It is so nice to have such a positive response to our DVD called “Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter!” This is such a fun technique and it really can transform your quilting. I’m receiving a lot of questions about ruler feet. We are pretty much all in the same boat here, because very few machine manufacturers have come out with ruler feet, so we’re all looking to improvise. I really can only give advise about what I’ve tried myself, but we just posted a new YouTube video that shows how I was able to use 5 different ruler feet on my Brnina 830, and none of the 5 was designed to be used on the Bernina 830! I hope this gives some of you hope that you can find a foot that works because you probably can! I am personally quite fond of the Westalee feet now and found that I could use the low, medium, and high shank Westalee ruler feet on my 830. We have begun selling all 3 sizes in our online store and you can find them by clicking here.
Here’s the video on ruler feet for the Bernina 830:
It’s finally here! Our Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter is back from the replicators and ready for purchase in our online store, and hopefully, soon to be available from a quilt shop near you! The goal of this DVD is to teach you the mechanics of how to do ruler work as a sit-down quilter AND to teach you some free motion quilting design ideas/skills to fill in or complement that ruler work. The demos are done on several different home sewing machine makes/models as well as on an APQS George sit-down long-arm machine. I also demo with multiple ruler feet, so you’ll get an idea of what options are out there and what you might like about each type. You don’t need to be an expert free motion quilter to do ruler work, even a beginner free motion quilter can do this! You’ll feel a bit like a fish out of water when you first start working with rulers, but the learning curve on this is much, much faster than with regular free motion quilting. Honestly, this is just fun, fun, FUN!
If you’d like to watch a preview video clip of what’s covered on this DVD, here you go:
I was surprised by how few people actually guessed correctly about what the announcement was going to be, and it makes me wonder if we’ll even be able to sell any of this new DVD since so few people saw it coming! The winner of the announcement give- away was Donna, who entered the give away on 9/18/15. Congratulations, Donna!
I finally finished the quilting on this baby a few weeks ago. It began life as a simple Amish quilt but I think its personality has been transformed through quilting. I threw it together so I’d have something to mess around with in trying out some ruler work ideas and I love how it came out. It’s in warm colors and all my photos look a little different because they were all taken in different lighting, but know that these photos are all the same quilt!
I began by playing around with framing a trapuntoed feathered wreath in the center block. I drew a temporary circle around the wreath and then used that as my basis to create a ring of melon shapes with my Quilters Groove curve rulers that I later filled with “capsules.” I used the same Quilters Groove curve rulers to then create a framework of arches that sprang from that ring of melon shape:
And here, some of the fill-in work has occurred:
And here the center section is done:
I had no idea what I wanted to do in that narrowest border zone, so I left it blank as I forged ahead. I again used my Quilters Groove rulers to create the short arches in the middle border zone. Here, the arches have been filled with what I call “Aztec featherettes,” and then those Aztec featherettes have been hyperquilted:
When I first made those small arches, I was only thinking about them in one orientation. As I moved the quilt around during quilting, I realized that the opposite side had another type of “inverted arches” that was begging to be filled with featherettes as well. These are very easy to quickly stitch as a fill in design. Here’s a shot of how I set myself up to get some stitching done fast by marking a temporary soap line down the center of each arch:
…and here’s what they look like once they’re stitched out:
I thought about hyperquilting them as well but then decided they looked more interesting if they were left alone and therefore made a border design that wasn’t quite “expected.” Next up, I moved to the outermost border zone. This was wider so I knew I had enough space to make larger arches that could have multiple channels, some of which could be filled. The first step in doing this is creating all the channels within the arches along all 4 sides of the border, and I again made these arches with my Quilters Groove rulers as well:
Once that framework was up, it was time to start the fill-in work:
Again, my “system” for filling in a space with any kind of featherette is always to mark temporary soap lines that run vertically down the center of the empty space. (You can see that in the far left side of the above photo in the empty arches.) I find that line to be very helpful in not only centering the design, but also in keeping me working “on the perpendicular.” You can see that the corner featherettes are just a little bit different because the shape I was filling was different from the main border zone spaces:
I ended up filling the space between the arches with a basic traditional featherette and I was very torn about whether I should do this because it was not in keeping with the Aztec theme of the quilt. Once they were in, I was soooo glad I’d stitched them because they really looked great! I had not planned to quilt anything to fill the empty spaces within the centermost block, but once I’d stitched those featherettes around the outside edge, I realized that I’d have to fill in that area with stitching because it was too empty compared to all the dense quilting everywhere else. I don’t have a photo for this phase, but in the finished photo, I’m referring to the outermost featherettes in the outermost border and also to the “plumify it” background quilting in the center block:
The final thing I did was to fill that narrow, innermost border. I used my Line Tamer straight edge ruler for that (although any straight edge ruler would work). I started by creating a simple diamond border:
In the next round, I used the same color of thread and converted it to a double diamond border w/tapered edges, again using my Line Tamer ruler. (Sorry no picture of that.) I then swapped to a high contrast gold polyester thread (Floriani) and filled the diamonds with an Aztec diamond shape:
And in the last round of stitching, I swapped to another color of polyester thread and filled in the spaces between the diamonds with triangles:
In this photo, you can kind of get a sense of the differences between completely filled border (center section) and border only partially filled with just the simple diamond border (both sides):
It was so much fun to quilt this quilt and I’m kind of sad to see it all the way done because our time together is over, although I love how it came out at the end! Before I go, just a reminder to enter our giveaway by posting a comment to my previous post about a big announcement toward the end of the week. If you guess it correctly, you may win something very special and I’m paying the shipping, regardless of where in the world you live. To enter, click on this link because you need to post a comment to this particular blog post!