New DVD-Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter Volume 2 is here!!

April 21st, 2018

The waiting is over!  The second volume of Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter is now available!  How we were ale to complete this project amid all the health woes of our parents is a mystery, but it’s done and ready to find its way into your sewing room!  This instructional DVD shows how to create a variety of arched swag border designs with multiple fill-in options!  Along the way, you’ll also learn how to create curved cross-hatching designs as well as partial curved cross-hatching designs.  All of these techniques make fabulous border designs but can also be used as the building blocks for more complex ruler work designs like my “feathered footballs,” shown below:

 

 

This DVD is a must-have for any quilter looking to advance his or her ruler work skills and/or learn to create innovative fill designs for ruler work frameworks.  All the demos are performed from the standpoint of the sit-down quilter working on a home sewing machine, but this information is great for long arm quilters working on a frame system as well!  You can watch a preview video clip of what is taught on the DVD below:

 

 

This DVD retails for $29.95 and you can find it in our online store by clicking here.  If you’re looking for a great deal, you can buy both volumes 1 and 2 of Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter in one purchase for a 15% discount.  (Normal price if purchased separately is $59.90 but purchased together, the retail price is $50.92-a savings of $8.98!.)  You can find the 2 bundled together for a discounted price by clicking here.

Another new product in the store are 2 new specialty Clarity ruler feet:

 

The Clarity mid/longarm foot fits any mid or long arm machine that uses the Handiquilter handifeet system.  This includes the Babylock Tiara I, II, and III, Coronet, Regalia, and Crown Jewel series;  Huskavarna-Viking Platinum 16; and the Handiquilter Sweet 16, simply 16, Amara, Avante, Fusion, and Infinity.  The new Clarity Slant Shank ruler foot fits the following Singer Slant Shank machines:  1000 (Futura), 1036, 1100, 1411, 1425, Athena 2000 (2000A), 2001, 2010 Touchtronic, 290, 301, 401, 401A, 403, 404, 4552, 4562, 4610, 4622, 500, 501, 502, 503, 503A, 5910, 5932, 600, 600E Touch & Sew, 603, 604, 611, 620E1, 6233, 6234, 6235, 625, 625E1, 625E6, 625E7, 626, 6267, 6268, 628, 629, 630, 631, 635, 636, 638, 639, 645, 646, 649, 6704, 6800 Series, 700, 7028, 7033, 714, 717 School, 719, 720, 724, 734, 737, 740, 750, 755, 756, 758, 760, 770, 774, 775, 776, 778, 8019, 9005, 9008, 9010, 9015, 9018, 9020, 9022, 9027, 9032, 9034, 9110, 9113, 9133, 9134, 9137, 9143, 920-3, 9210, 9217, 9224, 9240, 93220, 9323, 9334, 9408, 9410, 9416, 9420, 9423, 9430, 9432, 9444, 9417, 635E3, 635E6, 635E7, 900-3, 784, 786, 30920, 9440, 640 Touch & Sew, 6740, 9400, 9135, 9123, 9012, 1410, 1050 Futura, 6200, 6260, 266, 411, 610, 766, 729, 725, 721, 746, 708, 706, 431, 626E1, 626E6, 626E7.

These new Clarity specialty ruler feet can be found by clicking here.

 

Also in stock are 2 new machine quilting rulers by Angela Walters.  The first, called “Archie,” is used to make symmetric arches and here is a shot of it:

Archie retails for $21.99 and can be found by clicking here.

Another ruler by Angela Walters is called “Squiggy.”    Squiggy is used  to make serpentine lines and wavy designs.  Squiggy retails for $21.99 and can be found by clicking here.

There are all kinds of exciting new products for ruler work!

More Fun With Arched Swag Border Designs

April 19th, 2018

Isn’t this one striking?  I just love playing around with new arched swag border designs; it never gets old for me.  Here is the preliminary ruler work framework for this one:

This was done using my PTD 12 arc ruler, and it begins with a 1/4 inch parallel channel, followed by a melon shape using the same ruler.  Next up, I added another 1/4 inch parallel channel, followed by a tapered channel (I know it looks like it’s parallel, but it has a subtle taper), and then a final 1/4 inch parallel channel:

So, the shot above is the final ruler work framework.  In this next shot, you can see I’ve started adding some fill-in designs:

…and then the final fill-in:

I’ve stitched out another fill-in option for this same ruler work framework, and I can’t believe how different the two look when compared.  I’ll save that for another post…

 

 

Ruler Work Quilt

April 15th, 2018

 

If you follow my blog, then you know that quilts like the one above are not my style.  I find it very difficult to work with pastel colors and avoid using them for that reason.  This was a very difficult quilt to work on because the colors are so far removed from anything that brings me joy.  I can’t even recall why I pieced it in these colors, but I’d put enough time into all the embroidery/applique that I felt like I should complete it. I’m glad I did because it ended up being a fun substrate for ruler work!  This is another machine embroidery applique quilt (meaning the applique and embroidery are done on an embroidery machine, then the quilt is pieced together.)  It is made from my pattern called “Kissed by a Butterfly,” which you can find by clicking here.

 

My favorite part is the curved cross hatching that falls outside the arched swag border design in the outermost border:

 

 

My next favorite part is the center circle of featherettes at the bases of the butterflies.  The only part of that design that bothers me is that there is no channel for the circle itself, but there literally was no space for even a 1/8 inch wide channel:

 

 

The border section on the turquoise background is a bit ho-hum but I do like the texture it created:

 

 

The part I regret was the ruler work on the outside of the yellow border.  In retrospect, the border is narrow enough that it just creates confusion about what the design is, but this was a good lesson for me to learn, so it served a purpose:

 

A few more pics:

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a good feeling to have finished something!

 

A Little Spring Color

April 13th, 2018

 

A million apologies for the silence on this blog.  My 2+ months of craziness has morphed into 4+ months of craziness and my life is no longer my own.  I’ve somehow managed to complete a few small projects during this time and will try to post about them over the next week or two.  First up is another table runner made from the Swirly Floral Quartet Pattern that you can find by clicking here.  Here is a shot of the block being stitched as a 2-part split design, just after the first half has been appliqued/embroidered:

 

…and here it is as that second side is being appliqued/embroidered:

 

…and here is that block once removed from the hoop:

 

Four squares were pinned to each corner, then attached by stitching along the diagonal to create a half square triangle in each corner:

 

…and here is the table runner once all 3 blocks have been pieced together:

 

 

Two + Months of Craziness

March 10th, 2018

Hello, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  My silence wasn’t planned, just one of the side effects of a very chaotic and exhausting 2 + months.  My elderly but active mom became very ill  and ended up in the ICU a week before Christmas. It’s a long and complicated story, but she opted to decline treatment after a few days and went home with hospice services.  There are 5 children and 5 sons/daughters in law, and everyone pitched in to help take care of her.  She has miraculously turned around, (perhaps a testimony to the power of being home and helped by family instead of being in a hospital), and now is doing very well.  About 3 weeks after mom became ill, my mother-in-law, (who lives on the opposite side of the country from us), began falling repeatedly.  She was doing better last week but now is teetering again, so who knows what lies around the corner.  Both Ern and I lucked out in the “mom department,” so these two women are very precious to us and are great cause for worry.  Many of you have experience with caring for ill and elderly family members, so you understand the drill of constant phone calls, texts, travel, and lack of sleep.  I just counted up, and over the course of 9 weeks, I literally traveled 17 times.  That is an awful lot of packing up, moving, unpacking, and doing it again and again.  Remember the January 2018 Ruler Work Winter Course?  It seems like it happened 6 months ago but all that went on while I was in the throes of all this craziness!  I’m really proud of myself that I was able to meet that commitment, but that was literally the only sewing/quilting I’ve done outside of teaching classes in the last 2 months.  Talk about creativity withdrawl!!!  I’ve been able to snag a little time here and there in my sewing room over the last 2 weeks, though.  I finally finished piecing the quilt top below, having begun working on it 1 1/2 years ago:

 

I love how it came out and can’t wait to start quilting it!  Because of all the dense thread work and stabilizer, it’s very heavy so it has to be basted on a long arm.  (Spray basting cannot hold that kind of weight.)  I know that  have 15-20 hours of laborious outlining every single tiny applique shape with invisible thread before any of the “fun quilting” can begin, but I am ready to go!  Hopefully, I will be able to start working on it in a few weeks.  This quilt is a “consolidation” of a few different machine embroidery applique files that I have “re-purposed” to create this quilt.  The center blocks are created from the block used in the “Swirly Floral Quartet Table Runner:”

 

The first border (the narrower one) is made from the same file used for the Serpentine Floral Table Runner:”

Isn’t it weird how different that design looks when you have two mirror image “sets” of them so close together?  This is one of the things I love about MEA, you can spend endless hours messing around with placement and come out with a wide variety of designs. The outermost border was from another table runner design I made a number of months ago but haven’t had a chance to finish writing the pattern for it yet:

 

(Again, this is another example of how the design really changes when you mess around with placement.)  Anyway, it has been fun to finally get something actually COMPLETED, even though it took me waaaayyyy tooo long!!