We have been having a lot of fun exploring the use of long arm rulers. However, instead of using these rulers for free motioning straight lines, curves, circles & grids on a big long arm quilt frame, we have been using them with our Janome sewing & quilting machine……and with great success I might add!
Take a look at the quilt above and the close ups below. Lois has been “playing” with longarm rulers a bit longer than I have so she has created some impressive quilts! This was one she made for a baby. Notice all the lines which follow the “bunny” blocks. Previously, we might have quilted this using our walking foot and the quilting guide to assist with keeping lines straight. This works, of course, but is very time consuming. We all know that once we get over our nervousness of quilting by free motion, we discover that we can get our quilts completed in much less time…..Free motion is a whole lot quicker than quilting with a walking foot.
So I am sure you will understand how super excited we are that we can use the same sort of tools that longarm quilters have been using for a while…….rulers to guide us to stitch straight lines and more with freemotion! This is exactly what Lois did on this quilt. She told me she could not believe how quickly it got finished even though those lines are pretty close together.
There are many brands, shapes & sizes of long arm rulers available on the market. we suggest you purchase just one or 2 to start with until you discover what you wish to quilt: straight lines & grids? circles? scallops? curves? ALL this and more is possible with these rulers. One thing these rulers all have in common is that they are a lot thicker than a rotary cutting ruler which is approximately 1/8 inch thick. These rulers are at least 1/4 inch thick and you need that as the free motion foot must ride up against the ruler as you quilt ……not up & over the edge of the ruler! yes, you guessed, broken needle and possibly a chip out of the ruler too!
And this is the Janome foot we use: the Convertible spring loaded Free motion foot set PLUS the closed toe foot attachment from a different set (see part #’s below). This attachment on its own looks like this:
The reason we need this attachment is because it is much thicker than other feet and hence it rides beautifully smoothly (and without breaking needles!) against the ruler.
Incidentally this is not the first janomelife post we have done on this topic. You might like to do a search in the box on janomelife homepage for “ruler foot”……..lots more there. You could also explore blogs such as Amy’s Free motion Quilting Adventures where you will see what fun she has been having doing this very same technique on her Janome Horizon MC8200