Seven months ago, I was pleasantly surprised to learn I could do free motion quilting “ruler work” with my Janome domestic sewing machine.
Recently, through a blogger giveaway, I learned about rulers by Accents in Design. So, I contacted Carol, at Accents in Design, hoping she was looking for experienced free motion quilters with blogs to test and write about their experience with her rulers.
- Thick and clear acrylic base
- Resistance strip on the underside of the ruler
- Incremental laser scoring on the underside
- Finger grips: for a natural hand position on the ruler
The 1/4 inch incrementally scored lines and the center and 45 degree scored dashed line on the continuous curve ruler make grid work easy.
However, it would make the straight ruler even better, if like the continuous curve ruler, it had a center line and 45 degree angle too.
As you can see below, the top left row of straight lines are straight, but slanted. I think a scored 45 degree angle would have helped with accurate ruler placement.
Wow! I had a good time testing various designs with the Fine Line Quilter’s Rulers. I started with simple straight line combinations. As with every new tool there was a learning curve.
I was a little timid in the beginning, so the stitch lengths are not consistent. I was afraid the Velcro strip was not enough to hold the ruler in place, but I was wrong. Watch Carol’s video demo:
I wanted to expand the FMQ possibilities, so I decided to take time to sketch out designs on paper before stitching. The more I planned and sketched on paper the better the results.
It can be time consuming, like applique, but I think the results are worth it. With patience and practice, I believe the process will improve. For instance, these are small quilt sandwiched that can be easily rotated when needed. However, the website says:
"Sit-down machine quilters can outline a Mariner’s Compass motif without turning their quilt. Don’t pivot your quilts to change stitching directions, change the angle of your ruler and complete vertical, horizontal and diagonal design elements."
I haven’t tried the Mariner’s Compass, but in the patterns below I did change the angle of the ruler a few times. Again, I believe it requires practice.
It was time to take these new skills from a sample quilt sandwich to a real quilt project. My process for quilting any project is:
- choose a contrasting or blending thread
- sketch the area to be quilted on paper and try different designs
- test designs on a sample quilt sandwich
Above is a sample with the five-sided quilting area from the project. I wanted to fill it with a quilting pattern using the Continuous Curve Ruler.
I think the gentle curve crosshatching adds a nice texture to the table runner. Notice how I used the center dashed line in the top left image below to help consistently mark the same shape in the border. The center line is placed along the seam line.
Instead of batting I decided to use Soft and Stable by Annie. Soft and Stable is thick, yet easy to FMQ. However, it is too think to use with Fine Line Rulers. The ruler would not fit under the foot thumb screw.
I chalked it up to a lesson learned and pulled out the chalk to draw the quilting lines with the ruler instead. It worked out perfectly.
The Final Results:
- The rulers are easy to use
- The design possibilities are numerous
- It increases accuracy in grid work without marking
- The rulers take sit-down quilting to new heights
- The lack of a center line and a 45 degree angle on the Quilters Straight Ruler.
I have the privilege of teaching a workshop on free motion quilting at my guild, Virginia Star Quilters, this fall. I plan to include a demo on Fine Line Quilters Rulers.
I am linking up with
Lee’s WIP Wednesday