You know how sometimes when working on a problem, you need fresh eyes? You just can't figure it out until you look at it with a new perspective? Well, that's happened today with ruler work.
I've been trying to figure out how those of you who want to do ruler work, but don't have a proper ruler toe, can fit a ruler toe to your various machines. But I have the ruler toe, so I haven't been playing around with the usual free motion feet that are out there. I haven't been thinking about what I would do if I had no ruler toe. I have been very careful to not be overly encouraging of using your regular free motion foot with a ruler for fear of the ruler slipping under or over the foot and causing damage to your machine and needle.
While surfing Pinterest, I found Marelize Ries from Stitch By Stitch. She's figured it out! Turns out she had won a set of Fine Line Rulers from Linda at Flourishing Palms. Marelize doesn't have a ruler foot, but that didn't stop her. The smart cookie figured out that she could use the ruler on the right side of her free motion quilting foot and run it along the shaft of the foot, not the actual ring around the needle. (Click on the first link above to go to her site and see how she's using it. She's using a Bernina. Visit Linda too! Great quilting goodness at both sites.)
|I'm running the ruler along the acrylic base at the bottom of the shaft of this generic hopping style foot.|
This is fabulous! I'm kicking myself for not thinking of this. It's much safer than running the foot along the thin rim of a regular free motion foot. I gave it a whirl under my open toe hopping foot and while it got hung up with some of the hops, it certainly was in no danger of breaking a needle or taking out the timing of my machine. I found that slightly rocking the ruler by merit of the resistance strip down the middle away from the foot helped (pressing down more on the right side of the ruler).
|Here you can see it more clearly with the needle up.|
This positioning certainly does have some limitations, especially in being able to move the ruler around the foot as needed and is harder to judge spacing and alignment. You certainly can't use the Top Anchor rotating rulers with this method, but it should work well for simple ruler work designs.
I am so happy to share with you yet another way to use rulers with free motion quilting. Many thanks to Marelize!