How to Machine Quilt a Candle-Tuesday Tutorial

Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

Good Morning, Quilters!

Whether you are celebrating Advent or Hanukkah, candles are central to the holiday season.  Today, we will learn to machine quilt a candle.  This tutorial works whether you are stitching on a domestic sewing machine–like I do, or on a long arm.  Candles are great border motifs, or stitch a single candle or several candles together in the center of the block.

Christians celebrate Advent-a quiet time of preparation and waiting.  We light four candles on each Sunday of Advent.  The candles represent the light coming into the world as we prepare for Christ’s birth.  Read more at Loyola Press.

For Jews, Hanukkah is a celebration of the victorious Maccabean Revolt and the rededication of the Temple.  During the celebration, the candles are lit on eight nights to represent the miracle that one days worth of oil lasted eight days.  Read more at My Jewish Learning


Begin by drawing two parallel lines.  In the sample below, the lines are 3/4″ apart.

Machine Quilting, Candle, Lori KennedyBegin stitching on the bottom of the candle.  Stitch the left side of the candle, then stitch a small eye shape.  Leave a small gap on the left side.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle

Curl in and stop at the center.  Stitch a small straight line extending above the oval.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle

Add a flame shape and a smaller flame inside of the first one.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle


Stitch down into the oval and to the left side of the candle.
Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

Add a wavy line of dripping wax.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle

Stitch the right side of the candle and add a curved line from right to left.  Echo stitch the line.Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

Add another line from right to left and echo stitch back to the right lower side of the candle.  Begin the next candle in the row..

Lori Kennedy quilting, CandleAdd candles to a wreath, Menorah, a birthday cupcake!Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

The only trick to machine quilting a candle is to begin with a drawn line or a ruler to keep the edges straight.

I can see this on any holiday or celebration quilt.

How will YOU use the Candle FMQ Tutorial?

We’d LOVE to hear!


You might also like How to Machine Quilt a Dreidel HERE

PS…If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!

PPS…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!





25 thoughts on “How to Machine Quilt a Candle-Tuesday Tutorial

  1. Thank you for this motif! I live about 40 miles east of NYC in a region where there is quite a bit of religious diversity, so although I celebrate Christmas, many of my friends celebrate Hanukkah in December. At other times of year are the important holidays of Diwali and Id al Fitr for still other faith communities. Yes, these ladies of different faiths quilt, and I’m so excited to show this design to them. So thoughtful of you to post this. Holiday blessings to all!

    • Good morning, I was just thinking the same thing as you stated, in that I celebrate Id al Fitr and that this would be awesome on top of a quilted cake! My mother would love it. Thank you for recognizing the complexity of our world! Thank you Lori, for always coming up with such wonderful motifs. You are very imaginative and very, very talented.

  2. I love seeing all of your doodles. Tea hasn’t kicked in – I thought you were stitching on an actual candle. I’m tempted to do a post of “how not to machine quilt a candle” as a joke.

  3. Ooo! I think this might be the perfect thing for the triangle corners of the Christmas quilt I am just finishing up! Thanks, Lori! 🙂

  4. They’re lovely. There must be a place I can use them. I like your choice of blue ground as well … candles against the evening sky. Was the choice instinctive or serendipitous?

  5. Although I never commented before on your designs, Lori, these candles really struck me as so intuitive and so lovely. All of your designs are actually out of this world and look forward to seeing each and everyone of them. You are a fabulous artist. If I could be only half as good as you are I’d be ecstatic. So lovely.

  6. Another marvel out from under your needle! I just love it. Already doodling and dreaming of adding it to fabric. Thank you Lori, Merry Christmas.

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