Hello there! I'm Staci, The Confused Quilter. Thank you, Madame Samm for having me here today! Isn't Tool Time a wonderful theme? I've discovered several new tools that are now on my wish list, and I'll bet you have, too!
Today I'd like to show you a tool I have come to LOVE so much I have more than one. It's The Shape Cut Ruler. When I first saw one of these rulers I thought, "How dumb!" Then my hubby bought me one, and Wow, I totally changed my mind!! These rulers are wonderful for cutting strips and squares. Such a time saver, and very accurate results.
Shape Cut Rulers come in several sizes and configurations. My favorite is the Shape Cut Pro. It has a 20 X 23 grid, with slots every 2-1/2 inches. This ruler is perfect for cutting 2.5 inch strips (jelly roll size) strips, charm sized squares, and layer cake sized squares.
|Image from June Tailor, Inc.|
As you know, fabric can be slick, and this plastic ruler has a slick surface. If you aren't careful, the ruler can slide across your fabric. Here's how I keep things still and stable: a pair of 5 pound hand weights.
The weights keep this ruler (and any ruler) from scooting around. Do a few bicep curls and quilting can become part of your work out! ;-)
Here you can see the fabric lined up with the bold line.
Place the blade of your rotary cutter in the first slot and take a slice. The first cut gives you a perfectly squared up edge. Next, find the correct slot for the size strip you need, and slice! Keep slicing until you have enough strips, repositioning the ruler as needed when you have cut all the fabric beneath it.
When the ruler is removed you can see the 5 inch wide strips I have cut. There is very little waste with this method, just the little bits of scrap of the right and left sides.
Next, I removed the fabric scraps, then rotated and re-aligned the ruler on the long edge of my 5 inch strip. Then I put my cutter in the appropriate slots, and made charming cuts!
In just a couple minutes I have 48 perfect charm sized squares!
This Shape Cut ruler also lives at my house. The gridded area is 12 X12 and the slots are 1/2 inch apart. This ruler is now available in a 12 X 18 inch size, and it's on my wish list! I often use both rulers together. For instance, I might use the Shape Cut Pro to cut 5 inch width of fabric strips and then switch to my smaller Shape Cut ruler to cut those strips at 3 inches wide to make 3 X 5 inch rectangles.
|Image from June Tailor, Inc.|
Here I've made the 1 inch sashing strips. Quick and easy, very little waste, and not a wonky strip in sight!
Here's a tip: Use little post-it notes to mark which slots you will be using. In this photo I have flagged the correct slots to make 3.5 inch wide cuts. Also note 45 and 60 degree angles are marked on the grid. If you line your fabric up on the angled lines you can cut triangles, diamonds and hexagons.
Another tip: I store my rulers on the wall behind the door in the sewing room.
Keeps the rulers from getting bent, and keeps them out of the way until needed.
|(center ruler is my 20-1/2 inch square Creative Grids ruler)|
If you'd like to see the Shape Cut Ruler in action click here for a link to a 3 minute video. I am simply not co-ordinated enough to use the rotary cutter and take photos at the same time and keep all my fingers intact, and oh, how tragic it would be if I bled on fabric!!
The only downside to these rulers is the price, they are on the expensive side, but watch Joann's and Hobby Lobby for sales and 50% off coupons. Overstock.com, Nancy's Notions, and Wal-mart often have them on sale as well. Remember, like any ruler, this is an investment. Buy it once, take good care of it and use it forever! I think my rulers are worth every penny. I am always a happy quilter when I can cut with these rulers.
Thank you, Madame Samm, for letting me visit Sew We Quilt, and thank you for all you do for the entire online quilting community!
Happy Stitching, everyone!