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!


  1. More ruler fun! I like your creative use of the curved ruler - I have that one too, but have been unsure what to do with it. I love the design you created with it and the circle templates! I'm curious about how the Westalee and Top Anchor template anchors different from each other as I don't have either yet. More to check out, I guess. Have a wonderful day! Hope you get to spend more time quilting!

    1. My next ruler work class will have more of a design aspect to it, to help you use ruler work for a cohesive design.

  2. I love your blogs, and eventually I will stop standing shivering on the edge of the pool, and will jump into FMQ. GGG I have a husband who asks, 'what would you like for dinner......I thought we could have....' and then goes off and cooks it..every night :) Hooray for Emancipated Men!!!!

  3. I am lucky to have a DS who is very wiling to cook and does the main meal nearly every day. DH bakes bread and he has baked a ginger and chocolate cake for me to take to a quilt group meeting tomorrow where I will be demonstrating using rulers and FMQ all thanks to you Amy. its a very new concept here in the NE of England. wish me luck!

  4. I now have several westalee templates and have found them very easy to work with, with pleasing results IN PRACTICE, but I am finding that because the only FMQ that I can do meandering, I can't work out how to connect everything up into a coherent design. However, I have found that since using the templates, I am gaining confidence that maybe one day I will have the control to FMQ actual designs as fillers. Like you I have reservations about the drawing pin centre pins. I do hope that they come up with something finer soon because I am sure that the thick points damage the fabric. American templates are very expensive when you live in Australia.

    1. I bet drawing your designs, doodling on paper will help you develop your FMQ skills.

      I find the TopAnchor Anchor posts have pins no bigger than my basting pins, but the Westalee thumbtack is bigger. I definitely have a preference, but pin holes are easily closed up with a spritz of water.

  5. Thank you so much for the idea! :)
    That is so nice! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla