Friday, September 6, 2013

Favorite Tools

This is one of the 49 blocks I need to make for my queen size version of Jubilee, a quilt pattern from The Pattern Basket.

The Jubilee block is an Ohio Star with added piecing in the corners of the block.  Each block requires four quarter-square-triangle blocks (also known as hourglass blocks).  The designer has you make them from squares of fabric by drawing a line diagonally on the wrong side of the fabric and sewing on either side of the line, then cutting down the middle to form two half-square-triangle blocks.  The process gets repeated with two of the HSTs sewn together and cut apart to form the hourglass block.  Drawing the lines gets tedious, especially when repeated so many times.  Fortunately, I know an easier and faster way!

It's the Clearly Perfect Angles tool!  (Do I sound like an infomercial?)  It is a piece of thick plastic film that clings to the sewing machine and to acrylic sewing tables.  The markings on the film are guides for lining up fabric pieces and keeping them aligned as they pass under the needle.  The video on the website explains better than I can.  There are other similar tools out there, such as the Angler II.  Tools like this eliminate the need to mark your fabric; just line up with the markings and sew!

After these units are sewn, they need to be trimmed to size.  That's when my Tucker Trimmer comes into play.

It is great for trimming down the hourglass units into the exact size needed.  I line up the diagonal lines on the ruler with the diagnonal seams in the square, selecting the markings on the ruler for the size I need to cut (4" in this case). 

Trim two sides, then rotate and trim the other two sides.  My Olfa rotating mat is pretty handy too.

Fast and easy and accurate!  No need to struggle with math to figure out the center point on your ruler or risk lining it up wrong.  I love this tool and have it in two sizes.

Hey presto, a perfect unit for the final block!

Five blocks finished, 44 to go!


Teri said...

Stars are beautiful and I really love the fabric....

quilt for fun said...

Thanks for reminding me about the Angler; I'm in the middle of making this quilt also, and I forgot that I own this tool. It should cut down on my marking and sewing time a bit. So far I'm loving this block.