The Bricks and Blocks Machine Quilting Tutorial


Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialGood Morning, Quilters!

Are YOU a long arm quilter?  Do you stitch on a domestic sewing machine like me?  (I stitch on the beautiful BERNINA 770QE)

Do YOU quilt on a treadle machine?  (Yes, you can create gorgeous FMQ on a treadle!)

Whatever machine YOU have (assuming it’s in good working order….) You can stitch any of the tutorials offered here at The Inbox Jaunt, including today’s Bricks and Blocks machine quilting tutorial.


Today’s machine quilting tutorial is a great background fill motif.  Stitch the motif in a matching color to create a whimsical background or use a contrasting color thread to create a really fun fill.

This motif is easy because of the hand-drawn quality.  We will draw a few guidelines to keep our major lines straight and then toss the ruler aside as we stitch this fun design!

Don’t worry about less than perfect lines.  There are plenty of places to stop and think or move your hands (at any corner).  And if you get stuck somewhere-just echo stitch any line and begin another block.


Use a ruler to draw several straight lines to keep things relatively straight or use a stencil to draw a grid. (I have been playing with a chalk pounce pad from Hancy--more on that soon!)

Begin stitching on the first line.  Add a rectangle or a square, stopping one stitch before the first stitch.

Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialStitch an angle to the right upper corner.Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialStitch a horizontal line from right to left-echo stitching the top line.Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting Tutorial

Stitch a diagonal line to the lower right corner and stitch out of the block.

Stitch another rectangle.

Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialComplete the next block.

To begin another row of Blocks and Bricks, echo stitch the right edge of the lower block, then begin a clockwise brick on top of the previous row.
Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialIt looks best to offset the rows –like bricks–so the “mortar lines” don’t all line up. To create the brick look, begin the next row with a square block instead of a rectangle.Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialTo add more visual interest (and more stitching fun) , occasionally add other design elements like spirals or stars or leave a block plain.

Another way to add interest is to stitch a few tall blocks.Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialFun!

They almost look like packages!Bricks and Blocks, Machine Quilting TutorialWouldn’t this be fun on a holiday quilt!?

Or on a boy’s quilt?

Or a military inspired quilt?


Where will YOU stitch Bricks and Blocks?

We’d LOVE to hear!


On my drum!



If you like this tutorial, you will love my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3—61 designs to finish your quilts with flair!

Signed copies (with a little surprise inside–just like Cracker Jack) available from my Etsy shop HERE

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 “The Bricks and Blocks Machine Quilting Tutorial

  1. I bought a handiquilter sweet 16 sit-down mid-arm a few years ago and use it for most of FM quilting. Yesterday I was quilting matchstick circles on a challenge piece, however, and I used my Pfaff for the built in even feed foot. So I guess I use both depending on the size and what I’m quilting.

  2. This looks like a great pattern to practice on the treadle. I haven’t actually attempted quilting on mine just yet (I have two – one upstairs and one in the living room). The upstairs 201K can drop the feed dogs (yay) and a more recent addition, cleaned oiled and ready to play, but I’m just getting used to the downstairs 15K and recently completed a quilt top on that. One for the must do pile – now reduced by 1.5 (half a quilt left to do) with the Janome. It’s the older quilt version and it really hates going backwards or going left – I have a few choice words when it happens. Which means more turning than fmc-ing in all directions. I do have the special bobbin race which is supposed to help, but only marginally. Trying to adjust my speed and stitch length so that I have even stitches at the moment. It did you your poppy pattern really well the other day when I practiced – no broken threads or birds nests! Husband said “is that a bee?” Grrrr! He knew – just winding me up!

      • Indeed yes – I have been watching Lizzie Lenard doing her vintage sewing – awesome! She has never owned an electric machine – ever! I found her after watching Youtube tutorials on how to clean your vintage machines when I first found my little hand crank!

  3. I FMQ on my Babylock Quilters Choice Professional which is a precursor to their Jane and I love it (straight stitch machine). I’m anxious to see how you like the pounce. I recently tried a pounce for the first time with a grid stencil for cross hatching. The marks wore off so quickly I was left without marking for most of the project. I finished using the Linetamer long arm template (I do have the foot for using those templates).

  4. I do most of my FMQing on my Janome Horizon, but I also have a Juki on a platform/ frame that extends from 5′-12′, great up to a King-sized quilt, although it lives most of its life at the 8′ stage. Most of my quilts are lap-sized or twin. I can use pantographs with it, but mostly just stipple (I know, I know, I should move on, but the system is very jerky and really only lends itself to simple things quickly done).

  5. I have five treadle machines in my house and I would love to know how to freemotion quilt with them. I didn’t know it was possible.

  6. How interesting! I never thought to use my treadle machine for FMQ but I LOVE piecing quilt tops with it. It’s kind of a zen thing. I get into the rhythm and my mind just drifts off to wonderful projects I’d like to create next.

    I can’t drop the feed dogs but have masking tape. I’ll have to give it a sample try sometime in the future.

  7. I am in awe of those who are able to FMQ on a treadle machine – they are amazing! I don’t have that kind of coordination.

    Thanks to my darling husband, I have a new Brother VQ3000 that works beautifully for craft sewing, regular sewing, piecing and quilting. And thanks to you Lori, I’ve gotten over my fear of FMQ, plus my machine does it beautifully. I’m not really very good at it yet (quilting is still rather new to me) but I’m getting better as I go. Your inspiration and encouragement have really helped. You are SO generous for sharing you marvelous talent and ideas. I never would have thought to doodle a pattern before stitching it! You have taught me so much. This new “Bricks & Blocks” pattern is adorable. I think I’m going to use it for a boy’s strip quilt top I made recently. Until now, I couldn’t decide how to quilt it – you’ve given me the perfect answer!!!

    Thanks again for sharing so much, you are an absolute sweetheart!

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