Sunday, October 25, 2015

Quilting with Rulers: Stars and Diamonds

I'm working on my ruler work sampler and I'm putting diamonds into this star block. My mind keeps pulling up the chorus, "Lucy in the sky with diamonds...."

free motion quilting with rulers on a domestic or home machine diamonds in stars

The great thing about putting diamonds into blocks this way is that it can be done without a bunch of starts and stops. I'm just about done with it, but I haven't decided if I want to go back in and put some fills into the diamonds and really make them pop.

ruler work quilting with rulers to guide free motion quilting on sewing machine

I was inspired to adapt the ruler work technique from long arm quilters and use it on my home machine to guide my free motion quilting, and I've learned a bunch from looking at the work of professional long arm quilters.

They quilt a lot more quilts as it's their job and have so many great designs that not only look great, but also reduce the number of stops and starts for more efficient quilting. I am in awe of how they can figure out how to quilt large complex areas with several designs with a great plan that allows them to use one start and one stop.

I am getting better at it, but it seems as if I get halfway done with an area and then find a way I could have stitched it more efficiently! Sometimes I'll finish up an area and after I've cut my threads to move to a new area, I find a way I could have kept going. Then again, since my quilting times come in tiny little sessions with frequent interruptions, I'm not sure it matters for me to do it more continuously.

How about you? Do you look for was to stitch more continuously or do you not mind frequent starts and stops?

15 comments:

  1. I have many starts and stops because I can't sit too long at one time due to back issues. Your work looks wonderful!

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    1. Well, I can't sit too long due to kid issues! It certainly is better on our bodies to not sit in one place too long regardless of the reason. Thank you. (And thanks for the great review of my class on Craftsy!)

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  2. Oh if i stop I leave it in the machine! I avoid stops and starts as much as I can.

    Is there a term for travelling quilters? Long haul quilt truckers? :D

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    1. There should be some line about keeping it between the ditches vs in the ditch, but I'm not clever enough tonight!

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  3. I'm not very good at figuring out how to keep going instead of stopping/starting, but that's life. ;) As for your diamonds, I vote for some fills to make them pop. Just what you wanted, huh? Some more to do before finishing this piece! LOL!

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    1. Well, there's a ton to do before this sampler is done. Far too much sit-n-stare time too!

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  4. great to see your diamonds. I too think it needs a fill. I have managed to find a template supplier here in the UK so should be able to make a start on a top I have just finished. thank you for the info on this blog and your Craftsy platform. Brenda in the Boro UK

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  5. Fill some and leave some....variation is nice

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  6. I like the variation idea as well...

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  7. When I'm planning my quilting I think about ways to avoid starts and stops if I can. I often will add an extra line to things so that I don't have to start and stop.

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  8. I do not like to start and stop but instead enjoy starting and working a large area.
    I am loving your blog!
    Connie :)

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  9. I definitely try to avoid stopping and starting. Sometimes travelling along something already stitched worries me as I don't really want it to be seen either in the front or the back. I look forward to every one of your blogs. Love the photos and hearing about your learning curve thoughts. Thanks so much.

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    1. Thank you so much! Comments like yours are so encouraging!

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  10. I try to reduce stops and starts, but I don't mind breaks as I bury them immediately.

    Love the diamonds so far and I would consider pebbling in one of the backgrounds.

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  11. Yes I do the same :) A few time repeating a same shape, suddenly penny drops to do it better easier way. Or sometime at the very last one. Hope to get better at it!

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