Return to the Ruler Work Sampler

We went to the coast of Virginia this past weekend for a whirlwind visit of the beach and the aquarium. We were at the beach in the afternoon through sunset of the first day. Then our hotel lost power in the middle of the night so we managed to make it back to the beach at sunrise.

Perfect photo taking time! But my kids are not very cooperative when it comes to all looking at the camera at the same time.

They did have a blast however and none of them were afraid of the seaweed, unlike their mother. I can't stand stuff touching me in the water. A few days later and I took the kids and my mom to a small water park. More fun! Poor kids have one full week before school starts, so we're living it up.

In the midst of all the summer fun, I managed to knock over a light fixture in my studio and sent an explosion of glass everywhere. What a disaster. I got it all cleaned up, I hope, but the studio is a wreck. Hard for me to stitch when it's a mess, but I decided I was going to knock out a block of my sampler.

Above, I've used my trusty air-eraseable marker to mark the point at which I will turn these V's. First I had marked at 1/4 inch from the corner, but then I went with 1/2 inch away. I used my quilting ruler to measure it. Then I drew out the design on one of the corners to make sure I'd like it.

free motion quilting with rulers

Ruler work and McTavishing. I was really feeling tight and things weren't feeling good as I quilted with my rulers, but then I started filling in with the McTavishing and it started to flow. I'm not feeling too confidant about the light turquoise thread throughout this quilt, but I want the quilting to show as it is a sampler for my classes. I might re-do the section on the navy. You can see even here that the thread looks white and the contrast is doing funny things in my camera (below). See how those lines on the left look jagged? They're straight! Just the camera and pixels playing tricks.

The McT might be a little dense compared to the feathered center. One of the things I love about using rulers is that it gives great results without having being too dense and stiff. I've been checking Pinterest out for great ruler work and free motion quilting that combines well with it and finding some fabulous inspiration. I need to practice some of the new-to-me designs.

That's all I've got for now. Quilt on.


  1. Love the pics of the kiddos enjoying the beach. Am really enjoying your progress on this quilt and fell very inspired.

  2. Funny how the camera makes that look wonky. But your quilting on the block is gorgeous. Always scary to quilt with such a contrasting thread - shows every single little bobble. Hope you didn't redo the navy section. It brings it all together the way it is!

  3. Your quilting is really pretty, and I think you made a good choice going with the aqua thread. You DO want to show off those beautiful stitches. It's good to know you sometimes mark your designs. I've been using both the disappearing ink and wash-out blue markers, and prefer the wash-out. I'm seeing that the disappearing doesn't always disappear! I haven't yet mastered McTavishing, so you make me want to revisit that. Thanks for sharing your beautiful stuff. And... aren't you glad you're no longer a kid thinking about returning to school?

  4. This is beautiful quilting, Amy! I actually like the variety of texture the more dense McT adds to the overall quilt. I guess that is a matter of taste --- or is there a preference among quilters or quilt judges I have not heard of??? I don't think you need to redo the navy. It is only the digitizing camera that made it look wonky. The straight lines make the feathers in the white pop. I am learning so much from you! thanks!

  5. Thanks, Amy. I needed this inspiration to quilt my top from the Cristy Fincher workshop. This helps so much. Hopefully I will get started this week. Enjoy these last few days of summer break.