Sunday, February 28, 2016

Quilting with Rulers: The Sampler Continues

I'm still plugging away on my ruler work sampler. Yes....still. Sometimes I love it, other times I'm sick of it, so I go in tiny bits at a time. I'm working on the large setting triangles along the sides. I wanted to make the main ruler work lines in these two triangles the same, but didn't plan both at the same time or record measurements for the first one. So I had to transfer the markings from one to the other.


Using the ruler and post it notes worked great!


All I had to do was line the ruler up with the point and edge and transfer the marks. Probably not perfectly accurate, but close enough for me.


In the pic below, can you spot the problem I had? Don't scroll right past, try to figure it out.



Answer? I failed to account for the binding as I started this feather. I can't believe I forgot this!


Then I found I was having trouble moving my quilt. Rookie mistake again. Instead of puddling the quilt in a series of peaks and valleys, I had tossed the quilt up upon itself and was sliding, or trying to slide the whole thing.


Below is a pic of the quilt positioned much better. The peaks and valleys act as a hinge, allowing the part of the quilt I'm working on to move, but keeping the bulk fairly stationary which means moving less weight.


 Here's the first triangle. I still need to work on my Laverne L's when they need to turn. The big pebbles/circles turned out nicely.


The second triangle was done with the same ruler work, but the fills between were much more swirly and feathered too.


 Doing the whole quilt as a sampler has been a lot of fun as I choose different designs and rulers.

There's still time to link up in the ruler work link party! Don't be a party pooper. Share and visit.

Tomorrow starts a new Craftsy promotion and I'm pretty excited about it. It's something totally different for National Craft Month which will impact a good cause. Come back and here all about it.





Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Quilting with Rulers: Ruler Foot Issues with Auto-Lift Presser Feet

Hello dear readers and quilting friends, I think I and my kids are recovering from our winter cold, flu, plague, pink eye (yes, pink eye. Thanks kids.) mess. I figure I better post something here on my slightly neglected blog before y'all forget about me.

You know how passionate I am for free motion quilting with rulers. So when I heard that Janome Canada did not recommend the ruler foot be used on the Janome S7, MC12000, and MC15000 I wanted to figure out why. I'm pretty sure I have sold the Janome ruler foot combination to owners of these machines and haven't had anyone come back with problems, so what was going on?

Since I work in a Janome dealership, I had access to the S7 and shot a video with my new iPad mini. The mini made editing my video a lot easier than I have been doing it before, so hopefully I will do more videos as soon as I get a camera mount for it.



Watch the video first, but the main issue is the ease of which the presser foot can be raised because these machines have an automatic/electronic presser foot lifter system. It's still an aspect of the lack of clearance between the top of the thick edge of the ruler foot and the bottom of the needle clamp. As always, with any ruler foot, make sure the foot is down when the needle is down and conversely, don't raise the foot when the needle is down.

With this electric lift, it's very easy to accidentally fail to follow this cardinal rule of ruler foot use. Janome Canada says they will not cover any damage to these machines (S7, 12000, and 15000) if you use the ruler foot on it. (I haven't heard anything from Janome America.) I believe the damage would be that of throwing the machine out of time, but I am not entirely certain. This isn't a huge issue to fix, but we don't want to take the machine to the shop.

I think it's doable to use the ruler foot with these machines but that's a risk you've got to decide to take for yourself. I wouldn't want you to do anything to needlessly risk your machine.

My ruler work blog linky party is still open and we've had some incredible work shared through it, so go visit the participants and if you've got a post to share on ruler work, now's the time to do it!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Quilting with Rulers: Quilt Sue Shares

Many thanks to Quilt Sue for sending me a guest post about her experiences as she begins quilting with rulers. I'm up to my eyeballs in class prep and sick with the plague (or maybe just the flu) so having some help is much appreciated! 

Here's Sue:

Hello everyone. I’m thrilled to be over here at Amy’s place to tell you about the  fun I’ve been having with my quilting rulers. Firstly, a little about myself. I’m known as QuiltSue, and I blog about life over at QuiltTimes.blogspot.com. I’ve been quilting for some years now and have had a book published as well as patterns in magazines. When it comes to quilting, I use a computerized robotic long-arm system as I seem totally unable to master the art of free-motion quilting. Until...... I saw an ad for Amy’s Quilting with Rulers class on Craftsy and I was intrigued. I signed up and watched all the lessons and got very excited at the thought that this was something I might be able to do. 

Christmas was coming, so I wrote to Santa and asked him for some rulers, and I must have been very good all last year, cos he brought me some a few weeks ago. Well, I could hardly wait to get going and here are the results of my first day of playing. I know some of it is not very good, but remember, I am a beginner. Unfortunately, I can’t find a photo of my first efforts but I was enjoying myself I can tell you.

Day 2 dawned and I was off and running (or rather machining) again. In this next picture you can see what I achieved. I could not believe how easy it was to get good results using the rulers, and believe me, I was having fun. I was learning to move the quilt at the right speed to get good stitch length (most of the time) but above all I learnt not to hold the rulers to tightly cos if you’re pushing down too hard on them it’s not easy to move the quilt sandwich. I also realized that I need to draw in my boundaries for a pattern as I’m not yet very good at judging these things.
  


I had seen a design on the internet somewhere that intrigued me, so I then decided to try and re-create it, using just the straight ruler. Considering I was still only on Day 2, I don’t think it was too bad at all.


By Day 3 I was feeling ambitious, so I made myself a large sandwich and set off with a vague plan of having a central medallion with “things” around it. So I started, and after 2 days I had this. I was really happy with it, although I felt a little deflated when I proudly showed it to my husband who looked at it for a minute then said “yes dear, very nice, what’s it going to be?” At that point I counted to 101 and then explained, again, about practice, practice, practice.


 By now I was so fired up about quilting with rulers that I decided to sew four poor little orphan blocks together and play with them to see if I had any difficulties using rulers on pieced blocks with seams rather than just on wholecloth sandwiches. So, on Day 5 I started playing with the blocks and by the end of Day 7 this is what I had. When I showed this to my husband, he looked it, looked at me, thought for a minute and then said, it’s very nice dear, are you going to do anything special with it? Good to see he obviously learnt from his previous mistake isn’t it?


Now I’m feeling so happy with this whole thing that I’m about to let myself loose with a rather fun modern quilt top that I made last year. I can hardly wait to get going on it.

Thanks for reading this, and thanks too to Amy for having me and for giving me so much fun.



Thanks Sue! So nice to read about your adventures with ruler work. 

BTW, I extended the ruler work link party to March 4 so you've got plenty of time to put a post together and link up. Share your work and inspire and encourage others to give quilting with rulers a go.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!


Not your typical Valentine's Day heart, but I liked the swooshy free motion quilting-like effect of it.

I think I'm spending the majority of my Valentine's Day cuddled up with my pillow and a box of tissues. Thankfully, my sweetie isn't as sick as me so I can have this simple luxury.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing today, I pray that you are feeling the love from somebody special, even if it's just a loyal furbaby!

Cindy over at Stitchin at Home is participating in a big bloghop this month and she's featuring my Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine (50% off with this link). There's a giveaway too! Hurry, go visit before the 21st when the drawing is held.

I hear my pillow calling my name.....luv you all!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Blocks in the Mail

Don't you just love getting packages in the mail? I do! While I was at the Craftsy Instructor Summit, I met the wonderfully talented, sweet and generous Kate Colleran. You know how when you work with a new block design you can end up with a few orphan blocks?


Well, if you're shooting a Craftsy class like Kate's 3 Blocks, 30 Quilts you can end up with a quilt's worth of spare blocks. There's a huge amount of work that goes on in the background when shooting a class. You've got to have things made up in advance in various stages. These are called step-outs. She offered to pass them along to me so I could quilt them up. When I'm done, I will eventually donate them to my local quilt guilt's charity auction.



My quilting time has been very limited as I am working up in my local Janome dealership while the owner is recovering from some unexpected complications during surgery. You would think that spending the day in a shop full of machines would allow me more time to sew, but now sew much. I am however learning a ton about the workings of a wide variety of machines.

I can't wait until I can get busy quilting these!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ruler Work Rocks- A Link Party

Today's the day our blog party goes live, so whether you use rulers to quilt on a sewing machine or sit down long arm, now's the time to share how you've been rocking the rulers and guiding your free motion quilting for the straightest of lines and smoothest curves.

ruler work rocks


I finished up my Celtic knot inspired flower and I really had fun playing with a few rulers that I hadn't quilted with before now. Sometimes you've got to decide a piece is strictly for play and try something new.

celtic flower motif using rulers


The purpose of this link party is to share what others have been quilting with rulers, tips that they find helpful, and in general to let people know that ruler work on a stationary machine is actually easier than it seems once you actually give it a try.

Rulers/templates shown: ^" Celtic Knot, QPC #8, 2" Simple Circle,  Fan ruler (for marking), and Circles on Quilts template.

I know there are some very creative quilters out there using this technique and we want to encourage you to try it too! If you are a blogger, link up at the end of the post and I encourage everyone to visit the participating bloggers and take a peek and leave a comment.



Today has a second reason to be worthy of a party. Craftsy has launched 7 new classes which brings their total up to 1000 classes. That's a party worthy milestone I think. To celebrate, they're having another sale with 50% off their most wish-listed classes. Looks like my class is on a lot of Craftsy wish lists, because it's being offered at 50% off as well! I've started offering a link here that offers my readers 50% off now, but I'm excited that enough people wish-listed it for it to be included in the sale. There are some really great classes also in the sale, use my Instructor Link to get the best price and put a little jingle in my pocket.

Now to visit our part participants. Use the linky below to link up your blog post. Please make sure to include a link back to here somewhere in your post or on your site. (You can use the button code in my left sidebar if you wish, even if this is Tuesday.) Then let's go a visitin'!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Quilting with Rulers: Celtic Flower

I am so happy that I was able to get more quilting done on this fun practice piece. I put a circle in the middle of the design and tried to McTavish inside of it.



I haven't finished the McTavishing inside the flower petal areas around the Celtic Knot, but it felt like I was losing the Impact of these shapes with the narrow 1/4 inch echo. So I went around the outside at a 1/2 inch.


I marked the line at each inner turn so I could turn the corner more evenly. With the way that the CK and these petal shapes line up, it was easy and fast to come back in and mark.

quilting with rulers

 Here's what I've got so far. I'm not liking the dense stitching in the petals. I wish I had stuck to my original plan of using a 1/2 inch crosshatch in them. But the fills were a good place to see how this thread showed up on the fabric.


This is WonderFil's Mirage, a 30 wt. thread and it's stitching up so very nice. No tension or shredding issues at all. I'm using a 90/14 needle with it. The only thing I don't like is the unexpected appearance of the black color in between the blue and green colors in the variegation.

Gotta run! I hope you've been doing some free motion quilting fun, hopefully with a ruler.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Quilting With Rulers: From the Center Out

Today I got home from a busy day of work at the sewing machine shop and decided I would actually quilt. So after homework with the kiddos, hubby volunteered to cook. Yes, I am a very lucky lady. I've been doing a lot of non-quilting work lately and it's really dragging me down. Just a confluence of events and bad timing, it'll get better. But I felt like I just needed to do some fun quilting.


I wanted to explore some newer rulers and played with a quilting design that radiated from a center point. I started with the 6 inch Celtic Knot ruler and made two full designs with it, overlapping on top of each other for a floral effect.


Then I got out another ruler that I've been needing to play with as I plan on carrying it in the shop. It's the Circles on Quilts Template. I really like the premise of it as it was designed with those who quilt on sewing machines or other stationary machines in mind and makes sewing large circles pretty easy. (I don't have it listed yet, but it should be available February 8 or sooner.)


 I'm not a big fan of the thumbtack pin that this Westalee template uses, but it's still a pretty great template.



Then I reinserted the anchor post from the Celtic Knot template and got out another ruler made by the same company. This is the Fan Ruler and unlike the other TopAnchor templates, It's made for marking large circles instead of being used to actually quilt.


I marked a large circle around the other circle, several inches larger than the other ruler and then went back and marked reference lines that corresponded to the points on the Celtic Knot. I've had this ruler for quite some time and this was the first time I really plated with it and it really allowed me to add to the complexity of this design without really being all that complex or difficult. Why didn't I do this sooner?!


Then I went around the circles, connecting points with the QP #8 to make more petal-like shapes similar to that of the Celtic Knot. These radiate out from the circle and look pretty darn cool.

That's where I'm stopping for now, but I'll be adding some free motion quilting and then I'll post my progress later this week. It was a lot of fun.

Don't forget February 9th I'll be hosting a linky party so we can all show how we've been quilting with rulers on our home machines, domestic machines, or sit down long arm machines. Get your projects and posts ready!