Monday, February 22, 2016

President's Blocks

Thimbleweeds Quilt Guild, a group near and dear to my heart, is gathering blocks for their outgoing facilitator who served for 15 years.
I was excited to try out my brand new Bloc_Loc Drunkard's Path ruler, graciously provided by the company. I swear by my 6 1/2" Half Square Triangle Square Up Ruler, so I had high expectations.
Bloc_Loc Drunkard's Path Ruler sets come with two template-cutting rulers and one ruler for squaring up. 
As the template rulers are perfectly clear, I recommend using a Sharpie to put some markings on them so they don't disappear on your cutting mat. Also, I'd suggest adding some Omnigrid Invisigrip, Slip Stop, or similar product to the back of the two template rulers to discourage sliding. Attempting to use a 45mm rotary cutter felt a little like driving a monster truck on a go cart track (not that anyone would ever let me try that), so I'd strongly suggest the 28mm version for cutting out your pieces.
Bloc_Loc Drunkard's Path Ruler sets come in 3", 4", 6", or 8" options. There are no included instructions, but there is a YouTube video.

I didn't bother with all that snipping. The curves are bias edges, so I press them to my will instead of clipping.
This is how I align my pieces to go through the machine. I don't use any pins. Talk about living dangerously, right? Just kidding. The pieces are oversized so all is not lost if the lack of pins results in less than perfect stitching.
I hold the quarter circle in my left hand, and guide the bottom fabric with my right hand (when I'm not holding a camera). The goal is to keep the raw edges aligned and maintain a 1/4" seam. The process goes something like stitch, stitch, raise the presser foot, realign, lower presser foot, repeat.
For the ruler to work its magic, you must press away from the quarter circle.
It's really nice to have a rotating cutting mat while squaring up because it makes the process even quicker. Place the squaring up ruler on the block. It stays snugly in place due to the groove resting along the seam line. Trim two sides, rotate, and trim the remaining two sides for a perfect unit regardless of your piecing accuracy. Hooray!
After squaring up, I pressed half the pieces in the opposite direction so they would nest when I stitched them into Four Patches.
Because I used the 3" ruler, the Four Patches will finish at 6". Aren't they beautiful?
Have you taken on Drunkard's Path blocks before? Have you used any of the Bloc_loc rulers? How did you like the experience?
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  1. I love your way of quilting 'I didn't bother with all that snipping' - sounds *exactly* like I sew. :) I have the HST ruler and love it. I haven't tackled curves yet but would most definitely like to try this ruler/template set. Is it available in different sizes? Btw, your blocks ARE beautiful!

  2. The drunkards path rulers must be new: I didn't know they had those. I do own the half square triangle trimming tool in the 6 inch size, and several of the flying geese ones, and I LOVE them!!! They helped me make the most perfect flying geese ever! Definitely worth buying!!