To round out the last of the “mood-setting” posts before starting our Gathering Mystery QAL on Friday, I just wanted to share with you one more tool that I find myself using more and more frequently: Wright’s EZ Angle Ruler!
I often forget that I have this ruler, and when I pull it out to use again, I wonder why I ever shelved it to begin with!!
The Quilty Math …
In order to appreciate the beauty of this ruler, you have to first understand a bit of triangle math behind it.
When you’re setting out to make a Half-Square-Triangle block, you take two triangles (made by cutting a square in half, diagonally), and then sew them together along their longest side. The square needs to be 7/8″ larger than your desired finished block size: 1/2″ for the horizontal and vertical seam allowances, plus 3/8″ for that diagonal seam (illustrated by the purple triangle below, on the right).
Now, if you remember my HST Quilt Lab series from a few years ago, you probably already know that this is my preferred method for making HSTs … but I am NOT a fan of cutting in 1/8″ increments! To me, they take longer to cut and those 1/8″ marks on are so tricky to see on my rulers, especially since I do most of my cutting at night.
The ruler …
Enter the Easy Angle ruler! If you’ve never seen this ruler in action before, check out Bonnie Hunter’s YouTube tutorial. Because that extra 3/8″ is built right into the top of the ruler, you don’t have to take it into consideration when you’re doing your quilty math or cutting your pieces!
For example, if you were making the sample block from above and you were doing the math on your own, you would simply add 1/2″ to the finished size of your block.
If you are following someone else’s pattern, you would most likely see instructions to the following effect: “Cut 1 – 4 7/8″ square, and then cut in half diagonally.” To adjust this for use with your EZ Angle ruler, you would subtract 3/8″ of the initial square size and cut your triangles from that sized strip. So, 4 7/8 – 3/8 = 4 1/2″ …
Another of the things that I love about this ruler is that it also reduces the time I have to spend on cutting. Rather than lining up my ruler and fabric once to cut a square, and then a second time, to line up the square and usually a different ruler for the diagonal cut, I can just keep my fabric strip in place, flipping the ruler back and forth to cut the triangles. Yes, it is the same number of rotary cuts, either way, but there is less realigning with fabric and ruler.
And, as a bonus, if you were cutting the pieces to make the block like the one below using the EZ Angle ruler, the squares and the triangles could be cut from the exact same width of fabric! Plus, you would only have one set of dog ears to trim with each block, rather than two!
Alright! So that’s my ode to the EZ Angle Ruler. I don’t purchase or use very many “specialty rulers” but this one is a great one. We do have a limited number of these rulers in the shop, and if you’re expecting a Gathering Quilt Kit later this week, there is still time to combine shipping on a ruler or a sewing guide as long as you complete your purchase by 6:00PM PST on 3/22/17.
We’ll be back on Friday with our very first Gathering Mystery Clue – hooray! Have a great week!