Tag Archives: ruler work

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

Twisted Triangle Free Motion Quilting Design

 

After being away in the Netherlands and Belgium for the past 2 weeks it’s hard to come back to reality and get back into your usual schedule of things.

A beautiful field in bloom in the Netherlands show a type of blooming garlic
A beautiful field in bloom in the Netherlands
A picture of me biking into Belgium
Biking into Belgium from the Netherlands- The Florida girl is bundled up from the Chilly North Sea wind!
Picture of windmills in Holland
Holland

Now that the laundry is caught up and grocery shopping done, I can finally think about quilting. I was talking to Carol Olsen of Accents in Design Fine Line Rulers about what I would like to do next for my  blog. Carol had suggested  Geometric twisted designs.  I have played  with these designs before, but sometimes you just need  someone to tickle your brain cells and jog your memory!  Thanks Carol for the great suggestion!

This week I am doing a tutorial on a twisted triangle free motion quilting ruler work border design that is stitched out in a continuous line.  These Twisted designs are really up my alley. They look   difficult, but in fact are really easy to stitch out.  It’s like those recipes you just love to make for company that look and taste like they are really involved, but  are super  easy!

a picture of the twisted triangle border design
twisted Triangle border

These  free motion quilting ruler work designs are great for the beginner and experienced quilter alike . I will be posting a few more tutorials over the next few weeks showing more easy but very showy designs. The only gizmo you need is a longarm straight ruler !

“So come on baby – let’s do the twist!!!”
(Now I am showing my age 🙂 )
Happy Quilting,
Debbie

Linking up with Tips & Tutorials Tuesday over at Late Night Quilter.

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