Now, I wasn't too sure about choosing "using rulers" as the focus of one of our quilting adventures since not everybody has the ability to use the ruler toe from Janome. (Though most models of machine can use the Janome foot, you just need to match up the Convertible Free Motion Foot Set to your type of machine --high or low shank.) (Edited to add: There is a third party ruler foot maker- Westalee- who has feet that will fit on most machines.) This is one of the main focuses of my quilting work and this blog, and since I have a perfect give-away to go with this design focus, I decided to go forward with it.
If you find you can't use any of this month's techniques (though I'm hoping you will be able to use parts of it) be assured that next month's design focus has already been chosen and you will enjoy it, I promise! I also urge you to talk to your machine brand's dealers and teachers and tell them about this technique and convince them that there is a need for this foot! Because this really is an awesome foot and technique and they really don't want to see you switch to a Janome, do they? (Though I'd totally switch to a Janome to do this technique if I had to!)
|These were the first rulers I bought from www.accentsindesign.com|
|Carol at Accents in Design sent me some of the rulers I was missing from her line so now I have the full set of templates, 8 inch straight ruler and the two smaller continuous curves rulers.|
I slapped one onto my machine to verify this. These feet hop up and down so the foot doesn't move as smoothly down the ruler. (Above, it is in the up position, and below, the down position while stitching-- presser foot is down, don't confuse that) Leah Day has instructions to modify a hopping foot so it doesn't hop. And of course, the toe is much thinner, making it easy for the ruler to slip over the foot and under the needle, which would break the needle, and possibly throw the machine out of time.
You can raise the foot slightly so it hits the ruler at the middle of the thickness and that can help. Since the ruler is holding the fabric down, raising the foot higher shouldn't affect the stitch quality too much. Also, since the regular FMQ foot isn't evenly round, for the most even spacing of lines, you need to hold the ruler to one specific spot on the foot. There are other free motion feet that have a round toe and that would definitely be better than the oval foot above.
But it can be done! But seriously, if you can get the FMQ set and the ruler toe, get it. There's a Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilting Foot Set for Low Shank Models and a Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilting Foot Set for Memory Craft Embroidery Machines & High Shank Models. If you have an Elna or Kenmore machine, there's a good chance that either the high or low shank versions will fit on your machine. We have tried these feet on a Babylock in the shop without success, the foot fits the shaft, but the needle doesn't line up with the foot.
Bernina- With the proper adapter (77 or 75) the Janome foot might work. See this tutorial for the Janome ruler foot on a Bernina. There is a third party ruler foot maker- Westalee- that will work with the adapter shank. Ivory Spring has a good post about her experience with using rulers for crosshatching on her Bernina. She preferred the round, closed toe for free motion quilting with rulers on her machine, and found she did not like to use her stitch regulator with the rulers.
The ruler toe is packaged specifically for the 1600P so some dealers will say it can't be used on other Janome models. It fits perfectly on the high shank convertible FMQ foot set and I have been using it for 2 years, with the blessing of my local Janome dealer. The ruler toe fits on the low shank version of the convertible FMQ foot set also.[Note: the ruler toe comes packaged with only it and another 'toe' in the package -part #767-434-005. It is not the set that comes with the convertible foot set for the 1600P] Here's a link to one place you can buy the ruler toe.
Next week I will go into more detail about designs for ruler work and you can also see previous posts on ruler work by going to the tab above in my header.
But in the meantime, being able to use a ruler helps you quilt really straight lines much easier than free hand even when following a marked line. A straight ruler helps with stitch-in-the-ditch and the 1/4 inch echo of seams like I'm doing below.
You can do designs like the diamond design below. And then there's crosshatching, which is such a great design for traditional quilts.
Then there's my favorite, curved crosshatching! Love using this design whenever I can in various forms and shapes.
Here's a video on curved crosshatching:
And one even faster to see how I work my way across the area:
A semicircle makes egg-and-dart designs in a flash.
Tips on using the rulers:
- Choose a ruler big enough for your design, but not so big as to continually run into your machine while being used. Sometimes rotating the work and ruler is needed.
- Don't push too hard on your ruler or it will be hard to move the quilt smoothly.
- Some sort of non-slip on the belly of the ruler is vital!
- Resting a finger or two off of the ruler (with quilting gloves) and on the quilt works better than having all your fingers on the ruler and using it like a handle to move the quilt.
- Make sure the ruler is against the ruler toe at all times.
- When re-positioning the ruler, make sure there isn't a bit of extra quilt wrinkled up against the needle.
- If the ruler slips, don't re-position the part that's against the ruler, move the end you are working towards. This will make a smoother correction.
All of these designs above were done with Fine Line Rulers from www.accentsindesign.com They are the rulers with pegs for extra secure hand positioning and a great velcro hook tape on the underside to prevent the ruler from slipping. They also have good markings on the rulers, more on that in another week's post.
Accents in Design has graciously provided me with several more of of their rulers to supplement the rulers I had previously bought and I can't wait to use them to show more ruler work designs next week.
In addition, they are providing a set of the continuous curves rulers to one lucky participant of this month's series. So make sure to comment and/or link up to be entered in the giveaway!
Whew! That's a lot of material to cover in one post!I am sure there are questions, so ask them in the comments.
For the linky this week, post any ruler work you've done, if any. If you haven't done any, feel free to use a ruler to draw out any line based designs that you'd like to explore. You can use rotary cutting rulers for drawing. If you've written a post about wanting to do these types of designs, you can post that too!
If you've missed any of the Free Motion Monday posts, you can find them on the Free Motion Mondays page.
Some quick rules:
- Keep your post relevant to this quilt along please. Spammy posts will be deleted.
- Make sure you link up to the individual post, not your home page as nobody wants to have to search around for the post if they're a little late to the party.
- Link back to this post somewhere in your post. You've got to dance with the one who took you to the party, so make sure you link back.
- Don't be a wall-flower. (Talking to myself here too. In person I am so stinking shy!) Visit the other links and leave comments.
- Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply commenter, especially if you ask a question.
- Visit others who have linked up and be sociable!