Sunday, June 14, 2015


Linda sent me a Craftsy class last winter.  I did make the practice quilt for the class and had intended to quilt it on one of my domestic machines.  If you recall, I was without a Long Arm for many months.

I never did.  I don't like pushing a quilt (even though it was not very big, at all) around under the needle.  On Friday I put it on the frame.
I thought that I would just play around with some FMQ.  The class is called Dot to Dot and Angela Walters teaches you how to quilt from one point to another to make lovely geometric designs. She demonstrates on a sit down machine and mentioned that ,when doing these designs on the long arm, she uses a ruler.

I bought a few rulers even before the Nolting was delivered.  I knew I would need them eventually.

I put the ruler base on the machine

and checked out my ruler supply.  I thought that I had a longer one but the only one with a continuous straight edge was the small one from HandiQuilter.

 I figured that I may as well just try making a diagonal line with the small ruler.  One would be enough.

So I did . 

I am hooked.

I played around for several hours.  I managed to hit the Stitch in the Ditch ruler with the needle.  Now I know what that feels like.  I damaged the ruler a bit but the needle did not break.  I changed it, none the less. 

I use the standard foot that came on the machine.  It worked just fine. 

 My circles need work.  Remember, bum wrist.

 I used the stitch regulator mode for the ruler work.  I don't see how I could do it without that feature.  I prefer constant speed when I am FMQ, actually, but for ruler work it is very nice to have that consistent stitch length no matter how fast or slow the machine moves.

This was the first time I used the SR mode.   At first I thought it wasn't working because nothing happened when I pushed the go button.  A green light came on but there was no action.  Then there was a beep and the green light went off.  I was perplexed.  I got out the manual and looked for information about green lights and beeps. I was wondering if I was going to have to reset the whole machine.  I found nothing specific but  I found the instructions about the stitch regulated mode.  Aha.  I read: "The machine will not stitch until it is moved. "  Duh. and " If the machine is not moved for 4 seconds, it beeps and shuts off."

So, I am on my way with the rulers.  Holding the ruler properly is a bit tricky.  I am better in one direction that in others.  Going backward is difficult.  I had some wonky, wobbles but, for the most part, the lines are straight. 


  1. Elizabeth, you convinced me. I need to buy a ruler. Watched the video. The art quilt I was working on today had one set of diagonals left, so I took a scrap of wood as a guide and I got true diagonals.
    One problem I find with the SR is it does not like seams. No problem when I just have the machine running, but today I tried the SR for some tight curves and it hit a seam and bent the needle. Went back to non-SR. The one stitch button does not like seams either. I bought the titanium needles and they are great. Joyce didn't have the bigger ones, so I have one size down. I use titianium on my domestics and love them.
    Wear the brace.

  2. Speaking as one who knows nothing, can't you snap a chalk line to establish your long straight aways?

    1. The machine wants to go straight, one way or the other. To direct it on the diagonal is tricky and the ruler helps guide the foot and stabilize the motion.

  3. Yes, something about straight lines seems to call for consistent stitches as well to my eye. Freehand circles - I can't do one on paper without erasing at least 3-4 times, I'd hate to see what my efforts would be free motion quilting. Maybe just call them pebbles instead?

    1. I think that they are called pebbles. With practice I can do them on paper. It will come, or not. Most importantly, I am having F U N

    2. Aw snap, we hate it when you have FUN without us...