I grabbed a sample piece left over from one of my classes to play on and marked off some different lines and shapes. I used a great stencil from www.quiltingstencils.com. One half has lines spaced one inch apart while the other has a radiating set of lines for marking the center, sides, and corners of a square. If you like this stencil, it will be an important part of June's Free Motion Monday series, when we focus on grid based designs and have a giveaway of a few stencils like these!
First I did a simple diamond border or sashing design:
Then I filled in the sides of the design to make the center diamonds pop! I had referred to this design last week. Any dense fill could be used.
I made a few registration marks and then dressed up those diamonds! After that, I moved onto a sashiko-type design or pumpkin seed design using a circular shape over these two inch squares. I used the smallest Fine Line half circle. At 3.5 inches, it is perfect for making a 4 inch circle.
I started by doing a full circle with the half-circle template, flipping it over for the other side of the circle. But I found this to be unwieldy, as the ruler needed to rotate so much around the foot. Since this is a small sample piece, I could have rotated the piece around more so the ruler wouldn't need to move around the foot so much, but knowing that isn't an option when working on a bigger piece, I didn't do that. Instead, I used the etched cross-hair markings to line up with the lines that created my squares and did the quarter circle arcs across the squares corner to corner, moving from square to square.
I think that this design demonstrates that there's definitely a difference between the designs that are better suited to ruler work on a domestic machine and those on a long arm quilting system. With more clearance around the foot and visibility, the sit-down long arms might be able to handle a circular template easier than a sewing machine. For this reason, I will definitely say I don't really recommend a full circle ruler or even the half-ellipse if the thought is you'll use the full shape to stitch around in one motion. Smaller circle sets might still be good for arcs though.
Next I used the same half circle template to stitch continuous curves (CC) along the sides of these 2 inch squares. I could have used the smallest size of continuous curve ruler I have from Accents in Design for this too. This is a great design for areas with lots of squares.
Then I moved on to straight crosshatching around this flower applique. I thought it would be good to show how to stitch crosshatching around an applique since it's such a great traditional fill around applique. I shot a (long) video of this:
Here's the finished crosshatching.
Finally, I did some curved crosshatching. I am loving curved crosshatching and did this sample with the 10 inch continuous curve ruler. I did a variation on the CCX too, which was a first for me.
I an really enjoying the challenge of working on these designs with and for you. I know many of you now have rulers and ruler toes (or an alternative for your machine) so I hope to see some of your work too!
Several folks have asked for which 2 rulers I would recommend if you could only get 2 and I'd say the 8 inch straight ruler and the 10 inch continuous curve ruler.
I am so sorry to not have some ruler toe alternatives for some brands of machines. I'm a Janome girl and my experience is very limited with other machines. That being said, you can still use your free motion foot for ruler work with great care, and in the meantime, if none of my alternatives given in last weeks post work for you, contact your dealers and make sure they know that there's a demand for such a toe!
If you've missed any of the Free Motion Monday posts, you can find them on the Free Motion Mondays page.
Here's the guidelines for the link party:
For the linky this week, link up a post of 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!
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.
- Reciprocate! 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, be sociable, 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.
Don't forget to bookmark this blog, follow, or sign it up in your favorite feed reader. Like the facebook page (I do post some short things on it pretty regularly), or even check out my Pinterest boards. I've even got a pin board for quilting with rulers. I'll be visiting you too!