How to Free-motion Quilt a Dinosaur Motif

How to Free-motion Quilt Dinosaurs

Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratop . . . What’s YOUR favorite dinosaur? These amazing reptiles fascinate young and old alike and are a great pattern to embellish your quilt blocks and borders.

BERNINA Gripper Rings

I’m Lori Kennedy of and I love machine quilting on my BERNINA 770QE and my Q20 sit-down long arm. One of the questions I am frequently asked is why I don’t wear quilting gloves. While I know many quilters love quilting gloves, I prefer to quilt bare handed. Most often, I can control the quilt without any aid. However, when I do need extra control, I prefer hoops like BERNINA’s gripper rings. The gripper rings come in two sizes and unlike embroidery hoops, they rest on top of the quilt. The undersurface is rubberized to create grip. If you’re not a fan of quilting gloves try the gripper rings!

How to Quilt a Dinosaur

I have five grandsons who all love dinosaurs! Dinosaurs come in all shapes (just one size—huge!) Once you learn the basic pattern, create your own dinosaurs by extending the legs or shortening the neck and tail. Add a few palm trees and plants to fill a quilt block and your quilt will become an instant favorite!

How to Free-motion Quilt Dinosaurs, step two

Begin by stitching a large scallop with a tapered edge to create a tail.

How to Free-motion Quilt Dinosaurs, step three

Working from right to left, stitch a straight line then add two rectangular shapes to create short dinosaur legs.

Stitch a vertical curved line to create the dinosaur’s long neck.

How to Free-motion Quilt Dinosaurs, step four

Add a squared shape to create the dinosaur’s head.

How to Free-motion Quilt Dinosaurs, step five

Stitch a messy spiral for the eye.

How to Free-motion Quilt Dinosaurs, step seven

Complete the neck by stitching a wavy line down to the dinosaur body.

Add scallops to create the scales on the dinosaur’s back.

How to Free-motion Quilt Dinosaurs, step eight

Stitch scallops or triple scallops all the way to the end of the tail. To begin another dinosaur, stitch a horizontal line and continue with the large tapered scallop as above.


Create your own dinosaurs by changing the proportions of any of the above steps and personalize the scales for even more fun!

Pro Tip—Doodle your dinosaurs for 5-10 minutes before quilting. Doodling improves muscle memory for smoother stitching—and who knows, you might discover a “new” dinosaur!

For more quilting tips, lessons and projects, check out my new book, 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting!

Print this page

What you might also like

Leave a Reply