Doodle Thursday–Staggered Circles

Circle Doodles, Lori Kennedy 

Good Morning, Quilters!

Wasn’t it fun to see Jana’s amazing quilting on her treadle sewing machine!?  Thank you to all of those who wrote in about another treadle quilter, Tim Latimer of  His quilts are also beautiful!  I know many of you have treadle machines–it might be a fun thing to try in the new year!


My 2018 calendar is starting to fill up!  Two daughters are getting married–which means two wedding quilts!  Book Two…More Free Motion Machine Quilting  will be launched sometime this spring and I have started writing Book 3.

I will continue writing for American Quilter Magazine (Subscribe HERE) and I have a new gig writing for the Craftsy Quilting blog.  Check out my first post:  What is Free-Motion Quilting? Plus 3 Steps to Get Started  –but then again, most of YOU could have written that post!


Musicians play the scales. Athletes lift weights.  Machine quilters doodle.  These are the drills that elevate our craft.  January is a great time to focus more attention on doodling.  Doodle every day!  Doodle every where!  Doodle often for short periods of time.


This week, doodle circles.

I drew a series of lines one inch apart and staggered circles along the lines.  This will help you learn spacing, and improve your circle and spiral motifs.

Circle Doodles, Lori KennedyNext, fill in the circles with simple lines.  Do YOU think you could quilt this?

Circle Doodles, Lori Kennedy
Finally, see how many different ways you can fill the circles.

Really challenge yourself to create a variety of designs.
Circle Doodles, Lori Kennedy

Look through a book or a magazine for more ideas.  ( I found this vintage children’s book in the $1 bin at my local library!)Vintage Childrens Book

When you have time, give one of YOUR new doodles a quick spin on your sewing machine–treadle or computerized!

What about YOU?

Have YOU started a doodle habit?

Have YOU designed a quilting motif?

Has doodling improved YOUR quilting?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Your Doodle Diarist,


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!






20 thoughts on “Doodle Thursday–Staggered Circles

    • Hi,
      I went to the Dollar Store (not sure if they are in your area) and picked up paper pads, 11×17 used in grade schools for drawing for 99 cents each. I think there is 50 sheets to a pad. My great-nephews ended up taking two!! >;-) They are great to use (in addition to the newspaper).

  1. Yes doodling has greatly increased my ability to FMQ. Though I do not doodle every day, I will before I begin to actually FMQ. I made myself a practice sheet from mylar that I can use over a section of the quilt. Using a dry marker, I can doodle the design to see if I like it, check the size and spacing. I find design ideas in books, online and of course here! More recently, from designs in wrought iron works, tiles, flooring and architecture.

  2. I doodle a lot in the car. I have a pencil, ruler & sharpener and when my hubby gets gas, runs into the store or stops to talk to a friend and I am sitting waiting I doodle. Makes the time fly and I get my practice in on busy days.

  3. Your post this morning is perfect timing for me. I have been busy piecing a quilt so haven’t been thinking about the quilting or doodling. Must get my book out & doodle, doodle, doodle! Thanks so much for your inspiration.

  4. I HAVE to doodle the design to make sure my head has an idea where my stitch is going to flow across my quilt top! Especially since things got bigger using my longarm. I’ve wanted to try my treadle for a while, the feed dogs don’t go down but it doesn’t sound like it’s an issue.

  5. I went to your first Craftsy Blog to check it out — great information! I hope you will remind us of future Craftsy Blogs as you write them! Thank you for all of the information and tutorials you post. I have learned a lot from them and always look forward to them. The Inbox Jaunt is one of my favorite sites!

  6. You make an important point – free motion quilting is like any other skill – it improves with practice. Despite the language difference, I thought I saw something in Jana’s blog as I scrolled down about quilting 30 minutes a day. I don’t know if I can commit to that but it does remind me that I can’t leave the machine for weeks at a time (during the holidays) and then begin with the quality that I want (for daughter’s wedding quilt that was pushed to the side for the holidays)……….
    … but I can start with the doodling at the next meeting I have to attend….. 🙂
    (I am beginning to count the days to retirement but it is still a long way off.)

  7. You have inspired me…I don’t remember the last time I stippled! Thank you so much for your delightful posts and fabulous FMQ ideas. Last 2 quilts (made twin quilts for 2 pregnant family members) used your square flower. Thanks again.

  8. Very excited for you, Lori. All these things going on and yet you make time for your blog. I love it. I guess it’s true – people who are really busy get more done. You are an incredible inspiration. Thank you!!!

  9. Haha! I doodle at Church. It actually helps me listen better. If my hands are busy, whether it be doodling or cross stitching I listen better. I can look at old cross stitched pictures and remember passages from stories my hubby read the children from Little House on the Prairie and The Lion, th Witch and the Wardrobe, so long ago. It just sticks with me better.

  10. We have a Dollar Store. They have great stuff. I try to go there when I need something but always end up finding all sorts of stuff I need
    I like circles. I will work on this. I am pretty good at spacing things, but it is an exercise that you need to keep up.
    stay warm and cozy. I love popcorn, especially “kettle” popcorn.

  11. I bought a Boogie Board and love it. I am “doodling” alot more. Have a baby quilt that I am going to try some of the designs! Thanks for all you do. Can’t wait for your next book to come out

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