String of Pearls-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,Good morning, Quilters!

Now that the kiddies are back at school I hope everyone has a little more time for quilting!

Last week, we started our own lesson plan…to learn the Humble Circle.  Like most simple things, The Circle is challenging to get just right.  It takes a lot of practice.

We started with the  Dots and Dashes Free motion quilt tutorial last Tuesday (Tutesday?)

While Dots and Dashes is a fabulous pattern in its own right, it is also a SKILLBUILDER pattern.  It helps build muscle memory for other circle patterns.

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,

Dots and Dashes teaches four things:

  • Clockwise circles
  • Counter-clockwise circles
  • Stitching around a circle one and 1/2 times
  • Stopping in the middle of the circle –to start the dash…

If you are new to circles, try Dots and Dashes first, then move on to today’s free motion quilt tutorial, The String of Pearls.


Begin by drawing two lines.  For this tutorial, the lines are 1/2 inch apart.

Begin stitching in between the two lines.  Stitch a full clockwise circle.

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,

Stitch over the previous line of stitching around the circle to the midpoint on the right side of the circle.

(NOTE- In the sample below the stitching is offset–this is for demonstration only.)

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,

Instead of stitching a straight line — as in Dots and Dashes–Stitch a curve toward the bottom line and begin the counter-clockwise circle.

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,

Stitch over the previous line of stitching, back to the mid-point and begin another circle.

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,

Continue stitching clockwise and counter-clockwise circles to create a String of Pearls.

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,

Once you are comfortable with the String of Pearls, try varying the size of the Pearls.  (This will help when we try another circle tutorial–The Circle Filler also known as Pebbles.)

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,

String Pearls, Free motion quilting,Circles look simple, but they require a slower pace and full concentration…(You may notice, that I lack focus frequently!)

The clockwise, counter-clockwise method allows the quilter to develop a regular rhythm and this will help with both consistency and speed.  Again, Circles take practice!


I have decided to delay the circle tutorial planned for tomorrow.   Practice Dots and Dashes, The String of Pearls, and changing pearls (And of course, the Race Car)

We’ll add some really fun motifs next week…then a tutorial on “Pebbles” –-the Circle fill pattern later in the month.

So many ideas, so little time…

I’m off on a JAUNT!–Can’t wait to tell you about it!


PS…The above tutorial was stitched on my Bernina 150 (A domestic sewing machine) without a stitch regulator, using Aurifil thread in the

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 (please do) Pin, re-blog and share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!


Hans Heysen — A Pattern for Paper Piecing or Applique

Happy Monday, Quilters!

I hope you have some free time today, this week, this month…

Earlier this month, in our Saturday series, Seamstresses in Fine Art, we looked at Hans Heysen’s portrait of his wife.

It was a favorite among readers of The Inbox Jaunt and we heard from several of you who live in or have travelled to Australia and have seen the house and the painting.

Peggy–our paper-piecing pattern friend, loved the image,too–Lucky for us!

Hans Heysen, Sewing


I really did like Saturday’s art print so tackled it as a multi-method piecing project.
I simplified the lines and shapes of Heysen’s painting, using straight line sewing when possible, but adding curves to give it warmth and life. The resulting project can make use of raw edge applique, or regular applique, or layered-landscape applique. Or paper piecing with some curves and applique thrown in. Or classic template piecing (there are 89 shapes). Lines of free motion quilting can be used instead of the fine color variations in the curtains, dress, and sewing fabric, further reducing the number of pieces. FMQ might even make some interesting repeating designs for wall paper!

There are 3 PDF files:
One full-sized line drawing ( on 6 pages) for an approximate 20″ x 20″ project;
One set of all 89 individual pieces with 1/4″ seam allowances, each named with orientation, location and colors. (13 pages).
One 2 page PDF that shows a color project picture, and a second page on suggestions for breaking it into piecing sub-sections. The two JPGs attached are these same two pictures.
I’ve provided no color chart this time but expect the color photo and original artwork will provide enough guidance, and allow for personal choice.



2014Sept6HeysenSewing full sized line drawing Peggy Aare for TheInBoxJaunt-6 pages ntx

Paper Pieced pattern-Hans HeysenColor Pattern HERE

2014Sept6HeysenSewing Piecing Templates Peggy Aare for TheInBoxJaunt-13 pages

Sectioned Pattern, Heysen

Sectioned Pattern, Heysen

Download the Sectioned Pattern HERE

Thank you, Peggy for all your hard work creating this fabulous pattern.

If you have stitched any of Peggy’s fabulous patterns, WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE!  Please post them on our Flickr group–see the sidebar, or e-mail the photos directly.

The Heron was stitched by Donna Gennick–Thanks for the photo, Donna!

Here’s the link to The Heron.

The Heron, Donna Gennick

The Heron, Donna Gennick

Happy Stitching, Everyone!


PS…All images (except The Heron) are the property of Peggy and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For any other use, please contact me at  Thanks!