The best machine quilting tool I didn’t know I had

I have been quilting, quilting, quilting away. The latest quilt that I am working on is lots of straight lines. In fact, I need a ruler for 99% of the quilting. So as I am quilting, I start bemoaning the fact that my hand is cramping and I am having a hard time keeping those darn lines straight.

“I wish I had an extended base,” I complain to myself. An extended base makes a bigger area under the quilt to balance the ruler on. At that moment, a far off brain cell triggered a flashback. A memory of when I had first got my machine seven years ago popped in my head. I vaguely remember getting an extended base with my machine. At the time, it seemed like something I wouldn’t ever use……

When I got my machine, I knew very little about quilting machines but I did know that stitching in the ditch was hard and I wasn’t going to be doing it. The thought is so laughable now, all this time later, because I do it all the time.

I dug into my box of random stuff I don’t use and wouldn’t you know it! I found it. I put it on and was quickly back to make my straight lines without the cramping hand grip!

This what the base of my quilting machine looks like.

After I add the extended plate…..

I won’t leave it on all the time….it makes my freehand quilting harder. But for ruler work, it’s tops! What kind of stuff do you have hidden away in your studio?

~Happy Quilting~



  1. Gotta love the tools!!!

  2. I had bought a set of circles years ago. Lo and behold -I needed them and used them yesterday!!

  3. Linda in TX says:

    I’m laughing out loud all by myself! I can’t believe all the stuff I bought the first year after I got my machine (I have 3 bases and have never used any of them) and (I have an astonishing number of specialty feet – none of which have ever been on my machine). I’m just finally working on pantos and I’ve had most of them for more than two years. You’re so right – more often than I’ll admit I’ll think “I wish I had a XXXX” and lo and behold, I do. Thanks for starting the day right!

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