Ruler Work: Dena Wilkins of Living Water Quilter

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.

BTW – I have found these “Westalee Circles on Quilts” templates available from Patsy Thompson Designs.


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.

You can find Dena at:

Her email is:

Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork


One World QAL – Month #3 – Still Plenty of Time to Join the Fun

Today I want to share insights about the One World QAL, some fun quilty inspiration, as well as heighten awareness how you could win prizes, even if you are not stitching along in this QAL! Let me clarify, you can participate in this QAL as a viewer, or as a quilter. Keith Phillips (Quilt Fusion) and Kim Jamieson-Hirst (Chatterbox Quilts) are hosting this event and doing an absolutely great job!

First, I’d like to hear from anyone who is following along the One World QAL?   Who is stitching?  Who is simply following?  Who is interested?  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what ever you think.

Did I mention you can win prizes, even if you are not actively stitching?  Yes, the One World QAL isn’t just a fun QAL, but also a way to win amazing prizes.  Participating quilters, as well as registered viewers will have a chance to win prizes. Click here for a list of prizes and more info.

 But I can honestly say this QAL is much more fun if you are making this project and it really is super easy.  Even though Month #3 kicks off today, it is still plenty of time to join.


This event is hosted by Keith Phillips (QuiltFusion) and Kim Jamieson-Hirst (Chatterbox Quilts) and will run for seven months, where you’ll be able to create your own beautiful  One World quilt.

I had never used the “One Click” tool for ordering fabrics before.  But, I found it was really easy to use to order fabrics for this kit from Batiks Plus.  You can order all of the fabrics, or pull from your stash for all, shop locally, or use a mix.   I bought some fabric locally, some came from my stash, and I found it really easy to order the remainder.  And, those that I ordered from Batiks Plus all arrived in individual bags, where the bag and the fabric had a label on it.  Excellent!


Plus Batiks Plus also sent me some extra fabric for free.


Participants in this QAL receive a block pattern every month, that has easy to follow instructions, a placement guide and applique’ shapes that do not need to be enlarged, and are well organized to help cut pieces with the same fabric, as appropriate.  And, for those that have electronic cutting machines SVG files are also available.

BLOCK ONE:  Here is my block vs the original block, by Keith.  I still need to add some small pieces to the trees.  I also plan to add fancy machine stitching, but want to wait to get a few more blocks finished before I begin to add such.


BLOCK TWO: Here is my block vs the original design, by Keith.  Don’t look too closely, as I made a few mistakes, including mixing up what fabrics I was supposed to use.  But I still love it.


BLOCK THREE (released Nov 15th) – I am certainly looking forward to making this block.  The monkey just sets off the whimsical design, in my perspective.


I’m finding great fun and inspiration via the Facebook group for this QAL (One World Quilt Along), which is open for anyone to join.  Here is a picture of the first two blocks, made by Susan Noren.  I love the colors and fabrics she selected.


Participants on this QAL also get access to  Quilt Fusion software, an online program that you get access to during this QAL.  I’ve found this software super easy and fun to use, as well as very versatile.  You can use it to customize the blocks in this QAL, as Keith did by adding a beautiful eagle to block 2 (show next to the original design):

To clarify, you can change the size, as well as add/remove applique’ shapes to any blocks in this QAL, as well as use many shapes provided in the software to create your own unique projects.  Plus, there is a large gallery of projects that you can use “as is” or modify to make it your own.  Here are just a few in the Quilt Fusion Gallery that caught my attention:


Plus, when you use the Quilt Fusion software to design, you can, with a simple click create a pattern that gives you full size templates, a full size placement guide, fabric requirements, as well as the option to use a one click feature to buy your fabrics at Batiks Plus.  And, subscribers to Quilt Fusion Software also receive a new Free Pattern every Friday via email.  I hope you too see a value in joining this QAL and/or being a Quilt Fusion subscriber.  I certainly do.

Check out the Quilt Fusion website to learn more about this easy to use and highly creative software:

You can find more on One World at:


You can find Quilt Fusion at:

quilt fusion logo

You can find Chatterbox Quilts at:


#EQ25 Celebration – Tutorials, Inspiration, and Prizes – November

The Electric Quilt Company, is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with monthly giveaways.  This month you can win a copy of EQ7 software or a bundle of HQ scissors and Light Strip from HandiQuilter.   QuiltShopGal is also helping to celebrate by way of sharing monthly EQ theme posts. I’m also thrilled that several blogging friends are also helping in the celebration, many of us sharing EQ theme tips, tutorials, as well as inspirational projects along the way.

Today, I want to share some recommendations for learning EQ software, as well as some tips and hopefully inspiration too!  EQ7 is a robust software package that I absolutely love, as I love all things EQ, but I still have loads to learn.  I’ve recommended my approach to learning this software many times, but I want to share it again today:

Pick a topic and “play” with it, until you are comfortable with it.  15 minutes a day of play time in the software can be a great way to learn.  There wonderful lessons and tutorials available on the EQ website, as well as on blogs and YouTube.  My favorite tutorial series for beginners is the Benni Harper Mystery series lessons.  You can start/stop/start again for what works for your schedule, as well as repeat as often as you wish.


EQ University has a variety of wonderful online classes, with EQ Experts, that you can watch over and over again. One of the features within EQ7 is to create custom quilt designs (e.g. non-traditional block designs).  I often look at quilts and try to analyze how it might have been designed.  To clarify, I view there is always great value in purchasing a design, as you also get instructions to help you make the project, but I analyze to try to develop my skills of using the EQ software.

When I saw the original Octagon Table Toppers Class, by Kari Schell, at EQ University I knew that this would be a perfect class for me to expand my skills (and comfort) with creating custom quilt designs in EQ7.  The class provided step-by-step videos, as well as written instructions.  This class surpassed my expectations and at $25 I felt it was an exceptional value.  Thus, I recommend it to anyone interested in learning about creating designs for custom quilts.


While the initial Fall class has already begin, I think you could still join in if that is the only date that works for you.  But there are also additional dates for this class in 2017 that I wanted to heighten awareness of:



There is an Electric Quilt Users Group on Facebook where members are good about helping each other, as well as sharing inspirational projects.

Renee Chester shared a photo of a quilt design she recently created in EQ7. It caught my attention, and I was happy that she approved me sharing this inspirational design.  BTW, she purchased the software in August 2015 and enjoys playing with, often doing so daily.  And she shared that she loves the software too!


You can find Renee at:

MY TUTORIAL THIS MONTH:  Let’s Play With Creating A Custom Quilt in EQ7

In this lesson we are going to learn to create a custom quilt in EQ7, with a variety of block sizes.  You could apply this to designing Row Quilts, or blocks of any size, even adding sashing around blocks, as appropriate.  I simply hope to inspire you to play with the Custom Quilt functional in EQ7.

1) Create a new project in EQ7 called “Playing with Custom Quilt”

2) On the Main Menu Bar Click Quilt > New Quilt > Custom Set

3) Click on the Layout tab on the bottom.


Set the layout size for 60″ wide and 72″ long.







4) On the Main Menu bar, click Libraries > Block  and select a number of block designs that you would like to create with.  To select them, you simply click on them and click “Add to Sketchbook”.  For me, I’m using the following blocks which you can quickly find via the search feature in the library.

Broken Dishes
Birds in the Air
Corn and Beans
Picnic Bouquet
Lily Wreath
Hot Latte
Lucky Clover
Dutchmen’s Puzzle

5) Click on the Work on Block Icon.



6) On the Main Menu click Block > New Block > Easy Draw Block

7) Click on View Sketchbook and select one of the blocks for your Custom Quilt design (found in the block tab). Click the “Edit” button in the lower part of this Sketchboook menu.








8) The block will now appear on the EasyDraw menu table.  We will first change the size to be 12″x12″.  To do this, on the Drawing Setup bar, change the width and height to 12″.




9) Click on the Color tab, on the bottom menu. And click on the Paintbrush tool, in the upper right hand menu bar.



10) Click on the color or fabric of your choice, in the Sketchbook Fabrics and Color.  Then you can click on the various parts of your block design that you wish to set the color.

















11) Click the Save to Sketchbook icon, on the top menu bar.




Repeat steps #7-11 for each block twice, as you’ll want to have each design saved as a 6″x6″ and 12″x12″ block, ideally with different colors.  Once you have all your blocks in the two sizes, colored and saved to your sketchbook, proceed with the steps below.

12)  Now the real fun begins as you can play and play, to layout your blocks to create your own custom quilts.


It is fun to continue add blocks, as well as move them around to change the layout.  You can also continue to change colors/fabric selection, as you go, if desired. I just tend to do it when I create my blocks, then later, after I get the quilt layout defined, I may change colors.



Please let me know if you have questions on this tutorial. I will try to help you, as well as use your feedback to update this tutorial to make it easier to follow.  



EQ and Timeless Treasures have great prizes you could win this month, as part of the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration: Wouldn’t it be fun to win a bundle of yummy fabrics from Timeless Treasures or a copy of EQ7 from the Electric Quilt Company?  Just visit the blogs and leave a comment for these two businesses, to enter to win.  And don’t forget to use hashtag #EQ25 to also win prizes that the Electric Quilt Company is hosting for their 24th Celebration in 2016..

For a complete schedule of events, as well as information on the amazing prizes and generous sponsors:


I’m also thrilled to have several blogging friends joining me today, to help celebrate.  As you may already be aware, many of us, will be sharing a EQ themed blog post on the 10th of every month this year, where you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational projects, as well as hopefully some fun quilty insights, as well as learn about how to win amazing prizes.

Yes, each month several blogging friends are releasing a post on the 10th of each month to help celebrate the EQ 25th Anniversary.  Along the way, you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational project and various EQ themed insights.  Here are some bloggers that I hope you’ll click thru to visit today:

Carol of Fun Threads Designs

Carole of From My Carolina Home

Pamela of Pamela Quilts

Tina of Quilting Affection

You can find the Electric Quilt Company at:

Here are links to my prior posts for these monthly  #EQ25 celebrations, many include tutorials. And all include links to posts by blogging friends who are also sharing EQ tips, tutorials and inspirational projects on the 10th of each month, to help with the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration:

New Books with #CreativeGoodness from Martingale

I’m excited to be able to share insights with you today about some new books with #CreativeGoodness from Martingale.  


Huggable Amigurumi, by Shannen Nicole Chua


My Review:

This is an absolutely adorable book, that uses basic stitches to crochet amigurumi softies that will certainly delight all ages.  They would certainly make great gifts, as well as be cute to decorate your own home.  Absolute irresistable.  This book has easy to follow instructions, with great visuals, making this book perfect for confident beginners, as well as those with great expertise with crocheting.

Sew This and That! 13 Quick-to-Make Quilted Projects, by Sherri K. Falls


My Review:

With more than a dozen fun projects this book is an exceptional value.  All the projects would make great gifts, as well as usable handmade items for your home.  And, this book includes a stamp of Martingale’s high quality books, in that each project has easy to follow instructions with great visuals.  

Moda All-Stars Mini Marvels: 15 Little Quilts With Big Style, by Lissa Alexander


My Review:

Each project offers the opportunity to try a different technique (e.g. traditional piecing, applique’, paper piecing, and even embroidery).  And, all come with easy to follow instructions with great visuals.  With the focus on mini-quilts, most of these projects could be completed very quickly, probably in a day for most quilters. And, for those that may want larger projects, the designs could easily be adapted.  Certainly these projects would also make great gifts, as well as to use to decorate your home throughout the year.

Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt: Learn the basics of walking-foot & free-motion quilting.



My Review:

This will certainly be a popular book for fans of Pat Sloan, who are wanting to learn the very basics of walking-foot and free-motion quilting.  There is a good section on the basics, with great visuals.  Another section focuses on Walking-Foot Quilts, which includes easy patterns to make a Strippy Table Runner, a Mini Charm Star, Checkerboard Hearts, etc, with all easy to follow instructions that make for easy walking-foot quilting projects.  The last section shares a few easy patterns that are good projects for beginners to learn free-motion quilting.


All of these books come with Martingale’s quality and value where they each have easy to follow instructions and great visuals, making them perfect for all levels of creativity (beginner to advanced).  I hope you get a chance to check out these books at your favorite quilt shop.  But if you don’t see them, let them know you are interested in them making these books available in their store.  They are such new books, the store may simply not be aware of them.  Of course, you can also check out these books online at Martingale, or Amazon.  

I also want to share that Martingale is a sponsor of an upcoming event which I’ll kick off on December lst, to celebrate “12 Days of Christmas”, with daily giveaways.  

You can find Martingale at:

martingale logo   

#CreativeGoodness With Modern Quilting And Free-Motion Quilting

While at QuiltCon West 2016, this past February, this stunning quilt, by Jess Frost, of  Mount Stuart, Tasmania, Australia  caught my attention:




In addition to glitz, this quilt had inspirational free-motion quilting.



And a variety of quilting motifs.



Even beautiful swirls and pearls.



I hope you enjoy seeing Jess’s quilt as much as I did.



Great job Jess.  Total #CreativeGoodness.

You can find Jess at:


You can find the QuiltCon at:




Ruler Work with Patsy Thompson

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.


Here is a link to a chart, by Accents and Designs, that can help you figure out if your machine is a high or low shank machine:

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.


You can find Patsy Thompson at:

You can find Accents and Designs at:

Help Spread This News – Jamie Wallen/Quilt Festival/Houston 2016

I had a post planned for today, but something more important came up.  I’m hopeful that you’ll read this post and and understand why I feel this is important and help to increase awareness by sharing with others.  If you are a blogger, you have my permission to copy anything from this post and share on your blog.  And for those that can share with quilting and sewing friends, I hope you will do so.

Jamie Wallen is an amazing quilter, artist and teacher, also known as Quilters Apothecary , from Indiana.  Jamie is scheduled to teach this week at Quilt Festival/Houston, as well as Vend.  He and his partner awoke Monday to discover his trailer full of quilts and supplies was stolen overnight from the Houston Extended Stay America hotel parking lot in the 2300 block of the Southwest Freeway service road.

For those on Facebook, here is a link to a video that shares Jamie’s perspective on this theft and what it means to him

Here are photos of “some” of the projects that were in the trailer:

Here is a picture of the stolen trailer:14670660_10207446114058559_2984988989251459355_n

And this is the license plate for this trailer:


Various news reports in Houston have been reporting this story.  Here is a summary of their reports:

Jamie Wallen of Quilters Apothecary is in Houston for the International Quilt Festival.  His trailer full of $125,000 worth of quilts and supplies was stolen from the hotel where he was staying.

Wallen was set to teach at Quilt Festival, but the thieves got away with his teach supplies, as well as his inventory that he was going to sell at this venue, as well as many beautiful quilts that he was going to share with others to inspire them.  The stolen property conprises over a year of work.  Wallen was going to be setting up his booth on Tuesday (today) for a quilt show that begins on Wednesday.


The trailer is described as a white trailer by the company Universal Trailer. It has an Indiana license plate number of: TR388APP

If you have any information call the Houston Police Department’s Auto Theft Division at 713 308-3500.

You can find Jamie Wallen at:

Again, help is needed to increase awareness of this stolen trailer and items inside.  We need quilters who can help spot these products, should they see them, report them and the person in possession, as well as heighten awareness with non-quilters, in hopes that the thief will return the trailer and merchandise.  All they have to do is return it to the front parking lot of the Houston Extended Stay America hotel parking lot in the 2300 block of the Southwest Freeway service road, or a Houston Police Department parking lot.  No questions asked.

 A GO FUND ME page has also been setup for those that may wish to donate money to help Jamie Wallen.   As Ricky Tims shared “A hefty amount of $$$ that will equal and offset their lost Hoston Quilt Festival revenue and expenses would be beneficial”.  Here is a link to this Go Fund Me Page, where even small donations can help to make a difference: 

Personally, I hope a Donation Jar is setup in Jamie’s booth where ALL Quilt Festival attendees stop by and make a donation.  Even small donations ($1-5) can make a difference.  This guy has massive expenses, plus loss of selling his products at Festival, will certainly negatively impact his income for the future.  Help is needed to show support and help this quilter get back on his feet.


Ruler Work On Domestic Machines

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:   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

Free Motion Quilting With Rulers – Opportunities on Craftsy

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:

Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine, by Amy Johnson


Creative Quilting with Amy Johnson


Craftsy has plenty of free-motion quilting classes, quilting in general, cooking, gardening, photography, and many more topics.


You can find Craftsy at:

Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork

Ruler Work on Domestic Machines

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?  

Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork

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