Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave



Surf’s Up!  It’s time to ride The Wave.  Today’s free motion quilt tutorial has us swirling and twirling on the high seas…

The Wave is the mirror image twin of The Wind–a free motion quilt tutorial we worked on last year…

Though the patterns are similar, learning to free motion quilt the two patterns requires separate practice–

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave002


Begin by drawing three lines or “rails”  equidistant apart–  In the sample below, the  drawn lines are 1/2 inch apart.  (More on marking tools on Thursday…)

Begin stitching near the bottom “rail”.  Stitch a long tail sweeping up – above the middle line and curve around TO the middle line.  Stop here.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave004

Next, echo stitch the first line, ending just above the first stitches.  Stop here, then begin echo-stitching back around the curve…

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave005Stitch right to the top line and then around to the center of the swirl.  Stitch very close, but not right into the previous stitches.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave007

Swirl down to the bottom “rail” and begin the next Wave.

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave

For each additional Wave--tuck the “tail” of the Wave into the previous wave–without touching the curved line…see photo below.

This prevents a built up of stitches…

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave

 THE KEY to this motif is to avoid overlapping stitches–Overlapping stitches look messy–See below:

Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave

Messy–overlapped stitches

Note how the “tucked” in tails look better–no overlapped stitches.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial-The Wave

Looks better–no overlapped stitches


Now it’s YOUR turn…  Practice doodling this free motion quilt pattern until you are comfortable with it on paper–

Then-Ride The Wave–it’s fun!

If you are working on an Independence Day project…you might like the Swirling Stars free motion quilt pattern–one of my favorites!

Tomorrow:  A quick peek at a small project featuring The Wave.


PS…This tutorial was stitched on Kona cotton fabric with Sulky Rayon on top and Aurifil Cotton 50 wt in the bobbin on a Bernina 820 without a BSR using a #90 Topstitch needle and Warm and Natural cotton batting.

PPS…All images, 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, share, tweet, pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me a  Thank you!



17 thoughts on “Free Motion Quilt Tutorial-The Wave

  1. Lori, You are more than generous in sharing your expertise with everyone. Thank you ever so much. My brain had a hard time with the wind tutorial climbing upward—suddenly it fell into place in spite of my injured brain. Still need practice–

  2. Love this one! Wish you had that when I did my storm at sea! You did however still inspire me to quilt that by myself!!

  3. Hi:
    This is my first visit to your site. I love this tutorial. You broke down each step and made it seem so manageable. This will be a fun one to practice with. Now I need to go look through your blog to see what other FMQ info you have. Very nice!!

  4. Lovely, and timely. Just got back from a few wonderful days watching the waves crash into the Oregon coast. Missing the sound of the surf and the misty ocean breeze. We saw whales too 🙂 do you have a fmq design for that too? Thanks for sharing all your lovely work. I enjoy seeing each new design.

  5. Are you thinking of producing a book with your lovely designs? I would love to have it as a reference! This wave one is great.

  6. Only just found you! These tutorials are just what I have been needing for a while – thankyou so much, you have unlocked a door and I can’t wait to go through! Please produce a book for us.

  7. Pingback: The Anchor-A Free Motion (or Long Arm) Quilt Tutorial | The Inbox Jaunt

  8. Pingback: FMQ Motif of the Month Challenge Month Seven: The Wave! | Jacksonville Modern Quilt Guild

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