Ruler Quilting Practice

For the last few years I have kept saying that I needed to learn more about using rulers for Free Motion Quilting. When I have done this practice time in the past, I have simply pulled out my rulers and played with them a little and said….well that was fun!!! But I never really LEARNED anything.

I have now purchased a series of rulers from Angela Walters and am watching many of her videos as I excitedly await their arrival. At the gym I watched the video where she talks about using a straight ruler to quilt a spiral pattern in a square. Since I already own a straight ruler, I decided to give this a try today.

I started out by making 6 practice pieces using some low quality cotton fabrics and batting. Then I drew an 8 inch square on one of them……

…..sat down at the machine and started playing!!! The first step was to quilt around the outside of the square and then quilt from the corner to 1/2 inch past the next corner…..

With the first few rounds, I chose to mark where the ruler would fall along the line. In this case the ruler was placed 3/4 of an inch away from the corner. Because of how the ruler foot is built, this means that the needle will fall at the 1/2 inch mark.

I kept working my way around the block and was able to finally stop marking each corner which saved a LOT of time.

This design is really good for practicing because it makes you use the ruler in all of the four orientations…… in front of the needle, behind the needle, to the right of the needle and to the left of the needle……

I was relatively happy with how this first practice block turned out…..

What did I learn from this first block…..

– there are a LOT of lines in an 8 inch square when you space them 1/2 inch apart!!!!

– GO SLOW…. and don’t worry about having to stop and reposition your hands.

– CONCENTRATE!!!! ….or you end up crooked lines, lines at the wrong angles and stitching that goes beyond the line.

Okay….that was fun. Let’s do it again with 1 inch between the lines…..

I went really well until I got well into the center and then I lost concentration and sewed one line wrong……

So here are my errors on the second try……

I am still happy with this first practice piece and I have already learned a lot. AND, I am thinking that I might use this design on one of the next quilts that I have in the queue to quilt.

I think that I will try this a few more times tomorrow and see if I get better with it!!!

2 thoughts on “Ruler Quilting Practice

  1. Oh, this is on my to-do list as well. I have some rulers and actually 2 cheater panels by Amanda Murphy who I’ve been watching. You are right that a few tries does not mean a learning experience. My winter goal is to get my machine quilting skills up! Great start.

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