How I Use 1/8" and 1/4" Rulers On My Home Machine Quilting With A 1/8" Foot

I love to machine quilt on my home machine using rulers on my dear sweet old style Bernina 1130.


Because machine quilting with rulers and templates is so popular I want to show you how I use 1/8" and 1/4" rulers templates for machine quilting. I just uploaded a YouTube video with ruler foot machine quilting tips and the basics to get you started.





I used both heights of rulers using one 1/8" ruler foot designed by Stephanie Farrell. I discovered this great foot at a quilt show when I saw here there.


She graciously helped me get the right adapter which I show you how to attach it in the video.



Bernina Old Style with Adapter and Short Shank 1/8" foot

Here is the link to the video if you want to share:

https://youtu.be/eC0pYPtZcnY


You might get a kick out of this video as I struggle with hot glue. Be sure to get the tip at the end how to line up your template rulers as you manage turning and guiding your fabric under the needle as you quilt.

I have also showed you how some rulers will fit under the back of your ruler foot and some will not.


If that happens to you then watch as I position the ruler vertically and horizontally so it does not need to be positioned under the back of the ruler foot yet I can still get the pattern stitched.


Machine Quilting with rulers and templates is now so popular and the best part is that you can use your longarm rulers along with the thinner 1/8" ruler on your domestic machine.


The trick is you have to have the correct shank height for your ruler foot that is compatible with your machine to get the most out of your rulers.


Many of your older sewing machines can use ruler feet, and for some models this can be expensive. And add your template ruler investment and you want to get the most out of your ruler templates.


And it can be a real struggle to put all the attachments and feet and adapters together so that you can really enjoy machine quilting and love the process. ❤


That being said I do not recommend using your rotary cutting rulers for ruler work on your home machine. They are thin true, but can easily be over ridden and chipped. And naturally the needle may fail as well and we don't want to be pulling broken needles and plastic from chipped templates out of our bobbin basket and bobbin chase.


The cost to replace that bobbin basket and other critical parts could cost more than a machine quilting ruler that is designed to be used with a ruler foot.


Here are several recommendations when it comes to using rulers:


  1. Be sure to buy the entire set of the specific ruler design you have chosen if it comes in a series of sizes. This goes for longarm and home machine quilters. Because you will always want to use the size you don't have :)

  2. Find the right shank heights from you machine manual so the ruler foot fits properly.

  3. Get the correct needle for machine quilting on your fabric. It usually takes a larger size to accommodate larger machine quilting thread 30-40 WT and heavier needles can take the movement of the needle as you travel your thread path and diameter of thread. I generally use a Top Stitch Needle since it has a larger eye.

  4. Get the correct adapters and feet and set yourself up for a glorious experience.


You have lovingly invested in and maintained your sewing machine. So make sure you are able to use all the features that come with your model....read your manual again, there is so much you may have forgotten. And you need to keep it handy by your side for quick reference.


Yet we can always use a set of rulers for many quilting patterns, just by using parts of the ruler shapes or combining with different sizes.


For that reason buy an entire set of rulers and not just one...get the whole enchilada! You deserve it and so do your quilts.





This is the adapter for the old style Bernina and the short shank 1/8" ruler foot.

You might get a kick out of this video as I struggle with hot glue. Be sure to get the tip at the end how to line up your template rulers as you manage turning and guiding your fabric under the needle as you quilt.


I have also showed you how some rulers will fit under the back of your ruler foot and some will not.


If that happens to you then watch as I position the ruler vertically and horizontally so it does not need to be positioned under the back of the ruler foot yet I can still get the pattern stitched.


With the offset angle of many ruler feet the depth may even be adjustable so you have easily clear the ruler under the back of the foot.


I hope this helps. We do love our home machines.


I wish you nothing but happy sewing and hopefully you will dust off your old machine and grab some ruler and start machine quilting.


Your in the love of quilting, Sally



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Have been happily sewing since the age of 3, as soon as my grandmother could put a needle in my hand. Sally Terry Designs began in 1999, instructing machine quilting, quilting for others, authoring books, and helping all piecers and quilters with creative patterns, techniques and classes they love.

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