So glad to be back at BERNINA’s WeAllSew blog talking about all things quilting! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Amanda Murphy and I’m a Spokesperson for the BERNINA Q Series, a fabric designer with Contempo/Benartex, a pattern designer, and author. I also teach at BERNINA stores all over the country. I’m here today to talk about the Adjustable Ruler foot #72 – the MUCH ANTICIPATED domestic rulerwork foot!
Rulerwork expands your quilting possibilities in so many ways—and now you can do it on your domestic BERNINA machines. (Thanks, Swiss friends!) Hooray!
So, what can you do with rulerwork?
Ruler feet have high profiles, enabling you to stitch right along the edge of any quilting ruler that is between 1/4″ and 3/8″ thick, which gives you very uniform quilting lines. This works particularly well with straight lines and uniform shapes. (Warning: don’t try this technique with your rotary cutting rulers—they can slide right under the foot while stitching, resulting in an expensive repair.) You know those quilts you see with perfectly straight lines or perfectly uniform large circles? Well, chances are someone was using a ruler and ruler foot! Lots of piecers also love ruler work because you can achieve precision after just a bit of practice. (Warning: if I am teaching at your local BERNINA store I just might try to get you to love free-motion by introducing you to rulerwork and sneaking free-motion in!) And the BERNINA Adjustable Ruler foot #72 in particular even has a little screw you can turn to raise or lower the presser foot to accommodate different batting lofts.
So how does it work? I thought I’d show you using the Rulerwork panel that I designed exclusively for BERNINA, along with the BERNINA ruler sets now available. (You can order these items from your local store.)
You can use a ruler foot to quilt “in-the-ditch” along seams. This means (drumroll please)…. NO MORE NEEDING TO TURN THE QUILT UNDER YOUR DOMESTIC MACHINE SO YOU CAN USE YOUR WALKING FOOT!
You can also use a straight ruler to create geometric designs, like diamonds and triangles! And the lines on the ruler can be used to easily execute cross hatching.
Then you can go to town, filling the areas with free-motion quilting. Even simple motifs, like loops and back and forth designs, can give you rich looks when combined with rulers. Are you beginning to see the possibilities?
You can use curved rulers, like this 4-in-1 (called this because there are 4 different shapes curves in one ruler) to bounce around piecing areas, creating separate designs.
You can also use longer curves to fill sashing areas quickly and simply.
Circles are some of my favorite ruler shapes to use because of their versatility. You can play with different sizes to vary the depth of the curves. Use circles to create scallops, or a great “fish-shaped” border, or offset them to make waves. You can also use them to create large clamshell shapes and fill them with free-motion. Clamshells are one of my favorites.
Oh gosh, don’t even get me started with what you can do when you use circles to create interlocking designs, like wreaths!
Are you getting ideas? Ovals open even more design possibilities.
The key to ruler work is moving at a consistent speed. On a longarm you move the foot along the ruler, while keeping the ruler in one place. On a domestic you feed the ruler through WITH your fabric. Your stitching line will always be 1/4″ from the edge of the ruler. Luckily those of us with a quilting addiction can pretty easily eye a 1/4″ seam!
If you get really inspired by ruler work definitely check out the BERNINA Q 20 and Q24. With these models you get rulerwork with perfect stitch regulation, because the regulators are mounted in the base of the machine.
BERNINA makes two rulers sets, one called the “sit-down” set and one the “frame” set—but you can use both sets on both types of machines. I personally do. These sets are designed with basic shapes that are the ones I come back to again and again in my work. (Both sets have the 4-in-1 but otherwise they offer separate shapes.)
I hope you all are as excited as I am about the introduction of BERNINA Adjustable Ruler foot #72! For more quilting tips, downloads, or any specific questions you might have, please visit my blog and join my Facebook group for quilting. I’d love to hear from you!