Ruler Work Quilting with the Janome M7

Ruler Work quilting is really free motion quilting using templates or rulers to guide you as you quilt along. It’s fun and a lot easier to do than you would think. The Janome M7 comes with everything you need to be successful at ruler work quilting(except the rulers). Let’s take a look at how to set up the Janome M7 for ruler work quilting. 

Janome M7 full

You’ll need a special foot to do this type of free motion quilting: a ruler work foot. The QR foot is included with your purchase of the Janome Continental M7 so you won’t even need to purchase an additional accessory to do ruler work on this machine. This QR foot is easy to recognize because it is thicker than any of the other feet.

Janome M7 ruler foot

Photo courtesy of

The templates or rulers that you use with the QR foot are specially designed for this purpose – these are thicker than the acrylic rulers you use for cutting your fabric. Don’t use your cutting rulers when ruler quilting with the QR foot as you can damage your machine, needle, and ruler if it slips under the foot and your needle comes down on it.

The Janome Ruler Foot Kit includes several rulers for ruler work quilting and is an excellent starter kit for those just starting out in this technique. Check with your local Janome dealer for more information on this optional kit.

Janome Ruler Work Kit

Janome Ruler Work Kit – photo courtesy of

Now that you know what foot to use, you need to have the proper needle plate installed. There are 3 needle plates included with the Janome M7 and when you are ruler quilting, it’s best to use the straight stitch needle plate. This is the same needle plate you use for free motion quilting and this is why it’s the one to use for ruler work as well – because ruler work is just another form of free motion quilting.

Janome M7 Straight Stitch Needle Plate - 1

One of my favourite features on the Janome M7 is the button you press that lifts up the needle plate so you can easily remove it – I could play with it all day long (but then I wouldn’t get any quilting done!)

One of the optional accessories I like to use when free motion quilting is the blue dot bobbin case which is specific for the Janome M7. (Part # 202433008). It has a lower tension that gives perfect free motion quilting stitches. You can get this optional accessory from your local Janome dealer.

Janome M7 Blue Dot Bobbin Case Holder - 1

There are special settings you’ll need to activate on the Janome M7 when you’re doing ruler work quilting. These settings ensure the foot height is correct for this type of quilting; that the feed dogs automatically drop when you start stitching; and that there are no issues with the QR foot and the automatic presser foot lift feature. 

To get to the ruler work menu, you will press the Sewing Application (t-shirt icon) and then press on the quilting icon.

1 M7 main menu utility screen - 1Click on the t-shirt icon on the far right on the main menu.

Janome M7 Quilting menu circled

Click on the Heart and Feathers icon to get to the quilting menu.

You’re now in the quilting area and you will choose the ruler work icon.

3 M7 FMQ screen - 1

Click on the Ruler Work icon.

There are two options in this area: medium and light and these refer to the thickness of your quilt sandwich. The medium setting is the default choice and most of the time the medium setting will work just fine for you. I would only suggest using the light if you are working on a very thin quilt sandwich or one where there isn’t any batting.

Janome M7 Ruler Work Medium

Medium setting in Ruler Work area.

Janome M7 Ruler Work Light

Light setting in Ruler Work area.

For more detailed information on setting up the Janome M7 for ruler work quilting, watch the following video.

YT Thumbnail Janome M7 Ruler Work

Happy creating from Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, Alberta.


About Kim Jamieson-Hirst

Quilting teacher, host at Chatterbox Quilts and The Quilter's Way, inspiring and encouraging quilters through education.
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