Straight line quilting is so hot right now, from matchstick quilting simple straight lines spaced inches apart, it’s out there and isn’t going anywhere. Over time, though, this look is going to need a little updating as quilters seek to try new things and expand their quilty horizons.

Personally, I know that one of the reasons I have avoided doing fancier geometric designs on my domestic is that A) I am a perfectionist and I can’t always get the super crisp designs I want with free motion, especially with bigger shapes, and B) I hate dragging the quilt around to make the next line with my walking foot, if that’s the tool I’m using.

Straight lines, though, don’t always have to stretch from one end of the quilt to another. I know that’s the easiest choice and has the bonus of looking nice, but is it possible to add straight line motifs without the hassle of turning a quilt?

Yes.  There are ways and means to use templates with a domestic machine. The video below with amazing quilters Teri Lucas and Lisa Calle shows ruler work using “regular” feet, i.e. ones that aren’t built specifically for ruler work. Also, it shows you what to do when the shank gets in the way.

Third parties do make a ruler, which is a foot is rather like a perfectly circular darning foot, but has a tall ring around the outside edge. From the outside edge of the ruler foot to the point of the needle is 1/4″.  The edge of the ruler foot is what rides against the templates, which are thick acrylic rulers in varies sizes and shapes. Here is my official warning: check with your machine’s manufacturer about what they recommend before making the attempt!  In  many cases, the ruler feet are after-market accessories made by a third party.  Using them may void your warranty unless it is from your machine company specifically. 

This technique for domestic machines has been around for a while, and it’s a good one to add to your modern quilting tool kit. Here are some youtube videos of quilters that have used the technique.

This one is a modified Janome foot, with Amy Johnson:

It can be nervewracking to try a new technique, but I hope you consider this one, because it gives you so many options!

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