The Free Motion Quilting Project: How to Quilt with Rulers on a Longarm

Sunday, September 10, 2017

How to Quilt with Rulers on a Longarm

This week I've been cleaning out my sewing room and found many unfinished quilt projects that would be fun to quilt on for our Sit Down Quilting Sunday posts. This quilt was created with a Building Blocks cheater cloth quilt panel I had printed years ago on Kona Cotton Ultra. Click Here to find this cheater cloth fabric on Spoonflower.


I basted my sixteen block cheater cloth panel with quilters Dream Puff batting and minky fabric on the back to create a super soft and puffy baby quilt. The upside of thick batting and minky backing is I'll be able to get away with lots of mistakes. Subtle stitch offs and inconsistent travel stitching will be hidden by the thick pile on the minky fabric.

However, the downside is it will feel a bit harder to move the quilt over the machine. I've found minky fabric tends to grip the machine bed so it really helps to clamp the quilt upright to reduce the weight on the machine. Click Here to learn more about how I clamp my quilts. 

This Building Blocks quilt panel has sixteen different blocks to play with and one in the middle is a Sawtooth Star with lots of straight lines in the background. It's the perfect block to play with some ruler foot quilting!


Click here to learn more about the Grace Qnique 14+. Remember if you live in the US and you're interested in the machine, be sure to call the company and mentioned Leah Day told you to say "Hello my quilting friends" to get a discount on your order. This helps me make more videos and helps you save on your machine or quilting frame!

Now for more ruler foot quilting basics:

As I was quilting with rulers on this Sawtooth Star block I realize this is the largest quilt I've ever quilted with rulers. I noticed imediately I wasn't able to rotate the quilt as much as I rotated and shifted small blocks with ruler foot quilting. This changed the way I quilted some lines and did make it feel awkward to quilt certain lines.

However even though it sometimes felt a bit weird I do think my lines are straighter and more consistent than they would be if I quilted without the ruler as a guide. I think this is just one of those things you need to practice a lot first with smaller blocks, and then progressively bigger and bigger quilts.


The ruler I was using in this video was Template #5 from the Dresden Plate Template Set, but mine was specially cut extra thick to use on the longarm. If you'd like a thicker set specially cut for you, make sure to contact us to check on pricing and availability. And yes, making more rulers is definitely on my list of things to do in the next few months! The more rulers the better and the more creative things you can do!

Have you tried ruler foot quilting yet? What did you think of this style quilting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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