Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Oh, Hoppy Day! A Craftsy Blog Hop

I'm cooperating with a lovely group of Craftsy instructors to spread the news about some great classes on the super convenient Craftsy platform and to also share a few thoughts on creativity.

In fear of making my loyal readers sick of hearing about my class, many of whom have already taken Quilting With Rulers on a Home Machine, I'm going to come at this post from a different angle than what might be expected.


 More than quilting, maybe even more than free motion quilting, I am passionate about encouraging a person's creativity. At some point in childhood most of us are told we aren't good enough to be an artist. But most of us go on to have a creative hole inside us that wants to be filled with creative activity of some sort. Depending on the paths we take as young adults, some find their creative side faster than others. But that childhood fear of "not good enough" can be hard to shake.

Here's the basic technique- a ruler foot, a ruler, and quilting!
The Craftsy platform is such a fabulous place for creative people of all styles and those in search of their creative side. When trying something new it can be intimidating to do it in the midst of a group of people, some or all who may be strangers. Craftsy allows us to take classes in the privacy of our own homes, maybe even in our PJs!

Rulers come in many sizes, shapes, thicknesses and types! I talk about them all.
I like to learn about creativity. In How to be Creative: 6 Secrets Backed by Research, the number 1 key to increasing creativity is to try new stuff. Nothing earth-shattering, but if you live in a small town at some distance from a large metropolitan area, trying something new can be a challenge.

Some are pretty fancy and make fabulous designs!

Two other 'secrets' of creativity are to think like an outsider and to just keep trying. The former lines up nicely with try new stuff and the latter is easy to do with Craftsy's life time purchase of these classes. These two factors were instrumental to the development of my class's technique as I longed to create the smooth curves and straight lines that long arm quilters were able to stitch with the aid of rulers. I thought outside the box like an outsider and kept trying as I adapted their technique for use on a stationary sewing machine.

In my class I show how a special foot and thick acrylic rulers in conjunction with free motion quilting will help you create those smooth curves and straight lines on your sewing machine or sit-down long arm system. Sounds like an advanced technique doesn't it? The great thing is you don't have to be an expert at free motion quilting to do this!

If you've had enough experience with moving the quilt sandwich under the needle in free motion, you are ready to try quilting with rulers. In fact, my very first class review gave me 5 stars and said: "Great class. Made free motion attainable for the first time." 

If you are an experienced, even very talented free motion quilter, you'll love that this class will show you how to enlarge your tool box of skills and bring an element of structure to your quilts that allows your free motion quilting to really shine.

Additionally, if you are a traditional style quilter, rulers will help you mimic the traditional lines of hand quilted quilts with your machine accurately and without the turn and stuff of using a walking foot on a large quilt.

The exciting part about this class is that it's a great way to bring out the artist and engineer in all of us! You know, that left-brain, right-brain thing? I always forget which side of the brain is responsible for each aspect, so I'm going with the artist and engineer version. Both can be just as creative as the other, but in different ways.


All the quilting in this picture was done with ruler work.

I am an artist. Not in the hoity-toity art gallery sense of the word, but in the no rules, wing it kind of way. It makes me a great free motion quilter and a pretty brave project designer. It also means that I'm not such a great piecer. That's the domain of the engineer. Straight lines, measuring, and *shudder* math. Odd that I'd be promoting the use of rulers then, right? Ruler work helps me develop those engineer-like bones to my projects that allow me to show case my free motion quilting, but within a structure that helps balance the design of my projects.


Then I can go crazy with my free motion fills!
Many quilters are fabulous piecers. They have more of that engineer thing going on in their brains. Fabulous quilts with precise points and corners. But tell them to just quilt a random design in free motion and they feel a little lost. "Where do I go next?" they often ask. With rulers, the direction is clear; follow the edge of the ruler.

For more information about my class, head over to my class page where you can watch the free video trailer. In the class I give you the important basics of the necessary ruler foot, the wide diversity in rulers, the basic technique, and then we dive into some great designs with rulers.



Visit the participating Craftsy blog-hoppers and see what fabulously creative information and classes they have for you. The schedule is below:


Monday, December 7 
Jackie Kunkel  - Canton Village Quilt Works 
Kate Colleran - Seams Like a Dream   
Tuesday, December 8 
Wendy Gardiner - I sew  
Wednesday, December 9 
Maureen Cracknell - Maureen Cracknell Handmade 
Thursday, December 10 
Jan Newton - Newton Custom Interiors  
Friday, December 11 
Laura Nownes - See How We Sew  
Saturday, December 12 
Kelly Ashton - Kelly Quilter  
Sunday, December 13 
Lindsey Stephens - Poetry In Yarn  

Edited to add: My apologies if anyone tried some of these links earlier and they didn't work. They work now.

What good would a blog hop be without a giveaway or two? In my case, how about three?

First, Click here to purchase any of the classes from any of the instructors on the blog hop and you will be automatically entered to win any other class of your choosing for FREE at the conclusion of the blog hop.  Winners will be chosen on December 14, 2015 and there will be one winner per instructor. That's the official Craftsy giveaway. Craftsy's got great prices on all the classes right now during their 12 Days of Christmas Promotion!



Now, I've also got two prizes to give away! The first prize is a Westalee Ruler Foot Starter Kit for those who don't have a ruler foot to try this class and technique yet. (I'll email the winner to find out the correct shank type.) The second prize is three rulers! I'll get a photo up of these rulers tomorrow (Wednesday) but there's an 8" arc, a 12" curve #1 and 12" curve #2, all by Westalee. 

Just fill out this form with your name, email, let me know if you've already got a ruler foot for your machine and also if you've watched my class already. 



A winner will be chosen for all three giveaways on December 14th and contacted via email. Winners are announced on this post.

Thanks for coming along on this blog hop and please take a little time to click over and visit the other stops! Leave me a comment and let me know if this class is brand new to you, if you've taken it already, or if you've been following along with my ruler work and quilting adventures for quite some time already.


73 comments:

  1. I am taking your class and would highly recommend it. I got into ruler work because I felt there was no intermediate or advanced FMQ out there. It feels like all the info is the same.

    BUT! Then I took your class!

    This really ups your game, if you are reading along and really want to refine your skills and have your quilting turn out "perfect" like all the high profile long arm quilters we see with their gorgeous quilting pics.

    This is the class you need to take! (and now I need to figure out what ruler to buy next!)

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    1. Thank you. thank you!

      What ruler to buy next...hmmmm....

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  2. I've enjoyed your blog and Craftsy class very much. I am working on using the rulers with my domestic machine. I love the look of the results! I'm still struggling a bit with getting the quilt and the rulers all moving in the right direction at the same time, but I'm determined to keep practicing so that I will become comfortable with this technique. Thanks so much for all of the information and tips! I absolutely love this technique!

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    1. Just a little practice leads to big improvements. Thanks for telling me you've enjoyed the blog and class. So encouraging to hear.

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  3. Being an avid reader of your blog, I have signed up for your class and am in the middle of watching #2. I have the Janome ruler foot, but no rulers as yet. I've looked at so many of the ruler links and can't decide which would be most useful to me as a beginner ruler worker. :-) It is an investment so I want to be careful choosing. I did enter your generous giveaway just in case I should be a lucky winner. Thanks Amy for sharing your talent!

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    1. Thanks so much! Choosing rulers...first decide if there's something that makes you need thinner rulers for the most use. That may narrow it down. Then stick to a straight ruler and basic curves at first.

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  4. I started by finding you on YouTube and loved watching you FMQ. Then found your blog and I have taken your craftsy class. LOVE...LOVE...LOVE them all. I have the Janome 7700 and purchased the ruler foot at my local quilt Expo in Septemer.

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  5. THANK YOU !
    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  6. I've watched your class twice now and hope to get the tools for Christmas or later.

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  7. Hi, Amy. I really liked your approach to this hop; refreshing. I've been following you for quite a long time - love the videos. When your class was first available, I purchased it and watched it. Craftsy is a wonderful format and I love that I can re-watch anything I want - AND I do!

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  8. Loved your class. Your blog has been so informative and helpful. I'm a fan!

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  9. Hi Amy I am currently working through your Craftsy class. With my low shank machine I was struggling a bit so as I am 65 in 2 weeks time I thought I would treat myself to a Janome8200. My DH is going to build me a cabinet/table for it so I cant wait to get up and running with the new set up

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    1. Well, happy birthday to you! Fabulous present. I quilt on an 8200 myself. Great clearance for use of nearly all rulers out there!

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  10. Hi Amy, I have your class already and have also been following your blog for a year. What drew me to you is that I have a Janome machine and was looking to do some free motion work. The ruler class has been an inspiration for me. Thank you

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  11. I have watched you marvellous course, but am wading through other work before I can sit with the computer, the machine and some practise sandwiches. Looking forward to it :)

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    1. I know how you feel! The class will be there when you are ready.

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  12. I'm taking the class, absolutely love it, anxiously waiting till, with a lot more practice I can show off my latest new hobby.

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  13. I've enrolled and watched your class, and absolutely love it! Unfortunately, I don't yet have the ruler foot for my machine, so am trying to improvise with your techniques. I will be going back through your class again later, bit by bit, to work on the skills I need to practise from your class. This is so fun!

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    1. Make sure you enter into the giveaway then! Improvising can be dangerous in this case. Please be careful, you don’t want the ruler to slip over or under the machine as it can throw the machine out of time.

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  14. I've been an avid fan for awhile & tried doing ruler work on my Bernina. It was an especially good outlet while my longarm was in the shop.

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    1. Patti, I appreciate you for following and your always encouraging remarks!

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  15. I have purchased your class and one more ruler and can't wait to have some time to take the class ~ hopefully I'll finish sewing my daughters' Christmas gifts very soon.

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    1. It's crunch time for gift making isn't it?! Eek!

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  16. Your class is on my wish list as next to buy from Craftsy. Deliberately waiting as I know I will just have to dedicate time to it and that is in short supply for a while. Just love your blog, your words just lift my spirits and make me smile. Thanks for making the time in your busy schedule to share you thoughts. A wonderful gift.

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  17. Amy, I purchased your class and 4 rulers from you. I have the Westalee foot and starter kit also. I had an issue using the rulers until today due to the thumb screw on my machine. My husband ground the bottom of the screw off so now the rulers fit next to the foot. I am finally able to follow along with your class. I love the rulers and the ruler foot. This form of quilting is what I have been needing for 3 years now. I am so happy to have you as an instructor, helper and friend..thanks for all you did,do and being here for everyone.

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  18. I've been following you for quite some time now and love your class. Rewatching sections is part of my warm-up process.

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    1. Really?!Oh, if only being part of someone's warm up process counted as exercise...

      Thank you! That's so good to hear.

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  19. Been following your blog "forever" and love it. I'm so interested in the ruler foot, but . . . I get differing views on whether to use it on my Bernina or not, so I've avoided it so far. Really want to try it though!

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    1. I have a little news to report on the Bernina foot soon!

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  20. Thank you Amy, this is on my 2016 list of things to do!

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  21. I would love to win the foot and/or rulers Amy and take your class!

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  22. I'm signed up for your class, but haven't started yet. Anxious to give it a try.

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    1. Wonderful! Give it a go soon, it's really easier than it seems.

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  23. I love your class on using rulers. I have watched it ore than once which is so helpful. I bought a Bernina 96 foot but I have not tried it yet. I need to "bite the bullet" and try- I know! Thank you so much for all your helpful information and a chance to win the rulers.
    Mary

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    1. Go for it! Just make sure to lower the foot before lowering the needle.

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  24. I have purchased your class, a ruler toe for my Janome 6600, and a coule of rulers. Can't wait to get started on the class!!

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  25. Love your blog and your class. With lots of practice and your inspiration, I shall conquer FMQ!

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  26. Amy, I loved your Craftsy class. In a future class I would like your ideas on how to combine FMQ with ruler quilting. Especially how to fill in the spaces created by rulers with FMQ. I also really like your blog. Thanks for giving us such great information.

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    1. Glad to hear it. I'll keep that in mind for future class planning ;-)You can always tell Craftsy that you'd like me to teach such a class.

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  27. I have watched all your you tube video's and read your blog, maybe in jan 2016 I'll order your ruler class and really give this ruler work a try, thanks for all you have put out for all of us to see.

    Thanks

    Edwinda Annette Parsons

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  28. Thank you Amy. I'm trying to work thru a few Craftsy classes now. Takes lots of pratice! Haven't reached the stage of trying rulers yet, but I'm not got to quit trying!

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  29. I first learned all about "Ruler Feet" from you. Thank you Amy for making FMQ (and even straight line stitching) so much easier & fun for me! I signed up for your Craftsy class as soon as it was available & very much enjoyed it. Continuing to practice what I learned. Can't wait for your next class! Keep Rulin' Amy!! ;)

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  30. Really enjoyed your Craftsy class!

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  31. I love the Westlee Ruler Foot! Planning on taking the class after the holiday, too busy quilting for the holiday to do it now ��

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  32. First, Thank you, Amy, for all the advise you gave me a while ago about a ruler foot. I have a Juki TL2010Q and settled on the Westerlee foot. It works great. In fact the store where I was told I could order it, didn't know anything about it, but they special ordered mine and one for themselves. They were so jazzed about it that they gave me a Super Slider for bringing it to their attention. Thanks for the chance to win the three rulers.

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  33. I have registered for your class and will start after Christmas. I love all the patterns that are created with the rulers. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  34. I am going slowly through your class. It is really fun to use rulers in FMQ. I only have one ruler so far and have some more one order (must be really popular, they've been on backorder for quite a while). So I'll keep practicing with my one ruler until they arrive. I'm thinking of using my ruler for a charity quilt that has been waiting to be quilted for quite a while.

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  36. Would love to win a ruler. Have the class on craftsy,need to settled own and play. Love all the info,looks like a possible.

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  37. Would love to win a ruler. Have the class on craftsy,need to settled own and play. Love all the info,looks like a possible.

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  38. I would love to try the rulers! and take your craftsy class.

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  39. You blog is such an inspiration! I am taking your class, one video at a time, not getting overwhelmed, and I do have the ruler foot. To win some rulers would be so neat! Thank you for the give away opportunity!

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  40. i took your class and am having soo much fun practicing! i purchased the versatool and ä 12" straight edge. need more rulers...boy are they expensive!

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    1. Yes, but unlike fabric and thread, they don't get used up! ;-)

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  41. Hi Amy! I took your class and loved it! I've practiced some ruler work and actually quilted the fabric for a little bag using rulers. Now I just have to make a new quilt to quilt with this technique! :)

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  42. I have bought your class, but am waiting for an internet upgrade so I can actually watch it. I think this would be so wonderful to try.

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  43. I'be been visiting your website for a while - what growth! Thanks for the tips on creativity. I have a sewing room now, and time to explore. Looking forward to this. : )

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  44. I did take your class back in October when I purchased an All Access Pass, of course now it's gone so once I am ready to do more, I'll definitely be purchasing it again. It was a great class and VERY informative for anyone reading and 'on the fence' about taking it. I do not have the ruler feet but they are high on my wish list for sure as well as some of the rulers.

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