Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #17

Thanks so much for your kind words on my quilting in yesterday’s post.  I look forward to when I can actually show you the quilt in its entirety!  But for now, what I can share is how I did the curve cross-hatching on the quilt.

I got in touch with Carol Olson of Accents in Design, the creator of the rulers I used to do the curve cross-hatching (Thanks, Joan).  Carol  graciously sent me the rulers for me to use.  And voila, you see the results of using the rulers here!

I love love love the concept of being able to use rulers for domestic machine quilting.  I love the concept because I can skip marking all the lines on my quilt and jump right into quilting.  Manipulating the ruler and moving the quilt at the same time using my left hand wasn’t as hard as I had thought.  Once I got used to it, it worked pretty well.

I found that the ruler didn’t work as well when I have my BSR (Bernina Stitch Regular) foot on because of the bulk in the back of the foot.

I switched to my regular open toe quilting foot, and found that it worked better.  Stitching it this way meant my stitch length was not regulated by the machine.

But what worked best for me was the closed toe foot.

The distance between each curve is 1/2″.  When I do serious quilting, I normally do 1/4″ apart for lines or cross-hatching.   I am supposed to be able to do that with the rulers.   So, I look forward to my next opportunity to use these rulers again.

You can access the entire line of rulers Carol has here.  By the way, Carol is the sweetest lady!  I enjoyed talking to her on the phone both times I had called her.  You may contact Carol at if you have any questions.

Verdict:  I like the rulers, I like the effect… now, my only dilemma is whether I can tolerate the slight decrease in my stitch quality because I can’t really use my BSR foot with the ruler.   I am still thinking…


32 thoughts on “Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #17

  1. Wendy, your work is always so beautiful. I’ve been an infrequent blogger of late, so I’m going to have to go back through your posts to see what I’ve been missing. I’m thinking a lot!!

  2. Looks great and it is always fun to have new toys to play with. Thanks for the link, when I ever get good at free motion maybe I will get some rulers LOL.

  3. I’ve seen longarm quilters use rulers during quilting, but I had no idea you could use one for domestic machine quilting! How surprising! Thank you for showing pictures and explaining how you made it work. If you can do this, you can surely quilt without a BSR. I’ve never used a stitch regulator for FMQing, so I am certain YOU can do it!

  4. I only saw quilting with a ruler today on a blog Debi made it look easy, hmm. I did think I would try, though. Your photos make it look do-able. As always, BeAuTiFuL!!

  5. Thanks for sharing Wendy. Can’t wait to see the entire quilt which looks gorgeous…as usual. The ruler looks like it might find it’s way into my Quilting Tools drawer soon. I am trying to learn and perfect my machine quilting but it is a slow process.
    Yours in quiltin, Cathy

  6. Hi Wendy, what do you mean your stitch quality went down? I don’t see it. Looks great and thanks for the tip. I may be purchasing rulers in the near future, because I too, do not like to wait to start quilting! Mary:)

  7. Wendy,
    The curved crosshatch is awesome! Don’t make yourself crazy over your stitch lengths. Nobody is going to be looking at each stitch as closely as you. Trust me. ;)

    I got my May/June Fons&Porter Love of Quilting magazine yesterday-saw Joseph’s Pinwheels in it. It’s an adorable quilt.

  8. Wendy, this is just gorgeous. When I looked at the quilt I had on the table the other day, I thought of you and smiled. I adore quilts, and I can’t look at them without thinking of all the sewing that goes into one. You do such lovely, lovely work.

    I am still up to my eyeballs in workmen with the trees, but I am coming up for air to blog. I’m tired but hanging in there and praising the Lord the trees didn’t fall on the house.

    Did you get my repy regarding sizes? I hope so.


    Sheila :-)

  9. I had no idea we could use these machines with our domestic machine, I have Carol’s straight ruler for my quilting frame and Mega quilter but had to purchase another foot as I was under the impression the foot had to be thicker. Thank you for sharing your findings. I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that all your quilts are done on a domestic machine. Once again I am amazed as to your expertise.

  10. Wendy! Love your work and these rulers look like what we all need. Can’t wait to read about these in the Fabric Trend.

  11. Pingback: FREE Feature Pattern: Thanksgiving Topper in QUILTER’S WORLD (October 2011) « Ivory Spring

  12. Pingback: Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #26 « Ivory Spring

  13. Hello, Wendy! I see that this is an old post and I was wondering whether you are using rulers much in your quilting anymore? I’ve been admiring longarm quilting that combines straight line ruler work with simple loops, curls, pebbles, and other motifs that I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with, but I just can’t for the life of me quilt a STRAIGHT line on a quilt top without a walking foot. I wish that Bernina had a toe for the BSR foot with a raised edge, like Janome makes for ruler quilting on their machines. Anyway, since you’re one of the most amazing domestic machine quilters I know, I thought I’d ask you — are you currently using rulers successfully in your quilting, with or without BSR, and if so, what foot do you use and do you have any tips or best practices to share?

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  14. I had been on Amy’s “Freemotion Quilting Adventures” blog about using rulers (both the curved here and the straightline on your other post) and was seriously debating on whether to get them. Knowing how wonderful your quilting always is, I decided to see how you handle these tasks and of course great minds (yours and Amy’s) think alike! You also confimed my own thoughts that I needed no more than an 8″ ruler (based on the distance from my needle to the end of my quilt table). I’m ordering these post haste!

  15. Lovely work Wendy. I too have Carols rulers… and use the same foot as on your blog..I have Bernina 820. I am so hoping that later this year a specific ruler foot will be out. Would be SO helpful! I have tried various feet for various machines but have not been able to find anything suitable. Jamome ss looking good at the moment :) Love to you and yours … especially you know who :)

  16. I have just discovered your blog and am thrilled to see these rulers used with a Bernina. I have the 440 QE machine and would like to try this. Just before I order a ruler to try ..are you still happy with them? just wondering if the machine foot slips under the ruler at all?

  17. Hi Wendy,
    I just watched Patsy Thompson’s video on using rulers for domestic machines that she has just put on her blog. However, I noticed she has a George sitdown model for her “domestic” machine and comments about using a closed toe hopping foot. A web search took me to Amy’s Freemotion site. She directs Bernina users to you…I have been following your blog for some time(Love it…thanks for all you share!), but I haven’t seen you comment in the recent past about using rulers again…what are you thoughts on using them currently? I too have a Bernina and would love to use rulers for my work, but continue to hear how the ruler can slip because the foot is so narrow, sending the ruler under the needle and breaking it. Just wondering if you have found any solution to the problem or have just given up? Thanks, Nancy

    • Nancy, at the risk of hijacking Wendy’s blog, I have a couple of newer resources for you about ruler work on my blog. I had failed to updater the ruler work page when they were written earlier this month. The page has been updated now.

      I would love to hear Wendy’s thoughts on ruler work since this post was done too.

      Wendy, if I have over-stepped here, please forgive me and delete if desired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s