A favorite ruler and an easy border

I am quickly learning that my favorite quilting ruler is the 6-inch straight edge from Angela Walters. She named it “Slim”……

It works so well for many things but today I used it in quilting a border.

The first step was to quilt 1/2-inch outside of the main quilt…..

Placing the white 1/4-inch marking line on the border seam meant I got a perfect stitch line that was 1/2-inch from the seam.

Next, I wanted to add another stitching line on the outside of the quilt. This was made easy by placing the ruler on the first line and stitching along the other side of the ruler…..

Now I had a channel quilted in the border…..

….and the freedom to fill it however I wanted!!!

I chose to quilt a “Wishbone” design……

Adding the outside line gave me a guide to stop the Wishbone so that the binding didn’t cover it.

In a short time, the border was finished…..

I am sold on this technique and will DEFINITELY use it on future quilts!!!

Walking foot AND ruler?

I was watching an Alex Anderson video the other day and she was talking about quilting straight lines.

I was interested that she used a walking foot AND a ruler at the same time…..

It seems like a great idea!!

Using the walking foot means that you don’t have to worry about tension or stitch length.

Using the ruler means that you can easily keep your lines straight!!

What do you think? Would this work for you?

Are you in a rut with your machine quilting? Sure, you know HOW to do FMQ and you have 4 or 5 patterns that you do well. BUT, you are bored with those designs and need a push to try some new things. If so, please join “MOVE-IT…. a Free-Motion Quilting Boot Camp”!! I will take you on a FREE 10-week journey to learn new designs and become more comfortable with just MOVING IT!! You can sign up by clicking HERE.

How Do I Quilt it??

Every time that I sit down to a new quilt, the five-word question in my head is…..


If you have followed my progress, you know that I have participated in four free-motion-quilting challenges and even written my own (check it out here).

But all that means is that I have so many designs in my head that I can’t remember which ones I like and which ones I didn’t!!

So, I decided that it was time to get things organized a bit better and give myself a reference book to use when I ask that particular question!!

I started out with a notebook and added a fun cover to it…..

I decided to call it Free Motion FUN, because that it what it is supposed to be…..FUN…..not drudgery!!

Next I started adding pages to this reference guide…..

Tension and needle/thread instructions that I found online….

  • Pages from my free-motion course called “MOVE IT”…..
  • Instruction sheets from the Angela Walters FMQ challenges (I only included the designs that I really liked)…..
  • Designs from various classes that I have taken over the years…..
  • Instructions for the rulers that I own…..
  • Photocopies of magazine articles that had interesting designs (YES….it is punched on the wrong side and upside down….sigh!!)
  • And, finally, the instructions for my Juki Sit-Down Long Arm….

So now….hopefully….. when I ask the dreaded question, I can quickly flip thru my idea book and start quilting!!!

If you want to make your own idea book, I am sharing the cover design with you. Just click on the photo to download the pdf file…….

If you find other resources that would be appropriate for my idea book, please share them with me!!

Quilting without a plan!!

Yesterday I mentioned my dilemma about how to quilt my latest project. Since I couldn’t figure out exactly what to do, I started with a couple of simple things that I saw.

But where to go next???

I spent some time on Procreate, playing with various ideas……

….but none of them truly appealed to me. However, I did like PARTS of them!!

Firstly, I added the “petals” in part of the negative space…..

Then I added matching arcs to the outside of the pinwheel…..

Now, that made a really funky shape!!!

I then thought about quilting a circle around the pinwheel, but that didn’t turn out so well…..

The idea was good, but I didn’t have a ruler big enough to do the circle and it ended up being lumpy and bumpy, and out came the seam ripper!!!

I started looking at my rulers and realized that this one could be used to make a design that was ALMOST a circle…..

What if I use that arc and be sure to hit each of the points? THAT will work!!

But what to do next?

I found another of Angela’s new rulers…..

…and thought that it might be fun to add a flower design!!

In the end, I used three different rulers to quilt each side of the pinwheel. First I used the arc ruler to quilt from one point down to the next…..

Then I used “Petunia” to quilt the next design, ending back up where I had started…..

I liked how this looked……

….but I knew that I needed a third line to bring me to a position where I could move forward to the next side. I solved this problem by adding another arc, using yet another ruler…..

The final design looked like this…..

I am happy with how the quilting turned out and am pleased to say that every bit of the interior quilting was done using 5 rulers…..

For the two outside borders, I chose to use a couple of curvy line designs…..

Here is the finished quilt……

This has been a sweet project from inception to finish and it makes me happy to remember my new friends on the other side of the world!!!


How am I going to quilt it?

Early this summer, I finished up the group quilt that I had done with several women from Australia and one from New Zealand.

Once I had resized a few of the blocks…..

…..it was quick work to put these brightly colored blocks together…..

…..and then add a fun border…..

But, HOW was I going to quilt it!!

Because I couldn’t answer that question, it languished in the “work-in-progress” bin for the past 3 months!!

Since I was afraid that it was going to turn into a fully-fledged UFO, I decided that it was TIME to get it quilted!!

When I can’t figure out how to quilt something, I try to start with the first thing that I see……in this case, the diagonals in the yellow, green, and orange squares…..

Then, I was pretty sure that I wanted to add some arcs in the pink pinwheels…..

I accomplished these using one of Angela Walters new rulers called “Smiley”…..

I used the longer and gentler curve to quilt the long hypotenuse line…..

….and the shorter, curvier side for the 90-degree sides…..

But, NOW I was stumped……

Come back tomorrow to see my decisions!!!