Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Design and Rulers

Corner Setting Block 
I'm learning that straight line ruler work is challenging. I've made certain design elements work great with the ruler. With this design, I ended up just going on my own!!

These were the challenges:
*The design required the use of a longer ruler. The longer ruler was difficult to use because the slide on tray of my machine has a bit of a curve. I wasn't able to keep the ruler flat and lined up on my markings as I needed.

*The stitching line in some cases was less than a quarter of an inch away from the next stitching line. I found that I didn't have "reference points" to be able to use the ruler. Had I marked some reference points, I decided that I would have confused the reference points with the stitching points!

*My view of the stitching line was difficult to see moving backward. I have my puddle of fabric so that I have "room" to stitch. But, this puddle then makes it challenging to use the ruler.
Triangle Setting Block
*The ruler I have has some posts that are handy for gripping; but, these same posts won't glide past the foot if used in back of the machine. The ruler won't slide past the posts on the right side of the machine. So, I'm limited using it to the left and front which would make me do a lot of quilt turning to use it consistently. Not turning the quilt was why I wanted to free motion quilt. Also, since my car accident seven years ago, I just don't have the strength in my hands to be pushing and pulling all that fabric through the harp!

*I'm continually challenged to keep the ruler lined up, the fabric flat and then stitch smoothly all at the same time!

My solution was to use a blue ink pen and draw the lines. The lines will disappear when wet with cool water. I didn't want to "mark" the quilt; but, in the end, it was the best option this time!

A sign of having just enough thread!

Check out how much thread I had left after stitching the main design lines. . .not much! It was a good estimate on my part! This spool was part of a retreat gift a number of years ago. It feels great to use it up!

Getting back to the ruler subject, I could quit. I have given rulers a good try; however, I want to work with rulers. I just need to keep practicing until I figure out what is going to work for me with the set up I have. With this in mind, I drew a more simplified shape to quilt in the four inch border. Using what I learned from stitching the previous section, I think, although I'm not confident, that I can use the ruler for this stitching!

Side Setting Block

You will have to check in with me on Wednesday to see if I was successful!

Note: If I had unlimited resources, I would have purchased a longarm years ago. The longarm would be the "cheap" part of the purchase because a serious remodel would have to happen to fit that piece of equipment in the studio! Actually, the only room it could fit in now, is the living room.


Nancy said...

I have a lot of the same problems using rulers as you do. I've also found that I need to work on how much pressure to use on the ruler, on the quilt sandwich and on the presser foot against the ruler. I'm a lot better at following marked lines. But, like you, I'll persevere and I'm sure I'll figure out at some point what works for me. Your quilting is looking great!

Unknown said...

I feel your pain. My sit down long arm was just the right solution for me and I love doing ruler work. I no longer grit my teeth and wrestle the quilt. said...

Nancy, Yes, I too have found it challenging to gauge the press on the ruler to the quilt sandwich and to the presser foot. Gosh, those u-tube videos make it look so simple!--Terry said...

Joanne, I'm so happy you found a solution that works for you. Wrestling all that quilt body is not fun!--Terry