The Perfect Pencil-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

The Perfect Pencil.LKennedy010Good Morning, Quilters!

First, I’d like to thank all of you who shared last week’s tutorial, The Dizzy Daisy.  With your help, the Dizzy Daisy reached nearly 20,000 people!  That is a record for tutorial views in one week…Thank YOU!

Welcome to all the new followers who joined us this week.  Seems many of you are friends of Mary and The Heartstrings Quilt Project.

How ever you found us, Welcome!


It’s Back to School!  It’s eerily quiet in the neighborhood…a little sad, too…but a brand new box of pencils holds so much promise….

If you have any books to cover, see my step-by-step tutorial, How to Cover a Textbook…(I’m an expert…I’ve done hundreds!)

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingTHE PERFECT PENCIL TUTORIAL

Today’s tutorial is a fun pattern that would look great on any kid’s quilt or a quilt for any teacher.  Sometimes it’s fun to add little hidden picture among your fancy quilting as a whimsical surprise…Also, don’t forget that a single motif is a great way to tie a quilt...

The pencil in this tutorial is rather short…3-1/2 inches…make it any length that suits your quilt…

Begin by drawing three lines.  The first two lines are 3/4 inches apart, the third line is two inches away…NOTE  this creates the body and point of the pencil…I don’t think you need to draw another line for the eraser…if you want to…add a fourth line 3/4 inch away…

Begin stitching on the right line.  Stitch a straight line to create the body of the pencil, then stitch at an angle to create the point of the pencil.

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingStitch back and forth three or four times to create the “lead tip” of the pencil…

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingStitch at an angle back to the line and then stitch three scallops down…

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingEcho stitch the scallops, then stitch a straight line to complete the body of the pencil.

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingTo create the contour lines in the pencil, stitch two sets of curved lines…then stitch over to where you began stitching the pencil to close the gap.

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingNext, curve back and forth four times at the base of the pencil.

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingFinally, stitch a large eraser at the end of the pencil and stitch over several stitches to begin the next pencil in the line…

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quilting

Wouldn’t a row of pencils look darling on the border of a girl’s skirt? Or decorating a computer case or market bag for a teacher?

Or….omit the contour lines in the body of the pencil, and have students sign their names in the pencils as a keepsake for a teacher?

Where would YOU stitch a pencil?

The Perfect Pencil, free motion quiltingNOTE-This motif (like all motifs) can be stitched from right to left or left to right or down to up…whatever works best for YOU and your quilt…


It’s only the first week of school and I’m already late with my homework!  Arrgh!  AQS winners announced tomorrow…

Feeling the Back-to-School-Blues….


(Just kidding, I’m sipping tea and enjoying my quiet, clean house…I’ll probably go shopping and out to lunch,too…as long as I’m home by three…who’s gonna know???)

PS…This tutorial was stitched on Robert Kaufman Kona cotton, Tuscany Silk batting–I’m experimenting–with Aurifil 50 wt cotton in the bobbin and Sulky Rayon on top with a Schmetz 80 Universal needle on my Bernina 150 without a stitch regulator.

PS…All images, information and tutorials are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin, tweet and share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thank you, kindly!



15 thoughts on “The Perfect Pencil-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. Now, who knew how sweet an old yellow pencil could turn out? I’ve a family of teachers & this will get a lot of ooh’s & aah’s. Great work Lori. Again, you are very talented.

  2. Lori I love your ingenious ideas for decorative quilting! I feel like an old dog who is learning new tricks! Thank you for such wonderful tutorials. Kindest regards, S.

  3. It’s absolutely fascinating to see how you connect all the lines. Before looking at your tutorials I find myself following the lines to see how cleverly you’ve done it. Amazing.

    Lots of people will enjoy this design. You could make a little teacher appreciation gift like a book cover or something else not too time consuming. The pencil design will intrigue them for sure and all the other teachers will want one, too. Stitching on cards is something my sewing group has done. This would be perfect for a really quick card.

  4. Hi Lori I am new to quilting! I have made plenty of samples, but not actually applied onto a small wall quilt, which I thought would be a starting point. Can you recommend a free motion quilting book that can take me through the process? Where to start and finish on the quilt. I have tried a few of your tutorials! And thank you for showing how to apply the task from start to finish. You are one very talented lady!, Kind regards, Sandra

  5. Lori- have you ever seen or heard of the SewCalGal Free Motion Quilting Challenges? You could teach one of those!

  6. Glad to see my Jaunt mail resume…none came in on Monday…Was there a sabbatical and I forgot to sign up? LOL…24 hours without Inbox Jaunt is like a day without..uh…creative sustenance !

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