How to Machine Quilt a Ladybug Motif

Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug

Good Morning, Quilters!

As I began stitching Ladybugs this morning,  a light dusting of snow began to fall from the skies.  While I was photographing the tutorial in the afternoon,  the sky turned gray and the white dust turned to large wet flakes.  As I write this post, we are in full blizzard conditions.  All you can see is white–with fast falling snow!

Because my family is all home and tucked in, I can relax and enjoy Minnesota quilting weather!

Seems ironic to be stitching a quilt tutorial for Ladybugs–but that’s part of the fun of quilting!


This motif can be stitched any size.  For the purposes of this tutorial, the Ladybug motif is about 1 inch and requires slow, precise stitching.  Stitch the Ladybug larger if you are a beginner or you want to fill a block–any size will work!

Begin by stitching a clockwise circle–1-1/2 revolutions, ending on the top of the circle.


Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug

Stitch from the center to the left  a few stitches, then stitch a semi-circle.

Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug

Stitch over the previous line of stitching and end on the top of the semi-circle.  Add two short antennae.

Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug

Stitch on the right half of the semi-circle and on the right side of the Ladybug’s body.  Stop at the center and stitch into the center of the circle.

Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug

Stitch a line from the bottom of the circle to the top of the circle.  Reverse direction–as you stitch back down, add circles, alternating on the right and left sides of the centerline.Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug

At the bottom of the Ladybug, add a loopy line to begin another Ladybug, anywhere on your quilt.

Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug  Adorable!Lori Kennedy, quilted ladybug

Wouldn’t this be perfect on YOUR next quilt?

Or add one to YOUR signature?

What about YOU?

Do YOU have a favorite motif?  Do YOU love ladybugs?

Do YOU long for summer?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Happy to be stitching!



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!




18 thoughts on “How to Machine Quilt a Ladybug Motif

  1. I just LOVE this motif!!!! It made me smile the instant I saw it!!!! The ladybugs are so cute! Thank you Lori for sharing your talents and creativity!

  2. Ah, a piece of summer popping out this morning after all that snow yesterday! Ladybugs are a favorite of mine, thank you for this refreshing focus!

  3. Love your Ladybugs! And I can hear the winds blowing and the blizzard conditions at our ski hill, ferrys are cancelled again, maybe this is a sign for another quilting day! Another day in paradise on Vancouver Is. BC. Thanks Lori for yet another exciting project to try!

    • Having grown up in Montreal, I’ve done more than my share of living through blizzards. No more. I know what you mean about the winds and driving rain here, Anne. We’re in the Gulf Islands of B.C. where the winds are so sharp this time of year. No shovelling required, though … bonus! Wouldn’t want to be in the interior of B.C.
      Loving the ladybugs, Lori. They’re especially sweet on the red ground. I think I’ll go play ladybug ladybug. Is there a song about ladybugs we could be humming while doodling?😘

  4. Lori! Thank you for sharing!

    Lady bugs are so cute!

    I’m new to quilting! I’ve only done stitch in the ditch for the childrens things I’ve made. I’ve dabbled but a little intimidated. I’m curious about the sprays that are used for basting. How long do they last? Does the spray in basting wash out?

    Thank you again. 😊

  5. Blizzards and ladybugs! What an intriguing combo. Think how cute red ladybugs quilted on white fabric could be, or across a white kitchen curtain. Many uses for this cute motif. As for your blizzard, enjoy it. There are days when I think what I need is a blizzard with no power outages with noting to do but start the crockpot and sew without having to go anywhere. Loved them as a kid growing up in Iowa – schools closed and Mom cooked all the comfort foods we loved. Oh, the memories!

  6. I can totally hear the birds whistling outside, and smell the fresh cut grass as I attempt this cute little bug:) Happy Winter Stitching Everyone:)

  7. This is just precious! It would add a touch of whimsy to a little girl’s quilt. The smaller the better. Thanks, Lori.

  8. Thanks Lori. I have a border to finish on a granny patch quilt for a little boy. I had planned on using your race cars but I think I like to ladybugs better! Love all of your tutorials!

  9. Something occurred to me as I studied the ladybug motif. You may have a talent that I lack here – mainly, you can draw ladybugs and then thru muscle memory you go to your machine and machine “draw” them. Some of your other motifs are more ‘doable’ since they have an element of free motion. But all your boats and bugs and ships – you have drawing talent for them. I have to contemplate this a bit longer.

Comments are closed.