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Using the Tools

I started this post on using Quilters Select Rulers because I had an opportunity to show them off in February. Once I figure out what to say, I think about supporting pictures and that leads to more things to say, and then more pictures, which makes for more post parts. So I will break it up into smaller chunks.

My Style

I really like simple and straight forward, and I hope you do too. I want to share the (my) creative process with you as well as the products “I” use so you can feel comfortable with the products available at I Have A Notion™ (new and old) for creating. Most of what I make is off the cuff (no pattern)! It most often starts with an idea… a spark… an opportunity to explore! And this could be a whole other blog post… or many!

Half Square Triangles Quilt
Using Quilters Select Tools to make a quilt!

Quilters Select

I started down the road to this quilt (it is still a top, so not yet technically a quilt), while getting ready for a “One Stop Shop Hop” in February. The idea was to let shoppers try using Quilters Select products, (mats, rulers and rotary cutter) so they could judge for themselves the features and benefits.

Due to space limitations at the Shop Hop, I took some 5” precut WOF (width of fabric) strips and let interested parties sub-cut the strips into 5” squares. Mostly this demo was about the ruler benefits, but the cutter and the mat are also pretty awesome.

Quilters Select Products,Ruler for Sub-Cutting WOF, Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat
Sub-cutting from the white 5″ strip

Non-Slip

When using the Quilters Select ruler, the non-slip coating on the back of the ruler grips the fabric. The ruler really does not slip.

The Non-Slip aspect of the Quilters Select Ruler
The non-slip coating on the back of the ruler makes it easy to make precision cuts

Cutting LInes

The cutting lines of the rulers (are thin and do not interfere with the ability to line up). In the picture below, I have my old favorite ruler lined up next to the Quilters Select 5” square. What did I like about the old ruler? I liked the narrow solid lines and the even thinner dashed lines. However, the Quilters Select rulers have even thinner lines and allow for more accurate cuts, no dilemma about which side of a line to use. See photo below.

Comparison of ruler lines
Previous Favorite ruler on the left – Quilters Select on the right

The Angles

Angles of the rulers are in two places, even the 5” square has two sets of angle lines! So you don’t have to flip and flop a ruler to use an angle. The line I needed was never where I needed it, causing me to turn the ruler several times until I figured it out. **Note that even the 5” square has two sets of angle lines! So you don’t have to flip and flop a ruler to use an angle. The 5″ square is the smallest of the Quilters Select Rulers. See Photo above.

Frosting

The frosted tinting (yellow allows you to see the edge of the fabric better, regardless of the print or color of the fabric). My old ruler (on the left in the picture above), was also frosted, clear. I liked it for the same reasons. And again see above photo. The shade of the tinting varies from a pale yellow to one a bit darker.

Stacked

Stacked measuring numbers. If you look at the ruler in the photo, there are 2 sets of numbers on each full inch line. They grow from the right to the left, and in reverse on the lower numbers (white arrows). Making it so these rulers can be used from either side. It also makes it easier if you are left-handed, skips the math!!! You can also see the stacked number system on the Cutting Mat (red arrows).

The Quilters Select Stacked numbers

Making the Quilt

I brought the quilt squares home and paired a 5″ colored square to a white one, drew the 2 stitching lines and set about making 256 half square triangles. Stitched and cut the squares in half, and then pressed open.

Stitching the squares to make half square triangle blocks
Stitching the squares to make half square triangle blocks

Summary

In short, I love these rulers. The cutter will take a little getting used to, I have been using an Olfa since 1984 (still have my first one). The weight is the biggest difference, and cutting angle is a little different too, but not as radical as some of the other “improved” rotary cutters. I also like the mat. I did discover that the Quilters Select “Trick” only works on the Quilters Select mat and did not work on the rougher surface of the Olfa mat. You can find the Quilters Select Products here

Next up we will talk about pressing the half square triangles, trimming, and putting the top together. Beth

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A Boost from a Friend!

Wanda of ExuberantColor.com

For I Have A Notion™! from Wanda of ExuberantColor.com. Wanda is a friend both online and in real life, and she is also a quilter. No surprise there I’m sure.

Meet Wanda

You may already know Wanda through her blog ExuberantColor.com, or her Colorwash 360 class and quilts. For the record Wanda blogs daily. Mostly about quilting, but she includes some birds, critters, food, plants, friends, and family are thrown into the mix too. However, most days it is about quilting. What she is working on, how she does it, sometimes her inspiration, and always fabric and color! I drop by nearly every day to see what she is working on.

Wanda of ExuberantColor.com at the opening of her one-woman show at the  Ciel Gallery in Charlotte NC
Wanda Hanson at the opening of her one-woman show at the  Ciel Gallery in Charlotte NC
Wanda of ExuberantColor.com teaching her Colorwash360 class
Wanda teaching her Colorwash360 class.

Recently, one of us posted a comment to the other, (I can’t remember which one), about the Richard Hemmings #10 Milliners needles and how it is our favorite needle for hand stitching down quilt bindings. I also know some hand stitchers that prefer this needle for ‘needle turn applique’ as well. Anyway, we also continued with a discussion about some other things we like for particular sewing tasks that are more difficult to find.

Richard Hemmings #10 Milliners Needles

Wanda mentioned in our conversation, that a couple of items she prefers are difficult to find, and is often asked by her readers where they can be found. Aside from the Milliners Needles, we talked about John James Long Darning Needles and Mettler White thread for basting.

What Makes Them Must Haves?

Wanda likes the John James Long Darning Needles for hand basting her quilts for quilting on the domestic machine. The long darning needles allow for making large stitches with less hand fatigue than with smaller shorter needles. Wand also uses a different stitch for her basting, which helps keep the sandwich from moving while quilting.

Wanda also likes the Mettler White Thread for basting because it breaks easily when pulled. A big benefit, if it was caught in the quilting stitches. Wanda has written several posts on hand basting a quilt; this post, and this post, and several more are listed under ‘Basting’ in the Labels on the right side of the page.

So THANK YOU, Wanda, for the boost and for all the quilters that have visited I Have A Notion from the link on Wanda’s post! If you have not visited Wanda before you are in for a treat at www.ExuberantColor.com

Beth

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A New Favorite Ruler

Rulers are a particular thing!

We all have a favorite ruler for each type of cut. Long and thin, small and square, colored lines, solid lines, dotted or dashed. Some for long cuts, the width of fabric or strips and some for cutting squares and/or triangles or for squaring up a block.

The Long Cut rulers in my collection

selection of long cut rulers

I havea favorite ruler for long straigh cuts and most of them are 6″ wide, by either 12″ or 24″. My favorite has been from Olfa. Best features, frosted with thin lines, (solid, dashed and hashed) and angles (15°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°) for measuring and cutting. Worst it slips when using across the width of fabric if you are not careful. The others are still around, because I have found non-cutting jobs for them.

Square rulers in my collection

selection of square rulers

Like most quilters, I have a favorite ruler in my collection of square rulers too. The collection of square rulers is considerably larger than the long ruler collection. I have sizes from 12 1/2″ down to 3 1/2″ and one of them I have 3 of the exact same ruler! I use most of them for cutting squares or squaring up. None of them give an angle other than a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner (45°) and all of them have a tendency to slip, again if not careful. If I had 3 in the same size, would that be the favorite? Nope, the favorite is the 8 1/2″ square. A good size for most smaller sizes and great for squaring up 4″-8″ blocks.

The *NEW* Favorite Ruler is

from Quilters Select. I borrowed a friends to try out and couldn’t wait to have my own. Why why why?

Quilters Select Long Cut Rulers
Quilters Select Long Cut Ruler
  • they don’t slip or move when cutting
  • frosted so the fabric print doesn’t get in the way of finding a line or a fabric edge
  • have very thin incremental lines (1/8, 1/4, 1/2 & 3/4), for more precision in sub cuts
  • can use any side for measuring or cutting, incremental inch lines have stacked numbers, can be read from right to left or left to right
  • the Long Cut rulers have 3 different angle degrees, 30°, 45° and 60° on the ruler and in 2 places on the Square rulers

Quilters Select Square Rulers

Of course the non-slip is the best feature and almost makes the rotating cutting mat obsolete! See how in this ‘the trick” video, at about the 50-second mark. Although all the information leading up to “the trick” is pretty good too and you don’t just have to take my word for it.

Interested? You can find a selection of the Long rulers in sizes 6×24 inch, 6×12 inch, 3×12inch, and 3x18 inch. The Square rulers in sizes 18×18 inch, 12.5×12.5 inch, 8.5×8.5 inch, and the 5×5 inch.

Do you have a favorite go-to ruler for cutting? Which one and why?

More later!!! Beth