Machine Quilting Quick Tip-Negative Space

Machine Quilting, Negative SpaceGood Morning, Quilters!

Are YOU ready for St. Valentine’s Day?

You still have time to create a quick mini-quilt for your Valentine!

Today’s Quick tip:  Use negative space to create a design.

Draw a heart shape on the fabric and quilt around it.

The trick to this technique is to  really fill in around the edges to define the shape well.  
Machine Quilting, Negative Space

If your Valentine is a quilter, add a few spools of red and pink thread!   I love to use Aurifil 28wt cotton for my top thread and 50 wt in the bobbin when I’m free motion quilting.  The 28wt cotton is heavy enough to create a great focal motif and the 50 wt lasts a long time in the bobbin. (Use a 90 Topstitch needle)Machine Quilting, Negative Space

What about YOU?

Do YOU ever use negative space in your quilts to create a design?

Do YOU LOVE to quilt?

Would YOU rather receive thread or chocolate for Valentine’s Day?

We’d LOVE to hear!

YOUR Secret Admirer,


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!PS…If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 .



31 thoughts on “Machine Quilting Quick Tip-Negative Space

    • So am I Laurie. So often teachers assume that we know these tid-bits & we do not know enough to ask. I applaud those who take the time to teach the idiosyncracys of the craft & I am so appreciative of the sharing on Lori’s blog.

  1. OH MY Goodness! The perfect Valentine. I make Valentines for all my grand kids every year. This would make a wonderful stitched Valentine. This is just beautiful. Your talent and creativity are so inspiring. Thank you!

  2. Gorgeous! I love the way negative space art looks. I want to try more of it. I think a fat quarter bundle or jelly roll would be my favorite Valentine 🙂

  3. I would very like to see you do a tutorial on combining designs and how you transition into different motifs. This is so pretty and interesting

  4. Sweet motif, Lori! Thank you.
    Is there a chance you would do a simple feather tutorial? I don’t mean the flowing confections, but a feather that non-quilters would recognize.
    My granddaughter is expecting and her nursery decorating theme is Dreamcatcher, with feathers. Id be forever grateful, but I know you’re a very busy woman.

  5. That is wonderful. I am ready to do FMQing on my new Valentine table runner and I think I like yours better then the one I have been doodling. Thank you.

  6. I have a more detailed question regarding this design. Can you point out where you started stitching? Did you complete the design in one pass around the heart? Thanks for the insight.

    • I drew the heart first and then I stitched all along that line–changing motifs every so often-from spirals to scallops etc. Once the outline was complete, I continued stitching around the previous motifs to fill in more design. I stitched the entire piece without stopping–though if you get stuck somewhere, that is always an option. This little piece took me about 10 minutes to stitch.

  7. Thread. Definitely thread. No calories. No melting in your hand. No diet guilt. No rationalizing that because chocolate beans grow on plants it is a vegetable. No hiding the empty wrappers.

    Now if someone makes a chocolate-flavored thread, that’s even better.

  8. Beautiful. I love the way that you quilted x‘s and o‘s and also other heart doodles in your composition. Thank you for sharing what thread you used in top and bottom. I’ve never tried 28 weight thread, I‘ll have to get some.

  9. So charming! You’ve done it again, Lori! Thread or chocolate? That’s a tough decision. It’s like asking, “Which child is your favorite”? Lol!

  10. I like the idea of chocolate thread….Love this Victorian art piece you did, Lori, it’s absolutely beautiful.
    I can never seem to find 28wt aurifil in the quilt stores, do I need to order it online?

  11. Fun to use negative space to create or mimic designs in the blocks or fabric! I would have a hard time choosing between thread and chocolate, but I honestly know I have more thread then chocolate!! Yeah, I love to quilt…favorite part of making a quilt!!

  12. Beautiful. Thanks for a great idea Since I’m trying to be good with sugar, I would vote for thread…can never have enough! I finished one as a mugrug for my DH to put his coffee cups on the night-stand. How are you going to finish yours?

  13. Pingback: Happy Valentines Day! | NouZie

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