Thursday, November 21, 2019

Tool Time

Tool Time is the Nov. theme for many of the Island Batik Ambassadors this month.   And no- it's not about Tim Taylor's show Tool Time on the television show Home Improvement!  My husband and I like to watch the reruns of the show - but I digress...

The tools we are thinking about here are quilting tools.  This month's challenge was to use and highlight a special quilting tool.  My favorite new tools are the quilting rulers for domestic machines.  I decided to use some of them for this project and I'll be telling you more about them later.

I relieved a strip pack of the Crystal Sea Island Batik collection in my second Ambassador box.  This is such a beautiful collection of blues and purples that I wanted to so something really special with it.  I played around with a lot of different ideas most of the year and just couldn't decide what to make.  Many of the designs I had in mind were pretty detailed and it came down to a time issue and what could I get done by the end of Nov?

I was sent coordinating yardage in a light and dark blue and two matching Aurifil threads that would work well together.  

I finally looked over some patterns that I've always wanted to try and decided on one called  Terrace Floor by Helen White that was in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in 1999. Do you have patterns in your collection you've never tried?  I'm glad I pulled this one out.  This has a simple 8 piece block that is very easy to use with 2 1/2" strips - perfect!

I first thought the block could easily be made by sewing a triangle and strip together to make each of the four large triangles and then sew the 4 triangles into a block.

The more I looked at this layout, I decided that it would be quicker to sew four strips together into a block and sew the blocks on the diagonal.  Can you see the difference?  My picture shows the corner of the quilt- so you are also seeing the outside triangles on the corner, but look at the blocks towards the center.

Then sew the blocks together on the diagonal.

I ended up using a darker blue Aurifil thread to match the darker background fabric - 40 wt 1320, and the light purple Aurifil 50 wt 2520 for the top.  They blended perfectly.  I also used Hobbs Cotton batting and was pleased with how well it showed the quilting.

I ended up using 4 different quilting rulers.
          12" Inside Out Curve 3
          6" arc
          4" arc (one of my favorites)
          Florish (I used a portion of the curve which worked out great)

I'm continually pleased with how great these rulers are and how they improve my quilting and speed up the process.  I read recently that they call this kind of quilting- guided quilting.  Not free motion, not computerized or long arm quilting.  I like that term- guided quilting.  The rulers do seem to "guide" the needle along the edge of the ruler.

Most of my collection of rulers are from Sew Steady- made by Westalee, and I have their special foot for the machine that allows ruler work, but I am finding some other companies that are also making new rulers.  I have a short shank on my machine that only allows me to use the thinner rulers (3mm- the thickness of your regular cutting rulers).  This is a drawback as there are some nice rulers on the market that are the thickness of long arm rulers and I can't use them.  This is my plea to those companies to also make the thinner rulers!

Here's a close up of the quilting

And here's the finished lap quilt in colors I love.

If you have a domestic machine and have never tried using quilting rulers I encourage you to try - I think you'll fall in love!

Thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil and Hobbs for supplying the products for this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador program.


  1. This is such a lovely finish. The fabrics were perfect for the design.

  2. Great tools! I love Tool Time!! - I referenced him too in my post ;)

  3. Love the colours. Rulers are great tools...I hope to try someday.

  4. Lovely! I have a domestic machine and I admit I have not considered rulers.

  5. I love the quilt. you do a great job with the quilting rulers. I tried it and enjoyed using the one ruler I have. I am anxious to try more guided quilting. Mary E

  6. Your quilt turned out wonderfully, love the colors and the use of different rulers.

  7. I love everything about this - the simplicity and fun of your pattern, and then the playing with quilting rulers. I really like using rulers on my domestic machine (and my longarm). I too wish both worked on both!