Rulerwork For Beginners, Part 2: Roadmap
Last month we jumped right into quilting because I wanted to get you started with rulers, and then you saw the direction we were headed when you saw the “Roadmap”. But it is always a good idea to draw a plan before you start. So this month we are going to start out by taking a look at our “Roadmap”.
As we look at our roadmap, we see several different curves, so that means we are going to need several different curved edges. We will be using the BERNINA Straight Edge Ruler because it has the perfect rounded end. (The ruler will allow for a 3” half circle.) We will also be using two curved rulers from Quilter’s Groove, the ProEcho 11 and ProEcho 18. (These rulers will allow for the arcs you see on the project. Other curved rulers will work, but the design may change.)
You will notice that there is some echoing of curves on the roadmap, however this is optional. If you are going to be doing any echoing, and you will see more of it from month to month, you will want the BERNINA Echo Quilting Clips.
We will want to do some marking before we get started. Mark diagonal lines from the corner of the 9-Patch to the outside corner of the block. We will use this line later.
Just to review machine set up, the needle should be programed to stop in the down position. If you have a Hover Function on your home machine, I would turn it off so that when you stop the foot does not raise giving the ruler a chance to slip under the foot. Q Series machines should be in BSR2.
Another reminder when stitching at a table model machine, whether Domestic or Q Series, it that even though it is tempting to turn the block, try not to. Get used to moving in all directions because when you are quilting a larger piece, turning the quilt may be difficult.
So let’s get started with the 9-Patch center of the block. We are going to be doing a continuous line curve pattern (sometimes referred to as “orange peel”) as indicated by the green lines on our roadmap. This is an extremely versatile pattern and one I use often. Using the curved end of the BERNINA Straight Edge Ruler, begin in the upper left hand corner of the 9-Patch block.
Lay the ruler so that the notches indicating the half circle are on the vertical seam line of the first border and the curve goes into the upper left square. Stitch the half circle stopping at the upper left corner of the second block. Turn the ruler and stitch across the bottom of the upper left square.
Continue across the bottom of all three squares in the top row.
Turn the ruler and stitch across the bottom edge of all three squares.
Stitch down the side of the first square in the second row.
Repeat the same stitching path, stitching across the row and back and down to the bottom left corner of the 9-Patch. Stitch across the bottom left square. Turn the ruler and stitch up one side of the vertical seam.
Stitch down the other side.
Stitch across the bottom center patch, up the seam and down, across to the bottom right corner.
From here, stitch up the side and across the top ending in the same corner you started.
There are many paths you can take to stitch this as a continuous design, this is just one of them. Study the block to determine what path you would like to take, but the objective is to stitch the half circle to the inside of every square without having to cut the thread.
As I said when we started, this is a very versatile design. It can be done in a 4-Patch, 9-Patch, 16-Patch and so on. It can be done in rows, and it can be done with a shallower curve giving a different look.
The next step is to add a gentle curve on all four sides of the 9-Patch. You can see that in the blue stitching on the roadmap. Using the Quilter’s Groove ProEcho 18 ruler, lay it on one edge of the 9-Patch. Position the ruler so that it is centered on the side and the long center line of the ruler is lined up with the seam line of the 9-Patch.
Begin stitching on the diagonal line that was marked on the fabric. Stitch to the diagonal line in the next corner.
Turn the ruler and center it along the next side. Stitch to the next corner. Finish by stitching all the way around the center 9-Patch.
To echo the curved edges, use the same ruler laying the edge of it on the already stitched lines.
Now to the corners. This would be the yellow stitching on the roadmap.
Place a mark 5/8” from each corner of the block on the diagonal line. Lay a cutting ruler so that the 1 1/2″ line is on the outside seam of the 9-Patch. Place a mark where the ruler hits the outside curved line. Do this on all four sides.
Lower the needle into one of these marked intersections and lower the foot. Lay the last line on the outside curved edge of the ProEcho 11 ruler along the edge of the foot. Angle the ruler so the other end is 1/4″ from the corner mark and stitch.
Leaving the needle in the fabric, flip the ruler so the curve is going in the opposite direction. The other end of the ruler should be 1/4″ from the mark you made earlier. If you do not feel you can eyeball a 1/4″, it is okay to measure.
When you have finished the second line of stitching, you have a competed corner.
Repeat for the other 3 corners.
Mark the center of the outside borders. We will be using the BERNINA Straight Edge ruler to stitch 4 half circles along the seam of the outside border (red stitching on the roadmap). Lower the needle into the outside border seam where the seam intersects the stitching from the corner motif.
Four half circles should fit perfectly; however, we know nothing is ever perfect! So before you begin stitching, place the ruler and pretend to sew to see if everything is going to fit. You may have to do a little “fudging” to get four half circles to fit. The second half circle should end at the center mark you placed on the border.
The next steps are optional. I have used the BERNINA Echo Clips for the Ruler Foot, stitching the half circles again to create an echo of the curves. There are three sizes of Echo Clips; 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1”. Use the 1/2″ Echo Clip to obtain a 1/4″ echo of the already stitched design. Attach the clip to the ruler foot with the etched lines facing down, the slit in the back of the foot and the line opposite the slit lined up with the “V” on the front of the foot. Push up until it clips in place.
Place the ruler down in its original position. Now you will repeat the stitching you just did allowing the edge of the echo clip to follow the edge of the ruler.
This will do a perfect echo of the original design. I love the BERNINA Echo Clips!!
You have now completed quilting a block with curved rulers! You could add more quilting, of course; there are always places to add free motion, or you could do more echoing! I did a little more echoing in the corners.
Join us next month when we will be going in circles! The rulers used next month are the Good Measure Amanda Murphy Every Circle Rulers.