Friday, September 27, 2013

New Rulers for Free Motion Quilting

My Fine Line rulers arrived Tuesday and I finally got a little time to play with them. Love them! From left to right: 7.5" half circle, 8" Straight, and 10" Continuous Curve ruler.

Fine line rulers

I ordered these over the phone so I got to talk to Carol Olson, the designer of these rulers. She was very nice and helpful. She also has a video on these rulers using a Janome 6600 (same model as mine) and I noticed that she didn't have a ruler toe on her machine. I told her she might want to get one!


First I marked a few registration lines with my air erasable purple pen. Then I used the registration lines I drew and the marks on the ruler (10 inch continuous curve) to make a frame for some curved cross hatching.

free motion quilting with Fine Line brand long arm rulers

 Those orginal registration lines are the only markings used for this bit of quilting. These rulers have a pair of pegs to help you hold the ruler with the sides of your fingers. The pegs were close enough I didn't have to stretch my fingers to use them and they seemed solidly attached. They were in no danger of running into the needle area of my machine either, plenty of clearance.

free motion quilting with Fine Line brand long arm rulers

See that white line above, going down the center of the ruler? These rulers come with a heavy duty strip of hook-side velcro attached to keep the ruler from sliding around. I had no slippage of the rulers as I quilted.

curved cross hatching, free motion

Not too shabby if I do say so myself! I really enjoyed the curved ruler. The etched lines in the ruler were easy to see and to line up with the previous line of stitching.

free motion curved cross hatching on a sewing machine

Then I drew out some lines with a 24 inch rotary cutting ruler to simulate sashing. I then used the 7.5 half circle to make an egg and dart design. This ruler is maybe a bit large for this design and I had to draw a secondary registration line to use as a guide for my first set of curves, but then I used that stitching to guide the second pass. A smaller ruler would have worked better.

I still didn't have any trouble with feeling like the ruler was too large for my machine, just for that design. In fact, even the 10" curve wasn't too big. I do know I will order the 12" straight ruler, a smaller half-circle, and possibly the 12.5" curved ruler.

egg and dart sashing, no mark

I took a video while doing the curved cross hatching and will get that posted soon. (The video is up! Free Motion Curved Cross Hatching )I am excited about the design opportunities for ruler work on domestic sewing machines and the big sit-down long arm machines!

Another handy side benefit of using the rulers is that it helps keep the top flat as you move the quilt. More on that later.

I can see that if you have a substantial sized quilt under the machine, there will be less room to manipulate a ruler, but good design choices will help with that. I particularly like the idea of using the half circle for swags  and the straight ruler for piano keys or beadboard to be combined in an outer border where the quilt size won't be an issue.

I have linked this post to Leah Day's  Free Motion Friday and to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

See a few of my thoughts on choosing long arm rulers for your sit down machine. And don't forget to look at more of my posts on ruler work, or click the tab at the top of the page. As with nearly all good long arm rulers, they cost a pretty penny, but unlike the others, the Fine Line rulers are ready to go sew! No need to stick an anti-slip thingy onto the bottom and the pegs are an additional benefit for those of us who move the quilt instead of the machine!

Full disclosure: While I recieved no compensation for this post and review, I did get a discount on the rulers as I am choosing rulers to recommend to the quilt shop where I will be teaching free motion quilting starting in November. They will be stocking a selection of these rulers.

For more information about the foot needed for using rulers on your Janome or Janome compatible machine, see my ruler toe update. Also see the page for Using Long Arm Rulers on a Stationary Machine, above.

15 comments:

  1. Wow! I am impressed! Your quilting is sew precise. Thanks for sharing such great pictures and details about how you did it, Amy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. HI, I got my set too. The continuous curve ones. Love them. If I didn't already have a different straight ruler, I would have gotten one of those too. Didn't see the circles though. Need some of those!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where do I find the half circle one? Didn't see it on the website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I emailed you already, but for those with the same question, the half circles are listed as templates on the site.

      Delete
  4. Hello Amy,

    I'm looking forward to seeing your video! The quilting is wonderful,

    Love,
    Muv

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just got the straight ruler and can tell I need the others...they worked perfectly with the BSR foot on my Bernina...I played for a couple of hours today and I am in LOVE.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amy I've looked at the ruler toe on Etsy but I have the Janome Horizon 8900 and can't tell if it will fit or not but have a call in to my local Janome shop. I am definitely interested in getting it. And the rulers - that order is going in this week! blessings, marlene

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will fit on the convertible FMQ set that should have come with your machine.

      Delete
  7. I just bought one of the straight rulers to see if I can get it to work and I love it. I'll be purchasing a couple of the curved rulers really soon. I really like all the information you have on fmq. It's helped me a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amy, It made sense to me that I could use a ruler with my Janome Horizon 8200 but I was so glad to find your blog recommending the special foot. I attached the foot today, but my width on the machine has to be set at 4.5 so the needle can hit the hole in the bottom plate. Is there a problem with that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 8200 is like the 8900 in that there are different positions for the needle when free motion quilting. Does the 4.5 position have the needle in the center of the ruler toe? There shouldn't be any problems using this foot combo on your machine. I'll double check the settings when I am at the Janome dealership next week.

      Delete
    2. The needle is in the middle of the fmq foot. Working fine but concerned about the 4.5 setting. Thanks for responding.

      Delete
  9. I've done an update about the ruler toe/foot here: http://freemotionquiltingadventures.blogspot.com/2014/07/free-motion-quilting-with-rulers-update.html

    ReplyDelete