So now it’s time to quilt Alyce’s baby quilt. I’ve decided to use machine quilting ruler-work. Using rulers by hobbyists is a quickly developing area, many professionals like Leah Day and Angela Waters are producing rulers for domestic machines. Leonie and Bill from ‘Westalee’ have been doing this for a few years, so my collection of theirs and others is growing.
So, for this quilt, I’ve decided that each block will have its own pattern, instead of an allover pattern. I prefer to work on an already pieced quilt, rather than the other way around of quilting a pattern and making it into a quilt.
So where does ruler work fit in amongst domestic machine quilting techniques? At one end of the range is walking foot quilting, and at the other end of the range is free motion quilting. Ruler work sits in the middle. It has the look of free motion, yet has the stability of controlled quilting.
What’s my process? In the beginning, it’s paper and pencil planning, then as that becomes embedded it’s to seek out patterns amongst the squillion on the Internet, and interpret them into ruler work. Of course following specialist quilting bloggers is a sure way to fast track learning!
The first step is to draft up the block, Layer a piece of tracing paper over the top, if one ‘pattern’ works, but doesn’t quite suit the quilt – don’t rub out the drawing, keep it for another quilt. This builds up not only a pattern library, but it also trains the brain into seeing other possibilities. So use another piece of tracing paper. (There are great classes using this technique on the Internet.)
Get out the rulers, a pencil and a tracing circle – the most expensive gadget in the toolbox! Look at the block and work out how much quilting is needed. Would lines or curves be best to enhance the block as compared to an all over pattern? Match the idea up with a ruler and start to draw. Drawing helps plan the actual quilting on the machine – where to start and finish; which direction to go in first; how the quilt will sit or fit under the machine.
The results are patterns that enhance the quilt. Arrows show direction, —— show stitching in the ditch (previously ditch-stitched).
So let the quilting begin!
Two days later it’s all quilted – nothing like an imminent birth for a deadline!
Hope you like the choices for this quilt – I’m sure the new mum and baby boy loves it!
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