Monday, February 7, 2011

My New Favorite Tool

I am not one of those quilters who always has to run out and get all of the latest tools. The quilts I make are never too complex and I pretty much just use the basics - rotary cutter, rulers, cutting mat. In the back of my mind I always try to remember that quilters from long ago did not have all of the fancy tools available to us today and yet they still made some pretty amazing quilts. That's not saying that now and then a special tool isn't helpful. Maybe all of you already have this one and I'm the last to know? Sometimes I'm a bit slow on the uptake . . .

Do you love quilts with blocks set on point but have trouble figuring out what size to cut the setting pieces?


This chart has always worked well for me when I have to figure out what size to cut the triangles without fussing about the math.


If you're a beginner and just learning to put your blocks on point or if you have trouble remembering the formula for cutting your side and corner triangles - you can print out  this chart at Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site for directions based on the size of your finished block.


Sometimes, however, when I'm  making a scrappy quilt, I want to use a couple of different scraps for my setting pieces and I find that I don't have a square that's large enough, just a narrow strip.

Diagonal Set Triangle Ruler to the rescue!


With this ruler, you can cut side setting triangles and corner triangles for diagonally set quilts from a strip. You don't have to figure out any math - just measure a strip of fabric, line up your ruler and cut the triangles from the strip.



Turn the ruler to cut another triangle.

Works for corner triangles too.

The ruler I bought is especially helpful for small blocks that  finish as small as 2 1/2". There are a few different rulers out there like this, but I happen to like the one made by Marti Michell just because I often work with small blocks.


 *  *  *

Off-topic - It's still snowing here in northern Illinois!


I went out for a bit yesterday and took a roundabout route where everything looked so pretty and crisp.






17 comments:

Diane H said...

Thanks very much for the ruler info and the link to the chart. You could have taken those snowy pictures in my neighbourhood, it looks the same.

Merilyn said...

What a great post! I have a similiar ruler to the one you have and silly me! never thought to use it for this purpose - light-bulb moment!!! Also for the link to Bonnie's 'on-point chart', thankyou, all useful info greatfully received!!
Your snow looks coooold!!!, but it does look nice! Stay warm!

Linda said...

Thanks so much for the info!! Looks like something that is right up my alley. Thanks for the links too! Love the new book, by the way!! :-)

terry said...

I too used to do the math and then cut the squares diagonally to make the setting triangle pieces. Then I found the setting triangle ruler. Mine is by Fons and Porter and I use it all the time. I do have to stop and think to cut the four top and bottom pieces first before proceeding on to the side triangles otherwise I waste fabric. It is a great tool. Also, I love your new book.

Terry in So. Calif.

Heather said...

Thank you so much for sharing about that ruler! The tabel would definitely be handy now and then, but the ruler could certainly be a staple for me! I didn't even know such a thing existed! Now I'll have to find an LQS that carries it. I usually figure out the setting triangles the hard with and the math hurts my brain.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Where did you buy this? They have several at amazon.com, but not this one....

Quiltbenaco said...

Interessante!
Grazie per il suggerimento!
Ciao

martine said...

Thanks for sharing.

Kathleen Tracy said...

You can find the ruler here -

http://www.frommarti.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=FMM&Product_Code=8105&Category_Code=R-DST

Hellen Sigurbjörg said...

Your blog is my favourite, and I love your quilts. For me, EQ7 (and before EQ6) is my best friend when making quilts. I can put any block og quilt in a chosen size, and cut accordingly.

CHRISTINE said...

J'aime bien venir sur votre blog et découvrir vos articles et vos superbes patchworks. Continuez à nous émerveiller. Bonne semaine

Anonymous said...

Kathy,
I really enjoyed hearing your talk at the Patty Turner Senior Center today. It was so fun to learn about the journey that led you to writing your 4 wonderful history/quilting books. You made the history of quilting come to life and I am inspired all over again to delve into the books and make all of the quilts. Seeing your beautiful creations in person reminded me of why I love to make quilts. Thank you again.

quiltingnana said...

I have one of those rulers and just love it

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathleen,
I was catching up on my blog reading and noticed something interesting in one of the photos of your January 29th post. In the photo of the "browns" that you purchased there was a wooden box with the name Temecula Quilt Company on it. I live near Temecula, CA and that is one of my local shops. I was wondering if the box was yours? Just being nosey!!!

Thanks, Charlotte
kurts111@msn.com

Micki said...

That's a gorgeous quilt and I do love that template..I will have to get that one. I hate the math, so this is so much easier.
Micki

marian said...

it makes me realize just how fortunate we are to be living in a time when we are spoilt for choice with all the amazing gadgetry a tools that are available to us.
Can you imagine quilting without a rotary cutter?? NEVER!! yep, we're spoilt alright lol!

Ann at Prairie Primrose said...

That is a great ruler! I too have very few favourite notions and tools for quilting but that is a ruler I'll look for! Thanks for the show n'tell!

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