Monthly Archives: May 2015

Free Motion Quilting Orange Peel Motif

Easy Beginner free motion quilting orange peel motif is the subject this week. In keeping with my New Year’s resolution I am working my way through my sewing room’s closet which is full of UFOs ( don’t get excited , it’s the only New Year’s resolution that is still remotely in existence 🙂 ). I had a little table topper that I made from a charm pack. I always liked the whimsical fabric that goes with the colors in my kitchen, and It was time to quilt that puppy and use it!

a picture if a scappy table topper with orange peel quilting on it

As you can see the piece is very scrappy. In looking at the piecing I decided that keeping it simple (not every quilt needs or deserves difficult or involved quilting and this was definitely in that category). The orange peel motif (or some people call it pumpkin seed) came to mind. My blocks where 3.5”- just big enough that totally free motioning it can leave me with wobbles here and there if my attention wandered (and that never happens 🙂 ). I decided to pull out my templates/rulers and see what I could make work. Unfortunately you never have the exact size you need at the time , enter highlight tape. A friend of mine had given me a roll for a knit project to keep track of the pattern (or more accurately keep me on track). It works wonderfully to mark your ruler/template positioning line  so that  it jumps right out at you so you can talk, watch movies, sing with your favorite music…..just saying …. you can find it at Wal-Mart, Staples etc. comes in a roll like scotch tape. Notice how you can see through it so you can still see your seam line or markings.

A picture of Fine line template with see- through highlight tape marking positioning line for free motion quilting
Fine line template with see- through highlight tape marking positioning line

Anyway…in the mean time I found some circle templates on Amazon. It included a 1, 2, and 3″(and 1 1/2″ key chain that is quite usable too) template for $11.95 plus shipping. Not a bad price for 1/4″ thick templates ! I put the Nexcare tape on the back for slippage (thanks to Patsy Thompson for another helpful tip) and I was off and quilting. These are put out by a company called TCR Engraving and Graphics. I checked out there website and they have some interesting quilt templates at some good prices.

A picture of circle templates by TCR Engraving and graphics used to free motion quilt the orange peel motif in background
Circle templates by TCR Engraving and graphics

When I used a template that I was able to truly use half the circle (instead of the 1/3 or so  on my Fine Line ruler), the orange peel motif is centered in each square instead of centering on the seam lines. Both looks are nice- just a little different.


Hope you enjoy my video of the Orange Peel with Templates!
Happy Quilting,

Martelli Free Motion Quilting Hoop / Guide

Back in January I did a post on some quilting tools, including quilting guides (or FMQ hoops, or rings) that included a review of the Martelli free-Motion Quilting Hoop / Guide. While I like the Martelli hoops, I felt that the 12″ X 12″ hoop was just too big for a DSM (outside dimensions are pushing 15 X 15). I had heard feedback from several readers saying they felt the same. One idea that we all seemed to have was we liked the idea of a rectangle guide to aid in doing borders etc., maybe one about 12″X 8″.  Well I emailed a copy of my blog to Martelli and made that suggestion and received a very nice thank you for your interest/suggestion kind of letter in response. I don’t know if they had a lot of feedback along this line, but figured I would want to have that kind of feedback if I owned a company… who knows??

a picture of the new martelli free motion quilting grippering on a quilt block showing plenty of room to FMQ block
New Martelli Free Motion GrippeRing in 12 X 8 size -plenty of room to move around block while still holding fabric securely

Last week a box was delivered to my house from Martelli . I was racking my brain as to what it could possibly be (I am famous for shopping online in the middle of those sleepless nights….my husband says he can tell if I am not sleeping well because packages start coming in the mail :)) When I opened it , it contained a copy of the letter I had written, along with a new 12 X 8″ rectangle guide ! I am so excited about doing free motion quilting with my new guide! I love the weightiness of their hoops without them actually being too heavy. I have also found the using of a hoop / guide really decreases the tension in my neck and shoulder area when quilting for long periods of time. The knobs on each side of the hoop encourages a lighter touch, rather than a death grip.

a picture of the new Martelli quilting hoop on a DSM showing that it does not over power the machine bed space.
Martelli hoop on my DSM does not overpower the bed of my machine

This has been a really hectic week for me so I have had little time to free motion quilt. I am hoping that this weekend I can put some serious time on my new Martelli Free Motion Quilting GrippeRing. I have checked their website and they do have them available so check it out !! (click the above link to take you to their page) You have to love a company that listens to what people think! Thank you Martelli!
Happy free motion quilting!

PS: I am in no way paid for my opinion regarding Martelli products

Review of The Line Tamer Quilt Ruler

This is a review of the Line Tamer Quilt Ruler  or template made by Four Paws Quilting. I was so excited about this ruler because I have been trying to cultivate the free motion quilting skill to stitch in the ditch without wobbles( I know, practice, practice, practice 🙂 )and this ruler looked like the tool I needed to get me there quick! Well I have some good news and some bad news…..

a picture of the line tamer ruler showing all of measurement markiings
The Line Tamer Ruler

While the Line Tamer  is nicely made with 1/2 ” line markings running the length of the ruler and  45 degree angle marking at each end, it will depend on what machine you are using it on as to whether this will work for you…or not. The bad new is it doesn’t fit on my APQS George so well .

a picture of the APQS George showing how the ruler foot arm bumps into the Line Tamer ruler once the machine starts hopping
Notice how the “arm” comes off the foot on the APQS George causing it to bump up and down once the machine starts hopping

For me , when I stitch in the ditch I have to work with the ruler going straight vertically from me- either pulling the quilt toward me or pushing the quilt away. When I quilt at this angle it hits the arm coming off of my ruler foot (it looks like it would be okay until the foot starts hopping) necessitating me turning the ruler to a 45 degree angle to clear my foot.

A picture of the Line Tamer Ruler at 45 degree angle with the arm of my hopping foot in the channel clearing the ruler edge
Line Tamer Ruler at 45 degree angle with the arm of my hopping foot in the channel clearing the ruler edge

Well I don’t know about you guys, but keeping a straight line while going at an angle is really hard for me with or without a nifty tool. I was so disappointed !

Now on to the good news…I did put the Line Tamer on my Babylock Ellisimo with the generic ruler foot I purchased and it clears my foot wonderfully.

A Picture of the Line Tamer on my Ellisimo- please note the almost 1/8" space between the left side of the foot and ruler-needs the 1/2" ruler!!!
Line Tamer on my Ellisimo- please note the almost 1/8″ space between the left side of the foot and ruler-it needs the 1/2″ opening on the ruler!!!

I would have to give a word of caution and say that whether it fits your DSM or not will depend on your machine and your ruler foot (anyone using the Line Tamer on a Janome or a Bernina with the ruler foot? From What I can remember Amy Johnson at Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventure’s Janome looks like it will clear ( if you haven’t checked her out she is a real resource for ruler work on a DSM!) – please comment if it works on your machine  ) . Also a good friend of mine has the HandiQuilter Sweet 16  and I checked to see how well it fits around it’s foot and it fits wonderfully in any direction you may want to go! She almost got a free ruler out of the deal….but when you order your Line Tamer you need to specify what size you want the center groove, so that your ruler foot fits properly into the channeled space. The APQS ,Gammill and Tin Lizzie have a slightly larger ruler feet (9/16″), than the  1/2″ foot that fits the HandiQuilter, (and my Ellisimo 🙁 ),  so it fits sloppy and it won’t guide it along that line the way it was intended.

The bottom line is that I think this is a really nice ruler to do not just stitch in the ditch, but all kinds of line / grid work. It’s a shame it doesn’t work the way I had hoped on my George. All these gadgets are expensive, so if I can save someone some money out there I am happy for that!  …..Anyone need a Line Tamer with the 9/16″ opening????

Happy Quilting,

PS : I have changed my email subscriber and apologize if you have been missed/dropped during this transition. Please resubscribe if you haven’t been receiving my notifications of new posts. I have gone to a double opt-in ( sign up and then confirm through your email on a link) to protect both you and me from spam 🙂