All posts by Debbie

Review of New APQS Ruler Foot for Free Motion Quilting

 

I have been waiting with bated breath for months for APQS to come out with their new ruler foot for my George. Every time I sit at my machine I would think about how great it is going to be……Then finally it arrived!! This is my review of the new APQS ruler foot. I felt that it would be best shown by a video.

I think my best advise if you have a George is to pay the extra $$$ and get the ruler foot. I know a lot of us are smarting ( judging from past emails from some George owners) that we had already paid for the ruler foot accessory set a few years back. I agree that the old foot is a bad design. It has been a source of angst for me. When I purchased George that is the one thing I didn’t demo. I knew I wanted a ruler foot…..I had a ruler foot on my domestic sewing machine that I was happy with. I just assumed that the George’s ruler foot- with it’s 20” harp space would be awesome. The truth was the angle of the foot’s ankle made the clearance to the right of the foot difficult.

a picture comparing the old APQS ruler foot to the new one
To the left is the Old APQS ruler foot, to the right the new ruler foot. I think the improvement to clearance is pretty obvious

In fairness to APQS they did try to correct the situation as best as they could until a new foot was re-designed. APQS did replace a lot of ruler feet to George owners with feet that had a smaller soldering at the ankle join, hoping that would it increase clearance. It helped- but not quite enough to really be happy with it.
The cost for the new feet are :
$365.00 for the set of 3 feet (closed ruler foot, open toe ruler foot and a standard free motion ruler foot.) If you are buying a new George this is a no-brainer- get the kit.
Closed Ruler foot: $140.00
Saddle foot or open toe ruler foot $200.00
I purchased the set because I am an open-toe gal. I use the open toe ruler foot probably more than any other foot. It allows me to swing between free motioning to ruler work without changing my foot most of the  time.

Installation wise, I had to summon up a good dose of patience. 
I already had adjusted my hopping foot height higher with the old foot. My standard quilting situation consists of a Supreme Slider and wool batting combined with hobbs 80/20. I could hardly get the new foot on, the fit was so tight. So I got out my screwdriver and adjusted the new hopping foot higher. I also checked to see that my needle was centered in the middle of the foot. I think all the pressure we sit down quilters put against the foot, pushing that fabric around , going over thick seams etc. can eventually push the foot off-center.
Mine was off. I began to look around my sewing room for something to quickly measure the distance from the needle to the edge of the foot all the way around . I spied a tracing hopper sitting on my desk that I got from Lisa Calle.

a picture ofLisa Calle's Hoppers- used to simulate a hopping foot as you draw designs
Lisa Calle’s Hoppers- used to simulate a hopping foot as you draw designs

I used this as my template to measure my needle distance. This worked out okay, but I was talking to Brenda, one of my online buddies ,she said she just traced around the foot on a index card, drew 2 lines to mark center and checked needle placement with that. My drawn circles in my video may not be the prettiest but I find Brenda’s idea easier to see than the clear plastic template hoppers…she’s so smart 🙂 ). We may need to make that suggestion to APQS!
I know that not everyone will go through all these shenanigans of adjusting height, centering and finally tension from all your mucking around. Just allow enough time so you are not growing fangs trying to slap that puppy in quickly. Mine took me the better part of a day when it was all said and done( I know…..I’m special 🙂 )

a picture of tension issues after installing the new foot.
The back of my test stitch out. Look at all the back-lashing and tension problems

Lastly , I guess in my mind I envisioned this true 1/2” foot alleviating a good deal of the marking I do on a quilt- especially were rulers are concerned. After all this adjusting, measuring, re-checking, I have come to the conclusion for me, that I will continue to mark. I am not a professional quilter, so maybe I lack confidence or the skills yet. But I don’t trust the accuracy of the needle to the edge of the foot in all directions.
Some quilt designs do not build on  previous lines and using a template’s markings will suffice . But if the needle is off it may become obvious in things like grids. I think I’ll save myself some heart ache and un-sewing and just mark.
The good news is that the new 1/2” foot with great clearance should open up the world of channeled templates like The Line Tamer or Lisa Calle’s Quilter’s Groove templates.

Well I hope this helps if you are on the fence whether to invest (or as in some of our cases-re-invest ;0 ) in the new ruler foot. For me, the cost was a lot cheaper than a new machine with a ruler foot that I was satisfied with.

I am not sure if the issue of your needle migrating off center happens in other quilt machine brands or not. If you have taken the time to read my APQS ruler foot review and can shed light on other machines,  leave us a comment and let us know- it’s always interesting to compare notes.

Happy quilting my friends,
Debbie

Addendum to the Beveled Quilt Template Review

This is an addendum to the beveled quilt template review I did this past summer.
About a month ago I got an email from one of my online quilting friends. She said she ordered  1/4” quilt templates from Teryl Loy Enterprises and they arrived without the beveled edge. I emailed Teryl to find out what happened.

a picture of the beveled inside edge template
1/4″ Beveled quilt template by Teryl Loy Enterprises

Teryl said that she has backed away from beveling her 1/4” quilt templates primarily from a cost/ business standpoint ( I do believe that her 3/8” templates still have the bevel). With the availability of sewing machine companies offering ruler feet, after market companies (Westalee and Accents in Design’s Clarity foot) and now APQS putting out a new re-design of their ruler foot, they feel that 90% of quilters may not desire/ need the 1/4” beveled edge quilt template . I am sure it is very costly to manufacture these templates. Any good business person has to weight cost to demand ratios, so I totally understand that too.

If there are quilters that want 1/4”  beveled quilt templates  , Teryl said she could do that on a special order basis with a slight surcharge.  Just give her a call (don’t try to order online). The 1/4” circle templates with a beveled edge are still on Teryl Loy Enterprises website ,  I would just verify availability before ordering.

I am currently working on a quilt that I am doing a chevron pattern. I would have loved the 1/4″ beveled right angle template to get that extra clearance to the right of my ruler foot.  Teryl’s website says the 3/8″ quilt templates are not compatible with HandiQuilter . Consequently I suspect that they will not be compatible with my current APQS ruler foot and domestic sewing machines.
So,  as sit-down quilters do you think a bevel would make any difference to your clearance around your ruler foot? Or is the clearance issues largely related to your machine and not so much your foot (if so what machine are you using).

I am anxiously tracking the arrival of my new APQS ruler foot. Hopefully I will be getting great clearances to the right of my foot using a standard 1/4″ template.
Happy Quilting!
Debbie

Free Motion Swirling Flowers

 

I am finally carving out a bit of time up in my sewing room. After much doodling I decided on doing some free motion swirling flowers in the white background areas. I used a modified flower embroidery design in the center of each block and I was looking for something that  just “felt right” . Two of some of the talented people I follow for free motion quilting inspiration are Lori Kennedy at the theinboxjaunt.com and Patsy Thompson’s wonderful tutorials on YouTube, her site www.Patsythompsondesigns.com and both of their Craftsy classes . They are two of the most talented, creative quilters out there. I feel that the free motion swirling flowers were a direct result of Lori’s Dizzy Daisy motif and Patsy Thompson’s Plumify technique  from her Ultimate Free-Motion Feathers  on Craftsy . I love the movement in Patsy’s Plumify and at the same time love all the swirls thrown in on Lori’s Dizzy Daisy. The addition of the swirls, “Cs” and echo quilting make this an easy fill that is so pretty.

a picture ofFree motion flower swirls done in 40 wt Glide
I normally try to change the direction of the swirls, but my camera battery was dying while I was stitching……just too much distraction!

I thought I would do a quick tutorial on what I’m currently doing on this quilt……before time passes and I have to scratch my head and figure out the motif again! I will also add the drawing to my notebook of quick  designs that I like. It’s amazing when you thumb through how many you forget about!
I am loving the texture that the quilting is bringing to the white background areas on my quilt. Is it quilted to death?…..You bet!…. But if that isn’t your thing, simply change up the scale to a larger motif and cover even more real-estate on your quilt more quickly.

a picture of the free motion flower swirls and the texture it creates on my quilt
Close up of the texture this motif has on my white on white background

I hope all of you guys are getting in some great quilting time- I have sure missed talking with you all!

Hugs
Debbie

What do Quilters do when they are not quilting?

So what does a quilter do when she’s not quilting???
Lots of other sewing projects !!!
Today I’m linking up with Thank Goodness it’s Finished Friday for my recent finishes.


At the beginning of the summer I had an informal “to do” list for things that just needed doing around my home. Well, as we all know,  life is unpredictable. My list went down the ole crapper – which is okay-nothing like a few wake-up calls to remind you what is important……
Then life begins to return to “normal” (not sure if my life could ever really be described as that 😉 ). I began to look around and things that weren’t important a few short months ago, started to bug me again.

By late August / early September I began attacking things that were on my list. While I have quite a few things that will have to wait until after the holidays , my TGIFF is a hodgepodge of finishes from painting to yardwork to various sewing projects. I will spare you all the gory details and highlight a few sewing improvements that have been nagging at me.picture of box cushion on wicker couch

 

  • A new box cushion for my little outdoor wicker sofa.  Here in Florida we are just heading into our prime outdoor season ( the cute bird pillow was from the clearance bin at Lowes) . But I learned a lot about outdoor fabric. I made another cushion out of Sunbrella fabric in the past, but it didn’t hold up. Turns out that Sunbrella fabric comes in different outdoor ratings- according to how much direct sun the fabric will take (and don’t forget the UV upholster thread) . This time I ordered marine/ awning quality Sunbrella fabric. Not the easiest to make welting out of, but I’m hoping it will last a bit longer.
picture of a long over due sewing project - my 2 dogs Bella and Evie resting on their new beds
Bella and Evie
  • My beloved doggies were in need of new dog bed covers. I was going to photo before and after photos, but I was afraid you would think my whole house looked like their poor old beds 🙂 lol . Seeing them sleeping on their beds just makes me smile.
finished silk lampshade sewing project
Finished silk lampshade…Why would I ??? Because I can I guess!
  • I needed a new lampshade for this cute little lamp that I bought in an antique store years ago. I looked everywhere for the right size replacement shade. One evening my daughter asked what the big deal was- it’s fabric- you sew – make one…Well a few YouTubes later,  a dig through my fabric stash and I was committed. I learned a lot about things I would do again or not if I absolutely couldn’t find a new shade. But I am here to tell you~ I now know why you pay a lot of money for an odd size silk lampshade !!!! I think I am ready to pay the big bucks and check that off my list the next time! I hope this one lasts a long time too!
    A picture of angela W@alters teaching a free motion quilting class
    Angela Walters

    Finally, I squeezed in a 2 day class with Angela Walters at our local guild. I really liked her and her class. I have watched her Craftsy classes, but she is lovely ,inspiring lady in person. She is so down to earth and makes everyone feel welcome and  able to tackle that next quilt ~ it just makes you happy. It is what we hope we are to everyone we meet- inspiring, kind, encouraging .

As we are heading into Thanksgiving here in the USA , I am so thankful for my wonderful life, family and good friends.  I wish you the same wherever you may be. I have missed blogging with you all so please jump in and share what you have been up to. Link up  below and don’t forget to spread that Linky thankfulness around!
With an Attitude of Gratitude,
Love and Hugs ,
Debbie

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