Tomorrow my guild is having a ‘Ruler Roundup’. I agreed to demonstrate the Bloc Loc rulers. I bought a half-square triangle (HST) and a half-rectangle triangle (HRT) ruler about a year ago. I rarely buy specialty rulers, but when I saw these at a quilt shop demo, I was sold. I also rarely make traditional blocks, so they were innovative and efficient enough that I thought I needed them for the rare occasion that I make a traditional block.
So, tomorrow is almost here and nothing motivates me like a deadline – it was time to break them out and put something together. My sister loaned me a couple of Bloc Loc block design books to show at the demo, so that’s where I started. Side note: the books are really nice – spiral bound so they lie flat and glossy pages that aren’t going to easily rip.I thumbed through both of the books looking for something that used both the HST and the HRT rulers. Originally I was planning to use up some old fabric and be done with it. Then I came across this ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ block (their version is a little different in the value selection and has a little more depth, but that wasn’t going to work with my collection of fabric).
Next, I grabbed a stack of Christmas fabric that I have been collecting and started cutting.
The blocks in the book have cutting instructions for four sizes. The sizes vary depending on the grid of the block. This block had: 6″, 7 1/2″, 9″ and 12″. I went with 9″. Each piece is cut slightly large. I pieced the blocks in a traditional manner – the instructions for the HST have you draw a diagonal line, stitch on either side and then cut … that’s way to much work for me, I’d rather just cut and sew. Then press the seams to one-side – I prefer them that way anyway, but it’s a requirement with these rulers. Then you nestle the seam into the groove on the underside of the ruler and slightly push (more like a light tension than a push) to make sure the stitch line is up against the groove. Then slide the ruler down so you have some edges to trim. Spin the ruler around and slide it to the other side lining up the marks to the cut the finished size.
I really like the fine lines on the rulers, it makes everything so easy to see. If you’ve used Bloc Locs, you’ll know from this picture that I’m left-handed! If you’re right-handed, this ruler would be rotated 90 degrees! Luckily, I can cut with both hands, so I’ll be able to demonstrate for lefties and righties tomorrow.
The triangles come out absolutely perfect! The cutting is way faster than using a traditional ruler: it’s not rocking across the seam, you’re not trying to make sure everything is aligned, etc. I even found myself getting a little sloppy with the piecing knowing that the rulers would make everything perfect for me.
I am so happy with the results – and I don’t use pins when I piece so that shows just how perfect these sub-units are. It was so fast and easy that I’m actually going to make an entire quilt – not just a demo block. There’s a bit of a list in front of this quilt, so I’m organizing the pieces to use as enders and leaders – so it’ll be a while!