Open Line Friday


Crayon and Pencil QuiltGood Morning, Quilters!  Welcome to Open Line Friday….Everyone asks–Everyone answers.

Today I have a special request from one of our French friends:

We had a very bad time in France recently ( people killed, a satiric
news paper  and a shop were attacked)
and  I made a small quilt …
I had the idea , to sew, embroider,  or quilt, a pencil , somewhere on
all our works in 2015, to remember and agains obscurantism …
would you share this ?
You can see the whole Crayon and Pencil quilt and read more at
I think we’d all be happy to support our friend!


Thank you to all who participated last week.  We had a very informative discussion on creating Raffle Quilts that Sell…


January is the traditional month for organizing and planning…and that includes our sewing room!

Let’s give our threads  a little attention…a quick re-organization, and culling…

Organizing ThreadI’ve had several organizational systems for my threads over the years.

For a long time, I organized by color.

Later, I organized by purpose:  hand quilting, machine quilting, etc.

Organizing ThreadAfter experimenting with several organizational systems, the method I now recommend is to organize by FIBER.  Separate boxes for :  Cotton, Polyester, Rayon, Silk, Specialty Threads.  Within each box, group the threads by weight, clustering 30 wt, 40 wt, and 50 wt together.

Organizing Thread

One of my goals for 2015 is to experiment with different threads.  You will be hearing a lot about threads this year…so let’s start with a clean slate!

What about YOU?  How do YOU organize YOUR threads…

We’d love to hear!


You might also like:  Taking a Thread Inventory HERE.

PS…All images, information and tutorials are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!


The 12 Essentials: Sewing Machine Appreciation Month

Sewing Machine Motif, Free Motion QuiltingGood Morning, Quilters and Quilt-Lovers!

I hope you are busy working on your Mystery Quilt?!

Take your time.  Use your practice sandwiches until you feel comfortable…YOU can do this.


Readers of The Inbox Jaunt have two favorite pages…

The Tuesday Tutorial, Free Motion Quilt Page…and

Twelve Essential Skills Every Quilter Must Know.


As promised, I will be offering extra information each month on each of The Essential Skills.

In January, we will emphasize Essential Skill #1:

“Know Your Sewing Machine”

I think you will greatly enjoy these two videos explaining a little history of The Sewing Machine

as well as an excellent demonstration the precision required to form THE PERFECT STITCH

Great video HERE of the rotary hook (30 seconds)–from Generation Quilt Patterns.

Even better:  9 minute video:  Secret Life of Machines:  The Sewing Machine (NOTE-this video ends abruptly, but all the info you need is in this first video.)



PS…Tutorial of the above sewing machine quilt coming soon

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 share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other uses, please contact me at  Thanks!


The Mystery Quilt-a-Long…Early Clues

Marking a Grid for QuiltingGood Morning, Quilters!

Welcome to Week 2 of The Inbox Jaunt’s Mystery Free Motion Quilt-a-Long!

Last week, we chose and pressed our fabrics.

We also cut our batting and made a quilt sandwich.

Read the first week directions HERE.

Today, we will begin stitching our quilt!

(NOTE-Do not be intimidated by the “wordiness” of these directions–the stitching is very simple and logical.)

First…a little marking.

Marking a Grid for Quilting


Use your favorite fabric marking tool (Read about marking tools HERE and HERE.)

On the long side of the fabric (22 inch edge), draw a line one inch in from the edge.

Draw five more lines, three inches apart.   

For future reference, number these lines 1-6.

Next, rotate the fabric and draw a straight line one inch in from the short edge.

Draw five more lines, four inches apart.

Label these lines A-F.

The grid is 5 boxes by 5 boxes:   Each block in the grid is three inches wide and four inches long.

Marking a Grid for Quilting


We will frequently discuss thread as we move forward with this project.

For the stitching today, choose any thread that complements your quilt fabric in a 40 or 50 wt.  High contrast for this step is best.  (I will be using white Sulky Rayon 40 wt on top and Aurifil 50 wt cotton in the bobbin with a Size 90 Topstitch needle.)

Stitching the Grid


Using the  plain Zig Zag free motion quilt tutorial  (Scroll down the Operation Zig Zag tutorial to find the plain zig zag), stitch over each drawn line.  (In the tutorial, The Zig Zag is stitched between two this project, simply zig and zag over one drawn line.)

Stitching the Grid


Each line of the grid is stitched from top to bottom then echo-stitched back from bottom to top.  Tie off every row before beginning the next.

The long lines are all stitched first, beginning with a middle row and continuing with all the rows right of center.  The quilt is rotated 180 degrees and beginning in the center, the rest of the long lines are stitched.

The short lines are stitched next, beginning with the middle row and working all the short rows right of center.  The quilt is rotated 180 degrees and the rest of the short lines are stitched from the center to the sidelines.

Stitching the Grid

The Long Lines 1-6

Stitch the long lines first.

Start on the top of the middle line –Line 4…

Stitching from top to bottom, zig and zag over the line.  At the bottom, echo stitch back to the top.  Knot off.

Stitch Line 5 then Line 6 in the same way.

Next, Rotate the fabric so the bottom is now the top.

Stitch Line 3 from (the new) top to the bottom.   Echo stitch back up and knot off.

Stitch Line 2 and then Line 1 in the same way.

Stitching the Grid

The Short Lines A-F

Stitch the short lines in the same way.

Stitch Line D from top to bottom, echo back to the top and knot off.

Stitch Line E then Line F, the same way.

Stitching the Grid

Rotate the quilt so the top is now the bottom.

Begin quilting Line C from (the new) top to the bottom, echo back and tie off.

Stitch Line B, then Line A in the same way.

Voila! Done with the Grid!

Stitching the Grid


I’m so glad you asked…

This is the first step in quilting EVERY quilt–

STABILIZE the long and short axes to prevent distortion.

In large quilts, stabilizing can be done using a straight stitch and a regular foot– “In-the-ditch”

or with a small zig zag or curvy line and a free motion technique.

This sewing order minimizes quilt distortion and will keep any size quilt square.  


A grid is the most common composition in quilting design.  The balanced elements provide unity to the composition and are always pleasing to the eye.  A Grid is a great place to begin any new design.


  • Quilt Marking
  • Free Motion Quilting including The Rick Rack Stitch and echo stitching.
  • Stabilizing a Quilt
  • Design:  Composing with a Grid


Practice the Zig Zag on one of the practice sandwiches before stitching on your Mystery Quilt.  This will get you warmed up for stitching and allows you to make tension adjustments.


  • Draw the grid.
  • Quilt the grid.
  • Begin looking through your thread…Open Line Friday is about Thread Organization.
  • Also, if you haven’t already done so…clean and oil your machine and put in a new needle…Topstitch needles are my FMQ Favorite.


I will answer all the questions at the end of the day. 

The intrigue continues…


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 share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!