Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Choosing Longarm Rulers for Your Sewing Machine

 Since I had so much fun with the curved crosshatching, longarm style, I thought I'd pick up a few new rulers for more fun. If you haven't read my post on using rulers on your domestic sewing machine to do unmarked lines like the longarmers, check it out here.

Three Tips for Choosing Rulers for Free Motion Quilting:


  1. Choose a smaller size. The ruler needs to be small enough you can get your hand over it easily for most control. It should also be small enough to use to the right of the needle without hitting the machine body for the most versatility and less need to rotate your quilt.
  2. It should have very clear guide lines on it for lining up with the ditch, previous lines of stitching or block elements. The rulers I chose all have etched lines and in the picture I have yet to peel off the protective paper film on the rulers from The Quilter's Rule. They are actually clear.
  3. They should have multiple shapes for the most versatility. Ok, this is my cheapskate, low-clutter preference. But you can see in my photo above that I've got a wide variety of shapes from just 3 rulers. These things are ridiculously expensive so you should get the most bang for your buck.
Below is a little practice piece with my new rulers. I like them a lot. I found the slightly rude one (Can you figure out which one I am talking about?) to be a bit on the long side for using to the right of my needle in a horizontal orientation, but I wanted to get the longest straight line possible and still have good control. For crosshatching, I didn't want to have to keep sliding the ruler every 2 inches.

The jury is still out on the pink one. (Edited to add: No doubt about it, I do not like the pink ruler!) I'm not too crazy about following it's curvy lines, though it is an excellent design for modern quilts. But I do like the curves on either end. They are marked for the center line and are great for continuous curves. Though you can certainly practice and do CC free hand. I just might take this one somewhere and have it cut in half if I find I'm not using the wavy lines.

The third ruler has some great shapes but not much in the way of useful markings. I think I'll check out Quilter's Rule and see if they have more info on using this ruler.

I hope you are enjoying these posts as much as I am writing them. I'd love to hear from you or have you follow or link to my adventures. Next post will be about tips for using these rulers. It's so much fun!

3 comments:

  1. Amy, thank you for your posts on using rules on a domestic, sit-down machine. I don't have room for a longarm nor could I stand for the long period of time it takes to quilt on a longarm. I ordered a ruler foot for my Juki 2010 and two of the Fine Line rulers. Can't wait for them to come in and give it try! Susan

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  2. I have the two clear ones I just started using with my long arm. I am glad to know that I am not the only person who thought the same thing about the "special" one. :)

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  3. Amy, thanks to someone that directed me to your videos, using rulers on domestic machines, I purchased two rulers an the foot for my Janome 7700. I am in the process of quilting a Baptist fan on a child's quilt. This is my first attempt. It is going pretty well. ☺

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