I was asked to review some new quilting rulers which are now available, these are made by Mark Pickering at sewonsewforth.co.uk. Mark’s mother runs classes and was finding students were struggling with the use of rulers, having an engineering background Mark was able to produce rulers which were more suited to her needs. The rulers are all made in house and retail at a reasonable price.

I was sent six rulers and had fun trying them all out. Three were 6” square and consisted of a star, a heart and a hexagon. The star and hexagon also have a channel for straight line stitching.

These rulers each can be used to make three different sizes of the design. Each shape has a tiny hole through which you insert a holding pin, this is to prevent the ruler slipping while sewing. I did the heart shape first. You insert the presser foot into the stitching channel and sew from top to bottom.. You then need to remove the pin, and flip the ruler over. There’s an etched mark on the template to allow you to line up the ruler on the previously stitched line, once again you stitch stitch from top to bottom where the two end meet. You need to sew the ends in as you go along so as not to get them tangled and so you can see exactly where you want the needle to fall when stitching the second pass.

The star and hexagon are stitched in a similar fashion, you insert the pin through the fabric and ruler, and stitch the channel, next the ruler is lifted and rotated until the etched lined is aligned and you are ready to stitch the channel once again. These steps are repeated until the designs are fully stitched out.

The next set of three rulers consist of a circle, an oval and a petal shape. These are set in a long rectangle with ruler markings on them, each has a series of holes for the pins at ½” increments. These create multiple kaleidoscopic designs which can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish to make them.

I started with the oval shape, I marked my fabric using my Cindy Needham stencils and a chalk pounce pad. I inserted the pin at the 5” mark, lined it up with the drawn lines and stitched inside the ruler for each segment, again I stitched in the ends as I went along. Once I had complete the 16 segments I had marked I moved the pin to the 3” mark and repeated the process. For the final round the pin was moved to the 1 ¾” mark. This time I only stitched 8 ovals. Of course each oval can also be stitched as a stand alone shape. I’m sure you could have lots of fun if you use your imagination.

 

I used the same process for the circles, but this time I used 8 marked lines on the fabric as my guide, with the pin in the 4 ½” mark, followed by 16 segments at the 3 ¼” mark.

For the petal design, I once again used the 16 drawn lines, with the pin inserted at the 3 ¼” mark, but this time chose to do a single round rather than multiples creating a lovely 16 petal flower.

These designs would look great if used for the front of cushions and bags, or as a feature in the centre of a quilt,

These rulers are well made, unfortunately there were no instructions with them, but Mark was quick to help me figure it out and he told me instructional videos will be available. These rulers are designed to be used with both low and high shank machines, I used my Brother which is a low shank, and found a small issue – if I used the first pin hole on the rectangular rulers, the screw on the presser foot knocked the pin. I had to use some grip under the rectangular rulers to prevent slippage, although the pin holds it in place there’s some movement due to the length of the ruler. Neither of these are major issues and once aware they’re easily dealt with.

I had fun playing with the rulers and really enjoyed seeing the kaleidoscopes develop. When I have more time to spare I plan to create more dense versions using more of the fixing points.

Mark is keep to promote his rulers and will be happy to answer any questions and is keen to take any suggestions and feedback on board.

The rulers are available on his website www.sewonsewforth.co.uk

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