The EASY Greek Key-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Greek Key, FMQ, LKennedy, The Inbox JauntGood Morning, Quilters!

It was a very, very exciting Labor Day weekend here and I have some good news to share later this week…In the mean time, I hope YOU enjoyed the last hurrah of Summer!

Several weeks ago, I asked YOU to pick your favorite Tuesday Tutorial.  I was surprised to find that NO ONE chose MY favorite, The Greek Key.  I think it may have been too complicated.  Today, I offer you an EASY Greek Key tutorial and I’m sure more of you will add it to your “favorites” list.

The Greek Key is a motif found in art, architecture, fashion and garden design and dates back to ancient history.

Today’s motif maintains the classic look, and is easy to stitch.


Begin by drawing two parallel lines. This motif can be very narrow or very wide.  In the tutorial below, the lines are one inch apart.

Begin stitching on the bottom line.

Stitch straight up to the top line.

Stitch straight across the top line.

Stitch straight down, stopping above the bottom line.

Stitch over two or three stitches, then stitch straight back up, stopping below the top line.Greek Key, FMQ, LKennedy, The Inbox JauntStitch over four or five stitches.Greek Key, FMQ, LKennedy, The Inbox JauntStitch down to the bottom line.Greek Key, FMQ, LKennedy, The Inbox JauntStitch on the bottom line, underneath the first motif.  Stitch beyond the first motif to begin the next Greek Key.Greek Key, FMQ, LKennedy, The Inbox JauntContinue stitching several motifs in a row.EasyGreekKey.LKennedy.FMQ004

Change the look of this motif, from square to more rectangular by adjusting the number the stitching on the top line.  (By shortening the stitching on the top line, the motif becomes more narrow and rectangular.)
Greek Key, FMQ, LKennedy, The Inbox JauntCreate interest by varying the rows.
Greek Key, FMQ, LKennedy, The Inbox JauntThe Easy Greek Key is the “squared off” version of The Paperclip.  To make learning The Greek Key even easier, try Paperclip first.  Once you have mastered the rhythm of the Paperclip, The Greek Key will be EASY!

Can’t wait to see what YOU make with this gorgeous border pattern!

Happy Stitching,


PS…To see the Paperclip doodle and stitched on video, see Divide and Conquer-Creative Quilting for Any Space (50% off HERE)

Craftsy, Lori Kennedy

PPS.  This motif was stitched on my BERNINA 770QE with Sulky 30 wt Rayon on top and Aurifil 50wt cotton in the bobbin.

PPPS.  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 re-blog, pin and share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

15 thoughts on “The EASY Greek Key-Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. Asking us to choose a favourite from your tutorials is as difficult as asking a book lover to choose their favourite book i.e. next to impossible.

  2. I just finished using your original Greek Key as a border design in a quilt for my son. I was so glad I found it in the archives as I knew you would have great instructions for making it. Thanks, Lori!

  3. Lori, I can’t choose a favorite! Too many to list! Maybe the spool of thread—- that is about where I decided I could do this free motion stuff after all. But I think that was more because that was the first one I was really happy with the way it was turning out. Love your Blog!

  4. I just quilted a border with the paper clip. after doodling several pages of them, I found it was pretty easy. I am so happy with how it turned out.

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  6. Quick question….how do you keep the width of each key so consistent? Height is easy with the marked lines. Do you mark the width? Eyeball it? Count stitches (yours are so even!!)? What’s your secret? Mine get bigger and bigger as I go ?

      • If I am having trouble , I add tick marks along the line using a ruler to mark the intervals. Often I can mark 10 or so and that gets me started and u don’t need to mark the rest. Mark ten stitch and then decide if you need to mark ten more.

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