Ruler Work Winter Course (January 2018) FAQs

December 12th, 2017



I am receiving so many questions about this that I figured the best way to address them was in a blog post.  Here are answers to questions I’ve been asked:


**Where do I go to sign up for this class?  Nowhere!  There is no sign up as I am not collecting names or email addresses or any info on participants.  Just come to my blog (the same address you used to get here today), and you will find the first ruler work lesson on January 1, 2018 and then a new ruler work lesson every Monday and Friday during the month of January, 2018.


**Does this course cost anything?  No, it is completely free!


**Where do I find a supply list?  There is no supply list.  I can tell you that the first lesson will require the use of a straight line ruler (it doesn’t matter what kind of straight line ruler you have as any straight line ruler will work), and the 2nd class will require the use of 2-3 arc rulers, each of which must have a curve that’s different enough from the other 2 that they can be used together and create an interesting set of curves.  Our set of rulers called the PTD Ruler Starter Pack has a straight line ruler and 3 different arc rulers, and you can find that in our online store by clicking here.  HOWEVER, you do NOT need to buy our rulers to do this class!  Use whatever arc rulers you already have at home.  I am trying to teach you concepts and skills and I’m NOT trying to sell you anything!


**Why is there no supply list?  There is no supply list because this course sprang out of my desire to commit to something fun/interesting that would distract me from winter.  This course will help me because it will require me to focus on creating lessons to teach you ruler work skills and concepts, and not on the grey, icy/snowy cold and dreary winter that will surround me in January!  The first 2 lessons are set in stone, so that’s why I can tell you which rulers we’ll use for those lessons.  The rest of the lessons will not be written until January since that’s when I’ll need  a distraction.  In each post, I will tell you the dimensions of quilt sandwich you’ll need to stitch what we’re working on and I’ll give you info about the type of ruler you’ll need.  I’m trying to kill 2 birds with one stone here (helping me and helping you), so I don’t want to spend more time this month working on a project that is deliberately designed for NEXT month!  If it’s important that you have all this info far in advance in order to have all supplies at your fingertips before you begin the course, then check the blog in February when everything will have been written out!


Hope to see you back here on January 1st!



Ruler Work Wintercourse!!!!

December 6th, 2017

Won’t you join me online for a ruler work winter course this January?!  I don’t know about you, but I am a “winter-hater.”  I’ve tried to talk myself into liking winter many times over the years, but there’s no getting around it, it’s a totally awful time of year for me.  The best way to get through it is to keep busy with as many things as possible that are fun, and let’s face it, ruler work is fun!  I’m going to have a mini-ruler work course on my blog for the month of January.  Join me every Monday and Friday for a post about some topic in ruler work and we’ll get started on January 1!  I’ll be teaching this from the standpoint of a sit-down push-through quilter, but the info will be useful even if you’re working on a frame system.  Spread the word to all your friends and meet back here at the blog for some useful FREE information about ruler work quilting!  (I mean come on…”wintercourse” rhymes with “intercourse,” so it can only be  a good time!)


Did I forget to mention that this is FREEEEEE??!!!



Another “Kissed by a Butterfly” Quilt

December 4th, 2017

The photo above is of the original “Kissed by a Butterfly” quilt.  I love how it came out and I think a big part of what makes the quilt nice is the striking colors of the hand dyed fabric in the center block.  Shortly after I made it, I started a second version of the same quilt, but it’s made in commercial fabrics with more “pastel-ish” colors.  I am not a fan of pastels, so working on this quilt became quite a chore.  I pieced the top except for that last border and then set it aside.  It sat, waiting to be completed, for several months, and I finally picked it up again last month.  Here is a shot of it on my basing wall:

I like the embroidered details on the butterfly applique shapes, but that’s kind of the end of what I like about the quilt top:

I started quilting this center block.  I began by adding a ruler work framework along the seam line.  In this shot, the first row of the framework is in and I’ve filled in 4 of the spaces underneath the framework:

…and in this next shot, the remaining spaces have also been filled in with a featherette inside each:

I added a circular ruler work framework  that rotates around the center applique wreath, then filled each triangle with a small featherette.  This left a small adjacent space that I filled with a different featherette.  I used 2 different thread colors to differentiate them better:

This close-up shot is a better illustration of what I was trying to do:

Then I got bored and moved to a different part of the quilt!  More on this later…

Free Motion Quilting Play Time

November 29th, 2017




I think that part of the key to developing free motion quilting skills is allowing one’s self the luxury of “free motion play time.”  This is time set aside just to mess around with quilting designs, with no goal other than to play.  Sometimes, removing the pressure of coming up with a completed project really allows one to develop creative ideas.  The “feathered football” above is an example of just messing around, somewhat aimlessly, with rulers.


Here is the ruler work framework (all done with the PTD 12 arc ruler):


At this stage, it reminds me of an eye, how about you?  I swapped to an open toe free motion foot and started the “fill-in” process:


Notice that featherettes always look a little different since the shape you are filling is never quite the same:


…and the final chain of pearls completes the fill-in:


Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.  I wasn’t able to upload any photos into my blog for the last 1 1/2 weeks, and there’s not much point to a blog post if there are no pictures.  I am happy to say that all has been fixed!  Expect more blog posts this week!

Volume 2 DVD “Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter”

November 18th, 2017
The ruler work feathered wreath above will be one of the ruler work designs we’ll cover in the 2nd volume of our Ruler Work DVD.  This DVD has been a lllooonnggg time coming.  We filmed portions of it 1 1/2 years ago but we put the project on the back burner when Erns dad became ill shortly after we began shooting.  His dad died last Christmas, but we didn’t feel like we could resume work on any major projects as both of our moms were having some issues.  Both our moms have done well for the last many months, though, so we’ve resumed the DVD project but literally started over from scratch.  I am guessing this DVD wll be out in late winter to early spring, providing there are no health emergencies.  The design above will be the hardest thing on the DVD, but trust me, it’s a lot easier than you might think.  I won’t detail all the steps below, but if you look closely, you’ll be able to see the step-wise progression.  Here’s the initial ruler work framework:
(The circular soap line around the outside is the boundary for when the plumes are added at the very end.)
This next shot will confuse you…The wreath above was stitched as a trapunto design, so the next photo shows the wreath once it’s been placed into the final quilt sandwich and various “zones” have been outlined with invisible thread.  This is what helps the viewer’s eye see the compound spine area as discrete “design zones:”
…and now the background has been quilted using the “igloos” design: