Loose Screws-A Machine Quilting Tutorial

Loose Screws, Spirals, Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters!

I don’t want any commentary from the peanut gallery–(especially family…)–about the name of today’s tutorial…

Before we get to work…


Many of you have received your copies of The Book…

Now the question is…how many of YOU read it thoroughly?

Did YOU read the Dedication page?  (It’s one of the last pages of the book….?)

I’m not telling….YOU will have to see for yourself!

Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3

Personalized copies from, The Inbox Jaunt Shop HERE

Also available in print and Kindle editions at Amazon HERE


We continue our “Make New Friends” series with the BERNINA Ambassador blog tour…

Yesterday we met Kelly Ashton, Lynn Carson Harris, Diane Doran and Melody Crust...

Today you are in for a real treat!

Kathy Delaney (Appliqué)

Christa Watson, (Modern piecing and machine quilting), and

Mandy Leins, (Modern Long Arm quilting)

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Now don’t be gone too long….

We have a FEW LOOSE SCREWS to Machine Quilt!

Begin by drawing parallel lines–In the sample below, the lines are one inch apart.

Stitch a wavy line along the drawn line, then stitch a clockwise loop.


Loose Screws, Spirals, Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Continue stitch clockwise…

Loose Screws, Spirals, Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Around and around…as many times as you like.

Two or three looks nice…

But so does five, six, seven….

Loose Screws, Spirals, Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

As you approach the drawn line…stitch another wavy line and begin a counter clockwise spiral…

(Does this look musical to anyone????–we may have a new motif in the works!?!)

Loose Screws, Spirals, Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Stitch a full row of Loose Screws from Edge to Edge…

Then add more rows…

The spirals can be all different sizes.

Loose Screws, Spirals, Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Be sure to Doodle first! 

And get right on this one–we need it for next week’s tutorial–The Daffodil!

If you like Loose Screws--you may also like Silly Spirals

They are similar-Silly Spirals are a little easier to learn because there is a place to stop and think before your begin the Spirals.  On the other hand, Loose Screws are a little more challenging to learn, but once you do, they are faster to stitch!

Silly Spirals, Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

I know I say this all the time…but I think both of these motifs are my new favorites!

What about YOU?

Do YOU have any new favorites?

We’d LOVE to hear!


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 lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

42 thoughts on “Loose Screws-A Machine Quilting Tutorial

  1. I received mine in the mail late yesterday and set it aside so I could enjoy it today without interruption. I am looking forward to reading it. Evenings are set aside for my family.

  2. I have followed this site for over a year. I have taken your Craftsy class. Call me old fashioned, but nothing beats holding, cuddling and loving a book! So glad you published it and autographed it. Makes it all the more special!

  3. I too was the lucky recipient of my book yesterday. I read the first page, thank you Lori, but that is as far as I got as we had a sad death in the family yesterday and an emotional burial. DD’s 14 yr. old dog who has been pathetic for over a year now was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Her passing really hit us all, DD, the 5 kids still at home and me.
    But, today, the book is mine to drool over, to cherish and put to very good use.

  4. This is the first quilting book that I have purchased and then been quizzed on :). I thought I had read it cover to cover but I guess not. Thanks for including the readers in the dedication. It is a beautiful well illustrated book. Thanks for writing it and many many thanks for your blog.

  5. Who of your legion of followers would EVER make any “peanut gallery” remarks about loose screws??? Love it! LOL

      • Perhaps the loose screws don’t need to be tightened. Perhaps they lead to exploration … and growth … The Zen of loose screws ??, and Lori, you are the Zen Master.

  6. Received my autographed copy yesterday! Went thru it quickly – will review carefully later. Won’t have to search for previous tutorials any more! I have followed your blog for almost a year now, and am working on a quilt using several of your designs. You are such an inspiration, Lori!!!


  7. I received my signed copy over the weekend. Lori – it’s fantastic, everything I hoped it would be. I love all the pictures and step by step instructions and really appreciate the skill building section with its great tips and information. That surgeon’s knot is a great tip for broken threads. Thanks for an awesome book. It’s already on my favorites shelf.

  8. I read your book over the weekend. Today, I am finishing up a small project and am looking forward to “meandering no more”. 🙂 I appreciate all you do to keep us inspired and quilting!

  9. I am sooo tempted to say something..like… thank you for teaching me how to keep my loose screws connected…Did I actually say that? forgive me.. its just my wild keyboard acting up again..Your new design is so cute… it looks like music for my eyes !

  10. bernina now has a ruler foot and the rulers.. have you ever posted a tutorial on using them.. if not, please please do!! thanks love your blog

    • I have the rulers and foot and am working with them. Not sure when I will offer a tutorial.

  11. I rec’d my copy on Saturday and have only read the first few pages. I am going to read it later on as I am in the process of cleaning/purging my sewing room in the attempt to make space for a nice large table and a new machine.

    I ordered the machine and the book about the same time. I will actually have room to put the book by my machine for easy access. Will also have room for my tablet or laptop on the table so I can have it when I do your tutorials. I am so looking forward to being able to get a better set up. Love the book thus far and thanks so much for the personal inscription. I LOVE the loose screws pattern – sounds like a fun one to do.

  12. Dear Lori, I got my signed copy in the mail yesterday! WhooHOO! I made my DH go out to the mailbox twice to check! I can’t wait to try a few new ones but right now I am quilting a King size quilt for my dad. I am using Modern leaf in one of the borders. When I can get a decent picture, I will email it to you. Thanks for putting all these designs in print!

  13. I’ve been following and LEARNING everything I can soak up. Every day I practice, I get a little better (DUH). It can be a little difficult reprogramming a retired person’s brain. I have had a little difficulty discovering your marker for drawing lines to follow as I stitch.

  14. I just instructed my sister, Diane LeJeune, to go to your Etsy page and order me your book for my birthday! If she does’nt tell you ( as I Instructed her to) address it to me when you autograph. LOL

  15. I love, love, love this design! I’m already planning on using it to quilt the border of my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from this year. I received my book 2 days after it was released, but I haven’t had a chance to really concentrate on it. I know it is going to be a big asset. I’m one of those who needs to have instructions in front of me to understand the process. And the spiral binding is a fabulous addition. Thanks for your wonderful instructions and generous heart.

  16. Hi Lori : Received your book! It’s wonderful.! Thank you I have been trying to save your designs for years so thank you for putting them in one place for me! Love the spiral binding! You are so inspiring and encouraging. Thanks. Louise

  17. Yes, I have had a few moments to riffle through to the dedication page and believe me, all thanks go to you. I am in love with everything about it, right in my very own hands whenever I want to re-new or refresh an idea and in “spiral” to boot. can’t beat perfect!

  18. Is the Dedication page in the book actually titled Acknowledgements? That is what I find in back of my book. Don;t want to miss anything! Thanks.

  19. I am so disappointed in Amazon! I pre-ordered your book when you first announced it and I still don’t have it. I thought that by pre-ordering I would get it right away, but that hasn’t happened. I’ll never make that mistake again. I am so anxious to get it. I am sure it’s great and I’m glad that everyone else is enjoying it. It’s supposed to arrive sometime this week, at least.☹️

  20. I received your book day before yesterday and yes I have been reading each and every page! I have to thank you for making free motion possible for me. I have been trying so hard to get this free motion thing down, but I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. But when I found your web page a light bulb came on and I said I can do this! So thank you again for your simple step by step instructions and I love your book! Can’t wait for the next one!

  21. Hey Lori, I tried using Loose Screws on a small comfort quilt I was doing and it is great. One question: I’ve always thought you needed to sew in different directions so that the quilt doesn’t stretch. I worked one side and then flipped, only to realize my “screws” were going counter to the way I had been doing them. I had to work from the outside in to make them go the same. Do I need to flip? Does it really stretch the quilt?

  22. Pingback: The Daffodil-A Machine Quilting Tutorial | The Inbox Jaunt

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