Grid Pop-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Grid Pop, Pumpkin Free Motion Quilting


Good Morning, Quilters!  Welcome back to Tutorial Tuesday.  Today we have two tutorials in one…


To make a Grid Pop, start with the classic and beautiful Basket Weave.

The Basket Weave has been a perennial favorite among hand quilters and machine quilters alike.

It looks great behind any appliqué and fills in any background.

Grid Pop is more popular among machine quilters– you’ll see why once we get started.


Begin by drawing a grid.

For practice, a six-inch square is perfect.  (If your ruler is a bit bigger, go for that–make your life easy!)

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingBegin by drawing a square.  Then use a ruler to draw a diagonal line across the square.

(I love this 3-D Ruler purchased from an office supply store or drafting store.  It’s easy to grip.)

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingDraw one inch lines parallel to the first line across the square.  I like the Fons and Porter or SewLine mechanical pens and the Clover chalk wheel.  Frixion pens by Pilot are nice too.  (See Marking Pens)

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingRepeat the process in the opposite direction.

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingA diagonal one inch grid ready to stitch:

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingStart stitching on the center diagonal line.  Stitch right next to the line and  echo stitch back to the corner.

Next, stitch on the outer square to the next diagonal line and repeat the double row of lines.

Continue this way until the corner.

(NOTE-Because these lines are short, I decided to free motion quilt them.  You could use a straight stitch foot and sew the lines with feed dogs in the normal, UP position.)  I recommend you try one free motion quilting style and then make your decision based on the project…

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingContinue  across the top.   At the corner, switch directions and  stitch the perpendicular lines.

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingThe view from above:

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingContinue working around the square – filling in the double lines.

A Perfect Basket Weave!  

It’s gorgeous!  Stop here and your quilt will look great….OR….

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingGo for the GRID POP!

At the corner, stitch back and forth parallel to the top line to fill the 1/2 triangle on the side.

Continue down to the next triangle and repeat.

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingAt the bottom of the first row, stitch across one set of squares and begin filling in the first full row of squares.

Cut across the top and repeat until every other square is filled.

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingThis motif is one of my favorites–(Do I say that every week?)

The open squares just POP!  creating a stunning texture!

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingCLOSE UP:

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingThe Basket Weave (Upper Left)  and Grid Pop (Lower Right):

Grid Pop, Free Motion quiltingTomorrow:  The Rest of the Pumpkin, Oak Leaf, Acorn, and Grid Pop quilt…

Thursday:  Building a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting:  Episode Four

I’m off to my sewing machine-and hoping that you are, too!

Pop-py sewing to YOU,


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 share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!



33 thoughts on “Grid Pop-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. I’ve noticed you rely on your ruler and fabric marker to draw lines. What do you think of drawing your first line, sewing it, and then attaching and using a quilting guide instead. Wouldn’t that cut down on some work?

    Love your artistic expression and your willingness to share. Thank you!

      • I have tried that. It works, but it is not as accurate as drawing the lines. I use a double needle and a walking foot for stitching the interior lines. Gives you great accuracy.

  2. Lori- do you have any hints for “away from you” fmq, as in your basket tutorial above? Sewing towards me is ok, but then it’s so hard to see where I’m going as I sew backwards. I have a clear fmq foot but the shank still gets in the way. Any ideas? Also, I just used your oak leaf and acorn on a small border and it turned out great. Thanks for another fun to do design.

    • Hi Kate. Thanks for the great question. When sewing away you are somewhat blind. I stop at intervals and look around – behind- my sewing machine. Slowing down helps too but it is always a bit challenging.

  3. I’m finished with my practice piece and just love it!! It was great for me because I tend to move my fabric to fast when ‘traveling’ and this makes big stitches, so I was
    really able to concentrate on coordinating my hands and foot!! Think I’ll make another! Thanks a million for all the time to take to share your skills and help us build ours. ~karen

  4. Love this background fill and am eager to try it! Thanks!

    I struggle with finding the best speed of stitching – too fast and I get ahead of myself; too slow and I get that herky-jerkyness. I’d love to watch videos of you stitching the designs. Please consider producing a DVD with your tutes in motion – I’ll gladly buy it!

    Thanks! Quilt on!

    • Draw the grid lines all the way across the block skipping the area with the center motif. Stitch to the design and back to the outer border and continue all the way around just like in the samples here. Try it on paper first with a small design. I think if you see it on paper it will make sense–it’s very easy. If that doesn’t work…let me know and I will do another tutorial demonstrating.

  5. I just started free motion quilting and am hungry for GOOD tutorials. I found yours and all I can say is “YOU ROCK!” Thanks so much for your clear instructions and wonderful pictures. I’m loving it!

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