Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Word About Rulers

I am fielding all sorts of questions this week about rulers especially with my Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine, has come out. There's been an incredible response to the class and I'm nearly weeping with joy from all the wonderful feedback I'm getting.

This was a huge step outside my comfort zone. Those of you who watch my YouTube videos know that until my class was filmed, the only part of me that was in my videos were my hands.

Besides just introducing a lot of new people to ruler work, I have to admit that the information was not as helpful as it could be regarding specific rulers in the class. Part of this is because Craftsy doesn't want the materials list to read like a commercial. I don't blame them, nobody wants to pay for an infomercial. I wouldn't want that either.

Edited to add: To be clear, a list that includes the name and maker/brand of nearly every ruler used in the class is provided, just no links or specific shops where you can buy them. A simple web search by name of the ruler and maker/brand will give you a list of places where you can buy them. One student may prefer a different seller than another, especially when taking location into consideration.

The other part is because of some last minute changes due to time constraints and hilariously enough, my male studio crew confirmed for me that one of my rulers did look too much like a certain bit of anatomy and a replacement had to be found. The their awkwardly smiling faces were answer enough when I held it up and asked if it reminded them of something.

These guys were great to work with.

I had ordered a different ruler to replace it ahead of time as I had an inkling that it would be an issue. But when the new ruler came in, something was off. It had a cut out for stitch in the ditch that was supposed to line up the markings and it had been cut too deeply. I wondered if the maker had developed it for a different sized ruler foot, but when I compared it to another ruler by the same manufacturer, it was clear that it was a flaw.

Whoops! Something cut past the line.

An email was sent out and I am happy to report that not only did I get a very prompt reply, the company was fairly mortified that they had this issue. They quickly sent me a replacement and told me that they were taking steps with their distributor to make sure the issue was caught before rulers were sent out.

I had ordered another ruler recently that made several sizes of half circles. When it came, I found that the smallest size had been cut wrong and it made a half oval instead. Again I contacted the company (a different one) and they got me a replacement in a hurry.

This one didn't get cut enough.

Nobody likes to get a faulty product, but if you look at the picture below, you can see how difficult it could be to catch an occasional problem with a heap of acrylic! In both cases, the sellers made things right in a hurry and I was pleased. I'm not going to name names, though if you are so inclined, you could probably figure out which rulers and makers these are, but I feel like they have good products, and they will be more vigilant after having these issues. Both worked hard to make things right.

My mess of rulers.

There is quite a bit of variation in quality of rulers out there and I'm doing my best to check them out. In fact that's the inspiration behind opening my own online shop for the rulers I use as well as other tools that help me with my quilting adventures. There isn't any one place where you can buy a wide variety of rulers where the people know and understand the use of these rulers. Individual makers of these rulers and templates usually know their product well, but only sell their own range of product. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I try hard to honestly review the products I show here and I want to offer my favorite rulers and tools in my new shop and that covers several sources.

One attempt to organize my rulers. These clips work great.

So the three things I want you to take away from reading this post is that:

  1. I will work on getting a more detailed list of the rulers I use for the Craftsy class.
  2. If you happen to get an inaccurately cut ruler, make sure to contact the maker/seller and I am confident they will make it right.
  3. I will be opening an online shop in the next two weeks, offering my tried and true favorite rulers and more at Amy's Quilting Adventures This will allow my students to buy a variety of rulers in one convenient spot.

On top of all that, I want to say again how tickled I am at the response to this class! Thank you so much! Leah Day even did a nice Q&A of me on her site yesterday and she emailed,  "Congratulations on an awesome class! I've watched the first two lessons and I'm really enjoying it. You did a great job!" Another blog follower, Diana, aka "Quilt, Laugh, Love" commented,"I binge watched the entire course last night - I just couldn't stop! And my first ruler arrived yesterday (combo straight and curve). I can't wait to practice tonight. Great class Amy!" I am binge-watching worthy! Yay, me! (I will try to not let it go to my head, I promise.)

Thanks so much for all the encouragement, congratulations, and letting others know how much you like this technique and class. If you haven't registered for the class yet, you can still get the class for 25% off the regular price by clicking this link: Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine. If you've already bought the class, I'd love if you'd leave a review on Craftsy for it. I know you love it from the comments I've been getting here, but as a new Craftsy Instructor, more reviews would be very helpful for those who don't know my work through this blog.

44 comments:

  1. Wow! You've been a great trouble-shooter for those ruler companies, AND for the hundreds of quilters who would have bought them and not known they were getting something made incorrectly. It's very telling about you as a person that you would go to all this effort to make it right with the manufacturer. And what a fabulous idea to open an online shop that's a one-stop place for domestic machine rulers! Brilliant! I hope you get off to a flying start and make heaps of money. :-)

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    1. That’s me! Ruler test pilot, stunt quilter extraordinaire. (Stunt quilting is what I call my quilting demos for other businesses at a show) As far as getting a resolution with the manufacturers, I’m too frugal to keep a hunk of acrylic that doesn’t work and with these two companies, I had to know if they would make it right or I wasn’t going to sell their products.

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  2. I just purchased the class earlier today and can't wait to watch it. Finding your blog about a year ago was like turning on a light switch. I had watched tons of videos of long armers using all these great rulers and felt green with envy. You showed me that us domestic machiners can do it too. Congrats on your class!

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    1. You sound like me a few years ago! So much fun. Thanks.

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  4. I, too, binge-watched your class. I know I should be practicing, but I need to get some piecing done so I can switch over to fmqing and then I can watch your class again. Ruler work is so exciting.

    August 27, 2015 at 2:54 AM

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging comment! Happy piecing until you quilt again.

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  5. Amy, you go above and beyond. Thanks a million. Love your class. I watch an episode each night before I tuck myself in. As soon as my current quilt is off the Janome, I'll be whipping out some practice sandwiches. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do a larger quilt, but small projects work for me. Have a great day!

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    1. I just try to do what I can. I'm glad it's helpful. You are so disciplined with your one class a night!

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  6. I'm so excited about your shop. It really fills a need for a place to buy rulers. And with your reviews and recommendations. Just awesome!

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  7. Aww come on Amy, you've gotta tell us which ruler you wanted to use but was x rated! I want one. 😀

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    1. Well, you can get a glimpse of it in this post: http://www.freemotionquiltingadventures.com/2015/05/ruler-work-on-domestic-sewing-machine.html

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  8. So glad to hear that you are opening an online shop for FMQ rulers. I have wanted to dip my toes in, but was very confused by the options. I will be waiting patiently(?) for it to appear.

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    1. Yes, when shopping for rulers you can end up buying one or two here, another there, etc and the shipping and time comparing across sites can be a real pain. You can imagine how I know!

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  9. Congrats and best of luck with the shop, too. Such a great idea - you will be a great resource!

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  10. I can't wait to see the class ad try the rulers. I think that this will make all the differece in my fmq. oe of the reasons i have hesitated is because I did not know where to get the rulers. now I do!

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  11. Awesome Amy, congratulations. While I am not ready to try rulers yet, I am a regular reader of your blog. I have learned numerous tips from you and expect I will learn many more. I think Craftsy made a huge mistake note providing a list of rulers and makers of them. The class is about quilting with rulers. Why would that sound like an infomercial. If I were taking the class I would need to get rulers. I would find that disappointing. So, that said, it is great to hear you will have a shop for them. When I find that I am ready to try, I will have a place to go for my rulers. Thanks again Amy.

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    1. Oh no! Please don't think there is no list. There certainly is! The name and maker of nearly every ruler used in the class (which includes more than the basic rulers you need to get started with ruler work) IS listed. But we don't include specific websites or links to them. A simple web search of the ruler name and maker will turn up a listing of shops where these are available.

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    2. Thank you for clearing that up for me. Good to know information will be available when I get to that point. I am so inspired by your work that I know I will try it someday soon. Thank you for your response.

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  12. I can't wait to see your ruler selection in your shop when it's up and running. I'm using a straight and a curved ruler you recommended on your blog a while back (accents in design) that make it sew easy to move the fabric while holding the neat handles. I need some new curves to try and can't wait to see what you recommend.

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    1. I'm excited about the shop too. I never wanted to open an online shop selling quilting things because it felt like there was no need to recreate the wheel. With offering rulers, I can provide a service by really knowing these products probably better across all the brands better than anyone else, and make recommendations for those who move the quilt instead of the machine.

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  13. Hi Amy! I am one of your fans and watch your YouTube videos and have enrolled in your Craftsy class. I am purchasing one small straight stitch ruler and some circle rulers to start small and practice, and practice, lol! You and your blog are so helpful and inspiring, I was thrilled to see you now on Craftsy, too! Like you, I also love Leah Day, and I look forward to shopping in your online store. Much gratitude to you for freely offering so much creativity and assistance to quilters. Best wishes to you and your family in all that you do.

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  14. Ive watched the first 3 chapters of your new Craftsy Class, and as expected it is awesome! We're going to be away from home for 2 weeks helping an elderly parent after surgery and I was just going to take my Featherweight to piece, but now I am thinking of packing up the 8900 and all my rulers to play with!

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    1. Now that is a compliment! That machine is heavy!

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  15. In the one pic it shows a baptist fan ruler that looked simple. I was wondering how you liked it...if it worked well. Thank you for your blog.

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    1. That is indeed a Baptist fan template, made by TopAnchor Quilting Tools. Their rulers are made for long arm machines and I have to say that particular ruler is the only real tricky one to use. It is made for the foot to move the template as the fan is made. Works great if you move your machine (quilt on frame) but much harder if you are moving the quilt.

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    2. Thanks, Amy. I do have a quilt frame and I still have learned so much from you.

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    3. Well, then you might want to give the Baptist fan from TopAnchor a try!

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  16. So great to hear how well your class is going and I am THRILLED at the thought of you having your FAV rulers available in your soon to be online store. Best wishes and thanks for all you do for our quilty community.

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  17. I usually avoid the classes that cost more than $20, I'm a cheapskate, what can I say? But I've been following your blog for a while, I bought some Westerlee rulers, and not used them a lot as I just don't know what to do to make the patterns come out right. Love your other youtube videos, so just had to join your class.
    Your shop sounds brilliant too!

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  18. Hello Amy, Thank you for the Craftsy class! I've only watched the first two lessons, and jumped over to your blog to see if your store is open. Can't wait to get some of the rulers you recommend. I've got fabric cut to sandwich, and also borrowed a friend's rulers. After finishing a binding, I'll be ready to practice and learn along with your lessons! AND thank you for the prompt answer to my question already posted on your class. You rock!

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    1. You are quite welcome and thanks right back at you. I wish I could get this shop going faster, but it's brand new to me and there's a bunch of linking, domain re-directing and other things that make my eyes cross. I'm hoping to have it up after the first or second week of September.

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  19. I am so excited about your class, Amy. I am almost finished with a "quick and easy" quilt top that just needs borders sewn on and I'm planning to sacrifice it to my very first attempt at ruler quilting! I bought the Westalee ruler foot for my Bernina along with their set of rulers for domestic machines, but haven't had a chance to play with them yet. I think it's great that you're going to be offering a full assortment of rulers in your online shop -- I'm sure I'll need to add more rulers to my collection as soon as I learn to use the ones I already have! As soon as I get those borders on my top and finish a skirt that's been languishing in the sewing room, I'm going to take your craftsy class, practice on some samples, and then attack that quilt with rulers come hell or high water!

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    1. Get those projects done girl! You're going to love quilting with rulers!

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  20. I'm not surprised at the great response you got to your class, Amy. You're such a wonderful teacher as I saw from your videos. Rulers rule!

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  21. Thanks for making this class. I just purchased it. And will be looking over the rulers soon. You've advanced quilting for everyone.

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    1. I’m so glad you’ve liked it! I think it’s a great technique.

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