I admit it, I’m a ruler junkie. When I first started piecing quilts, I used nothing more than homemade cardboard templates, a pen or pencil to mark around them, and a pair of scissors to cut out the pieces. My have we come a long way! Rotary cutters, self-healing mats and acrylic rulers and templates have made the cutting process so much easier and more fun! While most shapes can be cut out using nothing more than a basic ruler, careful alignment and a little math, I’m happy to fork over some $$$ to the clever designers who do the math for me and create the wonderful rulers we have available today.
One ruler set I keep going back to is the X-Blocks Tools (tools, rulers, templates??? I’m not sure what to call them….) designed by Patricia Pepe of Quilt Queen Designs. I’ve previously shown one project I did with them here. I’ve also done the Triple Play pattern and Lone Pine, although I don’t have photos of my quilts at the moment.
I’ve been asked to explain how they work. Basically you sew simple units, such as a strip-set (Triple Play & Lone Pine) or a Nine Patch (Venetian Tiles pattern, the quilt I called Sapphires & Emeralds). Cutting with the X-Blocks rulers creates the magic and makes it look as though you are a much more accomplished quilter than you actually are!
So let’s start with a nine-patch block:
(Obviously, each of the nine-patches I show here had the same fabrics but in a different location within the block. Your block would not have the fabrics changing places with one another once they were cut – the rulers are magical, but they not THAT magical!!! 😉 )
That’s about all there is to it! Make a bunch more blocks and you have a quilt. Sometimes you make mirror image blocks by flipping the ruler over. And those wedge-shaped pieces that you’re cutting off……they don’t get wasted! Depending on the pattern, they’re used in the borders, or sometimes to make another project like a table runner. Fun, fun, FUN!!
Have you done an X-Blocks project? If so, which one? If you haven’t tried one, are you now tempted? Leave me a comment below, and I’ll choose one comment at random to win a pattern and a Mini X-Blocks ruler! I’ll leave the contest open until 11:59pm CST Friday, May 25.
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