The Open Leaf with Spiral-Machine Quilting Tutorial

Good Morning, Quilters!

Today we are going to review one of the earliest motifs offered here at The Inbox Jaunt–it is a “fan favorite”–The Open leaf with Spiral.

Last week we looked at Four Secrets to Better Spirals HERE

This week we use that Spiral in a leaf motif–gorgeous!

Open Leaf with S;iral, Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting

Begin by drawing three parallel lines.  Begin stitching on the center line.

Stitch along the center line a few stitches, then sweep to the right drawn line.  Stitch along the right drawn line for several stitches.

Taper down slightly, brush the middle drawn line and curl in.  Stop with your needle in the down position.Open Leaf with S;iral, Lori Kennedy, Machine QuiltingEcho stitch the spiral and stop on the center line.  Sweep to the left side line.

Stitch down toward the center line and curl into the center.  Echo stitch the curl back to the center line.

Alternate right and left leaves to complete the design.Be sure to use careful stitching technique to keep the spacing between the leaves even.


What’s growing in your garden?  Any pretty vines?

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  Thanks!


14 thoughts on “The Open Leaf with Spiral-Machine Quilting Tutorial

  1. I still struggle a bit to achieve the quality I’d like. Just curious: Do you sew at a very slow pace when making these motifs?

  2. I was looking through your book last night again and decided i would practice the spiral leaf! I love the look of this one and think i will use it often. when you get the feel of the curves and turns it really goes together nicely. (as do any of them I suppose!)

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your step by step photos. It is so helpful! I need to get busy and quilt out some samples to keep close by for inspiration.

  4. lots of pretty plants growing in my garden my rose of Sharon is getting ready to bloom speedwell has gone nuts lavender honeysuckle clematis and roses oh my so pretty this spiral leave is beautiful. thank you for your step by step it helps tremendously

  5. We have a small farm where we grow organic dry heirloom beans and this motif looks a lot like some of the bean leaves getting ready to climb up the poles.

  6. Beside the weeds, the daisies are ready for deadheading. The black-eyed Susan’s are still going strong as are the lilies, hostas and ferns and hydrangea.

  7. First of all, I LOVE all your pretty patterns, but I’m a newbie: just getting the hang of “silly circles”. But I have a question about the direction of sewing: in this tutorial it looks like you’re starting at the bottom of the fabric and stitching “up”, that is, you’re pushing the fabric under the needle AWAY from you, instead of guiding it TOWARDS you, as in normal sewing. I know the feed dogs are down th FMQ, but do you notice any difference in the stitch quality whether you’re “pulling” vs. “pushing”?

    • I stitch in both directions. The direction of sewing is often dictated by the bulk of the quilt. Try both and see which works best for you!

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