Thursday, July 28, 2011

Block 8 and a Priceless Tool

Block 8 is finished and turned out very well. Although this was made of simple HST (half square triangles), it had the potential for me to screw up the overall pattern by rotating blocks. I meticulously returned my sewn squares to the "design board" to check that they were in the right order. Not only did I do it perfectly, I had pretty good luck with my triangle points. I'd even venture to say I've actually become better at sewing HST's.

During the process, the directions say to trim your squares (after sewing together a HST) to 3.5". I asked the author if I should trim off the dog ears first, since I have some trouble measuring the squares before I trim the dog ears. She said she did not recommend that. Then I remembered another of the QAL authors recommending a bias square ruler to trim a while ago (well before this QAL). So I whipped that out and eureka! It worked like a dream. It's a 4" bias square ruler.

The idea is that you line up your diagonal seam with the bias mark down the middle of the ruler and then adjust the sides to, in this case, 3.5" like this:

What really makes this ruler priceless is that you can trim the side and the top right away without turning your fabric or measuring the other side as you would with a bigger quilting ruler. You also get to trim off one set of dog ears during these two swipes of the rotary cutter. Here it is close up:

Obviously, you can use any quilting ruler with a 45 degree mark to trim the sides, but this is much easier and well worth the money.


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