Breaking out the Big Guns

Or rather, the big rulers! I'm working whenever I can to make my ruler work sampler my first finish of the 2016. I plan on showing it at a talk I'm giving Friday, so time is short.

I'm using a variety of rulers as I quilt, keeping it mostly to the common sizes of rulers and some smaller as I'm keeping my focus on what your typical free motion quilter can comfortably use on their domestic or home machine. These big blank setting triangles can be intimidating with their large space to quilt.

When quilting on a domestic sewing machine, this large ruler can be a little tricky to maneuver. First of all, you need a smooth flat surface as they can get tippy when going across bumps. We don't want to be rockin' in this manner when quilting.

You need to orient your work so that the end of the ruler doesn't run into the machine body to the right as you stitch towards the left.

You may find that the most comfortable orientation of the ruler for stitching may leave the ruler hanging off in space while the quilt drapes down the edge of the table closest to you. Just lift the quilt up and line it up as close as possible for the initial positioning, then let the quilt go while you begin stitching. Check it frequently to see if you need to "course correct." Once you've stitched about half the length of the ruler, it should be back on the table.

I brought out my biggest ruler, the QPC #20 (coming to the shop soon!) for some nice curves on two setting triangles which are 12 inches on the shorter sides. Previously, I had used a smaller ruler across 2 other setting triangles of the same size. It was half the size (QPC#10) and I used it for half the distance to create a double scallop kind of design.

It helps that I have an 11" throat on my machine, but you can use the larger rulers on a smaller machine too. Just use the tips above and remember that the bigger the ruler, the more likely it is to slip. I make sure my bigger rulers have some sort of non-slip product on the bottom. My favorites are the True Grips and HandiGrip Strips.

More pics coming soon as well as a tutorial showing how to get feathers to come out even in repeated spaces.

Have you ever set yourself some crazy deadlines with your projects? It seemed like I had plenty of time, but I've had a drastic change to my schedule and time to quilt has been hard to find.

Gotta go stitch!


  1. Very interesting that you address large rulers especially on a domestic. I have a HandQuilter sit down Sweet Sixteen and have limited my ruler purchases to those that are 6inches or so or fit in my hand. Larger do tend to slip on me as I move fabric and ruler in unison. It sound like from your post that I need not restrict myself but with more practice other rulers can be fair game for me. I will practice with what I've got for a bit longer though. Thanks for the info.

    1. That's right. You can use these bigger rulers (which are really helpful on bigger blocks), they just take a bit of special care as you stitch.

  2. Do you know if either of these curved rulers mimic the curve used with the "quick curve ruler"? I've made several quilts with that ruler and would love to find a good quilting ruler to use on those quilts.

    1. The QP Curve #15 is the same curve. I believe the gals who made the QCR also made a quilting ruler version.