Adjustable Ruler Foot #72 Tips and Tricks

Hi everyone,

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!

Happy quilting!

Amanda Murphy

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42 comments on “Adjustable Ruler Foot #72 Tips and Tricks”

      • More detailed info for you all after checking with BERNINA:
        The Adjustable Ruler Foot #72 is compatible with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Series machines from about 1998 forward (except model 950 and 1008). See the models below.

        1 Series – 130, 140, 145, 150, 155, 160, 165, 170, 180, 185
        2 Series – 200, 215, 220, 230, 240
        3 Series – 330, 350, 380
        4 Series – 430, 440, 450
        5 Series – 530, 550, 560, 570, 580
        6 Series – 630, 640
        7 Series – 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, 770, 780, 790
        8 Series – 820, 830

  • When will the Ruler Foot #72 be generally available in the US? I have checked with two dealers in my area and neither knew when they would receive shipments.

    • The demand is higher than the supply at this poitn but they are coming. Dealers who placed pre orders early on have received some. I’d recommend placing an order with your dealer so she gets in the queue and you are on the list. I would expect availability to become more widespread in first quarter.

    • You can use ruler foot #96 on the Q20 and Q24 and still have stitch regulation as it both machines have two stitch regulators mounted under the machine bed. But on domestic machines that would use an actual stitch regulating foot, where the laser is in the foot itself, you lose stitch regulation when you replace that foot with a ruler foot.

      • Since several different feet styles are available for the stitch regulator, has Bernina considered creating an additional foot with higher sides like the #96 ruler foot?

  • The rulers that my local dealer showed me when I ordered my foot are white. They said that the rulers are not see through and if that is the case I think I will regret ordering them. I can’t find anything about the rulers, can you tell me whether or not they are clear?

  • Hi, I have a Q24 and am interested in the ruler kit that is designed for it. Are there compelling reasons to use the #72 foot over the #96 foot that comes with the ruler kit?

    I most likely will only work with rulers using the Q24 rather than my other Bernina machines.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Hi, I have the 820 and just purchased the #72 ruler foot, I having a difficult time programing it on screen. My screen doesn’t show that foot and machine just shows red x!

  • Hi. I am having problems watching the videos in your article. It stops and goes throughout all of them. What do I need to fix this problem? Otherwise, I think your tips look great. Thank you.

    • Hello mjewel2014, I see you are having a bit of a problem with our videos. The speed at which the videos play for you will depend on your computer or device configuration and internet speed. If the videos are stopping and starting while you are trying to watch, I can suggest pausing the video until it loads (you should see a bar at the bottom of the video that moves to the right as the video loads). Wait until the video has loaded, and then start playing the video. Or, try watching from a different computer.

  • Where can I order the Bernina rulers and rulerwork kit for my Bernina 630E? I already have the #72 foot.
    Any help you can give will be very much appreciated!
    Debbie Kitsos, Katy, TX

    • Hello Debbie, thanks for visiting WeAllSew! I see that you already have purchased the Adjustable ruler work foot #72 from your local BERNINA store. This is the same place you can order the BERNINA ruler sets for use with the #72 foot.

      • The adjustable ruler work foot #72 was a gift bought on Amazon. I called the local Bernina store regarding the ruler sets and a straight ruler, but I have not heard back from them yet. I checked their online store and I did not see the Bernina rulers. I have googled it as well, and was unable to find a Bernina store that has them.

        Your help would be greatly appreciated.


        • Hello Debbie, I see you are anxious to get a set of our BERNINA rulers! You will need to get in touch with a BERNINA store and order either of the sets directly. Depending on what the demand for the ruler sets is at your local store, they may currently be out of stock and waiting for another shipment of the rulers. Your best bet is to get in touch with the store right away to inquire about the ruler sets, if there are any in stock, and what you can do to order a set. Please note that our accessories (like feet, bobbins, or the ruler sets) are only available through BERNINA stores, and are not available to purchase online either through our website, or any of our individual BERNINA stores websites at this time.

  • I love the 72 foot being able to make ajustments on both machine and on the foot is wonderfull. I use this foot for ruler work but also for free motion quilting. So easy with my 830 and 730 Artista. One of my favorite Bernina feet. Thank you for making quilting so easy.

  • I have a Bernina Artista730 and I’m considering buying the ruler foot No. 72 plus the rulers. But in your video you said, the good thing is I don’t have to turn the quilt anymore. How come ? – once I quilted a line I would have to turn the quilt, wouldn’t I. ? May be I am confused at the moment – any explanation would be really appreciated. Thank you

    • Hi Amanda, sometimes questions answers themselves overnight. Of course I don’t have to turn the quilt since I will be in the freemotion quilting mode !! So, thanks – but no need to answer. I ordered my ruler foot from Bernina already and can’t wait to have a go with it.

  • Hi Amanda. I have Bernina 880 upgraded to plus and just purchased the 72 foot. When I tried to use the ruler foot, it was higher than my quilting ruler when I try to stitch! I do have the Q 24 but sometimes I just want to work on a small project. I did have the ruler foot down as far as the spring would allow. I was using cotton ‘top’ and 80/20 batting. Please can you help me get this corrected? Love my Bernina

  • I had to update my Bernina B780 software in order to recognize #72 foot. But now it won’t let me use my foot pedal. It required me to press the green button. But how do you hold onto the ruler and quilt with one hand as the machine keeps stitching to stop it when you get to the end of the ruler so you can shift the ruler to a different spot?
    Must annoying!

  • I am using a Bernina 830 on a Bernina Longarm frame, which foot do I use – 72 or 96? Also, is there a ruler base plate that can be purchased for the 830 for ease of ruler work on the frame?

  • Hi Amanda, I have two questions . .I purchased the #72 ruler foot. Is it a hopping foot? The second
    question is Bernina thinking of having a clear ruler foot instead of the metal one? The metal one
    seems to block so much of the view making it hard to see where you are going.

  • Hi, I am new to ruler work on a bernina 770. I have the #72 foot. The problem that I am having is my presser foot will not stay down whenever I stop to move my ruler. What am I doing wrong. The machine is also new to me.

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