Product Review: Fine Line Quilter’s Straight Rulers

rhonda-01I am primarily motivated by deadlines. A looming deadline is the main reason I get anything done.

When I am avoiding a difficult deadline, I can find any number of reasons to procrastinate, from replacing the shelf paper in my pantry to organizing a drawer to making something for Hazel.

I am secondarily motivated by guilt. My sister made a beautiful, original quilt top several years ago. I remember when she bought the fabric during one of our mini family reunions (just my mom, my sister, and I) at the Houston Quilt Festival. A couple years later she asked if I could quilt it for her. I hesitated and said yes, but told her it would have to wait until after whatever deadline I was working on at that moment. If I remember correctly, that was in early 2012, before sweet hubby’s stroke, before Amalya, before my father passed away, before my mother-in-law passed away, before Hazel was born, basically…before.

I put my sister’s quilt top up on my design wall so I could savor the guilt regularly. She even gave it to me already layered and basted. I had no excuse, other than I didn’t really want to quilt a queen size project on my regular machine, and I was not on good terms with George. This week I decided I wanted to get rid of my guilt, and also get this quilt back to my patient sister by finishing it in time for her May birthday.

rhonda-02I decided to use this project as an opportunity to learn how to quilt with a ruler. My sister’s quilt has dark squares which I decided to quilt with horizontal parallel straight lines. These represent bricks or stones. I will quilt the light squares with vertical curves and swirls to represent water.

I have a Fine Line Quilter’s Straight Ruler that I wanted to use. I really liked the peg-like finger grips on the top of the ruler. They made it so easy to keep the ruler steady and to move it to new positions. With this ruler, I found I could easily stitch a beautiful straight line in any direction. If I try to freehand a straight line, especially from side to side, I inevitably get a wavy line. I also appreciated the parallel lines that are incised into the ruler. It made it so easy to make perfect parallel rows of stitches 1/2″ apart.

rhonda-03One thing that makes this ruler different is the “resistance strip” that is on the bottom of the ruler. It is basically the prickly part of a piece of velcro. It works beautifully for keeping the ruler anchored in place while stitching. For my project, however, the velcro kept pulling on the basting stitches. I ended up stitching along the main components of the design so the entire quilt was stabilized and then I pulled out all of the basting. After that, everything went much quicker.

I haven’t used this ruler yet with my more typical pin basting, but I imagine there might be additional issues, but nothing insurmountable. In any case, I definitely will be exploring ruler work more in the future.

3 Responses

  1. Paula.thequilter

    I work across the street from a skate shop that supplies all things skatey to skateborders, roller derby, etc. I purchased an 8″ square of the sticky backed skateboard grip as transparent as I could get. It cost me a whopping $1.60 and I can put this on the backside of my HQSS rulers. I love this stuff because it flat out does not slide on the fabric. No more super pressure on the ruler!

  2. Connie

    This post is why I love to read your blog! I’ve been quilting “straight” lines on George, and even though they are freehand they look okay to me on my freehand-cut quilts. But I’ve been thinking about what to do if I want a true straight line. I didn’t want to try it with the long-arm folks’ rulers. Thank you for giving us a great solution.