2015 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge – October Challenge with Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt

sToday we kick off the  October Linky Party for the 2015 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge.  This month we showcase Lori Kennedy, of The Inbox Jaunt, an amazing free-motion quilter, Bernina Ambassador, Blogger, Author, Teacher, and more.  You may already know Lori by way of her delightful blog where she shares amazing FMQ tutorials and inspiration, Author of the American Quilter column “In Line With Lori Kennedy, or her class on Craftsy. 

2015 fmq challenge badge


She has published an article called “7 Steps to Free-Motion Quilting” and many excellent tutorials on Free-Motion Quilting.

Here are a few of examples of Lori’s beautiful free-motion quilting:

greenred-quilts004 poinsettiaquilt003 trunkshow-quilts010 11850242_1622060508052300_118027711_n



First, I want to share that as Fall has arrived, I wanted to create a FMQ Challenge option for this season.  I was inspired by Lori’s post on “Build A Rock Solid Routine“, by not only the insights shared, but the inspirational quilted pumpkin.  

10665389_666714036779783_6404257511394658277_n (1)

Likewise, her post “The Pumpkin Quilt – A Work in Progress” was also inspirational.


And when I mentioned this to Lori, she generously offered to provide a pumpkin tutorial for us today:  




Pumpkins are the perfect way to create a sampler of stitches. Use this tutorial to create pillow or do what I do, bind these small quilts and use them as “vase quilts” on a table with a bowl of candy or a vase of flowers.

No matter what your skill level, this project can be created in an afternoon. Simply download the basic pumpkin (or draw your own!), doodle a few samples, and stitch away!


Vary the look of the pumpkin by choosing YOUR favorite motifs to fill each of the pumpkin sections and the background.


Begin by downloading the Basic Pumpkin.


Make several copies of the pumpkin, and doodle your design.  Choose your favorite motifs from the Tuesday Tutorials.


It is best to create contrast between the sections by choosing a combination of geometric designs and curvy motifs.


Trace the pumpkin pattern in the center of your fabric.  I prefer white chalk as it erases by wiping it off with a microfiber cloth.  (Dritz chalk holder shown.)  If your fabric is darker, tape the pattern and fabric to a window to serve as a lightbox.  Or use your favorite method for pattern transfer.


Trace a square around the pumpkin.



Use any size square to fit your pillow.  In the samples shown here, the square is 12 x 12 inches.


Choose a light and a dark decorative thread in a heavier weight such as 40 or 30 wt.

I like Sulky Rayon 30 or 40wt or Superior’s Magnifico polyester in 30 wt. Use your favorite!


Create two bobbins to match the top thread.  My choice for bobbin threads is 50 wt cotton Aurifil.   NOTE-Try combining cotton in the bobbin with the more slippery threads like Rayon and polyester to create a better lockstitch.


Set up your sewing machine for free motion quilting. (See Seven steps to FMQ)

Using the darker thread, outline stitch the Basic Pumpkin.




Next fill in the pumpkin sections with  your doodled motifs.  To create Grid Pop   draw lines ½ inch apart, then draw perpendicular lines, also ½ inch apart.



Use the lighter thread to stitch the pumpkin sections.  Stitch the grid and leave it plain as above.


Or fill in every other square with straight lines to create Grid Pop.
Fill in the next sections with a motif like Starry Night.



Fill in the final sections with the Twisted Variation  and add leaves if desired.

Use Pearls– stitch clockwise and counter clockwise circles  to create a ½ inch border in the lighter fabric.

Use the darker thread to fill in the background. Stitch straight lines throughout the entire background or use straight lines on the bottom and a swirl on top.


Once you’ve made one—you won’t want to stop!


Outline the Basic Pumpkin with light thread.  Add a leaf if desired.


Create a ½ inch Rick Rack border.


Then fill in the background.  This is enough to create a gorgeous pillow or vase quilt without adding anything else.  OR…


Fill in the straight lines with rows of spirals and fill in the sections of the pumpkin as before.



Another option is to leave a few of the sections, of the pumpkin, unquilted.


Why stop at two? Stitch an entire Pumpkin Patch of gourds using the Basic Pumpkin and all your favorite motifs and threads!

Happy Halloween Stitching!
Lori Kennedy
The Inbox Jaunt

Here are links for tutorials to motifs that Lori used in the above pumpkins:

Tuesday Tutorials All Motifs
Seven Steps to Free Motion Quilting
Grid Pop
Starry Night
Twist Variations
Rick Rack




Use the Pumpkin tutorial, by Lori Kennedy, shared in the post above, to create a pillow.



Lori is teaching free-motion quilting on the Craftsy platform, a new class called Divide & Conquer: Creative Quilting for Any Space.


She has also provided a link that will allow you to purchase this Craftsy Class at 50% off. While I’m an Affiliate of Craftsy, I want to clarify this link provides special codes provided by Lori, but I felt the 50% off discount was such a deal, even though I do not get an affiliate benefit, I wanted you to get the best deal possible.  And, as I am also taking this class, I want you to also enjoy and learn from it too!

As an Affiliate, I want to let you know Craftsy has an amazing opportunity during October where you can purchase a Pass that will allow you to watch ANY and ALL classes during the month of October for very nominal price.  Of course, if you click thru and purchase from my site your price remains the same, but I may receive a small  % which I use to supplement postal expenses when I ship prizes directly to winners.

Create a FMQ Pillow using techniques and designs taught in this class.



The Electric Quilt Company has wonderful Quiltmaker’s Quilting Design Collections that are fun to use on your quilts.  You can also easily use these designs  as a standalone program, or within EQ6 or EQ7, while planning your quilt designs, fabric selections, etc.  And they are easy to print out, sized to your required size (e.g. block, border, etc).  There are a variety of ways to transfer these designs to your projects.  If you need help, let me know, but you may also want to watch a video FMQ tutorial by Don Linn shared in our 2012 FMQ Challenge.

For this option, use the pumpkin motif in Quiltmakers Quilting Designs #3 to make your FMQ Pillow, along with background designs of your choice, as taught by Lori Kennedy by way of free tutorials on her blog, or her Craftsy Class.





Don’t overlook that you can create more than one pillow, to claim more than one entry to any of the monthly challenges.  You want to do more than one of the options, or all.  Each option you complete counts as an entry.    And the more you create, the  more opportunities you have to learn and improve your FMQ skills, as well as win more prizes!



1) Entries need to be completed pillows that show free-motion quilting that aligns with the options defined in this monthly challenge. Note:  Other projects that you wish to share can be added to the Flickr group, but do not share them via the link tool.

2) You can enter one completed pillow for any, or all of the options.  Bloggers can do so in one blog post, but to help with the entries, their post needs to show photos and clarify which options they are entering for this monthly challenge.  Non-bloggers need to reflect the same as bloggers, in the comments for the photo they upload to the flickr group for this challenge. Both bloggers and non-bloggers can add one link to the linky tool, for each of the options they wish to enter.  Note, to help with administration, please be sure the photo in the linky tool reflects which of the challenge options you are claiming when you enter/add the link.

Those that want to apply the challenge to projects other than pillows, or those that complete the challenge after the given month, as well as those that may wish to share other FMQ projects are encouraged to share in a Flirk group that has been created specifically for group sharing and inspiration:     https://www.flickr.com/groups/2815271@N22/   To clarify, this group is open to anyone that wishes to share any FMQ project that they created.

3.   In keeping with the spirit of this challenge, I hope in you encourage others to enter this challenge as well as check out all the entries to get inspired.

4.  In the spirit of ~Create ~ Share ~ Inspire ~ #CreativeGoodness, those that wish to share tips and tutorials during any of these monthly challenges will be appreciated.  And, as always, QuiltShopGal will try to do her best to help increase awareness of such.  Collectively, we can create great fun and help others learn/improve their FMQ Skills.

While most of these linky parties are open for one month, this Linky party and other challenges released during the summer will be open thru mid-September, but I encourage you to not wait till the last minute to enter.  You need to have your project completed and linked to enter to win prizes.  Those that may complete this challenge at a different time, as well as those that want to share any FMQ related project, are encouraged to share photos in the Flickr group created for this challenge: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2815271@N22/

If you are not familiar with how to use a linky click here for a tutorial.


For blogger participants that are interested in posting a badge, the badge code is now on the right hand column of this blog.  Thank you for posting the badge.  The more quilters we have participating, the more fun and inspiration we will all have.  But I need your help to spread the word and encourage others to join, or at least come look and visit all the blogs (and non-bloggers) that share their FMQ projects with us via the Monthly linky parties and the Flicker Group sharing.


Note:  Entering this monthly challenge automatically enters you to win Grand Prizes that will be awarded, once all of the monthly challenges have been completed.  The more monthly challenges you enter, as well as the more options you complete, the more entries you’ll get to win Grand Prizes.

Sponsor Prize Winners
Udderly Smooth, by RedEx 65668_10151884614025894_331473606_n  A gift pack of Udderly Smooth products.  Product bundle shipped may not be exactly like what QuiltShopGal is showing.Estimated Retail value $25.Prize is open to participants living in US/Canada.  Prize #1  winner –  Elizabeth H.

This prize bundle will be carried over to a Grand Prize and Elizabeth had previously one such a bundle and she opted for a fat quarter bundle of Hoffman Batik’s from QuiltShopGals stash

Gotcha Covered Quilting

gotcha covered quilting

$25 Gift Certificate to Gotcha Covered Quilting.  Prize #2 winner – Fiona of BubzRugz
Martingale Quiltmaking Essentials 2: Settings and Borders, Backings and Bindings, by Donna Lynn Thomas

Strip Savvy: 2 1/2″ Strip Quilting Designs, by Kate Henderson

Easy Weekend Quilts

Quick Change Quilts: Refresh a Room Fast with Quilted Bed Runners

Simple Circles and Quick Curves Machine Applique’ the Easy Way, by Nancy Mahoney

QuiltShopGal will ship these prizes directly to the lucky winners.  Maximum of two such prizes may be shipped WW, with a minimum of three going to US winners.  This is due to my limited shipping budget at this time.

Prize #3 – tbd must be US based. If not awarded in this challenge it will be used as a Grand Prize and awarded at the end of this challenge.

4,  Strip Savvy winner –Brandy of Pampered Petit

5,Easy Weekend Quilts – winner:  Marjorie of Marjorie’s Busy Quilts

6 Quick Change Quilts winner:

Annette of In Stitches & Seams

& 7 Simple Circles winner:  Elizabeth H.



And don’t forget when you enter this monthly challenge you are automatically entered to win prizes awarded at the end of this 2015 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge. The more monthly challenges you enter the more chances you get to win monthly AND Grand Prizes. Many of these Grand Prizes sponsors will ship to WW participants!

 If you have questions for this Challenge, please read the FAQ:  http://quiltshopgal.com/faq-for-challenges-and-shows/

Winners will be selected randomly and this post will be updated accordingly, after I send an email to notify the winners.

email QuiltShopGal if you still have questions at Darlene @ quiltshopgal dot com and I will try to respond as fast as I can.

email address for quiltshopgal

Here is a list of previous posts 2015 FMQ Challenge:
[catlist name=2015-free-motion-quilting-challenge numberposts=55] 


For those wanting more information on the 2015 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge, you can click the menu tabs underneath the header image of this blog EVENTS > FREE-MOTION QUILTING > 2015 FREE MOTION QUILTING CHALLENGE to visit the main page for this event which will always contain current links to all the monthly challenges:



Aurifil, Clever Craft Tools/Grip & Stitch Disks, Fabrics N Quilts, Fat Quarter Shop, Gotcha Covered Quilting, Martingale, The Stencil Company, Udderly Smooth, Landauer Publishing, CT Publishing, the Electric Quilt Company, The Quilt Show and Craftsy!

Prizes will be awarded for each monthly challenge and there are also prizes that will be awarded at the end of the year.  Monthly winners will be randomly selected.  And while end of year (aka Grand Prizes) will also be awarded randomly, I’m also looking at awarding based on a variety of soon to be announced methods (e.g. Person that completed the most challenges, the person that improved the

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