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Thread: Ruler Quilting - questions and discussion!

  1. #1
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    Ruler Quilting - questions and discussion!

    I've watched a few questions about ruler quilting and I think I am ready for the next step to my quilting. I work on a domestic machine, Janome 6600, not a long arm. I was especially interested in the Creative Grids rulers - Shorty, Slim, Archie, Squiggy, etc.

    Currently for quilting I do stitch in the ditch, straight lines using that metal bar thingy to follow lines already made and I do a free motion stipple. I've also done some free hand echo quilting. On one quilt I used a stencil which went ok, but not as easy as I thought!

    If I were to start with one ruler which would you suggest? The Shorty and Slim look so similar, that I'm tempted to get the Slim for the extra length. I will admit the rulers with all the curves and circles call to me as well, but I'm thinking I should get the basics down first.

    So please share your experience and tips! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Not familiar with the rulers you mention, but I usually use a straight ruler that is about 10 (?)inches long, a gentle curve and a Westalee ruler that makes circles. I have others but I rarely use them.

    You don't want a ruler really long because it will shift on you and you want to be able to keep an eye on where it ends.

    I also have a little measuring guide thingy that you use to make sure you are 1/4" away at the far end, which I find helpful.

    The main thing I really have to watch is that I keep the foot against the ruler and don't let my mind wander, because then the foot will too!

    Watson
    Last edited by Watson; 06-19-2018 at 09:17 AM.

  3. #3
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    Angela's rulers are good and they come with a little rough edge and pads on the back that helps with grip. If you don't have a straight edge ruler, then one is nice for FMQ straight SITD lines. She has videos on the different designs you can do with her rulers. I bought the Squiggy and the stops she has on each end make it very nice to continue a design by moving from stop to stop.

  4. #4
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    What kind of quilting do you want to try? Each of those rulers are designed to help with specific kinds of quilting. (borders, curves, symetrical arcs, circles, etc.) although they can be used in multiple ways too.
    Have you looked at any other brands? Some of the other brands offer even more choices, and are just as good. They all seem to be in about the same price range.
    One of my faves has a half circle and a straight edge. Like a protractor. I also bought a Versa tool from HQ (my first ruler for fmq) that I love! It gives me a lot of possibilities. Another fun one I bought is called a Nautilus. And I love the concentric spiral curves I can do with it.
    For beginning, I think that the Versa tool is the best one to start with.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=HQ+versatool+ruler&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab

    Unless of course I misunderstood your question, and you have already bought the creative grids rulers. Then....Archie & Squiggy both look like fun to try.

    Sorry, don't know why this becomes part of the link above.
    Last edited by mindless; 06-19-2018 at 09:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    You will need a ruler foot, but Janome has a great one. Definitely get a straight ruler, one that is not too much longer than your hand. A longer ruler tends to bump into the edge of the harp if it is too big. Either of the two that have the straight sides from the ones you mentioned would be good.
    I like Archy a lot. It can be used for many designs and is a good size for a DSM. Someone also mentioned the Versa tool which is a great ruler. Be aware that ruler work will take practice. Start with the straight ruler until you get the hang of moving quilt and ruler together. Curved rulers take more practice but can be used in many ways. Donít get discouraged if your first efforts are shaky. Just keep trying. It will click and probably sooner than you expect.
    Enjoy!

  6. #6
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    It's nice to have a straight-edge ruler so you can use it for grid work AND for stitch in the ditch.

    Take a look at the different patterns each of the rulers supports and pick the ones you like best. Remember with your machine, you probably want to stick to small-ish rulers because you don't have a lot of throat space.

  7. #7
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    Can I grab a seat on the bus with you? I'm considering trying the rulers too so will follow your progress. Our LQS does classes each month so that is helpful.

    Mindless, Just click the world with RED X on it to un-link your text.

  8. #8
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    My favorite ruler is Westalee Spinning Wheel #36. It makes flowers with rounded petals or pointed petals. And when you use the thumbtack, it makes a bigger, more intricate flower. You can also do an all-over flower fill with it.
    Annette in Utah

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonda K View Post
    Can I grab a seat on the bus with you? I'm considering trying the rulers too so will follow your progress. Our LQS does classes each month so that is helpful.

    Mindless, Just click the world with RED X on it to un-link your text.
    Thank you Rhonda!!!
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 09-21-2018 at 02:59 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the input! I haven't bought any rulers yet, I just watched the videos for the Shorty, Slim, Archie, Squiggy and I was looking on Amazon at a book on quilting with rulers. But the Versa looks really cool with all the different aspects. I guess I want to learn the technique and then jump in the deep end with all the curves and flower designs. I just didn't want to buy a dud or something too gimmicky. And especially since the foot needed is rather pricey for my machine.

    Rhonda K - please join me on the bus! I wish I had a LQS to help me. I know the internet is chock full of info, but sometimes a real person is the best help. I hope you take a class!

  11. #11
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    Is there still room on the bus for me??? I am currently in the same search mode. I have the Janome 6600 and the 15000 with a ruler foot. I have the 3 CG rulers in my Amazon cart and trying to decide which to get. Janome has a ruler work kit for about $100 or so, currently out of stock everywhere I have looked (including my dealer). Yesterday I found this link to Janome Ruler foot and rulers that shows which rulers are in the kit. I think I am going to get the Slim CG one and try it out since it is different from any in the Janome set. Then I if I think I can do this, maybe get the kit with all 6 of the rulers. $22 is a better price for a "try me" idea than $100. I have lots of Creative Grids rulers and know they work well and don't slip.
    Am wondering if anyone has taken a ruler class from a Janome dealer and used those rulers?
    Murphy


    https://janomelife.wordpress.com/201...g-with-rulers/

  12. #12
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    I have all 4 rulers, and a Janome 6600. i was asked by my LQS owner to learn to use them and demo them at a recent shop hop. I found Slim and Archie most useful. Slim is great for long straight lines and works great 'Dot to Dot' quilting and straight lines and ditching. Archie was a favorite of mine because the bottom, smily side is designed for the arcs in 2 inch squares, and the cathedral arch of the top side of Archie is a difficult shape to stitch free-hand because of the need to do a mirror image to get an even arch.

    As far as the others are concerned, Squiggy is great for serpentine lines, and curves, but they just weren't as easy for me to master in the short time I had to create samples for the Shop hop. Shorty is fine for straight lines, too, but maybe not as universally helpful.
    Hope you've found my feedback helpful. I'd get both Slim and Archie...

  13. #13
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    Thank you Kris P for the info on Archie. I was thinking about which one would work best for the arcs. Saw a you tube video on ruler use in a square and with your input, will go ahead and get both the Slim and Archie for my venture into ruler quilting. Still a small investment to try it out.

  14. #14
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for starting this thread. I bought the foot with a basic ruler, maybe 2 in the package but haven't had the time to sit down with them yet. But I really want to learn.
    Angela Walters has a great tutorial on using rulers.

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    KrisP thanks for the input and Murphy224 I will be interested in hearing how it goes for you.

    I'm rather bummed at how much the ruler foot costs for my machine! If I understand correctly, for my Janome 6600 I need to get the Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilt Foot Set for High Shank Models at $54.99 and the Janome Convertible Free Motion Frame Quilting Feet Setfor $20.99.. So, $78 before I even get a ruler! That's a tough one to justify right now. Has anyone tried the other brand name feet?

  16. #16
    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6600, can I use their ruler foot with my machine or do I need attachments to use it. Advice please \ as there are no Janome dealers near my home

  17. #17
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    I got a generic non hopping free motion foot for rulers that fits my (inexpensive) brother machine online for somewhere in the $12 range. I haven't used it yet (just got it this week). Now I need to find something for a ruler. Not sure I want to buy pricey ones until I know if I can / will use it instead of my walking foot. I have been a free motion flunkie hoping this will help me w/ that.
    "Never cruel, nor cowardly, never give up, never give in."

    Let's take care of the Earth, it is the only planet that for sure has Chocolate.

    Sonic screwdrivers, fez, bow ties, and Stetsons are cool.

  18. #18
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy224 View Post
    Is there still room on the bus for me??? I am currently in the same search mode. I have the Janome 6600 and the 15000 with a ruler foot. I have the 3 CG rulers in my Amazon cart and trying to decide which to get. Janome has a ruler work kit for about $100 or so, currently out of stock everywhere I have looked (including my dealer). Yesterday I found this link to Janome Ruler foot and rulers that shows which rulers are in the kit. I think I am going to get the Slim CG one and try it out since it is different from any in the Janome set. Then I if I think I can do this, maybe get the kit with all 6 of the rulers. $22 is a better price for a "try me" idea than $100. I have lots of Creative Grids rulers and know they work well and don't slip.
    Am wondering if anyone has taken a ruler class from a Janome dealer and used those rulers?
    Murphy


    https://janomelife.wordpress.com/201...g-with-rulers/

    Your Creative Grids rulers are for cutting and may be too thin to safely use as rulers for doing quilting with a ruler foot---

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
    1975 Kenmore 158 model 1914/. 1981 Brother VX560/ Brother PC420PRW/
    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  19. #19
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishMom View Post
    KrisP thanks for the input and Murphy224 I will be interested in hearing how it goes for you.

    I'm rather bummed at how much the ruler foot costs for my machine! If I understand correctly, for my Janome 6600 I need to get the Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilt Foot Set for High Shank Models at $54.99 and the Janome Convertible Free Motion Frame Quilting Feet Setfor $20.99.. So, $78 before I even get a ruler! That's a tough one to justify right now. Has anyone tried the other brand name feet?
    I bought the Westalee ruler foot when it first came out- used it for several years and it worked just fine for me, but it was tiresome to adjust it's height whenever I needed to go over a thicker area in a quilt (like where multiple seams come together). When the Janome convertible FMQ and frame sets became available, I switched to them because there is a thumb screw on the convertible foot which allows you to fine tune the height of the floating foot without loosening the screw that mounts the foot to the machine--- the reason that this adjustability is important is that with a floating foot, you need to get the foot at exactly the right height above the quilt to get good stitch formation. The Westaleee foot and the other feet available (except for the Janome) all are adjusted by loosening the screw that attaches them to the machine and then sliding the foot slightly up or down, then re-tightening the screw. This means that you are essentially taking time to re-mount the foot every time you need to adjust it's height. With the Janome, the thumbs screw is completely independent of the screw that mounts the foot to your machine-- well worth the extra $ if you do a lot of ruler work and/or work on quilts that have areas where multiple seams come together resulting in thicker spots here and there.

    Rob
    Last edited by rryder; 06-21-2018 at 02:56 PM.
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
    1975 Kenmore 158 model 1914/. 1981 Brother VX560/ Brother PC420PRW/
    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  20. #20
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    I did not realize any of this. I've watched several videos and none have mentioned any of this. When I think about it they have all been quilting in open field areas w/o any seaming, hummmmmmmmm
    Quote Originally Posted by rryder View Post
    I bought the Westalee ruler foot when it first came out- used it for several years and it worked just fine for me, but it was tiresome to adjust it's height whenever I needed to go over a thicker area in a quilt (like where multiple seams come together). When the Janome convertible FMQ and frame sets became available, I switched to them because there is a thumb screw on the convertible foot which allows you to fine tune the height of the floating foot without loosening the screw that mounts the foot to the machine--- the reason that this adjustability is important is that with a floating foot, you need to get the foot at exactly the right height above the quilt to get good stitch formation. The Westaleee foot and the other feet available (except for the Janome) all are adjusted by loosening the screw that attaches them to the machine and then sliding the foot slightly up or down, then re-tightening the screw. This means that you are essentially taking time to re-mount the foot every time you need to adjust it's height. With the Janome, the thumbs screw is completely independent of the screw that mounts the foot to your machine-- well worth the extra $ if you do a lot of ruler work and/or work on quilts that have areas where multiple seams come together resulting in thicker spots here and there.

    Rob
    "Never cruel, nor cowardly, never give up, never give in."

    Let's take care of the Earth, it is the only planet that for sure has Chocolate.

    Sonic screwdrivers, fez, bow ties, and Stetsons are cool.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rryder View Post
    I bought the Westalee ruler foot when it first came out- used it for several years and it worked just fine for me, but it was tiresome to adjust it's height whenever I needed to go over a thicker area in a quilt (like where multiple seams come together). When the Janome convertible FMQ and frame sets became available, I switched to them because there is a thumb screw on the convertible foot which allows you to fine tune the height of the floating foot without loosening the screw that mounts the foot to the machine--- the reason that this adjustability is important is that with a floating foot, you need to get the foot at exactly the right height above the quilt to get good stitch formation. The Westaleee foot and the other feet available (except for the Janome) all are adjusted by loosening the screw that attaches them to the machine and then sliding the foot slightly up or down, then re-tightening the screw. This means that you are essentially taking time to re-mount the foot every time you need to adjust it's height. With the Janome, the thumbs screw is completely independent of the screw that mounts the foot to your machine-- well worth the extra $ if you do a lot of ruler work and/or work on quilts that have areas where multiple seams come together resulting in thicker spots here and there.

    Rob
    I agree with you regarding this foot with the thumbscrew. I have a brother and they do not have a ruler foot but the Juki has one that will work. I tried the westlee one also but found the same issue with trying to move over seams.

  22. #22
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    I do mainly straight line ruler work with fill? Check out Judi Madsen's work on greenfairyquilts.com or on Pinterest she does some beautiful work using just a simple 9" ruler that has a perfect handle on it. It is by far my favorite ruler. Her work is mainly straight line designs with fills and it is how I got started on ruler work. Way way easier than it looks.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rryder View Post
    Your Creative Grids rulers are for cutting and may be too thin to safely use as rulers for doing quilting with a ruler foot---

    Rob
    Hi Rob you are absolutely correct! You can only do "ruler quilting" with rulers that are specifically designed for that purpose. They are a lot thicker than the regular cutting rulers and after reading my post, I see where I might have mislead someone. I was speaking of the quality and non-slip properties of the Creative Grid cutting rulers when I said "I have lots of Creative Grids rulers and know they work well and don't slip". The Archie and Slim are quilting rulers designed by Angela Waters for Creative Grids. My assumption was that all CG rulers will have that same non-slip property.
    Thanks for your clarification, wouldn't want anyone to get confused by my comments.
    And thanks for your explanation on how the Janome ruler foot differs from the others on the market. I wondered about that too.
    Happy Quilting
    Murphy

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    Kassandra: Be sure to get a quilting ruler specifically designed for ruler work to try quilting with rulers. The quilting rulers are thicker so they rest against the thicker edge of the ruler foot. Otherwise the ruler will slip under the foot and break your needle not to mention what else could happen to your machine. The Creative Grid ones mentioned in this thread are on Amazon for 21.99 each. Like you, I don't want a lot of money tied up in this "try it idea".

  25. #25
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warning, I often try "make do" ideas, I did understand the normal thickness of rulers were not a good idea to use (no matter how tempting). I was thinking about having a look in the crafting / kids section of my local big box store to see if they had something cheap w/ the appropriate thickness to try it out since the designed rulers are basically $25 and up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy224 View Post
    Kassandra: Be sure to get a quilting ruler specifically designed for ruler work to try quilting with rulers. The quilting rulers are thicker so they rest against the thicker edge of the ruler foot. Otherwise the ruler will slip under the foot and break your needle not to mention what else could happen to your machine. The Creative Grid ones mentioned in this thread are on Amazon for 21.99 each. Like you, I don't want a lot of money tied up in this "try it idea".
    "Never cruel, nor cowardly, never give up, never give in."

    Let's take care of the Earth, it is the only planet that for sure has Chocolate.

    Sonic screwdrivers, fez, bow ties, and Stetsons are cool.

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