Free Motion Quilting on Patterned Fabrics


As I mentioned earlier in the week, judging by comments and letters I receive, YOUR favorite days of the week here at The Inbox Jaunt are Tuesday (Tutorials) and (Silent) Sundays. I love Tuesdays and Sundays, but MY FAVORITE day is (Open Line) Fridays.  I absolutely love the “Newbie” advice you provided last week…HERE and thought the discussion on quilt abbreviations HERE was hysterical!  YOU are all so creative–and not just with your stitching!

Mini Log Cabin Quilt, Purple


I’ve received several questions about using the quilt motifs on patterned fabric.  (Find more than 75 free motion quilt tutorials HERE.)   I do all the tutorials on solid fabric so that you can see them best, but all of the motifs look great on printed fabrics as well.  Mini Log Cabin Quilt, Purple

The effect is more subtle on printed fabrics, but at different angles of light, you will see the patterns and you will see the nice textured effect.  That being said, I would save the most intricate free motion quilting for areas of the quilt that have low contrast patterns.

Mini Log Cabin Quilt, Purple

In this miniature quilt, the quilting is very subtle-more texture than anything.  The highly patterned, multi-colored purple fabric hides the quilting.  (The low-contrast gray fabric would have revealed more quilting–however, I wanted the more subtle effect.)

Mini Log Cabin Quilt, Purple

The following images were sent in by a reader–thank you, Peggy!

Peggy R.  Free Motion Quilting.

Peggy R. Free Motion Quilting.

The quilting looks great on all fabric types…depending on the angle of the light.

Peggy R.  Free Motion Quilting.

Peggy R. Free Motion Quilting.


When you really want to showcase a free motion quilt motif:

  • Choose solid or low contrast prints.
  • Use  contrasting thread.
  • Use  heavier thread.
  • Add unpieced, solid or low-contrast fabric blocks to your design 
  • Stitch samples of different thread:  fiber, weight and color.

Mini Log Cabin Quilt, Purple

Whether your fabric is solid or patterned, the quilt motifs found HERE will look great.  The best way to judge the quilting effect:   STITCH SAMPLES!  I know it takes a few extra minutes….think NIKE–Just Do It!


Love to hear…


Vary The Maypop Leaf for YOUR Next Quilt


The Maypop Leaf Free Motion Quilted Design

It’s been a busy week here at The Inbox Jaunt. I hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s guest post from the very creative, Hilary Florence. (Hilary blogs HERE) My machine was smoking late into the evening trying all the variations…Great job,Hilary…Come again any time!


I would like to encourage other bloggers and would-be bloggers to give “guest posting” a try. We’d love to feature YOU here at The Inbox Jaunt!
Though the weather does not reflect the calendar…it is almost Easter!…You might want to try The Easter Egg tutorial HERE and the Bunny tutorial HERE... They are quick projects that you may have time to whip up before Sunday!

Free Motion Quilting, FMQ, Easter, Eggs

Easter Bunny, Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial
On Tuesday, we worked on a versatile motif-The Maypop Leaf. As with all the tutorials, I think it is easiest to learn a pattern if you have a few “rails” or drawn lines to establish scale. Once you learn the motif,  try modifying it to fit YOUR quilt.
The Maypop Leaf Free Motion Quilted DesignFILLING A SQUARE

One way to fill a square with The Maypop Leaf is to draw diagonal lines across the square and stitch leaves radiating out from the center on those lines.
The Maypop Leaf Free Motion Quilted Design
Another way to fill a square: Draw one diagonal line across the square and place two separate Maypop Leafs inside the triangles.
The Maypop Leaf Free Motion Quilted DesignFILLING A TRIANGLE

If you have a triangle to fill: Use one Maypop Leaf like the image above, or two Maypop leaves as in the image below:
The Maypop Leaf Free Motion Quilted Design


Below is a sneak preview of tomorrow’s discussion. We will be talking about using patterned fabric and making samples!
The Maypop Leaf Free Motion Quilted Design

The Maypop Leaf Free Motion Quilted Design
Until next time…Happy Stitching!


Lady Kennedy, Maven of Maypop
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 pin and blog with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt. For all other uses, please contact me at Thank you!