How to Free-motion Quilt a Car Motif and Book Giveaway

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars tutorial

Jump in your jalopy and let’s go for a ride!

Hello, quilters. I’m Lori Kennedy, author of 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting and there’s only one thing I like more than free-motion quilting on my BERNINA Q 20. I love long car rides-with lots of quilt shop stops!

The car motif is a great pattern to add to any quilt border. Once you learn the basic formula for the car, it’s easy to create race cars, jeeps, coupes or your favorite ride!

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step one

Begin by drawing a horizontal line. Start stitching above the line. Stitch the front hood of the car by stitching an angled line and a short horizontal line.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step two

Add a trapezoid shape, leaving a small gap on the left side.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step three

Closely echo stitch the left side of the trapezoid, stop in the middle of the top line.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step four

Stitch a vertical line down and back up again (to create the windows) and continue echo stitching the right side of the trapezoid.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step five

Stitch a short horizontal line to the right, then stitch an angled line down. Add a short horizontal line to complete the back trunk of the car.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step six

Add the wheel and bottom of the car by stitching a circle, a dash, another circle and another dash. Stitch the circles two or three times to create more definition.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step six

Stitch the bumper line from left to right by echo stitching the wheel line and tires. Stitch out of the back of the car to begin the next car on the road.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step eight

Change the shapes within the basic car formula to transform a jalopy into your own Formula One car—ready for racing!

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars, step nine

To stitch a more complex border, add a row trees and signs and include personal touches like your street or city name. Try the Cabin in the Woods tutorial at We All Sew HERE

Doodle! Before you begin stitching, doodle a few car variations. Doodling helps develop muscle memory for better stitching while you create new designs.

How to free-motion quilt vintage cars

For more motifs, tips and tricks join us at

Free-motion Quilting Book Giveaway

This contest is now close, thanks to all of our WeAllSew fans who entered! A big congrats to the winner, WeAllSew user @stitchmyheart!

One lucky WeAllSew reader will win a copy of Lori’s latest book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.

25 Days to Better Machine Quilting by BERNINA Ambassador Lori Kennedy

All you have to do is post a comment below and answer the question:

“What free-motion motif would you like to learn next?”

The the giveaway is open through Friday, May 29th.

The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. One comment per fan. Comment must be submitted to the blog by Friday, May 29, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to contact to claim the prize.

Good luck!

220 thoughts on “How to Free-motion Quilt a Car Motif and Book Giveaway

    1. I would love to be able to do some kind of gnome theme for a Christmas gnome wall quilt top I have ready to quilt. All of the designs are so fun!

    2. I’m so new at this it still scares me. I would love to win just to have additional resources at my fingertips to build me confidence that I am able to tackle a project. I think my 1st FMQ would be a row of simple flowers standing in grass.

    3. I would to see elves, fairies gnomes and magical things happening among the forest, mushrooms and flowers, You are so creative…I can only dream….

    4. I love how you showed that step by step! Can’t wait to try. Would you consider showing how to do a border of sunflowers? I’m fairly new to this so it might be too simple but it would be pretty.

    5. I am still a newbie and I have difficulty just trying to decide what quilting pattern would compliment the quilt top. I need something simple but pretty.

    6. Dogwood blossoms. There was a beautiful pink dogwood in our front yard when my children were growing up. My son called it “my climbing tree.” My daughter and her best friend played with their dolls on a quilt under it in the summer time.

    7. Hi Lori,
      Read your blog all the time & love to see all the motifs, & how you make them so easily!!
      I would love to see motifs of pigs, Scottie dogs, & elephants, as well as various types of birds!
      Always look forward to the next email!

    8. Dear Lori,
      I have to learn everything from the beginning. I’m quite afraid to begin, so this book would be more than welcome. Thank you also for this nice sharing.
      Have all of you a nice day and take care,

    9. I love all of your images but have not seen a lighthouse yet… that would be great for a seascape! I have all of your books but could always use another. thanks Lori for all you do and your ideas. Hope I win!

    10. I’m new at this!!! So I would love to have your book🤗. I have a granddaughter so I would love to see anything related to princess, dinosaurs, or monsters! She’s allover the board. A pretty tomboy!

    11. I would love a sweet pea, a cute little baby dragon, and/or a great blue heron. If I win the give-away, please draw someone else, as I have already pre-ordered the book. I use Lori’s motifs and doodling practice suggestions all the time!

    12. I love your website and all your easy to follow motif directions. Just finished a project and looked high and low for a fireworks design. Thanks for sharing, love silent Sunday.

    13. I am finishing a collage beetle, and would love to figure out how to quilt beetles around the border. Thank you for such helpful and whimsical quilting designs.

      Jan Quick

    14. I am finishing a collage beetle. I would love to find a design to quilt beetles around the outer border. Thank you for your interesting and whimsical designs.

    15. I would absolutely love to learn any of your techniques! I have a beautiful ocean panel with lots of creatures, coral and sea grasses, with log cabin border that I am making for our son who loves the ocean.. I would love to learn nautical creatures, waves and bubbles… I think it would be sooo beautiful quilted with them.

  1. I love all kinds of fonts. I want to learn how to make a couple of nice alphabets, maybe one swirly one and one boxy one. That’s a lot to ask, I know!!!

  2. I am all about the tropics. How about palm trees, hibiscus flowers, tropical leaves, pineapples, beach umbrellas, lounge chairs, and/or pina coladas? Any or all would be great to learn. Thanks!

  3. I’m working on improving my FMQ of rounded shapes – i.e. pebbles and orange peels. Practice, practice, practice!

    Your book looks great.

  4. I love the cars! I would like to learn to free motion flamingos. Making a flamingo quilt for my granddaughter and think it would be awesome to put some flamingos in the quilting.

  5. I would love to be able to finish my quilt with butterflies. I also have several western themed items that could use horseshoes, boots, saddle, etc. I have a daughter-in-law who loves fleur-de-lis. But I have a long way to go.

  6. I would like to be able to do one of the rectangles of different sizes and spare lines here and there that I see for fillers or over all on some of the modern quilts.

  7. I just want to use the free motion BSR on my quilts! I have tried, but just don’t seem relaxed enough or something. I would love to do meandering or stippling with ease. Love my Bernina!!

  8. I’d like to learn how to free motion a village street, maybe a small-town downtown or a residential street with perhaps a bike, a stroller and a swing.

  9. I love the cars. I would like to free motion bees. i have made a bee quilt and want to make another in addition to a quilted pillow.

  10. Almost anything because I’ve only begun to try free motion using boxes and circles and occasionally triangles, and not all that successfully at times, lol!

  11. It’s so much fun to see how you develop a design with the step by step pictures. Wonderful! I am fairly new, so really all of it is fun to learn. Thank you!

  12. There are so many motifs I’d love to learn, but for would be anything with “sharp angles”…triangles, squares, anything…mine always end up being rounded.

  13. Butterflies, angels, roses, dinosaurs, insects (cute ones, not icky) and autumn leaves! Sorry, I got carried away. 🙂 Lori, your book looks fantastic!

  14. I am also new/newer. I need hand/eye coordination and control of the machine! But another poster said FMQ horses and I think that would be awesome, too! Western quilts need horses, not just boots and stars!

  15. I’ve always felt alittle intimidated trying to do free motion quilting. I would love to master this skill as it looks so wonderful when someone else has done it. I’m not able to join a sewing circle so learning on my own is how I handle learning a skill.

  16. I would love to learn a crown or wand type of motif for a princess quilt. (I’d also love to be able to FMQ smooth curves, but that’s probably just practice).

  17. I would like to see a garden done in free motion. I am trying to expand my free motion quilting so your instructions are wonderful. Thank you.

  18. How wonderful to see a book that could help me to learn how to machine quilt. It looks very interesting. I would like to learn how to do BUTTERFLIES AND HEARTS, I love BUTTERFLIES & HEARTS!!

  19. I so want to be good at free motion quilting. Your instructions are so clear and I think they would help me to be confident enough to actually try it out.

  20. I’ve never done freemotion quilting, nor any machine quilting successfully. So as an absolute beginner, I’m most interested in simple motifs.

  21. I’m a newbie to Bernina & fell in love with the 570QE Tula Pink. I have so much to learn, but I’ll be making a quilt for my grandson’s 3rd birthday this year. I would like to use the BSR to do the quilting myself having never quilted before. Oh my! My daughter would like triangles, so boy motifs with triangle fabric pieces. Thanks

  22. Love all the quilting design motifs. I would love to see a beach scene for the summer. That would make a nice quilting motif. Something with ocean, sand, people on the beach & maybe a pier.

  23. Modern day camper and camping scene (e.g. mountains, lake, canoe, elk, buffalo, etc.). I’d love to see this motif where it would be a continuous pattern so wouldn’t have to break thread. 🙂

  24. I am excited to get back to quilting after a 3 year break. I would like to learn machine feathers as I have only done them in hand stitching before. Thank you for the opportunity to learn.

  25. I love all of your motifs and instructions. I love your first 2 books, so full of knowledge and great step by step instruction.
    I would love to see a bicycle free motion motif. Thank you and keep up the wonderful lessons.

  26. I’m so new to the BSR, I approach it with trepidation. I’m willing to try anything, but I wonder if a downhill skier or an otter is possible.

  27. I have been following your blog and trying to muster up enough courage to begin free motion quilting. I would love to be able to do feathers, flamingos, flowers, butterflies, birds. I need to try everything. Thank you so much for your giveaway.

  28. I am a brand new owner of a B770QE. I am so eager to quilt all sorts of designs. I would love to have this book in my arsenal because I am so very green at free-motion quilting but so excited to start learning and practicing all possibilities. I follow Lori’s website faithfully. I am amazed.

  29. I’d love to learn how to quilt a free motion flower with leaves, maybe a clematis, a poinsettia, or a sunflower, something big and fun.

  30. Great to see new helpful books for FMQ. Would be great to see something patriotic for the 4th we could use such as a flag and stars.

  31. I have a military quilt I need to self quilt around the outside. Would love to learn to do this so I can finish this quilt. Also would like to do a musical quilt with several kinds of notes and piano keys on it. Never have done anything like this before and am sure your book would be of great help.

  32. I love your motifs, Laurie and I’d like to learn any of them to proficiency!!! LOL I know: lots of practice…and I’m getting better, slooooowlyyy! I would really love to learn things like ribbon candy, fish bones/figure 8s, feathers…designs that are flowing and smooth. I have such a time with those; mine are so herky jerky and all over the place.

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