Woodgrain-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting


Good Morning, Quilters and Quilt-Lovers!

Today’s tutorial:  Woodgrain is a motif I saw while reviewing a book for Molly Hanson of SewWrongSewRight.

Molly’s book, Free Motion Quilting for Beginners (and those who think they can’t) will be released very soon.

(Later this week we will review Molly’s book and ONE LUCKY READER of The Inbox Jaunt will win an e-book version of Molly’s book!)


Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting

Begin by drawing a few straight lines.  The lines will serve as a reference to keep motif relatively straight.

Start at the bottom of the quilt and stitch a wavy line.  Echo stitch back down.

Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting


Stitch another wavy line, shorter or longer than the previous line of stitching.  Echo back to the bottom.

NOTE:  Avoid ending the wavy lines at the same height.  This looks unnatural.

Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting

After adding several lines add a “knot”.  Instead of echo quilting, add a pointy spiral.

Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting

Spiral in, then spiral out again.

Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting

After stitch the spiral, stitch to the bottom line and begin adding echo lines again.   Continue this way from left to right until the width of the quilt is stitched.

Then begin stitching back to fill in the area above the first set of stitches.

Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting

Woodgrain, Free Motion Quilting

This is a very forgiving motif.  The lines are very irregular and mistakes are easily hidden-just like in nature.


I have a project I stitched with Wood grain that was inspired by a project in Molly Hanson’s new book.

A book review and a GIVEAWAY.

Another busy week…

Lori the Lumberjack,

PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share, Pin or re-blog with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!



46 thoughts on “Woodgrain-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. Hello Lori,

    I send you a few mails but i think you did not receive them??? I send also an email with a picture of my first free motion quilt to your email adress.

    Did you already have time and inspiration for my fire fly question?

    If not i use the stars tutorial and otherwise a wait a little bit..
    Thank you very mutch.


    • Hi Sarah,
      I did send you a response…I thought? Sorry. I love your darling quilt…Beautiful!
      Unfortunately, I’m not sure when I will be able to do the fire fly tutorial. It may be several weeks. (Lots of family time right now.) I would not wait for it…Or better yet…see if YOU can modify the bee to become a fire fly and show US how YOU did it!?

  2. I love this motif! It looks like something even I could do! Thank you for posting these tutorials. You make them all look so easy.

  3. Everytime you post something like this I wonder why I didn’t think of that!!! I used to draw and paint wood grain all the time for years! with my tole painting. I love it! Then I sit and stare at a piece of fabric and draw a blank on what design to quilt. I searched through your designs yesterday for ideas again. But ya know once I started sewing ideas started popping in my head…I was trying to see if I could make a rope design and it didn’t look like rope at all…lol…I squiggled to much and then the light bulb clicked on and I could see it looked just like barbed wire!! so added a few barbs and waalaa!!!!!!! My Mom loves barbed wire stuff so that was perfect. Sometimes the best way to begin is to begin!!! 🙂
    I will use the wood grain a lot…it’s so pretty. Thanks!!

    • Ness,
      I would love to see a picture of your barbwire. I just had an quilt-completed by a friend, she had coils of rope around certain blocks. If you are interested in seeing a picture please send by your email address to tas@acornmanagement.us. Happy Stitiching-Terrie

      • Me, too, Ness … being a SD rancher I would be interested in seeing your inspired wire accident ;). Like you, when I see someone else doing it, it clicks and I wonder why I hadn’t thought of it. I was working out a chicken wire design on paper the other day – haven’t taken it to fabric yet. Because of the very geometric shape and having to keep the size consistent, I am still figuring out the most efficient placement of the guide rails. I want to see that coiled rope, too.

      • Terrie I would love to see the rope..will email. I will try to do a neater version of the wire to show you. It was easy. Just down my alley too…the more you wiggle the better. And Holly I grew up on a SD farm/ranch! We had both beef cattle and a dairy. Where are you? I’m just across the border in WY now. Ness swedie61@gmail.com

  4. Lori,
    Perfect timing of the “Wood” design. I am making a hunting quilt top for my grandson, this wood (no pun intended HEHEHE) be great for me to use. I enjoy your inspirations and visions everyday.

    I am not sure how to post a picture to your blog. Please advise.

    So thankful-Terrie

  5. Perfect timing, I just started a “bookcase quilt” for a friend and this will be perfect place to start learning to “quilt” as so far I am a “piecer”. I love to do artful piecing but for some reason the quilting part scares me to death. Maybe it’s just old age LOL but I think you can teach an old dog new tricks. You have a “gift” for teaching, so glad I found your blog….

  6. You just make this fmq thing look so easy. I will definitely be trying the wood grain look. Thank you for all of your great ideas!

  7. This one is great – I love it. I live in a California county known for its logging industry/history. Thank you. Also, I recently finished quilting a queen size quilt using 2 more of your motifs – the forgiving flower and the open leaf. I also used a bit of echo quilting and the “e” “l” to round everything out. I have used your motifs in the last 4 quilts I have quilted and all I can say is THANK YOU! I especially appreciate your Saturday and Sunday posts. 🙂

  8. Dear Lori,
    I absolutely love your FMQ designs! Everyday you inspire me with a fantastic new idea. I know that you have intended your sharing of FMQ designs to be given free, but I wish that there was some way to keep a reference of your creations. Have you ever considered a book or binder of your wonderful sewing!?
    Your Saturday series makes me feel that I am happily taking a college class on important artists!
    Thank you,

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  10. Just tried the woodgrain…I love it!! I don’t have a stitch regulator, so I need a little free motion practice, but the project that I will use it on sits right here…so I’m going to jump right in!! Thanks for all of your great designs~

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  12. first time visitor ….loved your woodgraining, never would have thought of that. Think I’ll be following and waiting for your book.

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  14. Thank you for this tutorial. This is perfect for a current quilt I am working on. It has wooden doors and I could not figure out how to sew/draw this on to them. Thank you again.

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