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.

What was I thinking….

I have been doing some quilting on a recently finished piece and started quilting at 1/2-inch intervals…..

After doing about half of one side, I moved to the other side and started quilting at 1-inch intervals, hoping that it would look okay and I would just pick out the extra lines.

Alas…..it was not to be!! It looks SO much better with more lines, so I am now madly quilting lines every 1/2-inch!!

Not only is it a lot of quilting, but there are tons of thread tails that need to be tied off and buried…..

Which brings me to my question…..

How do you handle stopping and starting your machine quilting?

I have used a backstitch……..

I have started each stitching line with lots of tiny stitches……

I have simply clipped the threads and not worried about them coming out


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!!

Filler Finale…..

As I mentioned last week, I finished the “Free Motion Filler” Challenge from Angela Walters.

Once I decided to slow down and take my time with the practice sessions, I really enjoyed this challenge and learned so many new designs that I can’t wait to use!!

I mean…..how can you NOT like the textures here…..

This also gave me a good chance to try out the “dog grooming arms” that my husband bought me for my last birthday…..

I found that they really helped to hold the quilt up as I worked on it…..

I was originally concerned that I would spend all of my time re-clipping as I moved from area to area, but I didn’t find that to be a problem.

So….it was two challenges for the price of one!!!!

I think that it is now time for me to quit PRACTICING my FMQ skills and start actually USING them!!!