Quilting with Rulers: Part 4


This is part four of a six-part series from Lori Baker on Quilting With Rulers (and the first on domestic machine quilting with rulers!). In case you missed them, here are part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Wow, what a week this has been. I spent the first three weeks of this series of articles talking about using rulers on Annie, my new-to-me Handi Quilter Avante longarm. For the next three weeks, I want to explore quilting with rulers on my domestic machine.

I had the best of plans but somehow … let me tell you about my week.

April 17, 2018

I talked to Annette about my difficulty with the spacing on the lines on my little blue vintage linen table-topper. She’s bringing another ruler for me to try.

April 18-20, 2018

We had a bit of drama at my house. Our son and his cat, Sketch were visiting. Sketch and our Lily got in a fight. I saw it coming and tried to get Lily away before they started fighting, didn’t get there fast enough and got scratched and bitten. I’m not usually a pansy but my arm hurt a lot. I didn’t do anything for three days.

April 21, 2018

I felt like I needed to get some things finished. I spent the whole day sewing and made some wonderful progress.

I bound Paint the Attic Blue. It was the first quilt I quilted on Annie. You can read a little more about quilting it in part one of my series on quilting with rulers.

domestic machine quilting with rulers: Paint the Attic Blue

Paint the Attic Blue

I finished the quilting and bound this little vintage piece that has yet to be named.

Vintage Linen

Vintage Linen

I worked on my granddaughter’s graduation quilt. The quilt top is finished. I won’t show pictures of that one. I don’t want her to see it.

April 22, 2018

We had company so it was early evening before I started on my ruler project.

I have a set of rulers and a ruler foot from Westalee and Janet’s Ruler Quilt Design Book by Janet Collins to make this easier. Janet’s book gives instructions for a whole cloth quilt that is divided into sections. Each section is then quilted with one or more of the rulers.

domestic machine quilting with rulers: Tools


I have a pretty piece of pale blue cotton for the quilt top. I pieced together fabric for the quilt back and basted the layers together with basting spray.

Basting the Layers

Basting the Layers

Then I measured and started marking according to the instructions in the book. Or so I thought. When I started marking the second row, I could tell something was wrong so I read the directions again (carefully this time). I’d missed the part about ¼” space between squares and rectangles.

I sprayed my fabric with water to remove the blue marker and quit for the night so it could dry.

April 23, 2018

The blue marks aren’t totally gone. But I’ve been marking them extra heavy so you can see them in my photos. I’m pretty sure they’ll wash out when the piece is quilted and bound.

I marked again tonight. The edges still aren’t totally straight. I think it is because my lines are so thick. I’m just going to go for it and deal with the funky edges when I get closer to the end. This photo is the end that I hadn’t previously marked.

Marking – Second Try

Marking – Second Try

The quilt sandwich is all marked and ready to start stitching. The blue that remains from the first marking is blurry enough that I won’t get confused.

More Marking

More Marking

April 24, 2018

I stitched most of the straight lines. I started using the ruler and ruler foot but decided that I could stitch every bit as straight and much faster without the ruler. That’s just because of my inexperience but I needed to get ready to do some real ruler work so you could see the possibilities.

Straight Stitching Nearly Done

Straight Stitching Nearly Done

April 25, 2018

I am so ready to play and learn.

I marked some of the squares vertically, horizontally and diagonally.

Marked and Ready

Marked and Ready

Then I quilted 5 different blocks according to the instructions in the book. With rulers. On my domestic machine. And I am pretty proud of myself. If you zoom in and look closely, you’ll see my mistakes. I don’t think I did a single block perfectly. But for my first attempt, I’m pleased.

domestic machine quilting with rulers: What a Slick Ruler

What a Slick Ruler

Block 1

Block 1

Block 1

Block 2

Block 1

Block 3

Block 1

Block 4

Block 1

Block 5

I’m looking forward to quilting more blocks on this quilt. It should be fun and I know I’m learning things.

And as always, here is something you might like to check out – a class called Longarm Fundamentals with Angela Huffman.

Until next time, happy quilting,

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