Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ruler Work Friendly Classes and a Craftsy Sale

Happy weekend! One of the things I love about ruler work and my Craftsy class on it, is that there are other Craftsy classes (and their wonderful techniques) that are made easier for domestic/sit-down quilters when you know how to use rulers to guide your free motion quilting.

My favorite classes for incorporating ruler work on Craftsy are Kim Brunner's Machine Quilting with Templates, Creating Design Perfection and Dot to Dot Quilting with Angela Walters which aren't included in this weekend's sale, but Leah Day's newest class, The Free Motion Effect; Machine Quilting Beautiful Borders, with Eva Larkin Hawkins; Free-Motion Quilting Essentials, with Christina Cameli, and more can be adapted to ruler work and are in this sale. Many of Angela Walters classes adapt well to ruler work too.

My class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home machine isn't included in this sale, but you can still get it with my discount link at $10 off the regular price. If you've already bought the class, I'd love if you'd leave a review on Craftsy for it. I know you love it from the comments I've been getting here, but as a new Craftsy Instructor, more reviews would be very helpful for those who don't know my work through this blog.

home machine quilting with rulers

Here's some of the ruler work I was able to get to yesterday and I hope to get more done today.

ruler work on a home machine

Don't miss Craftsy's sale this weekend on classes in the category, Quilting: Machine Quilting Motifs & Fillers!

The links above are affiliate links and help support the work of this site.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Video: Ruler Work Sampler

I was finally able to make quilting a priority today and stitched away on my ruler work sampler. This project has been fun, but I've been so busy with my Craftsy class, summer time fun with the kids, a trip to Janome Institute on behalf of my local Janome dealer, Sew Simple.

I've also been needing to shoot a new Youtube video. It seems like it's been ages since I did a new one. So I killed two birds with one stone and did some quilting on the sampler and then shot a video as I talked about it.

I'll try to get some actual stitching footage of this quilt, but it's difficult to quilt on a larger quilt with my camera between me and the machine. So today I share this video with you and in the next day or so I'll show you more pics of the process and maybe some ruler work on camera.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Word About Rulers

I am fielding all sorts of questions this week about rulers especially with my Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine, has come out. There's been an incredible response to the class and I'm nearly weeping with joy from all the wonderful feedback I'm getting.

This was a huge step outside my comfort zone. Those of you who watch my YouTube videos know that until my class was filmed, the only part of me that was in my videos were my hands.

Besides just introducing a lot of new people to ruler work, I have to admit that the information was not as helpful as it could be regarding specific rulers in the class. Part of this is because Craftsy doesn't want the materials list to read like a commercial. I don't blame them, nobody wants to pay for an infomercial. I wouldn't want that either.

Edited to add: To be clear, a list that includes the name and maker/brand of nearly every ruler used in the class is provided, just no links or specific shops where you can buy them. A simple web search by name of the ruler and maker/brand will give you a list of places where you can buy them. One student may prefer a different seller than another, especially when taking location into consideration.

The other part is because of some last minute changes due to time constraints and hilariously enough, my male studio crew confirmed for me that one of my rulers did look too much like a certain bit of anatomy and a replacement had to be found. The their awkwardly smiling faces were answer enough when I held it up and asked if it reminded them of something.

These guys were great to work with.

I had ordered a different ruler to replace it ahead of time as I had an inkling that it would be an issue. But when the new ruler came in, something was off. It had a cut out for stitch in the ditch that was supposed to line up the markings and it had been cut too deeply. I wondered if the maker had developed it for a different sized ruler foot, but when I compared it to another ruler by the same manufacturer, it was clear that it was a flaw.

Whoops! Something cut past the line.

An email was sent out and I am happy to report that not only did I get a very prompt reply, the company was fairly mortified that they had this issue. They quickly sent me a replacement and told me that they were taking steps with their distributor to make sure the issue was caught before rulers were sent out.

I had ordered another ruler recently that made several sizes of half circles. When it came, I found that the smallest size had been cut wrong and it made a half oval instead. Again I contacted the company (a different one) and they got me a replacement in a hurry.

This one didn't get cut enough.

Nobody likes to get a faulty product, but if you look at the picture below, you can see how difficult it could be to catch an occasional problem with a heap of acrylic! In both cases, the sellers made things right in a hurry and I was pleased. I'm not going to name names, though if you are so inclined, you could probably figure out which rulers and makers these are, but I feel like they have good products, and they will be more vigilant after having these issues. Both worked hard to make things right.

My mess of rulers.

There is quite a bit of variation in quality of rulers out there and I'm doing my best to check them out. In fact that's the inspiration behind opening my own online shop for the rulers I use as well as other tools that help me with my quilting adventures. There isn't any one place where you can buy a wide variety of rulers where the people know and understand the use of these rulers. Individual makers of these rulers and templates usually know their product well, but only sell their own range of product. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I try hard to honestly review the products I show here and I want to offer my favorite rulers and tools in my new shop and that covers several sources.

One attempt to organize my rulers. These clips work great.

So the three things I want you to take away from reading this post is that:

  1. I will work on getting a more detailed list of the rulers I use for the Craftsy class.
  2. If you happen to get an inaccurately cut ruler, make sure to contact the maker/seller and I am confident they will make it right.
  3. I will be opening an online shop in the next two weeks, offering my tried and true favorite rulers and more at Amy's Quilting Adventures This will allow my students to buy a variety of rulers in one convenient spot.

On top of all that, I want to say again how tickled I am at the response to this class! Thank you so much! Leah Day even did a nice Q&A of me on her site yesterday and she emailed,  "Congratulations on an awesome class! I've watched the first two lessons and I'm really enjoying it. You did a great job!" Another blog follower, Diana, aka "Quilt, Laugh, Love" commented,"I binge watched the entire course last night - I just couldn't stop! And my first ruler arrived yesterday (combo straight and curve). I can't wait to practice tonight. Great class Amy!" I am binge-watching worthy! Yay, me! (I will try to not let it go to my head, I promise.)

Thanks so much for all the encouragement, congratulations, and letting others know how much you like this technique and class. If you haven't registered for the class yet, you can still get the class for 25% off the regular price by clicking this link: Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine. If you've already bought the class, I'd love if you'd leave a review on Craftsy for it. I know you love it from the comments I've been getting here, but as a new Craftsy Instructor, more reviews would be very helpful for those who don't know my work through this blog.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Available Now! Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine

I'm so excited to tell you that my Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine, is now available! It is the direct result of nearly 6 months of hard work plus the indirect result of several years of quilting, experimenting, and blogging.

free motion quilting with rulers class

There was a lot of sample making, step outs (projects that were partially done to move the teaching process along), a whole extra set of pieces made for rehearsal purposes, and a ton of writing and re-writing.

Some cross hatching variations in triangles. The ruler on the left was used for some of them, but the other ruler is for a completely different design, a dahlia.

There were tears and doubts too. Could I actually do this? Keep in mind that while my Youtube videos have well received, the only part of me on screen had been my hands.

Free Motion Quilting- Amy Johnson- ruler work class with Craftsy

It was so far out of my comfort zone, but you don't grow unless you push beyond what you've already done. So I pushed myself and I am really proud of the result. It feels strange to say it, but I'm proud of my work. Those who know me, know that I'm kind of self-deprecating (sometimes to an unhealthy level- but I'm working on it) so this is a big deal. I had a lot of encouragement from my husband and kids, some friends (especially the quilty ones), from the entire Craftsy team, and most of all, from my blog readers.

You may not realize it, but all Craftsy classes are shot over a very quick two and a half days after a lot of prep work done at home and via Skype, phone, and email. Then it goes through an extensive editing process. I didn't even get to see my class myself until a few days ago. I've decided that my biggest mistake was that I didn't smile enough.

You blog readers are especially important to this class. Over the last several years you have encouraged me with your complementary comments, your interest in my techniques, and your friendship. You've challenged me with your questions, helping me to become a better teacher. Without a decent blog following, I doubt there would even be a class.

So to thank you for your wonderful support, encouragement, and friendship, I am giving you a link that will take $10 off of my class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine. Feel free to share the link with your friends. You have to use the link just above to get the discount. If you go directly through Craftsy, their regular price will apply.

In the class, I teach about the importance of the ruler foot, discuss and show various types of rulers, and demonstrate several different ways of using rulers to guide your free motion quilting (this class applies to sewing machines and sit down long arm machines). I show samples, quilt on camera, and share variations of the designs. It's pretty thorough, but I feel like there's still so much I want to share of this technique!

You can see this video trailer in better quality on the Craftsy site!

Don't forget that through Craftsy's wonderful platform, you can ask me questions and I will answer them as well as other students may chime in, and you can post projects that you have done using the technique. Your class never expires and you can watch it as often as you like.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Craftsy News and a Newsletter

Hello, all you wonderful quilters! I am so stinking excited to let you know that I have recieved official word and my Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine will go live sometime this Monday, August 24th.

ruler work on a sewing machine craftsy class

To celebrate this class launch and to thank you for reading about my quilting adventures, leaving wonderful comments and encouraging me along the way, please sign up for my brand spanking new email newsletter on the right hand sidebar so I can let you know when the class is live and give you a discount code to get my class at a reduced price!

There will be no spam, I promise. Ever.

I am still at Janome Institute and learning a ton, so I don't have much time to devote to the blog as I'd like. I'll get back to a regular schedule Sunday so I can devote my focus to the blog and to my students via the Craftsy platform. I've got a few glitches to work out here and will get to them in the next few days: the newsletter doesn't seem to work for mobile devices and there's one other minor issue. The link you receive in your email to verify that you want to sign up will send you to a confirmation page that asks if you want to proceed to my site. The site it takes you to is my new site ( which is completely blank. No fear, the blog didn't disappear.