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An all-in-one ruler for quilters? It exists!

An all-in-one ruler for quilters? It exists!

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National Sewing Month 2013

Hello, Moda fans! I’m Jenny and I’ve been a major Moda fan since 1997 when I fell into quilting—first as a job, and then (less than 60 days later) as a passion. I’m currently a writer for Martingale’s Stitch This! blog. If you haven’t heard of Martingale, we publish quilt books. Lots of them. More than 1,200 of them so far, to be sort of exact! We’re delighted to be a part of the “Measure Twice, Cut Once” series, mostly because “measure twice, cut once” is a mantra for many quilters in our office. (I’ll bet each of us can remember the exact pattern, hue, and texture of the fabric we sliced up incorrectly when we weren’t following said mantra.)

So… rulers. How many rotary rulers do you own? If you’re like me, you have a spot in your sewing space dedicated to keeping rulers stacked on their sides so you can flip through them—much like an old-school record bin—and quickly find what you need. It seems like there’s a different ruler out there for every individual cutting task. But did you know that there’s one ruler that’s designed to do the job of many? It proudly proclaims its mission in its name: the All-in-One Ruler!

The ruler measures 6" x 18"—no bigger than many rectangular rotary rulers.

Kind of funny looking, huh? The All-in-One Ruler does what other common rulers do, but because of that peculiar diagonal slant on the right and the special markings on the back side, it does even more. The ruler is designed by Cathy Wierzbicki, the bestselling author of Twosey-Foursey Quilts, which pairs up with the ruler perfectly. Cathy demonstrates how the ruler works in the video below—but let me give you a quick rundown of why this may just be the only ruler you’ll ever need.

Does the All-in-One Ruler cut all the basic shapes that quilters have universally needed to cut since, well, since the dawn of quilting? Yep. But things start to get exciting when you realize how the ruler helps with cutting triangles. Instead of cutting squares from yardage and then cross-cutting those squares into triangles, the ruler helps you easily cut triangles from strips of fabric. See here:

Cutting half-square triangles from strips. The ruler makes diagonal cutting a snap—and the math is greatly simplified. You only need to add ½" to the finished measurement of a square, instead of the traditional ⅞". (For example, to cut half-square triangles that finish at 2", cut a strip that measures 2½" wide.) Using the ruler’s angled edge, position the ruler on top of the strip as shown (above left) and cut along the diagonal edge. To cut the next triangle, rotate and flip the ruler to the right, reposition as shown (above right), and cut along the right edge of the ruler. For this second cut, the back side of the ruler is facing up. The ruler is marked with reverse printing, making the numbers easy to read from both sides.

Cutting quarter-square triangles from strips. The printed diagonal lines show what strip size to use to arrive at a desired finished size. (For example, a quarter-square triangle cut from a 2½" strip will finish at 4" wide.) This is equivalent to cutting a 5¼" square, then cutting the square twice diagonally to get four quarter-square triangles. To cut, simply align the notched corner of the ruler with the top edge of the fabric strip; then cut along both edges of the ruler (above left). To cut the next quarter-square triangle, rotate the ruler, align the left edge with the previous cut, and cut along the right edge (above right). You can continue cutting triangles all the way across the strip this way.

Here are just a few of the quilts Cathy’s made using the All-in-One Ruler. And each design starts with nothing but strips!

“Wild Goose Chase”

“Amish Sparklers”

“Splash Dance”

“Prairie Stars”

Of all the things the ruler can do, I think this is my favorite… it trims triangle points with a built-in trimmer. It’s just a little thing, but to me it makes all the difference. Cutting the points off triangles before you sew is the key to accuracy. The rounded edges made with the point trimmer match up triangles perfectly—and no dog ears on your patchwork!

About the point trimmer, Cathy says: “If you have trouble getting sharp points on your stars or flying-geese units, use the point trimmer. I have seen quiltmakers across the country go from making imprecise, decapitated flying geese to sewing razor-sharp points with great accuracy—simply because the points were trimmed prior to sewing.”

Here’s Cathy demonstrating the ruler in action:

Watch the demo of the All-in-One Ruler on YouTube

No need for a scatter of specialty rulers—this one does it all! You can learn more about the All-in-One Ruler here.

We will be giving away an All-in-One Ruler to one lucky winner! To enter please leave a comment—tell us about your favorite quilting gadget.

You will have until September 30 at midnight to comment. All winners will be randomly selected and announced on Moda...The Cutting Table Blog on October 2. Make sure to visit the blog every day for the opportunity to win each giveaway!
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