Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Matchstick Quilting- Free Motion Ruler Work

I'm working on a sampler of ruler work designs for a class I'm developing. Matchstick quilting isn't something I've used much, but I have seen the design used to great effect on others' quilts.

Free motion quilting with rulers Matchsticks

This is not something you want to do from one side to the other in one fell swoop. If you did, things would creep and slide. Subdivide and conquer. (Somehow I got turned around in my moving from one side to the other.)

Matchstick free motion quilting using a ruler on a stationary machine

I'm not too fond of this feather, but the matchstick quilting looks great next to it. This type of quilting does build up quite a bit of thread in the 'ditch'. If this was on an actual quilt, I'd make sure to use a very fine thread.

Free motion quilting Matchstick design detail

In the above picture, you can see two different densities. Near the top right hand corner, I subdivided the 1/4 inch lines with two more lines. The rest of the piece I stitched 3 lines between the 1/4 inch lines and it was actually easier and more uniform to make those divisions.

Matchstick fill around free motion feathers

This type of free motion ruler work is slower than doing a nice dense free form fill, but you develop a rhythm as you go. It isn't as difficult as you'd think to quilt these 1/16th inch lines. It does give a nice effect.

Have you ever given this design a try? You should, if you like using dense fills.

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful work...I am looking forward to giving it a try as soon as I can get my hands on the new Bernina foot!
    Thanks for sharing your process. Much appreciated.

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    1. You’re quite welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  2. It's striking! I've purchased a ruler foot for my Janome and two rulers, so can't wait to give them a try, I'll be away from my machine for about three more weeks,. Thanks for the encouragement.,

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    1. Thanks. You are going to love using that foot and rulers!

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  3. oh wow.....great effect!!! I'm rally new to ruler work, but will definitely try this.

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    1. Marjorie, it’s a lot easier than it looks. Really! And great practice for getting comfortable with rulers.

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  4. Love how this looks! I'll have to try it sometime. I'm trying to get more comfortable with rulers.

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  5. It's interesting to see the effects of the different widths, Amy. I've tried this without a ruler but am keen to do it with a ruler now!!

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  6. I just did a small amount of matchstick FMQ w/o a ruler and was pleased with the effect. I used it around the center of a SnS block and it gave a trapunto effect. Tell more about the ruler class please, Amy. Will this be an online class?

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    1. Matchstick quilting is great for ‘popping’ a design and it can definitely be done without a ruler, and probably faster. With a ruler though, it is so much more straight.

      An online class would be awesome, but right now I’m just working on samples and the order of a future class. One of these days, I’ll have to see about having a class at a show or in a much larger city. Maybe Raleigh NC as it’s only 2 hours away.

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  7. Matchstick quilting is on my to do list..I've only seen it done with a walking foot but that has limitations that are solved with a ruler and FM foot. Thanks!

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    1. Doing this with a walking foot would drive me batty! It can be done with FMQ without a ruler, but the ruler makes it very nice and uniform.

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  8. This type of quilting is great to pop designs. I'd consider very thin threads and probably even a closely matching color, as these will limit how much overtracing is seen.

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    1. This was for a sample in which I want the lines of stitching to be easily seen, but I am looking forward to using this design in an actual piece with matching thread. Maybe some silk or Invisifil.

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  9. I picked up a Westelee ruler set and foot @ MQX for my Bernina 730. First test worked well now all I need is practice.
    A tip from one of the longarm quilters was to add rubber cement to the back of the ruler to prevent slippage.
    Keep those tutorials coming.

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