Open Line Friday-Rulers on a Domestic Machine

Good Morning, Quilters!

Today is Friday and I am home today dusting and cleaning -(mostly dog fur-cheeky, Ruby!)

Log Cabin, Hand dye quilt

In other words, I am eager to be distracted.  What’s on YOUR quilting/doodling/photography/anything-goes mind today?  What questions do you need answered quickly?

I’m here…the lines are open…

A few questions from this week…


My Sewing Room, Lori Kennedy


A few of you asked about my sewing light…

I bought this light about 15 years ago in February–after a long, gloomy Wisconsin winter.   I was convinced I had Seasonal Affective Disorder.  (Doesn’t everyone by the end of winter???)  Anyway…the light is a Sunbox light.  While I can’t say it did anything for my energy level–I do like the color and brightness of the light and I haven’t had to change the bulb in 15 years!–(you know I just jinxed it!).  (BTW-after reviewing the website, I don’t see the desk lamp model.)


I have been asked several times…Would you be willing to do a tutorial on quilting with a ruler on a home machine?

For many years, long arm quilters have had the ability to use rulers to create straight line quilting and many types of elaborate quilting designs.  This technique requires a specialized very deep foot that runs along the edge of an acrylic ruler.  A few years ago, after-market companies began making these feet to adapt to domestic sewing machines and many quilters got in on the fun!  Amy Johnson has a very popular Craftsy class called Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine.   It is filled with all the basics to get you started with rulers and plenty of quilts to inspire!

Craftsy, Lori Kennedy


Now,  as you know, I’m a BERNINA girl…I have 5 BERNINAs and my current love is my BERNINA 770 QE.  The problem is…BERNINA prides itself on Swiss perfection and the engineers are still perfecting the Ruler Foot for our machines…

Good News–BERNINA expects to have the Ruler Foot out in 2016!  So we only have a few months to wait….which I prefer to do because…


The warranty fine print says something about being void if we use non-BERNINA parts!


As a BERNINA Ambassador…I have hinted that I’d love to “test drive” the Ruler Foot  when it comes out-so YOU will be the first to know when it hits the market.

Until then…I know where you can find 100 FREE step by step tutorials that don’t require a ruler!

If you don’t have a BERNINA–I would highly recommend Amy’s class!

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.55.08 PM

What about YOU?

Do YOU have any questions, special requests, etc?

We’d love to hear! cuz we,

Don’t wanna be dusting,


PS…Ever wonder why BERNINA is all in capitals?  That’s the brand name–the proper way to write BERNINA –like you’re shouting it!

PPS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

42 thoughts on “Open Line Friday-Rulers on a Domestic Machine

    • I have the Bernina 770 QE and the shank adapter #77. Attached to that I use a Westalee toe set in the middle position. I ,too, was concerned about the possibility of a part whacking into another part if I accidentally lowered the needle before the presser foot. With this set up there is nothing possible that can be hit . I followed the instructions on the Patsy Thompson You Tube videos about ruler work on a home machine as well as Amy Johnson’s info. I love the results.

  1. I want to do a lattice look border on my quilt with applique. Is there anything wrong with doing the lattice first, then apply my applique? Also, have you ever completed a border separately first, then added it to the body of the quilt? It would be so much easier to handle, but I’ve have never heard of this done before.

    • You can use Quilt as You Go techniques like those in Machine Quilting in Sections by Marti Michell to quilt a big quilt. I designed a king size quilt for my bedroom in quarters and the borders, quilted the smaller sections first and then stitched them all together. It worked out beautifully.

      • I am going to try that method, too! My first ever quilt was stitched by hand in sections and then put together and I loved it, but have yet to try it for a larger quilt.

    • Are you saying you want to FMQ a lattice and add the appliqué on top? If so, Yes–I have done that. In my case, I had a FMQ practice sample and I appliquéd over it and I really liked the results. What is YOUR goal in doing it that way? Try a few small samples–make sure it is the look you seek. Also, you definitely can do borders that way–it’s called machine quilting in sections.

      • Thank you everyone for your answers and I feel I am on the right path. My GOAL is to eliminate the stop and go on the lattice every time I come up to the appliqued flowers, stems and leaves.

  2. If I were interested in perfection and straight lines, I wouldn’t be a free motion quilter! I own Berninas, and use them for all of my quilting, but they are older ones that any new feet don’t fit. Your tutorials are wonderful, thank you!

      • I think I have avoided trying straight lines because I have struggled with trying to make my quilting look perfect. Since letting go of “perfect” I am enjoying things to much more. I’ve been afraid to try grids and lines because then I’ll have to work on being perfect again. (Maybe I should take Amy’s class….? )

  3. One of my sisters (the female dog) wrote 1842 in the dust on my livingroom coffee table and I didn’t find it for weeks. Too busy in the sewing room. You have a friend in the “hate to dust” department. At least since our kitties went to kitty heaven, the fur tumbleweeds no longer roll down the hallway and give away my aversion to vacuuming as well. 😉 I’d rather it read on my tombstone “she made wonderful quilts”, than “she kept a dust free house”. Happy Friday.

  4. I have a BERNINA…..although it’s a older one, a 1260. I purchased a WESTALEE low shank ruler foot and it works perfectly with my BERNINA foot adapter. Took Amy Johnson’s awesome CRAFTSY class & am loving using rulers in my quilting! It’s so easy & so much fun! For me, even simple grid work is easier & faster with rulers than with the quilting bar. My machine is 25 years old, so I’m not worried about voiding its warranty. Looking forward to your ruler tutorial Lori; I’m sure it will be just as informative and inspirational as your FMQ tuts!

  5. I love your work and I love Amy’s work (and her class). I was so jealous when you posted that picture. 😀

    I think both methods can be combined into some really great overall designs.

  6. My friend is a BERNINA! enthusiast and a ruler girl… you can use the leather foot to do ruler work if you can’t wait.

  7. Here’s something to distract you Lori, a few years ago we went to Switzerland for our winter holiday and took the Bernina Express it was a truly amazing journey and the engineering amazing, chicanes like I’d never seen! One of the advantages of being this side of the pond! However, as I have a broken arm, no needle sports for 12 weeks, I am planning a trip to my Godmother in Philly and then out west to Yellowstone, we sure don’t have parks like those this side of the water!

    Great blog as always!


  8. I have a Janome 8900 and Janome ruler foot. Have purchased rulers from Amy, the Quilted Pineapple and a couple others. There is a learning curve, still struggle with what to quilt but love how it helps with straight line quilting without having to switch out to walking foot. There are several you tube videos of ruler work.

  9. I also am waiting patiently for the new foot to come out for my Bernina 750QE, but not so patiently that I haven’t bought my first ruler so I will be ready!

  10. I’m waiting for Bernina too. Last year I got a 750QE to update my original 830. It isn’t just the warranty – you can damage some expensive parts. My Bernina rep friend said “soon”. I sure hope that it is this year.

    • Hey, I am just replacing my original 830 also with the 770 QE . My dealer allows a deposit with monthly payments and no interest; will have it by summer! My 830 was my first major purchase when I started working and I don’t plan on getting rid of it when I get the new one. It works fine to transport to a class as I just use one of those old luggage carts which folds up (before luggage had wheels) to drag it around. I do want to invest in a proper 1/4 inch patchwork for for it though as my foot is a generous 1/4 inch. Just trying not to buy too much fabric etc and other quilting purchases in the meantime.

  11. I took Amy’s craftsy class – it was wonderful! One can also look up Patsy Thompson on YouTube to see her videos to get an idea of what ruler work is all about. I am NOT a Bernina girl – Janome and have some rulers and a ruler foot.
    I agree, Lori, Combining ruler work with FMQ is the best.

  12. The rulers are just SO expensive – especially when you add postage costs to Europe. They are not yet readily available here. I am hoping that if I wait long enough the prices will come down – but of course I could be an expert at fmq by then and won’t need them!!

  13. I took a class at my BERNINA dealer on ruler work using the Westalee adapter and shank just last month. I ordered the Westalee kit for my 830 or 880 but borrowed one for the 170 I took to the class. At that time they said there was a Bernina ruler foot for the Q20 but not the other machines. There’s also been a recent discussion on the Bernina 830 facebook group about ruler work. I’ll ask my dealer again if they know about a Bernina foot coming out for the regular machines, but for now I’ll buy the low shank package for my 170 since it’s 15 years old rather than purchase the mid shank kit for the 8 series machines. After trying the rulers in my short class, I think I will chose the rulers for small areas with lots of changes in direction over walking foot or free motion. The small scallops and curves were very nice too but for large areas, practice with free motion might achieve the same results and be less tedious. I love your tutorials, they are so doable and show me what is possible with practice, practice practice.

  14. I’m also looking forward to the release of the new Bernina Ruler Foot. Definitely wanting to check it out. Heard a bit more about it at QuiltCon, but suspect as a Bernina Ambassador, you’ll hear about it before I do. Definitely going to be fun for Bernina users.


  15. Ok I am so ignorant ! I think I will look on youtube to find out what y’all are a talkin’ about,…. rulers…. I have metal ones, wooden ones, plastic ones..but I have a sneakin’ feelin’ those are not it !!! One of my dream goals is to be able to quilt in 1-2 inch diamond grids…not squares on point, but real diamond shapes. I didn’t want to have to draw it all first with a frixion or water soluble pen.

  16. I bought the Bernina ruler foot, #96, last fall. I’ve been using it on my 180e and my Q20 ever since. What am I missing?

  17. Hi Lori, I’m a BERNINA girl as well. I’ve been holding off and waiting on a BERNINA ruler foot as well. Do you have any more news on a release date?

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