Big Quilts, Small Promises

Boxes and Vines Quilt, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters!

Last week I made a pledge and challenged YOU to make one too!

I pledged to work on my Boxes and Vines quilt every day–and to not start any new quilts until this is finished!

I am shocked at how hard it was!

Big Projects are so intimidating!

And there are so many little projects to tempt me away…fast and easy...but —    NOT AS IMPORTANT!!!


My mom always says, “When you don’t know where to begin, just begin!”

Stabilizing is always a good place to begin a quilt. 

I choose a lightweight thread (Aurifil cotton 50wt–though you can use much thinner…) in a matching color.

I set up my machine for straight stitching with the dual feed function…(or use a walking foot).

And off I went, stitching in the ditch of all the major axes and blocks and borders.

Boxes and Vines, Stabilizing



Next, I lowered my feed dogs and attached my free motion foot.

Using the same white thread, I stitched as close as possible along both sides of the vines that fill two of the borders.Boxes and Vines, Stabilizing


Once the stabilizing was complete, I was free to quilt anywhere on the quilt without fear of the layers shifting.

I love this because I never have all the quilting planned ahead of time.  Sometimes I know what I am going to quilt in the border, but not in the center.  As long as the quilt is stabilized, it is perfectly fine to quilt the borders first.


In the boxes border, I want the colorful squares to “pop”.

To achieve that, I did not add any quilting to the boxes and I quilted heavily around them.

This physically and visually lifts the squares off the quilt–creating the focal “pop”!

Boxes and Vines, Stabilizing


I am thrilled with the progress I’ve made this week–just 15 minutes at a time here and there—time I usually waste!

What about YOU?

Did YOU take The Pledge last week?

Did YOU work on YOUR Big Project?

Are YOU ready to dive in this week?

If I can do it…anyone can!!!!

TOMORROW:  A really fun doodle tutorial!

SOON-My mom’s kolachke recipe, invisible thread, Stocking Stuffers for quilters…

Happy Big Quilts!


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!!!








52 thoughts on “Big Quilts, Small Promises

  1. I took a pledge not to start any new new projects last week. Unfortunately I have not been able to get time to sit at the machine since. Tomorrow is my planned day. Shall see hope I go. Have a heap of ideas for Christmas presents to make. One step at a time. Kay from Australia

  2. Thank you, Lori for the inspiration and your quilt design called “the Happy Blossoms “ that I’ve been using this week. I’m making progress!!!!!

  3. Beautiful Lori! I pledged to finish a quilt that’s been basted for months. I didn’t have a quilting plan so it sat folded in my sewing room. With the commitment to finish before starting any new projects really helped!! I need a deadline or external goal sometimes! In the past 2 weeks I’ve made a lot of progress and only have 9 blocks left to quilt!! The FMQ isn’t great but it has given me lots of practice!
    It was hard to stick to only one project but it will feel great to have this one finished!!

  4. I’ve discovered the pledge only works if I have all parts of a quilt in house. I DID finish the big quilt top for my sister’s Christmas present, but I didn’t have an appropriate backing, so had to wait for the next trip off island, which includes a ferry and a total day away from the sewing room. I’m now back at it, and hopefully today pinning will happen. In the meantime I finished up two quilt tops for donation, and also picked up backing fabrics for them. This will be a busy rest of the week, but the kind of busy I like. Sorry dear, gruel for dinner again. Now what goes with gruel, red or white wine?

  5. I took the pledge, spent a little time organizing the order of go, studied your video, “auditioned” thread ( by accident I thought I knew which I was going to use- front was fine but could improve,the back I frankly didn’t like) found a great choice & started stabilizing . Gaining confidence

  6. Was making great progress until I needed additional supplies….trip of at least 45 minutes to obtain. So left quilt and worked on matching pillow shams and window avalanches. Great feeling to see the progress.

  7. I’ll take the pledge. I have a project that’s been in the works for over 10 years. I had it 2/3 pieced and discovered I hated the bulky seams created by the stabilizer used to “speed” piecing. SO, I’m taking the stabilizer out, putting the piecing back together and pressing the seams open. Then I can get to the new piecing, quilt and bind. The quilting will be fun as I’ve certainly improved my free motion skills from 10 years ago. 🙂

  8. Yes, I made the pledge to finish a quilt before I worked on another quilt. I was able to complete the quilting,and the binding and the label.It is amazing what you can do if you concentrate on one project. Thank you Lori.

  9. Love your new Craftsy class. And this Jaunt today is very helpful to me, to see how you take on each area for FMQ. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  10. I’m loving that there is a segment just for us fiber artists. I’m starting my quilt for Christmas gifting soon but still haven’t a clue how to “quilt” those lovely patterns when finished. I just leave it as is.

  11. Gorgeous quilt, Lori. I love everything about it!
    My mantra is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” I’m still eating the elephant that is the auction quilt I’m trying to finish…

  12. Lori, can you show us the back of the quilt as your working on it please. What was your fabric choice for the back and why? Your quilt is fresh and so beautiful!

  13. Hi. I have always had three, four or more projects in various stages going at the same time. Because, maybe I want to piece today, or make binding, or do some long arm quilting, or have bi ding to finish to take along in the car! This challenge is tough. I started by finishing ONE small runner. Maybe by not starting anything new, I will get those projects completed! Great challenge, Lori, but definitely hard to do. Thanks. L

  14. good for you Lori! I did finish my Christmas stitching two days ago. Not big things but one thing for a granddaughter and 19 mug rugs for gifts. Bigger projects will start in January!

  15. That is a beautiful quilt. I did get all the way completed with quilting on my floral flannel quilt but do still need to add the binding. Thank you for the challenge!

  16. Took the pledge. One day, couldn’t decide on project, so I did nothing (sigh). Next day, I started on first of four antique tops someone washed-yes, washed! They all need the raveled threads trimmed from them, careful pressing and blocking, repairing of weakened edge seams before each can be sandwiched and quilted. Doing this gave me a chance to look at all the pieces of fabric used in the hand construction of the top and wonder who the maker might have been. Her stitches were even and so straight.
    While the borders are “wavy” and will be a challenge to finish, I think I know how I will complete it. I only hope she would be proud of the finished quilt.

  17. Thanks for the tips to get started on quilting. I have stabilized a quilt and I know what I want in the border but didn’t know that I could quilt it before I quilted the center.
    I need to find your pledge post. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  18. I used to only work on on project at a time, when I worked. I couldn’t wait to work on my quilt. But now I am retired and have a lot of afternoons to quilt, and have several projects going at once, each at a different point. So this year I have Two to quilt, one BOM almost finished, one BOM set aside until it interests me again,( it is very involved) one CRAZY block BOM I am making up myself,this one is Very Easy! I signed up for a new one (class) at my quilt shop BEFORE you put this challenge out. So !!!!! I decided that I would work on ONE for as many afternoons in a week that I could. Then the next week work on another project, et cetera . I think it is going to be a good year.

  19. I enjoyed the instructions on stabilizing. I didn’t make the pledge last but not the holiday is over I will take the challenge.

  20. That quilt is so pretty. It’s a happy quilt. 😀

    Finished the baby quilt. I practiced with ruler work on this one. At the moment I’m working on a big quilt but it’s slow progress as I’m doing custom quilting – now I know what I want to do it’s working better. This time I stabilised it and it’s made a huge difference in that the blocks are not stretching and ruffling up at the seam joints. I’m actually enjoying working on it when I can – quite aware that I need to start and finish other things for presents, but plodding on with new determination. This weekend should see it ready for binding! Woot! Thanks for the challenge Lori.

  21. I love the way you quilted around that square! I will probably copy that shamelessly.
    Since we share the same mom, I hope you don’t mind a minor correction r/t “My mom’s kolachke recipe”—It is kolacky. There is a bakery item called kolach but it is not the cookie our mom made. I know you have a lot of followers and this is a rather public correction but I know you can handle it. 🙂


    • Lol! I think we both may be wrong! I’m pretty sure Mom called her rolled cookies ro-leech-key (not sure of spelling). Any help out there?

      • Another spelling but this summarizes the variety- I guess we are all right!
        Kołaczki can be round, square or diamond-shaped, and the dough can be flaky or yeast-risen, and the spelling varies widely.

        Fillings of choice include apricot, raspberry, prune, almond, poppy seed and sweet cheese. However, anything goes—strawberry, blueberry, even pineapple.

        There is some debate as to who invented kołaczki (plural for kołaczek). Poles claim it but so do Czechs, Croatians and others.

        Love to all kolacky – makers!

  22. I’m pretty sure I signed up a pledge to work on items from my daughter’s family. During the past 2 1/2 weeks I’ve designed and finished two Christmas stockings (except for the soon-to-be-born baby’s name), a winter bench pillow cover, and am progressing on the baby’s quilt quilting. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. Last year I decided it was time to start getting my quilt tops completed, so I actually finished a queen size top that I did in 1993! Already an antique before I quilted it. (Have the 1994 top to complete in 2018.) I also finished a top I’d started at least 14 yrs ago. I have been working on other quilts this year to give as presents and still have quite a few unfinished tops to quilt but slowly but surely.

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