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Thread: Long Arm Quilting and Rulers - Question!

  1. #1
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Long Arm Quilting and Rulers - Question!

    For those of you who are long armers out there - my APQS is an older one and I don't have a ruler foot with it, but the previous owner did have a ruler base and used some rulers with it as it is.

    Do any of you use rulers without the traditional ruler foot? Replacing mine involves re-timing and I plan to buy it - but it's pricey so it may be a little while. In the mean time I really need a ruler to do some of the designs I want to do, and I don't know what I can use! I'd like something for stitch in the ditch, applique, and curved cross hatching. Those are things I do often in my own quilts and customers are requesting in theirs.

    Any advice appreciated!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  2. #2
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    On my Handi Quilter I have a hopping foot and only need a ruler base. Check with your manufacturer.
    Harriet
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  3. #3
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcarpanini View Post
    On my Handi Quilter I have a hopping foot and only need a ruler base. Check with your manufacturer.
    Thanks for your input - mine is an older 1999 APQS. I think the Handi Quilters all come with ruler feet - I know all the new APQS machines do.

    I'm stitching on an Ultimate 1 - it has a small round ruler foot and it almost looks like if I stack two or three regular rulers I might be able to use it. I almost would rather keep this foot than buy a high profile ruler foot because you can't see as well where your needle falls!

    (Edited to add - not that I would use stacked rulers, but my point is maybe a thicker ruler would work?)
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  4. #4
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    Are you using 1/4" rulers?
    Harriet
    https://www.facebook.com/Thelaststitch
    Handi Quilter International Educator

  5. #5
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    I have a APQS purchased in 2004 and I use a 1/4 inch rulers with the machine.

  6. #6
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I'm not using ANY rulers right now!! LOL* I'm afraid to! I think there is an adapter I might be able to use until I get a new permanent foot, but I don't know if the rulers will still work with the new foot and the adapter.
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    when i researched ruler work/feet a few years ago, someone had made their own foot by gluing washers to the top of the hopping foot.

    here is a link to a previous QB post about it http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...ot-t27844.html
    Nancy in western NY
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  8. #8
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    OK, first you do realize you need to have special rulers for a LA machine no matter what make you have. You need the 1/4" thick acrylic ones as opposed to what you use for cutting which are only about 1/8" thick.

    Second, what does the foot on your machine look like now? A picture would be helpful. My machine came with two feet. A closed toe and an open toe. I always have the open toe on. I think the only difference is the closed toe is a full 1/4" from the needle on all sides. The open toe the gap is more like 3/8" from the front of the foot to the needle. I live with it, rather than swapping feet. But I certainly don't need to retime my machine to swap out feet. I have an Innova. I got it in 2011 but it was a dealer demo model. Still at that I don't think it was much older than a few years when I got it. So still quite newer than yours.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    feline fanatic, there actually is a ruler foot for the Innova, and a trapunto foot. Like you I use the open toe foot for everything.

    I know that other brands, especially older ones, have had hopping feet that weren't tall enough to use rulers. I searched online and found this conversation about the APQS. I think it might answer your questions. http://forum.apqs.com/index.php?/top...foot-confused/

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Until recently I new nothing about ruler work and I asked about it here, on QB. A fellow quilter suggested taking a class on Craftsy called Quilting with Templates by Kim Bruner. I tok her advice and A whole new world opened up. The class is on sale right now, maybe you should consider it. It covers everything you want to know about quilting with rulers. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    feline fanatic, there actually is a ruler foot for the Innova, and a trapunto foot. Like you I use the open toe foot for everything.

    I know that other brands, especially older ones, have had hopping feet that weren't tall enough to use rulers. I searched online and found this conversation about the APQS. I think it might answer your questions. http://forum.apqs.com/index.php?/top...foot-confused/
    That would be my post! Just thought I'd check over here because I know there are some APQS owners who don't frequent the other site.

    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    OK, first you do realize you need to have special rulers for a LA machine no matter what make you have. You need the 1/4" thick acrylic ones as opposed to what you use for cutting which are only about 1/8" thick.

    Second, what does the foot on your machine look like now? A picture would be helpful. My machine came with two feet. A closed toe and an open toe. I always have the open toe on. I think the only difference is the closed toe is a full 1/4" from the needle on all sides. The open toe the gap is more like 3/8" from the front of the foot to the needle. I live with it, rather than swapping feet. But I certainly don't need to retime my machine to swap out feet. I have an Innova. I got it in 2011 but it was a dealer demo model. Still at that I don't think it was much older than a few years when I got it. So still quite newer than yours.
    Yes, I realize I need different rulers. I don't have an Innova - I have an APQS, and the way that these machines are made you DO need to retime the machine to replace the foot, they are not interchangeable, you have to remove the hook assembly and the bar is one solid piece that goes right up into the machine head. It has to be pulled right out of the bushing (I think that's what it's called). The new machines come with a foot compatible with standard long arm rulers and I can buy an interchangeable foot for $140. But I'm thinking I might buy the plastic adapter for now but I'm curious if I'm going to be limited in the rulers that I can use. I'd like to buy some of Jamie Wallen's rulers and Dusty Ferrell's...but I don't want to waste my money if they not thick enough!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    gosh- i've never even heard of a 'ruler foot'...using the (base) so you have a flat surface to hold your ruler on- you just use the side of your hopping foot...which is why it's important to use rulers made for this- our cutting rulers are too thin- the foot can jump up onto the ruler- the quilting rulers are 3/8" or 1/2" thick-so the foot just travels along the side of the ruler.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  13. #13
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    gosh- i've never even heard of a 'ruler foot'...using the (base) so you have a flat surface to hold your ruler on- you just use the side of your hopping foot...which is why it's important to use rulers made for this- our cutting rulers are too thin- the foot can jump up onto the ruler- the quilting rulers are 3/8" or 1/2" thick-so the foot just travels along the side of the ruler.
    You know what, Handi Quilter and a few of the mid-arm/stretch machines call it a "ruler foot" so I guess that's why the name is stuck in my head. But truly, it's just a 1/2" foot with an elongated ring designed to ride next to rulers. My APQS has a thin ring...but I did stack two of my regular rotary cutting rulers up and it doesn't seem like it could jump over it.

    It's so frustrating because you have to special order just about everything for a long arm...wish I could just run over to Jo Ann fabrics and buy rulers!!! Then I'd know - and I could return it same day too if it didn't work! LOL*
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  14. #14
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    I have actually not changed my foot out, but use the 3/8" rulers from my Innova dealer (Let's Quilt in St George, Utah). She also has templates.

  15. #15
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinpatchquilter View Post
    . But truly, it's just a 1/2" foot with an elongated ring designed to ride next to rulers. My APQS has a thin ring...but I did stack two of my regular rotary cutting rulers up and it doesn't seem like it could jump over it.
    Wow APQS certainly does make it difficult for their users. I use rulers and templates all the time and my foot does not have any elongated ring for sliding next to the ruler. Most rulers are designed to accomodate many different machines. Quite honestly, I don't think you need a special foot, especially when you said the person you bought it from made do with the existing foot.

    why don't you just go to your local Home Depot, Lowes or Building supply store and have them cut a piece of 1/4" plexiglass for you into a test "ruler" that measures about 3" x 6". It will most likely only cost you a few dollars (a glass shop would also have this). Then you can experiment using a ruler with your existing foot. Just go slow so your hopping foot doesn't hop up on the ruler and your needle hits and throws your machine out of timing. You won't quilt over your finger as long as you pay attention and don't go too fast. You may find you can easily quilt without the specialized foot APQS says you need. If you can do it with this test ruler, you should be able to do it with any 1/4" thick template or ruler.

    As an aside, I do have Dusty's Flex II ruler. I don't find it near as nice as Ronda's curved rulers for curved cross hatch. Dusty's is nice for doing partial arcs but the marking on it doesn't make as pretty a curved cross hatch as Ronda's. JMHO Both are available on Quilters Rule website .
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 02-15-2013 at 06:48 AM.

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