Today’s Ruler Border Playtime

April 28th, 2016
This ruler border design has the same ruler work “bones,” or framework as the last one on maroon fabric, just different fill designs.   If you go back to the last post, the initial steps to create the ruler work bones are identical. This next shot is early on, after I’d stitched the featherette inside the wide 1 1/4 inch channel:
Can you tell how this differs from the earlier featherette ( a few posts back)  in the same channel?  This version is what I call a reverse or inverted featherette.  Here’s a shot of the earlier one for comparison-this makes the difference pretty clear:
I was being lazy about changing my threads, so I stitched the bottom section next.  It holds a featherette comprised of both “Aztec plumes” and a central traditional plume:
It was already starting to look interesting and probably could have stood on its own at this point, but filling in these channels is fun for me.  I swapped to gold thread and added a row of pearls inside the 1/2 in channel:
and then I added hyperquilting to the bottom featherette:
I am having a blast playing with all these!


April 26th, 2016
I haven’t gotten to spend nearly enough time free motion quilting in the last week, so I selfishly claimed some time this afternoon and I’m so glad I did!  I had a total blast stitching out this ruler work border design.  I stitched it on my Babylock Destiny using the Westalee high shank ruler foot.  This design looks quite rich, but if you view it in layers, it is quite do-able.  Here were my steps from start to finish:
1.  Mark guidelines for the beginnings, endings and middles of each arch.  This is exactly how I mark all my ruler-guided border designs:
2.  Using a basic arc ruler, create the outer arch lines, then throw in a scant 1/4 inch wide channel.  I used Superior Magnifico Polyester thread for the ruler work:
(If you look closely, you will see new markings for the beginning, ending, and middle of the next channel, which in this case is 1 1/4 inch wide.)
3.  Using the same basic arc ruler, stitch the 1 1/4 in wide channel, followed by another scant 1/4 in wide channel:
4.  I swapped to my open toe free motion foot, then stitched the swag design to fill in the wide channel:
5.  I changed to a turquoise rayon thread for the next step, only because I am a lover of lots of thread colors in 1 design.  I stitched this featherette to fill each lower section, and it combines a couple of different plume shapes:
6.  I hyperquilted only the non-traditional plume shapes of each featherette.  I just like having a little bling in there:
…and here’s a wider view one last time:
Can you tell I love ruler work?!

Winner-Winner, Chicken-Dinner and a Craftsy Sale

April 22nd, 2016
Thanks to everyone who participated in the drawing; I learned a lot about what people are interested in.  The winner of the $25 gift certificate to our online store is:
Nancy Runnels-comment #18: “I am a beginner FMQ on my Janome 7700 QCP and I love it. I am curious about George and would welcome the class. Living in Virginia I could manage the travel. I enjoy moving the quilts and regularly do king size on my machine now. I am looking to be more refined and detail on quilting.
Thanks for the opportunity to learn.”
Congratulations, Nancy!
It is so nice to see trees in bloom and  flowers opening up-spring has officially arrived!  Craftsy is celebrating with a great sale on their classes; sale prices are 50% off the normal class price!  Instead of spring cleaning, why not pick up a class or two to learn some new techniques?  If you click on my affiliate link here to get the discount, I’ll receive a small “tip” for referring you. In the meantime, enjoy the sights and sounds of springtime!

Borders and Ruler Work

April 18th, 2016
I just couldn’t seem to take any good photos today, so “sorry,” right off the bat!  I think I could spend my whole life playing around quilting different border designs using ruler work.  The shot above shows a border I stitched this afternoon and all you need to make a border like this is a plain old every day arc ruler.  I started off by creating an arched swag border and then added a scant 1/4 inch channel inside:
I needed my next channel to be super wide because I knew I wanted to stitch a curved featherette inside it.  None of my rulers had markings that would allow me to make a channel wide enough, but it was easy to come up with a work-around.  In this next shot, you can see that there are 3 markings (see the tiny white lines by the 3 arrows):
Using these as my starting and stopping points, I was able to stitch out a 1 1/4 inch wide channel.  Once it was done, I added another scant 1/4 inch channel below it:
Voila!  My ruler work framework is completely stitched!  Next up, I stitched an elongated featherette inside my extra wide channel.  I do this using the bumpback method for stitching a feather and my goal is to fill the channel completely with my plumes.  Here’s what my arched swag border looked like at this point:
If you look closely inside those swags, you will see a vertical center line and a horizontal soap line that’s 3/4 inches from the seam line.  The center line will help keep my lower design centered and the horizontal line tells me how high up to stitch the tips of my swirls.  Here is what they look like once completely done:
Gosh, it felt good to have some quilting time again!  Here’s one last shot of a few of them, although the photo’s not so great:
If you don’t know how to make bumpback feathers, it’s a really, really useful skill to have.  I go over it a  lot in my Craftsy class on feathers called Ultimate Feather Quilting, (click here for a discount link to that class),  but here is a short video where I explain it while drawing one out:

Finishing Up a Quilt That Was Lost in the Shuffle

April 8th, 2016
I remember being so excited when I pieced this quilt, because it used up 5 test blocks/borders that were just sitting around.  It allowed me to play with lots of ruler work ideas that I wasn’t sure would work.  In this next shot, you can see a little better how I used ruler work to create a design that “bridged” different blocks:
This one might show it a bit better:
The dead center was the perfect spot to throw in a mini featherette:
The outer borders were kind of ho-hum quilting-wise.  I threw in a bit of ruler work at the center of each border and then just used “plumify it” as my background fill design.  I always feel like that is kind of a cop out but there just wasn’t enough “blank space” to do something larger:
It’s always a nice feeling to complete a project.  Still need to get that binding on, but that’s no biggie now that the quilting is done.