and vacuuming so we would have plenty of time for “sweeping…” What do we get to skip this week???

  5. I love this sweep and use it a lot. Just a note to tell you how I practice doodling. Sometimes, I will print out your doodle and go over it with a mechanical pencil (9 mm lead) to get the muscle memory of my shape. Then, I doodle it in my quilt notebook, till I am satisfied with it. Finally, before I use it in a quilt, I will go back to the notebook and trace over my doodle several times to remind my muscle memory of the shape and process. I don’t like the sharpies or pens because they produce a smell that I don’t care for and I waste less paper by tracing over what I have done. This process works for me. Maybe it will help others.

  6. Finally, I get it! I had the opportunity to try quilting with a different weight thread (60 wt Bottom Line and 40wt. King Tut up top), and the difference was amazing! Thanks for talking about the importance of trying different threads to see what you like and how they differ enough times to get stubborn me to try it : )

  7. So trying to get the direction in my mind … are you working vertically – top to bottom or bottom to top of the page? Or horizontally left to right and right to left across the page?

    • Any and all. Start with whichever is most natural to you. Choose one. Then learn all of the directions–they are all required in different quilt motifs. The easiest for me is to start on the bottom of the page and work up and to the right or up and to the left.

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