I am so excited about the Clarity Ruler Foot review / video . The Clarity ruler foot is made by Carol Olson of Fine Line Accents in Design. I am honored, proud, excited ( and many other adjectives ) to say that I was included in the beta testing of this new ruler foot. I was sworn to secrecy and dying to tell people. Carol went public with this a few weeks ago when I was out of town and not able to take pictures and really show off this foot properly ( Carol worked night and day perfecting this foot). I decided that a video would show it the best, so today I threw this video together, even though my domestic goddess responsibilities are no where near caught up ( I just got in from Richmond last night….still need to do laundry yada yada lol).
The visibility on the Clarity ruler foot is great. I think that alone is a big selling point as I love to just leave it on my machine making transitions between ruler work to regular free motion quilting and back to some ruler work a breeze. The other great point is that regular 1/4 inch longarm templates/ rulers work just great with this foot. No need to buy special thickness rulers to fit. I beta tested this foot on a low shank machine with really good results- a little limited to the right, but quite honestly- that is the nature of a low shank machine and not a reflection on the foot. I now have a high shank machine and the clearances are amazing! The only caution I have to convey is the need for you to lower your presser foot prior to dropping your needle to bring up your threads. This is especially important on the low shank machines – there just isn’t that much room under there and your needle bar could smack the ruler foot , breaking your foot, your machine or both. This issue is not unique to this Clarity ruler foot- if you read about other ruler feet on the market they warn you about the same issue. Just get in the habit of lowering your foot before bringing up threads no matter what foot you have on and it will be second nature.
Carol has included a circle level disk to help install your foot to the proper height. I did not show that aspect in my video as Carol has 2 videos on her site that show all the info needed to install .
Lastly ,this foot is available at www.accentsindesign.com at a really reasonable price. The ruler feet are $24-$30 , priced well below anyone else out there. I do not sell this foot or profit in anyway- just think it’s awesome!
I also have been eyeing Patsy Thompson’s new suspension system. I have ordered the Quilt Suspension 2 System. I thought this was a great way to share the shipping between the fabric die cutters and the suspension system. I can’t wait until I get back home from all this traveling to post about my purchases! Patsy has been so helpful with feed back as to which system would work best for my quilting set up.
As I said the die cuts are compatible with different systems just carefully choose the right one for your system.
Next up is Craftsy Classes on sale- 50% off a lot of the most popular selling classes.
If you are interested please click on through this link.It helps keep the website costs down and product reviews coming 🙂
This has been such a busy couple of months for me and my family. I have some interesting blog post that I can’t wait to blog about- IF I can stay home long enough to take pictures and write !
Hope you are having a great summer with time for happy quilting,
A long story short- my son has a friend that has hung out at our house for years and has persistently asked me to make him a quilt through the various stages of his young adulthood ( come on people- don’t make me feel bad about this- we all know what these guys rooms and apartments looked like- it was enough to break out in a rash just walking in the door! 🙂 ) This past year he came for a visit and told us he was getting married….he asked “ will you make me a quilt now??” – I just said “we’ll see”…….Only a few young people have asked me for a quilt , and only a heartless hag would deny that kind of persistence lol ! I had no idea of the couples color scheme in their apartment – and lets be honest- does it matter? How many times have you changed your decor over the years? It’s the quilt that matters.
So When I went to Paducah this year it was with the intent to shop for fabric for Eric and Rebekah’s quilt. What I decided to do was a quilt that was red, black and white- University of Georgia’s colors as that is where they met, fell in love and they are diehard Bulldog fans. It has been so much fun playing with this wedding quilt. It’s not finished by a long shot, but I have really enjoyed the journey and the memories of making it for them.
Here are a few things that I have ben playing with :
First off I purchased a new ruler put out by Deb Tucker while in Paducah called the Squared Square. I decided to use this to piece a simple on point square in a square in a square kinda pattern without having to do the math. Deb has a great video on YouTube if you are interested. I did use EQ7 to lay things out, play with the color order and plan for the overall size.
As I planned this quilt I began to worry about the red and black up against the white. I am not a big pre-washer, but boy am I glad I did!!! I did the old remedy of vinegar and salt in the wash water- tossed in several color catchers to give me an idea of how much dye was floating around, and to my dismay- those color catchers came out bright red and black!!!…..after 4 washings!!! That’s when I ordered a Bottle of Retayne. I have never used this before. I treated both the red and black fabrics and the color catchers had much less dye in them.- I still think that I am going to give them a box of color catchers and washing instructions with the box with the quilt just to be on the safe side :). ( I also think I am going to treat my next new pair of black jeans – a lot of people on Amazon use it for this…I think thats brilliant!)
I decided to embroider a simple flower that has a similar feel as the flower in the border/ backing fabric, instead of trying to fussy cut those flowers to fit the center square. This was a good adventure as I am piecing on a new machine and needed to try out the embroidery unit. But in my enthusiasm to try the new machine, what I didn’t think through- and what I would have done differently- would be to float a piece of batting under my outline embroidery. It would have eliminated the extra step of having to stitch around each design again before cutting the batting away to trapunto those flowers- dah!!! The things you think of after you have embroidered 20 blocks. It was when I was thinking about how I was going to quilt this quilt and began thinking trapunto ,that I realized a better way.
I am trying a new batting for my trapunto. One of my bestest buddies took a class this spring from Harriet Hargrave and bought me this package of Quilters Dream Poly that Harriet recommends. I was amazed at how thin this bat felt. I expected something similar to wool batting- giving all that extra poof. I have not gotten to the final quilting stage- so I’ll take pictures and let you decide how you like it when it’s done……but somehow if it’s good enough for Harriet Hargrave’s trapunto …I have faith it will poof up more!
Lastly- for all of you that are new to free motion quilting. I know I am advocating skipping a stage with floating batting behind this outline embroidery instead of stitching around each design with your dissolvable thread. But, if that is not an option for you, I would encourage you to NOT use an open toe foot and carefully stitch around each design. This is good practice to drop those feed dogs and free motion your way around each design…and sooooo much faster once you get your mo-jo going!
Here is the quilt on the design wall my son John Alan made for me. (I love being able to step back and look at things- best birthday present ever!!:) )It really helps to be able to look at the quilt when planning your quilting…..let the doodling begin 🙂 !
I am getting ready to leave on vacation for over 2 weeks, so my plan is to have this quilt sandwiched and basted -waiting for me to quilt when I get home.
As we head into summer I hope you all find time to recharge your batteries, whether it’s finding more time to quilt and create or just hanging out with those you love,
I stitched this sample with 100wt Invisafil thread in the upper and 60 wt Bottom Line in the bobbin
After coming across some orphan blocks that were older then dirt in my stash, I decided that I would do a tutorial on easy diagonal cross hatching. I am not saying that this is the only way to mark/ approach cross hatching. This tutorial is all about an easy, quick, accurate and enjoyable way to approach cross hatching.
Back in February I took a class with Cindy Needham. I can’t say enough good things about her. If you have taken her Craftsy classes great – but if you ever get an opportunity to take a class with her in person- do it!! One of the things that really took root with me was that she uses stencils to make the quilting process easier, more accurate, give you better results and ultimately more enjoyable. Once again I was impressed that as I go out of my way to avoid marking , I keep hearing top notch quilters saying they invest a little extra time on the front end of quilting by planning and marking their quilts as much as possible to obtain the great quality quilting that they consistently produce. I have really been trying to plan and mark more….which isn’t easy for a gal that flies my the seat of her pants a lot :)…. I found out that the little extra time pays off in my end product. I’m not saying my quilting is perfect….far from it! But I can really see growth in that time spent marking and working my plan. Having said that – I still don’t love the time spent marking- let’s face it- it’s not the fun part . But as much as I dislike marking- I hate ripping more- if marking spares you from that horrible feeling when you quilt your way around an area – only to find out that it has ran off and doesn’t match up count me in!…. Not that that has ever happened to me! lol …..
Using those orphan blocks is also a great way to gain some practice navigating around obstacles without all the anxiety that we all have felt when we have finally finished a quilt and just don’t want to ‘screw it up” when it comes time to quilt.
I used Cindy’s Ultimate Stencil to mark my block into 8th’s , giving me the registration marks to keep my stencil marking on track and lined up as I slide it from one area to another. The diagonal cross hatching stencil is one that I had in my stash from the Stencil company. I do use a straight longarm ruler to guide my ruler foot along the lines that I have marked, making it an easy way to do cross hatching. Merging stencils with some basic ruler work will give you more accurate results, by giving you a constant visual that you are staying on track and not running off.
I am not saying that you can’t measure and mark your cross hatching using whatever method you prefer – it’s all good! I just know that I love to quilt and don’t love the prep time necessarily going into starting a project. If you are new to cross hatching and have some stencils hanging around, I hope you will jump in with some orphan blocks of your own- you will be amazed at how easy cross hatching can be!
So….do you mind marking or not?? Do you try to mark just about all your quilting or just the major elements?? Inquiring minds want to know!!!