Essential Ruler Quilting Challenge, Part Two: Circles

Oct 23, 2023

It’s part two of the Essential Ruler Quilting Challenge.

Welcome! If you are joining the Essential Ruler Quilting Challenge today, please review the introduction for the supply list and part one, where we learn rulerwork with a straight ruler. It’s not too late to join the fun! Today, we learn several rulerwork quilting designs using a circle ruler.

Rulerwork circle designs badge

Join the challenge and download the image above. Share it on social media. Let quilting friends know about the challenge. Use the hashtag #rulerquiltingchallenge

Essential Ruler Quilting Challenge – Circles

In part two of the Essential Ruler Quilting Challenge learn continuous circle designs. The challenge includes three rulerwork designs and techniques using a circle ruler. One continuous design includes free-motion quilting.

Concentric Circle Ruler and ruler quilting designs

Rulerwork With A Circle Ruler

1- The circle ruler has several sizes from 1-1/2” to 6-1/2”

2 – There are dashed diagonal, vertical and horizontal reference lines on the ruler to help with creating designs.

3 – The nested circles can be used with the ruler foot on the inside or outside of the circle.

ruler quilting supplies and fabric marked for designs

Step One

Make the small quilt sandwiches as indicated in the supply list.

Free Download Button

Step Two

Mark lines 2-1/2” apart as seen above. The first line(left) should be at least 2” from edge of fabric.

Step Three

Set up a home machine or a longarm for free-motion ruler quilting. I used a BERNINA Q20 sit-down longarm. Learn how to attach and use the foot in video tutorial 1,  and video tutorial 2

Step Four

After practicing on the small practice sandwich, apply these techniques to a larger quilt sandwich. Watch tutorial videos for each design below.

Rulerwork Half Circle Design

The serpentine design made with half circles is stitched with two vertical passes over the same location. Watch video for step-by-step instructions.

Rulerwork Circle Flower Design

The beautiful flower design is a 7-step process. View the steps below and watch video. Practice on a small piece first, then try the larger quilt sandwich to stitch a beautiful design across the surface of a quilt. 

Flower Design Steps

Carefully review and follow the steps to quilt the flower design. Always double-check which step you stitched and which step you are stitching next. Additionally, watch the video tutorial to learn the stitching order of the flower design.

Circle flower stitching steps

Since stitching the ruler quilting design requires stitching over previous stitches, using a measuring or spacing gauge with a 1/4” arm is key to completing the flower design. Learn more about using the gauges in the video tutorial.

ruler quilting flower steps with measuring gauge

Rulerwork Circle & Free-motion Designs

Now, we learn how to stitch one circle on top of another and include free-motion quilting along the way.

Also, practice the free-motion quilting spiral, zigzag and curvy design on paper before stitching each rulerwork design.

Stitch the four free-motion quilting designs separately or on the same quilt sandwich.

Another option is to stitch a free-motion quilting design we already know and like. The key is starting at the top of the circle and working to bottom of the circle. The video tutorial walks through the stitching order step-by-step.

stacked ruler quilted circles with free-motion quilting
Fill stacked and ruler quilted circles with a favorite free-motion quilting design.

Next Week

In a week the learning continues with curvy rulerwork designs with a curve ruler. Quilters may use a curve ruler similar to the one in the Essentials Ruler Kit, however, the final design will vary with a different curve shape.