Building Blocks-A FREE Machine Quilting Tutorial

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters!

I trust you had a happy Memorial Day!

Did you #losethosefatquarters?  Move More?  Eat Less?

I will confess my weekend was a mixed bag -Move More + Eat More…but I’m back on track today!

We’re building new attitudes…#No Excuses!


Today’s tutorial is very similar to the Bricks tutorial, but I think it looks different enough to warrant its own tutorial.

Building Blocks would make a great border, all-over or fill pattern and it could be used to fill in the square corners of any border.

This motif scales to any size–from very large to very small.  In the samples below, the grid is 1-1/2 inch by 1-1/2 inch.

Begin by drawing a grid.  You can use a ruler or a grid stencil.  I used a ruler for this size.

The squares will be stitched clockwise then counter-clockwise.  Each square is 1-1/2 revolutions.

Begin on the left side of the grid and stitch one full clockwise revolution, with rounded edges.

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Offset the stitches, and stitch over the top to begin the next square–counterclockwise.

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Continue stitching counter clockwise.  As you finish the second square, there will be three parallel lines between the motifs.

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

machine quilting, Lori Kennedy

The next square will be counter-clockwise…

machine quilting, Lori Kennedy

At the corner, stitch a full revolution and a 3/4 revolution…machine quilting, Lori Kennedy

machine quilting, Lori Kennedy

Before you begin the next row….

machine quilting, Lori Kennedy

Continue stitching the grid.


This is an easy motif to stitch, once you see the pattern.  Draw a grid on paper and DOODLE FIRST!

Plain Building Blocks create a gorgeous texture–with a very hand drawn feeling.

This Background motif is very Modern, but I think it would look great on a traditional quilt as well.

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy


Once you master the Building Blocks, consider adding embellishments along the way.

The designs can be added once the full square is stitched.

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Add the interior design, then exit the square and continue around the Block to the next motif.

Small Sailboats or Fish would be great!

Spirals are great!

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Or add letters…

Machine Quilting, Lori Kennedy

Or my favorite, Stars!

We will be doodling stars on Thursday…

Version 2

Be creative–anything would look cute once you have The Building Blocks!

Speaking of creative…

Try one of my Craftsy classes at 50% off…(shameless self promotion….)


Lots more quilting this week!

But get your steps in first!!!

Happy, Healthy Quilting,


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!



Flower Power-A Free, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Free Motion Quilted FlowersGood Morning, Quilters!  Welcome to another addition of Tuesday Tutorials.  For more than one year–The Inbox Jaunt has been offering free-free motion quilt tutorials.   You can access all the tutorials by clicking the Red Apple on my sidebar or in the  “Quilts” tab above.  My goal is to get everyone free motion quilting on their domestic sewing machines–it can be done!

There is one thing YOU can do for Me— TELL YOUR QUILTY FRIENDS about us!  The more, the merrier.

Last week, I posted a photo of this pattern along with a Free Motion Quilting Dexterity Exercise, and several readers asked for a tutorial.  So here it is:  Flower Power!


This pattern is a filler or all-over pattern. Use it to fill in large spaces on your next quilt.  Or use it as an all over pattern in place of meandering or stippling.

Free Motion Quilted Flowers

Because this is a fill pattern, there are no “rails“.  Start anywhere that is convenient-the middle of the quilt or the corner of the quilt.

Begin by stitching a tail and a 3/4 circle.

Free Motion Quilted Flowers

Next, stitch petals around the circle…

Free Motion Quilted Flowersand more petals down the tail.

Free Motion Quilted Flowers

Stitch another layer of of petals around the first layer.

Free Motion Quilted Flowers

Continue adding more layers of petals and then start a new flower by adding a tail and semi-circle and begin the process again.

Free Motion Quilted Flowers

It does not matter where in the flower you veer off to add the next flower.  It can be at the base of your flower–as above, or it can be in the middle of one of the layers-and will depend on where you need to travel as you are stitching.  Also, it looks nice if some of the flowers have more layers than others–just like in nature!

It is easy to change the scale of this pattern.  If your quilt is large and you are using this as an all-over pattern, scale up the flowers.  If your quilt is smaller (like a table runner)  or if you want to use the pattern to fill a small section of your quilt, you can make the flowers smaller.  Determining the scale of the free motion quilting pattern is both the art and the challenge of free motion quilting.

Free Motion Quilted Flowers

NOTE-The above quilt was stitched on Kona cotton using Aurifil 50 wt in the bobbin and Robison-Anton Rayon on top, using a Schmetz 90 Topstitch needle on my Bernina 820 (domestic sewing machine–without a BSR)—My most frequently asked questions….

When Mother Nature gives you cold, snow, white, wind…we have to make our own #flowersinwinter!

From my green thumb (on blue skies) to yours,


PS…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!