My sweet friend Leslie gave me a fun new toy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
It is the 60 Degree Double Strip Ruler by Creative Grids.
I've seen this ruler in quilt shops and have been so curious to see it in action. I spent the morning taking it out for a test drive-- er... test sew... test cut??? You get the idea anyway!! I thought you might enjoy seeing how to use it, too, so I've prepared this little tutorial for you!
Let's get started!
Layer two pieces of fabric right sides together, trim the selvedge edges and make a cut to straighten one side.
The lower portion of the ruler is made for cutting perfect 2.5 inch strips. Line up the straight portion of the ruler with the straight edge of the fabric and cut your strips.
Take those strips to your sewing machine and stitch together using the standard scant 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric.
At this point you can cut each strip into triangles with the upper portion of the ruler, or you can use this little trick to save yourself some time!
Stack the strip sets together with the colors reversed. Carefully nest those opposing seam allowances together.
Now for the fun part, cutting the triangles!
Carefully line up the center line on the triangle ruler with the center seam of your strip set.
This is where these cool little notches come in! The rotary cutting blade will move into it at the end of each cut, so you have perfect cuts! Depending on which way you are cutting, your cut could begin in the notch or it could end in the notch. Remember that you'll be holding the lower section of the ruler steady with your non dominant hand as you cut with the other. Be very careful! Rotary cutting accidents are painful, both for your fingers and your fabric!!
It will probably take you a few tries for you to decide exactly how you want to move your hands and how you want to stand in relation to the ruler to make cutting comfortable for you.
When you finish cutting, this is what you'll have! If you cut a single strip you'll have 5 full triangles, if you've stacked two sets you'll have 10 full triangles. You'll also have half triangles on the ends. For some triangle designs, such as pyramid blocks, you'll need those half triangles. If not, they'll become scraps.
Now you've got these great triangles, so it is time to see what we can do with them!
Here's a couple of examples with the triangles in rows. You can see how half triangles finish off such rows in the top photo.
In these examples, I've alternated the pieced triangles with solid black ones. I cut 4.5 inch strips of black to make the solid triangles.
Maybe you want to liven up your triangles a little more, add more colors or prints??
How about these? The first example is made with one 2.5 inch strip and two 1.5 inch strips. Yes, they do look like candy corn!
Shall we look at some fancier options now?? Yes??
How about hexagons? I love them, don't you?
One thing to keep in mind with hexagons is that you need 6 triangles, and the ruler only gives you 5 triangles. You'll either need to work with a longer strips of fabric and reposition the ruler or you'll need to make additional strip sets.
You could arrange them like this--
Or with solid triangles alternating with pieced triangles.
This is the setting that I really love today! In fact, I love it so much I think I'll be cutting up some fat quarters to make a baby quilt like this soon.
Making this type of hexagon is a little bit different than making the previous styles, so I'll show you how to do it!
Make your strip sets in the same way I explained previously, but press toward the LIGHT fabric for one set and toward the DARK fabric for the other.
Now stack those sets together, nesting the seams allowances as described above. As you can see in this case, the the dark fabrics and the light fabrics are on the same side.
Assembling hexagons in this configuration is easier than you might think! It can be done in rows! Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! I'm so excited to make a little quilt like this! Well, with complete hexagons..... You know that right?? ; )
This swanky little ruler can make DIAMONDS, too!
Come back tomorrow and I'll show you how!