Friday 24 June 2016

Westalee Ruler foot on Pfaff QE 4.2 - Update

My machine is off for repairs as I mangled the needle threader. Just one of those things...had my Ugg boots on, resting my foot on the pedal. I reckon I must have leaned forward just as I was threading the needle and the whole thing came down. Yep, that's done it...had to wait for the technician to come back from holiday in order to put the machine in but in the meantime realised how much I need the needle threader. What a hassle threading the needle by hand.

Since finishing the Wholecloth I am having a bit of a break, just playing around, so I was looking at the Westalee Ruler foot again (bought this over a year ago!). Still find it fiddly but have made some progress in getting it to work for me. Thanks to Brenda from The Quilting Nook...she sent me some photos of how the foot looks attached to her Pfaff machine and that helped a lot. I am using thin cotton batting so I had to do a few adjustments to get the stitching right, i.e. lower the foot so it sat just above the quilting sandwich.  Brenda also shifted her needle so that it sat right in the middle. I tried that too, but for me it stitched fine whether I had it in the middle or not.
This was stitched out with the 12" arc ruler that came with the foot, concentrating very hard on getting the backtracking right. As this foot is new to me I will have to practice a bit more to be able to do the backtracking a bit more tidy, but this has come out really nice. At least this time I got the sequence of stitching right. Must admit, very easy to use and very effective in stitching out a grid like that in no time at all. Before I stitched this one, I was practising a bit on another piece and so far my biggest problem is to align the ruler 1/4" from where I want to be...This is truly a practice issue and should get easier with time. Also had some skipped stitches, but was not too worried about this at this stage. I have been watching lots of videos posted by Leonie West from Westalee Design  and it probably has to do with the tension. Will have a closer look when I get the machine back from repairs. Not sure, after I finished the piece above, I changed thread and bobbin and discovered that I had a lot of fluff in the bobbin case from finishing a quilt recently (materials were of somewhat lesser quality and there was a lot of fluff).

I am motivated at the moment as I have to finish my WIP: A Field Guide which has come to a complete standstill, mainly due to the marking. As I had some puffed out squares, I decided to quilt them down with a simple line design meaning that I have to mark the lines now that it is fully basted. This is a hassle...

Looking at the variety of rulers, I realised that I could do this so much faster and efficiently if I used the ruler foot and an arc template. All I would need to mark is two lines in the block and aim for the center. That would certainly give me the much needed practice in aligning the template and ruler foot!
This is where it is at at the moment ...not the greatest look in the world, but I like the fabric and someone will use it when it is finished. It's got a nice feel to it. While I could probably stitch this out without marking, I know that I could not handle the inconsistency that this would produce, so this has come to a bit of a halt.

So today, I took the plunge and ordered the Sampler pack from Westalee Design. This includes an Arc, Spin-e-fex No 4, Spiral, Clamshell, 2" Circle and a Circles on Quilts shape. Very good deal and these are really useful templates for quick and easy designs. Actually looking around the website I discovered that they have expanded in terms of their range of templates since I last visited...there are some really interesting templates that would make life a lot easier. Also saw that they have a circles template...really liked that one...that would have been really useful for my Mandala quilt as no matter how good you are, stitching a larger circle is not that easy and you will always see that that is done freehand following the marked line. This is where ruler work really shines.

Interesting times ahead. Hopefully this will work for me and I have this quilt finished in no time.


1 comment:

  1. Your quilting looks great. The templates really can be a time saver in regards to marking. I can't wait to see what you accomplish with them.


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