Free Motion and Custom Curves

Amy's free motion quilting adventures, ruler work

I am so happy to have my new Fine Line Rulers and to now have a nice variety of ruler to use for ruler worked free motion quilting designs. One of the big reasons I am so excited is that I feel like I can finally take good advantage of the tips and designs in Karen McTavish's latest book, Custom Curves .

Custom Curves, Karen Mctavish, free motion ruler work

I have had this book for some time, and while I had been doing some ruler work, I didn't have a good ruler for curved cross hatching. While I did have the small size of the double curve ruler featured in the book, it was almost too small for the designs I wanted to do.

Custom Curves, Karen Mctavish, free motion ruler work

 I thought at first when I did ruler work, that I needed small rulers since I had a small machine. That is true to some extent, but the rulers are best used to the left or in front of the needle where there is more room for the ruler. If the design or block you are working on is bigger than the ruler, it is harder to work with. The more you have to slide a ruler down to continue a line, the more obvious any little wiggle you might stitch.

One tip though is the ruler shouldn't be bigger that your quilting surface. Having your machine set into a table is best, next is having the biggest extension table available for your machine. You don't want the ruler to tip while you're stitching.

I will post in the next few days a few more tips and recommendations for buying long arm rulers for free motion ruler work on a domestic sewing machine.

Want to learn more? Make sure to visit my page on using long arm rulers on a stationary machine.

Have a question? Ask in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Keep the great tips coming - I'm all eyes and ears :-)

  2. I picked up a 6" curved ruler about a year ago, but this past weekend I finally decided it was time to master it rather than just playing with it! Now I need a bigger one! Keep the tips and videos coming - they are inspiring!