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 … Continue reading

Work in Progress-Applique Borders

Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and VinesGood Morning, Quilters!

I have been keeping my pledge to work on my Boxes and Vines quilt–though I admit to some quite a few detours on small projects!

I think I need the small distractions–big quilts are still hard work–not just physically.  I have trouble focusing on one project at a time–it’s really not my nature.

However….I don’t let myself work on any other projects each day until I’ve stitched on Boxes and Vines for 15 minutes.

One day, I worked for three hours…another day it was just fifteen minutes. Then I was off chasing down a new rabbit hole.

Overall, it’s a plan that is working.

(Perhaps I need to apply the same approach to exercise–but then again that’s what the New Year is for!)


Last week, I wanted the squares in the border to “pop” so I quilted around them and did not add any quilting to the colorful squares. Read more HERE.

I am using a similar approach on the borders with all the appliqué.

First I stitch as close as possible to one of the applique elements to outline it, then I begin stitching a background fill motif.

Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and Vines

I like to add decorative elements within the quilted line-like more leaves or feathers or pebbling to create more interest within the quilted line and to add more details to the vine border.

Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and VinesI begin stitching around one appliqué and keep adding the background motifs until I “bump into” another appliqué.  Then I outline it and start working around the new element.

I continue “bumping” my way through the border until it is complete–(or until my fifteen minutes are up LOL).

As you can see, the appliqué “pops”.  I like that, however, it looks unfinished right now. I will go back and add a few details to each leaf and flower later. 
Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and Vines


For the Boxes and Vines quilt I am using Aurifil 28wt cotton thread on top and Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread in the bobbin with a size 90 Topstitch needle.

There is already a lot of color in this quilt, so I decided to stitch white on white for a subtle texture effect with the machine quilting.

I am stitching on my beautiful BERNINA 770QE-but there is exciting news on this front…

Coming soon…


What about YOU?

Did YOU make The Pledge to work on The Most Important Quilt in YOUR Collection before all other distractions?

If not, make YOUR pledge today–right here in the comment section–

There are more than 10,000 of us to hold YOU accountable!

If you did keep The Pledge, tell us!  We want to cheer along with YOU!

Your Favorite Quilting Cheerleader,

Rah! Rah, Shish cum bah!


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!





Machine Quilting Quick Tip! Plan Your Quilting with a Vinyl Sheet!


Machine Quilt Design TipsGood Morning, Quilters!

After a week away–teaching at the John C Campbell Folk School and at Quilt Market in Houston– it seems fitting that this week, I am working on the I Heart Home Quilt with Jacquelynne Steves.  (Stay tuned for another block of the month pattern and giveaway– Monday, November 6)…


To plan the quilting, I tried a method suggested by a reader of The Inbox Jaunt— doodle the motifs on a sheet of clear vinyl.

Machine Quilt Design Tips

I purchased 12 gauge clear vinyl by the yard at my local fabric store.  I cut a large square and zig zagged a fabric border around it.

(The trim helps you see the edge so you don’t write off the edge and onto your quilt!)

When I was teaching last week, a student at the Folk School (thank you, Susan!) recommended adding “Do Not Write” on one side to prevent residual ink getting on your quilt.

(Unfortunately, I failed to heed the notice–LOL!)Machine Quilt Design Tips

I experimented with both Dry Erase and Wet Erase pens and found both worked equally well.Machine Quilt Design Tips


Once I had my vinyl prepared and chose a pen, I was ready to try a few designs.

I was able to erase and start over very quickly.

I auditioned several options and soon had a plan.
Machine Quilt Design TipsMachine Quilt Design TipsThen I used chalk to free hand draw it onto my quilt.

(I like the Dritz chalk holder for marking)Design Tips, Lori KennedyIn just a few minutes I was ready to stitch away!!!
Machine Quilt Design TipsI am really thrilled with this low tech way to audition quilt motifs and hope you will give it a try as well!

What about YOU?

How do YOU audition quilt motifs?

Have YOU ever used clear vinyl sheets?

Do YOU have another method?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Doodling Away,


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 re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

PPS…This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link.  If you choose to use it-at no additional cost to YOU–I may receive a little “pin money”.  Thank you for supporting The Inbox Jaunt in this way!