Tag Archives: APQS George

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

a picture of my thread painted clematis quilt

Thread Painted Clematis Quilt

Welcome to The Quilt Journal  and My Friday Finish!

a picture of my thread painted clematis quilt
Thread Painted Clematis Quilt- pattern by Melinda Bula
I had a long list of things I wanted to finish or accomplish this summer. This thread painted clematis quilt was only one of them. For one reason or another this has been my only significant finish in a few months (funny how that happens when sadly you haven’t really had time to sew in over 2 months). I am so grateful to Laura over at TGIFFriday.blogspot.com for lighting that much needed fire under my butt to make me re-enter life and get quilting!

Some of you may remember that I started this quilt back in January after taking a class taught by Melinda Bula at my local quilt guild. This quilt is made from my friend Sherry’s and my stash (outside of the background fabric). Funny how saying it came from your stash practically makes you glow with pride….justifying all those purchases right??? lol :). Pooling our stash really helped. It’s harder then you think to come up with a variety of color values to try and make your palate work. I don’t know that you will ever actually see a clematis that looks like ours, but I love pink and purple…..so I’m a happy camper.

close up of front of quilt showing color fabric and thread choice

Things that did or didn’t work for me during this project

another close up picture showing thread paintingMelinda likes Steam-A-Seam 2 to fuse her quilts. I like Steam-A-Seam too, but it does add a lot of fusible . Not entirely a bad thing. Due to the Steam-A-Seam and heavy quilting my quilt is rather stiff and lays really flat. Both good things for a wallhanging. The negative is I had layers of the fusible, some areas 5 or 6 fabrics thick to quilt through. Not all thread or machines like that. I started quilting this on my Baby Lock Ellisimo with Sulky 30 wt Rayon (Melinda’s prefered thread). No matter what needle I put in (topstitch, mirotex, embroidery, sharps, jeans ,titanium) the rayon shredded. Changing my thread to Floriani or Glide helped, but my Ellisimo wasn’t in love with this project. Consequently, I quilted the bulk on my George.
 The other consideration is paying attention to your tension.If you look closely at the picture of the stitching on the back, you can see my tension wasn’t always ideal, not terrible, but not perfect either- depending on what area I was quilting.
 I thread painted this quilt with Floriani Polyester, Glide poly, and Superior threads variegated Omni and Magnifico, all 40 wt in top and in the bobbin. These threads were great- no hassle threads. I used a variety of manufactures to get the colors I needed to match the fabrics.
a picture of the back of the quilt more clearly showing thread painting
The small white spots are either fusible or the warm and natural batting being pushed through the back of the quilt on my occasionally gummy needle

Finally the last thing that didn’t work so well for me, was Melinda’s technique of starting and stopping a stitch line.  Melinda pulls her threads to the top takes a few stitches and clips the tails. She feels that all the fusible will fuse the thread ends in the quilt when you hit it with an iron and make your stops and starts invisible. I found that sometimes my threads did come loose in-spite of all my ironing. Little bird nests do show more on the back where I start or finish if I take a few extra small stitches with 40 wt to secure those tails. It’s also difficult to bury threads with the heavy stitching and fusible. I think it’s just one of those things that I need to work on perfecting that technique. Maybe my big ole Rowenta steam iron doesn’t get hot enough??? Inquiring minds may want to figure that out. haha

I had a lot of fun with this quilt and would love to do a poinsettia for the holidays….some year !?! Thanks for stopping by and visiting!
Debbie

Now onto Thank Goodness it’s Finished Friday.
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Also heading over and linking up with can I get a Whoop Whoop!