I love adding ruler work to my quilting projects. Sometimes it’s just a little, sometimes it’s a lot. My current project falls under the second – it’s almost 100% ruler work and that makes me a happy camper. Huh. See what I did there? 🙂
D made this fun quilt and asked me to quilt it. She told me to ‘do whatever’. Most times those words, coming from a quilting customer, can be a little (or a lot!) scary but in this case it didn’t worry me at all. Because as soon as I saw all those wonderfully blank blocks the ideas started flowing. Pouring, really. I had to put the brakes on because there were more ideas than blocks to quilt. That’s a good problem to have!
On this quilt I started with the borders. Usually I leave them until last because I don’t always know how I’m going to quilt the borders until I see how the rest of the quilting works out. But in this case I had the border design sketched out first and the other designs fed from that.
Even though I knew how the border should be quilted and had a picture sketched out, I screwed it up. Yep, messed up that top border first thing. I knew it wasn’t right after the first 10 inches or so. But after looking at it I decided I liked it. It was different and funky and matches the fun vibe of the quilt so I left it. I’m sooooo glad I did. I really like how it looks here. If you like it, I’ll sketch it out and write a post so you can quilt it in your own borders. Just let me know in the comments.
The only part of the quilt that isn’t ruler work are the orange borders. I stitched wishbones free hand in those. You can barely see the design, but the texture shows nicely and I love great texture.
The largest border had scenes from a camper panel that were broken up with solid blocks. I had so much fun quilting an easy Zentangle design in all those solid blocks. I *love* quilting those designs. They are so versatile. You can stitch them in just about any shape block, and make them as dense or loose as you want. In this quilt, I stitched the lines about 1″ apart, as I wanted to keep some softness in the quilt and didn’t want to quilt too densely.
The large camper scenes were quilted with skinny X’s – I marked 1″ spaces and used those marks as a guide for the skinny X. I didn’t want to quilt any motif that would compete with the scene on the fabric and this worked beautifully. It actually reminds me of looking through a leaded window. I’m pretty happy with the look.
In the center of the quilt I did a lot of simple X’s in the pieced and fussy cut blocks. Quick and easy and keeps the quilt soft. In the solid squares I did more zentangle quilting, and in the half square triangles I used Angela Walter’s dot-to-dot quilting method. I didn’t mark or measure anything, I just used my ruler foot as a guide for spacing. I think it worked out well.
You know no quilting post would be complete unless I showed the fabulous texture on the back, right? So here it is. I wish I could have gotten more pictures, but it was dark outside and the weather was bad as well. But this one shot gives you an idea of how great the back looks:
I only used two rulers for all the quilting. My favorite ruler is a 9″ straight ruler from Green Fairy Quilts. I use it for almost all the straight lines I quilt. The second ruler I used was the small skinny slice from HandiQuilter. It made easy work of stitching the orange peel design in the pinwheels. I love that it’s small enough to fit my hand nicely and I have a lot of control with it. What are your favorite rulers to use?
All of these designs can be stitched using a domestic sewing machine, a sit-down, or longarm machine on a frame. Whatever machine you use, I hope you’ll give ruler work a try. There are so many great designs that can be made with a few simple rulers.
So that’s my crush for this week. Now it’s time for you to share yours! What has you excited to be in your sewing room this week? You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how: