Quilting with Rulers: Tweak your Set-Up

In my previous quilting with rulers post on my current project, I mentioned some issues I was having with my machine set up.

Having a good machine set up will, well....set you up for free motion success.

First I needed to level the insert with the cabinet top. The machine was at the right height, but the insert needed to be up just a smidge to eliminate the little lip around the opening. I used the tiny inner circles from the adhesive silicone gripper dots I use on my rulers to prevent slipping.  Just 6 of these small True Grips got it nice and level.

Then it was time to replace my slider. I shared in my previous post that the slider I was using wasn't big enough. It was a custom sized slider made for the 8200 and 8900 machines to be used on the extension table that comes with these machines. It was really too narrow for this cabinet insert. If I wasn't using rulers, it would be fine.

So I got out a Sew Slip mat and put it down. Alas, it's not quite big enough. I could have ordered a queen sized Supreme Slider at this point, but if you've read this blog for long, you know I think outside the box quite often and like to find solutions without buying something special if I don't need to.

But I also knew I wanted to cut a hole for my bobbin cover plate, like the other mat had. There's a little loss in slide when I do this, primarily if a basting pin catches the edge, but easy access to the bobbin is soooo worth it.

I positioned the mat to cover as much of the edges that I wanted covered and dropped my needle. The original hole was part of the area cut out for the bobbin case and I cut a new hole for the needle.

The custom cut one was much nicer, but this will do. Now it covers the edges and grooves nicely. It's not so much about the slipperiness as much as it is about smoothing out the joins between machine, insert, and cabinet.

Now I can get down to some stitching. This post is getting long, so I'll just show some preliminary quilting for now. I'm breaking this little quilt into different sized chunks so I'm doing some quick marking to keep all the right designs in the right areas.

The outer line above delineates the triangle, but isn't accurately marked, just sketched. But the inner triangle was marked accurately so it would be stitched properly.

So this will feature a 1/2 inch echo around the outer triangle and an inner triangle and echo, plus a freehand fill between echos. I want to minimize stops and starts as much as possible, so I echo around.....

Then work a bit of the fill until I reach the inner triangle. Then I stitch the inner triangle.

 Then I show you the rest of the fill tomorrow!

 Here's a special, cheerful spot in my shop (Sew Simple of Lynchburg) that is making me very happy. Front and center when you walk in the door is Lil Red and Bonnie and Camille Basics in yardage and precuts.

 I hope you have a spot in your life that is making you smile during these dreary days of winter. Great time to quilt!


  1. Check out the oven liners. You may be able to get one big enough.

    1. Thankx Shaneka, brilliant idea!!

    2. would you have to stick the oven liner down Shaneka? always interesting posts Amy

  2. Love that display, Amy! Bonnie and Camille fabric can always make my day. Eye candy!

  3. What do you use to mark your fabric? Thanks.

    1. My favorite is an air-eraseable purple pen. Mine are from Dritz, but they're pretty common. Disappears over a couple of days, so you have to work quickly or re-mark.

  4. Hi,Amy! I love your blog. tell me please what kind of CONVERTIBLE FREE MOTION FOOT SET I must use for Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0
    Thank You!

    1. Because you should use the spring free motion setting on your Pfaff, I wouldn't recommend the Janome ruler foot combo. Instead, try the Medium shank ruler foot by Westalee. See my shop at http://www.amysquiltingadventures.com for more details.