Monthly Archives: June 2015

Line Tamer Quilt Ruler Update

A month or so back I did a review of the Line Tamer Quilt ruler / template by four Paws Quilting. I really liked the ruler especially on my DSM as the ruler foot fit in the template channel in a straight vertical direction, allowing me to pull or push my quilt directly toward me or away. I feel this is the most natural position to stitch in the ditch at a sit-down machine. Unfortunately the Line Tamer did not fit the APQS George using the same vertical alignment.

On the APQS George, the ruler feet were too thick on the right side to allow me to stitch in the ditch with the ruler positioned straight vertical. You would have to use the ruler at a 45 degree angle to get the ruler feet to feed down the center channel smoothly – doable, but not ideal. I was sooo disappointed !  Then a kind reader shared with me that  APQS is making new ruler feet that are correcting the clearance issue on the right side of their ruler feet.

a picute of the Line Tamer on the APQS George. Note how the actual circle of the ruler foot sits nicely down into the template channel unobstructed on the right side
The Line Tamer on the APQS George. Note how the actual circle of the ruler foot sits nicely down into the template channel unobstructed on the right side

I have had my new ruler feet a week or so now and love the way they give me clearance to the right of the foot .The Line Tamer passes snuggly down the center channel without any problems, making this ruler a 2 thumbs up for stitching in the ditch for me.  On the other hand , after comparing notes I am told that some  ruler feet on APQS machines are still a bit too snug on the Line Tamer and they still feel a bit more comfortable stitching in the ditch at an angle.

APQS has their feet hand welded in the USA and therefore there can be some variation from foot to foot. My advice is when ordering your new feet ,call and talk to Amy or Dawn at APQS and ask them to visually pick the ruler foot that is the thinnest possible to the right side (the ankle should be sitting almost totally on top of the circular ruler foot) and ask if you can exchange the new foot if it doesn’t fit your Line Tamer (remember you need to order a bigger size Line Tamer for the APQS foot).
Happy Ditching!
Debbie

Free Motion Quilting Inspiration

The Best thing about blogging has been the wonderful people that you meet and slowly get to know through the exchange of free motion quilting Inspiration and information.  I look forward to your emails and I am constantly humbled by the amount of talent that is out there!

Brenda Roach is one of those wonderful people that I have been so thankful to meet. She has shared great information about quilting on her APQS George. She is a talented, creative, beautiful quilter.  I would like to spotlight  her lovely quilt she did from her local  guild  challenge. If this doesn’t give you some good old fashioned free motion quilting inspiration I don’t know what will! 🙂

a picture of a Beautiful Modern Quilt using free motion quilting and ruler work by Brenda Roach
A beautiful quilt using free motion quilting and ruler work by Brenda Roach

Brenda says she used the Handi Quilter Versa tool a lot and did the quilting with  YLI monofilament and Kimono silk. She used Bottom line in the bobbin and Dream wool Batting.  This quilt is a little feast for your eyes. I love her use of feathers, ruler work,  cross hatching, swirls, circles, triangles…everywhere you look there’s something interesting . Brenda packed a lot of technique in this wonderful little quilt!

close up of quilt by Brenda Roach
Quilt by Brenda Roach

I love the addition of the colorful piping next to the white background. It’s all those little time consuming details that make such a difference!
Thanks for sharing Brenda!!!

Happy Quilting,
Debbie
P.S. I’d love to see and share some of your inspiration!  ( I would only share your pics if that was okay’d with you first)  Just email your pictures to Debbie@thequiltjournal.com

Review of Quilter’s Rule Sit-down Longarm Ruler Kit

This is a review of  Quilter’s Rule  Sit-Down longarm ruler kit. I purchased this kit at Mountain Quiltfest. The kit contains 5 templates and a pack of grippy dots. The “sale” price was $81.00. The gal at the Quilter’s Rule booth assured me that it was a good , versatile  starting place and that they had plenty of tutorials on YouTube or online giving lots of creative ideas on ways to use them.

a picture of 5 templates that are included in the sit-down longarm kit
The 5 templates that are included in the sit-down longarm kit

When I was working on the crazy quilt table runner I decided that it was time to break them out and see what they had to offer. I played around with them , doodling to see what I could come up with that didn’t require a whole lot of effort for the simple project I was doing . I have to be honest – I didn’t come up with much… the usual chain, overlapping circles etc…so I got on the internet, Googled their product and found several Youtubes. I was  disappointed. They had very basic designs that you don’t need a YouTube tutorial to help you create. I had hoped that maybe between 5 templates they would do a few tutorials that were really creative, possibly even combining more then one template per design.

As far as the templates go, here is a quick rundown. The straight ruler is nice with a small triangular shape at one end and a round shape at the other. It also has a notched straight edge for your hopping foot if you like that feature when stitching straight lines.  The mini 4-in- 1  has design potential with 2 inward arched sides, a kind of wave, and once again another rounded half circle.  It didn’t set me on fire. I already own a set of half circle templates that I really like and the wave is a reproducible shape that I felt I didn’t need a template for. If I am missing something with the wave, motif-wise – I am open- show me something I can’t do free hand. This is not a bad template – just one I didn’t need.  The squiggle/wave template ended up just being unnescessary- falling into that ” I can do that free hand” category too. The squiggle looks clam shell-ish when you look at the template but the tips are so rounded that they really do stitch out squiggly (makes sense -duh) .  I also found the squiggle difficult to handle- it slipped under my foot scaring the devil out of me ( and my machine )! As far as the mini nested circles and ovals, I’m not in love with having to keep a piece of tape on the set to keep them from shifting/falling apart during use and it just felt awkward to me.

A picture of Quilters Ruler nested circle and oval templates held together with painters tape
painters tape to hold template together while in use or storing

I will probably find a use for these beyond a nice crisp even chain, but if I don’t I have one word….eBay!  lol !

Don’t misunderstand me- Quilter’s Rule has some really nice templates/rulers that the sit-down machine quilter can use. I just think you would be best served if you picked what knew you had a plan for and worked that plan. You may end up spending a little more by buying 5 individual templates that you knew would fit your needs, instead of a 5 pre-packaged “deal” where 1/2 end up in a drawer.

Ultimately the blame sits squarely with me for this purchase. I am normally a pretty conservative shopper at shows, but we all get caught up in the moment. I entered the show hoping to buy some longarm rulers, and truth be told, there just wasn’t much in that department available.  I needed to really look at the templates and think about what I had and how this was going to differ or improve upon that.
The internet has become the primary source of our shopping most of the time when it comes to machine quilting templates ( how I think manufactures should market/sell their templates is the subject of another post- another time- this is already long enough 🙂 ).
I do not intend for this review to be “scathing”, and it is not anti- Quilter’s Rule. This is more “a little food for thought” . What works for me- you may hate. But all these toys are expensive and I am a review reader who digests what people have to say about products and their reasons why. Please comment on what your favorite templates/ rulers are. Have you gotten a lot of use out of them? What do you use them for? I know we would all love to hear and share that information!!
As Always,
Happy Quilting!
Debbie

Free Motion Quilting Crazy Quilt

In keeping with working my way through my UFOs in my sewing room closet (kind of makes you wonder what my closet looks like doesn’t it??!! 🙂 ) I came across this crazy quilt table runner that  a bunch of my quilting buddies and I pooled all our exotic fabrics (for lack of kinder words ) to make this ... shall we say unusual piece .

A picture of a crazy quilt with free motion quilting in all the irregular areas
Great Free Motion Quilting exercise…How many designs can you think of?

This has been hanging out in a bin for the past 10-12 years(where it probably should have stayed  LOL ). When I pulled it out and looked at it, I thought ( besides WHAT were you thinking 🙂  )… “what a great free motion quilting practice exercise…you can take every crazy strip and put a different FMQ design”. Well having to think about different designs for all those irregular spaces  was a good idea, the part that didn’t work out all that well was the different fabrics.  I have silk, cotton, thick upholstery  fabric, taffeta, some nasty acetate fabric with embossed faux velvet …I could go on, but you get the idea. I would balance my tension on a quilt sandwich, for all the good that would do, and then start to quilt some weird fabric that I didn’t have scraps to adjust tension with. Needless to say I was growing FANGS!!  It took sooo much time to quilt this- just trying to get a consistent stitch. I would be lying if I didn’t say I ripped more than I should have bothered with. I do believe in Angela Walters’ saying ” you don’t become a better quilter by ripping  out”, but some stitches are just too ugly!

picture of free motion quilting on crazy quilt

I really loved  thinking about the designs and using FMQ with some ruler work in different areas.  I used Superior Bottom Line 60 wt in bobbin and in some areas on the top ( taupe blends so well). The areas on the top that required color, (gold, red or green) I used Bottom Line in the bobbin and Glide 40 wt on top.

.a free motion quilted sun burst

picture of free motion quilting on a crazy quilt with crazy fabrics
FMQ on a crazy quilt with crazy fabrics !

I maintain that it was/is a good idea if you have some random quilt screaming for you to quilt it rather than throw it out. Why not?? It’s better than taking up valuable real estate in your sewing room !  How many quilt designs can you come up with to stitch out?? What dead or dated pieces do you have hanging around that you can throw caution to the wind and quilt ?

Quilt it or lose it !
Debbie 🙂