Spring Quilt-a-Long: The Fabulous Flower

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Fabulous Flower, Machine Quilting

Good Morning, Quilters!

I am back from a week of teaching at The Minnesota Quilt Show and Convention–and what a week it was!

I was delighted to meet so many of YOU!

We worked hard, but had a lot of fun!  Thank you to all of YOU who took one (or more) of my classes and to those who introduced themselves!  I always LOVE to meet readers of The Inbox Jaunt!!!


Today, we are working on our quilt-a-long.  This project was designed to help YOU with YOUR quilts– I realize that most of you are not making whole cloth quilts on solid fabric.

We finished the HST rows last week and we are starting on the other rows today.

The Center Row–A Border Motif

Begin by choosing your thread.

I always use 50wt Aurifil cotton in the bobbin–It is a long staple fiber, low lint and my BERNINA 770QE just sings whenever it is in the bobbin.

I chose 28 wt Aurifil cotton on top.  It is heavier than the 50wt so it will show up better.


We will be stitching the Fabulous Flower in the center row.  You can find the Fabulous Flower tutorial HERE and on page 108 of Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3.  (Signed copies available at my Etsy shop HERE–or unsigned copies can be purchased from Amazon HERE.)

The Fabulous Flower is stitched in five passes:

  • A row of spirals
  • The bottom petals
  • The top petals
  • Echo stitch the top
  • Echo stitch the bottom

I added two parallel lines, one inch apart, in the center of the row to serve as guidelines for the Spirals.


Stitch the first pass–a row of large Spirals with a long tail.

At the end of the row of spirals, start the second pass.

Stitch underneath the spirals–add scallop “petals”.

Add the third pass–Stitch scallop “petals” above the spirals. Complete adding the top petals to the end of the row.
Begin the fourth pass–Echo stitch the top row of petals–add swirls or leaves if there is room.
Finish the motif by adding echo-stitching   to the lower petals.


As you can see, the motif is less noticeable on a printed fabric than it would be on a solid.  Using a heavy weight thread like Aurifil 28wt cotton helps.  The motif is more noticeable at some angles than from others and some light situations make the motif easier to see.  When stitching on prints, consider if it is worthwhile to stitch a complex motif like the Fabulous Flower…

The Fabulous Flower is one of my favorite motifs (do I say that about all of them???)…

So I decided to add it to my edge borders as well.

(The center guidelines are 1-1/2 inches wide and are set 1 inch away from the pieced area of the quilt.)

In the original quilt, I added Ribbon Candy...

Border and HST Quilt-a-Long, Lori KennedyIf you are ready…add a motif to the edge border OR wait until the other rows are complete.


I am happy to be quilting my garden again today–

We’ve had two days of thunderstorms and hail!

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Fabulous Flower, Machine Quilting


What about YOU?  Are you indoor or outdoor gardening today?

Have YOU started YOUR Quilt-a-long?

How is it going?  Do YOU have any questions???

We’d LOVE to hear!


Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.  —R.W.Emerson

Good quilting advice, too!


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!

24 thoughts on “Spring Quilt-a-Long: The Fabulous Flower

  1. I am looking forward to trying this one. I haven’t used it yet. This will be good practice. I just want you to know that I have used Claire’s Peony quite a bit. It is such a versatile design. It can be adapted to almost any size block. I am enjoying this QAL. Thank you.

  2. After taking your border class in Duluth I feel I could do this quilt!! Doodling and practicing will help! Thank you for being such a great instructor!!

  3. When this page opened, I thought, “Oh My Gracious !! How gorgeous!” when my eyes feasted on the opening photograph..Having 4th day of rain here in south GA,, Love it.. hot heat of Summer thus delayed. So inspired by this project.. Thanks again !

  4. Love your designs and method, Lori! Too hot here in St Louis to do more than water quickly early in the am and run back into the AC. Very grateful for AC!! Hope to try your flower motif soon!

  5. Hi Lori, I started your Crafsy class and I love it. I’m having a hard time learning FMQ and you are helping me so much! As I wrote in my review I think part of my problem is not consistently practicing, which I’m now doing. Your motifs are awesome and I look forward to some major progress 🙂
    THANK YOU! You’re a great teacher!

  6. I was looking at the 50 wt aurifil thread at Craftsy. They have 6400 yard cones. Do cones work OK with regular sewing machine? I have only seen cones on sergers. Thanks so much for your instruction!! It’s so fun to do this project together!

  7. This is really going to be beautiful on this little runner. I can’t wait to try it. I am actually up to date on this for once. I’m also doing a larger one with pinwheels, but very similar to this also. It’s for a soon-to-be- born boy, so I’m trying a lot of trains, cars and trucks from Henry’s quilt. Since I’ve discovered your blog and classes quilting has become more playtime than a chore. Thanks for all of your ideas, Lori.

  8. I am not familiar with the white marking pen in the photo. What brand is that and how is it removed? Is this one of your favorites? I have not been pleased with my choices when trying to find a fine line white marker.
    With 90deg / rainy weather this afternoon a date with my sewing machine is highly likely.

  9. Wonderful to meet you at the Duluth show, but not so happy I didn’t discover your classes until I arrived there! Crossing my fingers that you will be at next years show in St Cloud!

  10. Here in the Pacific Northwest it is perfect outdoor gardening weather! I love this new QAL, but it will have to wait!

  11. Good morning,
    There’s more rain coming your way Lori, as it hailed and stormed so much here in Montana, that I thought I was back in the midwest and worried about tornados! That quilting method is absolutely fabulous and I will adopt it on my next quilt on my long arm! THANK YOU so much, and I hope to meet you someday! You are truly inspiring and and amazing teacher/quilter! I have your book and refer to it all the time! I also refer your website to quilters, when they don’t know what they want on their quilts or need help learning to quilt! Gardening is one of my many and varied passions, so I must get back to those weeds!!!

  12. Question: I always get confused on threads. Do you explain it in your book what kind to use in bobbin and top quilting???? thank you……..

    • Theresa, Lori does a very thorough job of explaining threads in her book. In fact, she explains everything very thoroughly. In my opinion, her book is the free-motion quilter’s bible. It is definitely worth having in your library.

  13. Your tutorials are really helpful, just what I need to practice and gain confidence to do something like this flower. I’m new to your electronic version of the Inbox Jaunt but have seen your tutorials in AQS ? magazine.

  14. Am really enjoying this exercise. It is “small” and not overwhelming. Thank you Lori, hope to see more of this type of tutorial.

  15. Sorry I am not a “get my hands dirty” kinda gal! I decorate with silk flowers even outside, get LOTS of compliments on them and I just say “Thank You”! Love your tutorials, have not had time to start the quilt-a-long but will do so as soon as the weather her in beautiful Loveland, Colorado warms up!

  16. I used the half square triangle flower on a wedding quilt I am making. It looks great and was a great addition. I have learned a lot from your tutorials….Thanks!

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