Are you wanting to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills this year? Interested in Ruler Work?
Last year, I began a series of articles on Ruler Work to encourage everyone to explore free-motion quilting with rulers on domestic machines, as well as mid-arm and longarm machines. This series is also intended to heighten awareness of teachers, tools, classes and essentially opportunities for you to learn free-motion quilting with rulers.
Today, I want to showcase Lisa Calle, an expert free-motion quilter, teacher, author, and a Bernina Ambassador. As a teacher, she is willing to travel to teach at quilt shows, guilds and quilt shops. She also teaches online at iQuilt.
Lisa H.Calle is also a 1991 graduate of Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science with a BS in Textile Management and Marketing.
When it comes to Ruler Work, Lisa’s favorite rulers are the Quilter’s Groove Rulers which can be used on a longarm, mid arm or domestic machine that have a high shank. While I’ve not yet had an opportunity to use any of these rulers, I’ve certainly been inspired with what Lisa has created using FMQ Ruler Work.
Check out her blog posts, as well as watch her video tutorials to learn more.
As this video shows this Quilter’s Groove ProEcho Ruler being used on a longarm, I asked Lisa if she thought it would work on a domestic machine. She shared “You can use these rulers on a domestic machine that has a high shank. The smaller ones (ProEcho 3-7) are good for domestic machines but if you have your machine in a cabinet then really all of them will work. I would suggest putting some Handi Grip on the bottom of the rulers and using Machingers. I’ll be posting some videos of using them on a domestic machine soon. Stay tuned”.
Today I’m showcasing a talented quilter, Geraldine Wilkins, (aka Dena), who is also a free-motion quilting expert and a Westalee Design by Sew Steady instructor, for Ruler Work. You may know Dena through her blog, Living Water Quilter.
Dena share’s her inspirational work on her blog and Facebook, as well as many tips and tutorials:
She has several Youtube video tutorials. Here is one where she shares how to create circles using a Westalee Ruler:
And, her most recent video “Free-Motion Ruler Work with Paradox”, shows how to create a stunning design.
For those that are interested in taking a class with Dena, she is located in Virginia. She is happy to travel the East Coast, Houston Texas and Southern California and is most willing to travel to teach at any other location to teach at Quilt Guilds, Quilt Shops, Shows, etc.. You may want to let your Quilt Guild Event Coordinator, local Quilt Shop, or even Quilt Show Class Scheduler know that you’d like to take a class with Dena in your area.
This is another post about Ruler Work on a sit down machine, frequently called a domestic sewing machine.
In this video, Angela Walters shows how to combine ruler with with free-motion quilting, plus plenty of great tips for learning/improving your skills with Ruler Work. Some quilters do only Ruler Work, which I feel works well when wanting to create a modern look. But I’ll confess, I’m partial to incorporating Ruler Work with regular FMQ. There is no write/wrong approach when it comes to Ruler Work, or FMQ in general. It is personal preference. Either way, I hope you enjoy this video tutorial by Angela:
I also want to share that I spotted a sale on Westalee/Sew Steady Rulers, including bundles with Ruler feet, at Sewing Machines Plus. As I try to share info on Steals & Deals, on my blog “Fingertip Shopping“, click thru if you want to learn more about this sale:
There are a number of amazing quilters that have adopted Ruler Work on a domestic machine, some of which teach classes on Ruler Work, as well as share insights on their blog. In keeping with the heart of my series of articles on Ruler Work, I do plan to continue to share insights on experts with Ruler Work on domestic machines, as well as tools, tips, learning opportunities and inspirational projects. But today, I want to focus on a particular quilter that is a master free-motion quilter (and more) who has also incorporated Ruler Work, with her stunning FMQ.
Patsy Thompson is an amazing quilter, teacher, designer, author and Expert Free-Motion Quilter. She is also one, of a growing number of quilters, that have adopted Ruler Work, with general free-motion quilting. Although, I think she is the only teacher, that I’m aware of, that has mastered using both regular FMQ and Ruler Work, on a domestic machine, and teaches how to do this to create beautiful FMQ on your projects.
Patsy has recently shared insights about a new clear Ruler Foot on the market by Accents and Designs. Here is a brief video she created, introducing the Clarity Foot, a new ruler foot for sit down. Since it is clear you can easily see through it to see your markings and your stitching as you proceed. No more obstruction by metal ruler feet. This foot fits nearly all domestic machines and will be a great addition to your quilting arsenal!
Now in contrast, here is an older video by Patsy Thompson that talks about the Westalee Ruler Foot, that is adaptable to a variety of high and low shank domestic sewing machines. although in this video she does focus on this foot using a Bernina 830.
Lastly, I want to heighten awareness that Patsy Thompson also has
a DVD for Ruler Work on Domestic Machines. I’ve not yet watched this video, but I have seen all of her videos for free-motion quilting and can highly recommend them. Thus, I’m confident this new Ruler Work DVD is also an excellent value.
Before I begin, I want to clarify that there are a variety of rulers for free-motion quilting on longarm and mid-arm machines, as well as feet. But the feet, as well as the rulers, used on longarm and mid-arm machines are not typically useful on a domestic machine. The shank of the machine, where the foot resides is completely different. And the neck of the machine is also different, much smaller on a domestic machine, thus prohibiting the use of many longarm rulers on a domestic machine.
While I am not an expert on Ruler Work, I do want to heighten awareness of how easy it is to use rulers on a domestic machine and how much fun it can be. Thus, I’ve started a series of articles on this topic where I plan to showcase experts, rulers, feet, tips, tutorials and hopefully plenty of inspiration. My goal you ask? I simply want to encourage every quilter to try Ruler Work, on their domestic machines, regardless if you have ever done any free-motion quilting or not. And I want to increase awareness of a variety of ways to learn/improve your FMQ skills by way of Ruler Work.
I’m confident rulers can help you stitch beautiful FMQ designs without having to mark your fabric. I also believe you’ll find Ruler Work can also be faster and more accurate to traditional FMQ. While some may be happy to only use Rulers, I also feel the hybrid of using Ruler Work with traditional FMQ can be amazing. It will be up to you to pick your style.
Some quilters use rulers without a special foot. For example, several years ago Teri Lucas shared a Youtube video showing how to use rulers with common machine feet.
A true ruler foot is a 1/4″ foot that guides along the ruler, to allow the free-motion quilting to stitch 1/4″ from the guide (ruler). The foot typically has a round base that allows the ruler to be rotated completely around the foot, consistently stitching 1/4″ away. Non-sewing machine companies are the leaders in designing ruler feet, for various brands. While you need to know if your machine is a high vs low shank machine before you purchase a generic ruler foot for your machine, I also recommend you check with your sewing machine dealer to learn if they have a specific ruler foot for your machine. Bernina has recently released such a foot, but not all dealers have them in stock yet.
Westalee, based in Australia, has design of generic ruler feet for high or low shank machines and they also have a large selection of rulers. In the US, one of their largest resellers is Sew Steady who sales a variety of ruler bundles.
Personally, I prefer using a Ruler Foot vs other feet, as I find it is simply smoother when sewing against a ruler and doesn’t want to sneak underneath the ruler. Plus, I can stitch faster when using a true Ruler Foot, but that could be just me.
Here is a good intro to Ruler Work video tutorial by Angela Walters. I also really like this video as Angela shares how to incorporate regular FMQ with ruler work.
I’ve received plenty of questions that I’m researching (e.g. WW status of availability of the new Bernina Ruler Foot for Domestic Machines, What other Brands have their own Ruler Foot, How to identify differences of rulers best for longarm vs domestic or midarm machines, etc.).
For those of you that have pursued Ruler Work on a sit down machine, I’m hoping you can share your favorite brand of rulers and/or favorite “go to” ruler. And, of course, I hope you’ll share photos of any Ruler Work you have done (or any FMQ) on my Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/quiltshopgal as I’d love to see what you’ve created, as well as have your help to inspire others to give Ruler Work (and FMQ) a try. Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork
There are a lot of ways to learn/improve your skills for using rulers for free-motion quilting on a domestic machine. Today, I want to share insights about some amazing classes on Craftsy, to help you learn about using rulers for FMQ on a domestic machine. But there are also many classes filled with #CreativeGoodness available via Craftsy and EVERY class on Crafty is on on sale this weekend for < $20 USD.
For those interested in learning/improving their skills for FMQ using rulers, check out:
This is a simple post today, all about Ruler work on domestic machines, which is rapidly growing in popularity.
Many that have tried free-motion quilting (FMQ) and do beautiful work are incorporating ruler work in their projects, many modern quilters are using only ruler work, and there are many newbies to FMQ that are learning thru ruler work.
I’m hoping you’ll share your experience with FMQ and ruler work today. Have you used quilting rulers on a domestic machine? Are you interested in learning/improving your skills for FMQ using rulers??
Here is a video by Westalee that talks about Ruler Feet for domestic machines, which I think has become a favored tool for many:
Here is a video demonstration by Patsy Thompson that shows off some fun stuff you can create with rulers.
Several sewing machine manufacturers have created a specific ruler foot for their brand, but if not, the adapter feet are highly recommended. I’ve been able to purchase the recently released Bernina Ruler Foot and absolutely love it.
Again, I’d love to hear from you on your experience with FMQ, Ruler Feet, as well as interest in learning about FMQ using rulers. For those that have been using rulers for FMQ, do you have “go to” rulers, any classes to recommend, or tips you can share?