Thursday, January 16, 2014

A "Pointy" Quilter?

When I see a gadget or gizmo that makes the process of quilting so much more simple, I always think to myself, "Oh, Grandma would have loved that!"  I grew up in Mom's sewing room and under Grandma's quilt frames.  I remember little piles of fabrics out on Great-grandma's back porch where her sewing machine was kept - and the little black pot-belly stove she stoked with wood and coal to stay warm while she quilted.  So, basically when I say "Grandma", I mean all of my foremothers!

Grandma would have loved a rotary cutter! Grandma would have loved a speedy sewing machine with a 1/4" guide on the foot, a self-threader, and a push button that clips the threads.  Grandma would have loved my longarm quilting machine.  I can sometimes picture all the grandmas looking over my shoulder as I quilt.

They would have loved today's TOOL:  Quilt in a Day's Triangle Square-Up Ruler by Eleanor Burns.


It comes in a 6-1/2" or 9-1/2" size.  Here's how it works:
Basically you stitch two triangles together, and while still folded, align the ruler over your stitches, then trim the excess.

ALIGN ruler over stitches.

TRIM excess.

Open and PRESS.
Makes beautiful, perfect half square triangles.  Love those corners!

I love it for squaring up quarter-squares / hourglass blocks too. 

Ohio Star - my favorite block!

The trick to using this ruler is to give yourself a little "fudge" factor - rounding up the measurement of your beginning pieces by 1/8" or 1/4" extra.  For example, the math formula for a half-square triangle is usually to add 7/8" to your desired finished size.
HST = FS + .875
I just round up and add 1" to 1-1/8" instead, then trim.  (By the way, I compiled all these math formulas into my handy Quilter's Bible << available here.)

And the answer is YES.  I always trim each unit, no matter how perfect my measuring/cutting/piecing techniques.  I can't help it - I'm a little OCD, and pointy points take me to my happy place.  *Ü*

11 comments:

  1. I used mine today! I like to square up my HST's with trimming just two sides. I find that the more time you take to be precise, the better your points match. I grew up under the quilts too. I wish I had some of my Mom and Grandma's Stash!

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  2. I am fairly new to all of this and this is the first time I have seen this ruler. Thanks for sharing it and showing how to use it.

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  3. Just ordered this ruler! Thanks for the info about it.

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  4. I happened to see you demo this on a Riley Blake video. I have so appreciated using this tool! In the past, I would work sooo hard making half square triangles only I over trimmed on some blocks and under trimmed on others. It was so frustrating for me. Thanks for letting us know about this great tool!

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  5. I have this ruler and love it! I also love your Ohio Star...very pretty!

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  6. Your blocks are always sew perfect so it is nice to hear of your "fudge-factor" and trim methods. Happy New Year and Creative Blessings...

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  7. I think of my grandmother and aunts that quilted often, I'm not sure they would of loved any of the tools we have today. Back when they quilted it was to save money, and to reuse the material they had on hand. It amazes me how much they were able to accomplish with what they had then.

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  8. this ruler is new to me will have to have a ponder, re your booklet, I cannot seem to get the shipping price added for the UK does that mean there is no shipping charge, think I would find it very useful

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  9. I would have loved some of these gadgets in my early days of sewing! Great little block...thanks for showing the ruler!

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  10. What a great ruler - I've just cut out a million (well, maybe not quite that many) squares to make HSTs and this would be so helpful. blessings, marlene

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  11. What a fun blog and you are so talented. I'm so happy that I found you. I'm a beginner quilter out trying to pick up ideas and tips :)
    Your new blogging sister, Connie :)

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So glad you stopped by for a visit!

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