Grid Play-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt TutorialGood morning, Quilters!  Today is Tuesday and that can mean only one thing–the paperwork is done, the house is clean and the crock pot is all ready to go…We have the whole day to ourselves to doodle, quilt and experiment!   Well…maybe not…maybe there’s just enough time to open your Inbox and take a quick Jaunt.

Today’s free motion quilting tutorial is a quick jaunt that looks like it took a long time.  The secret is THE GRID…we used The Grid when we stitched Nikki’s Jigsaw Puzzle,  

Today, we’re on The Grid playing with another simple stitch to create a very complex pattern.

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

For the quickest results, use a stencil to draw a grid.  The grid below is one inch square.  If you don’t have a stencil, just take your time and use a ruler.    This pattern could easily be stitched larger, but smaller might be tedious. (Though a determined quilter could certainly make it work.)

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Start in the upper left corner of the grid.  Stitch along the first line and sew a small wave into each of the squares.  Try to position the “point” of the wave in the center of the square.   Stitching from left to right, continue until you reach the corner.

At the first corner, stitch a wave perpendicular to the first line of waves.

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Next, work from right to left,  stitching waves on the second line in the grid.  These waves will “point” up into the squares above.

Once you reach the left edge, drop down a few stitches.  Now continue stitching just below the second line.  This time the waves will “point” down into the square below.

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Continue in this way until you have finished every row.  The grid will look like this:

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Now begin stitching the vertical rows in exactly the same manner.  At the top of each vertical row (see position of needle in photo below) , either stitch directly on top of the  wave to move to the next row, or stitch on the straight line to reach the next set of squares.  

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

The challenge of this pattern is keeping the “point” of each wave in the center of the line.  It takes a bit of concentration…

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

And as you can see, my mind did some wandering…

Grid Play-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Even with a little “personality” this pattern is very sophisticated.  It is similar to Sashiko…(another item on my “Techniques to Try” page!)

Wouldn’t this pattern look great as a pillow or a wall hanging?  Three grids in different colors…hmm…my living room is in need of some color…

What would you do with this pattern?  I’d love to see it in YOUR next quilt!

“Where there is no order, there is chaos.”


PS… All photos, tutorials and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog and Pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other uses, please contact me at

23 thoughts on “Grid Play-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. Thanks for your cheery wake up call! Quilting today, and really appreciate the info and inspiration you provide. Wonderful blog!

  2. So why don’t you just use the lines for the points? Seems like you could and get the same result. Just a thought.

      • If you used the lines wouldn’t it turn into orange peel or whatever that motif is called? Besides the way I see it is you need the grid lines to know where the top curve comes before dropping to the point. I finally learned the orange peel and can do it relatively smoothly. Now to add this new element… 🙂 Thanks for a new look to an old design. Beautiful. Love your posts.

  3. Great photos and inspiration! Thanks. I have that thing called a j.o.b., but hopefully will not be too zombied out at the end of the day to try this. This may just be the energizing motivation I need. I love sashiko, btw!

  4. Might be fun to try in the centers of a double wedding ring quilt. Or a fill for a big empty spot, or quilting on an Oriental fabrics quilt…

  5. Very cute…my thoughts went right to a pillow also or filler area as in the middle of a big sunflower. 🙂 I like to make hotpads too…would be cute there also. Spring cleaning like mad…giving this a try will be my reward! 🙂 I also ignored the 7 degree thermometer this morning and went right on with my cleaning! 🙂

  6. This gives a good amount of texture, which I would like to use to fill backgrounds in a modern quilt. There is always so much open space to fill, and I get tired of stippling. I am making a quilt for my sister that has some open squares that this would work on great. Thanks.

  7. Yet ANOTHER adorable design! I have GOT to get myself some grid stencils. I keep trying to mark grids with a ruler but I can never seem to get the lines spaced evenly enough.

  8. Another great pattern…this one may find it’s way into my daughter’s wedding quilt in the white parts of the Delectable Mountains! If I am brave enough to put this pattern there – second to last border of a king sized quilt – I’ll take pictures and share with you!

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