Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tooltime Tuesday?

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM
I thought I'd share a "recent" find. It has been sitting in my closet for about 8 years.

Last summer I went to a retreat with the Dallas Modern Guild and I was diligently working on one of the  last few quilts for my daughter's dowry set when a friend saw me cutting strips and suggested a "better" way  that would not involve spending an arm and a leg on an AccuQuilt Go machine.

Then she brought out this "ruler"....

I said.. I have one of those... someplace...

She looked at me with the look that says, you're an idiot because you are not using it!

I proceeded to explain that I didn't know how to use the darn thing. My 42" WOF didn't fit under the ruler and I had some reservations on folding the fabric. She gave me "the look" again and pulled me over to show me how to use it.
I <3 my guild buddies. They pull me into the 21st century kicking and screaming.

Since I KNOW I'm not the only one out there that has this tool collecting dust in the closet, I thought I'd share my newly acquired knowledge...

So the first thing I do is fold the fabric. The 42" is folded once right from the bolt, but since I prewash all my yardage, I bring my selvages together and refold.

After I have a nice clean WOF fold, I fold again. 

This time I don't bring the bottom edge all the way up to  the first fold but I fold it up enough so that the resulting width fits under the ruler.

Align the bottom edge of the fabric with the first line on your Short Cut ruler.

The left side of the fabric should extend just a bit from the first slot (this allows you to trim the  edge)

In the picture above I was cutting 1.5" strips. I fit my blade into the 0" slot and cut along the slot to  trim the edge, I then move to the 1.5" slot and cut again. Move to the 3" slot and cut again. Move to  the 4.5" slot and cut, so on and so forth until I get to the end...
I do move my hold on the ruler as I move along but it's more because I'm a newbie.

Lift the ruler and... wala! You have a gaggle of 1.5" strips.

My initial concern was that the folds would yield a deviation on the strip... has anyone seen the wonky  strips on a jelly roll? but I have not had that experience. Each strip comes out nice and straight.

Since I bought my Short Cut, June Tailor has made a similar cutting tool with 1/4" slots.
I bought one.

I hope you all will dust off your Short Cut ruler and give it a try.
The way I see it, the less time I spend cutting, the more time I spend sewing!

*** Thanks to my personal hand model, my sister Jess.

11 comments on "Tooltime Tuesday?"

Thelma on July 17, 2012 at 6:16 AM said...

This is one ruler that's NOT collecting dust at my house but I like the looks of it! I linked back to your blog today, I'm so happy Tools Tuesday is catching on!

~*~ on July 17, 2012 at 7:41 AM said...

I think I need this one. I LOVED using it at the mothers day weekend retreat!

Diane on July 17, 2012 at 7:46 AM said...

I've been using this ruler for years. I call it my "slicer dicer" (a play on commercials from my youth). It is a necessary tool in my sewing room.

Nicole on July 17, 2012 at 8:44 AM said...

I always wondered how to use that thing! Thanks for the tutorial!

Jocelyn on July 17, 2012 at 8:45 AM said...

I've been using this ruler for several months and I LOVE it!! No more wobbly strips ;-)

Donna on July 17, 2012 at 8:52 AM said...

I wore out the first one and have purchased my second. I don't think I've made a quilt without using this ruler since I purchased the first one. Great tool!! I wasn't aware of the quarter inch ruler but will be looking for one to purchase.

Darlene on July 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM said...

Excellent tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing.

Terry@ a quilting blog on July 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM said...

I love gadgets and this ruler looks like one I will have to get. Thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

Do you get a commission on this? I think you might have just convinced me that I need one. Thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

I use this tool and love it!

Vivian on July 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM said...

Came over here from Thelma's blog. I see it's too late to put in a good word for this one so I'll just add to the praises. I LOVE MY SHAPE CUT! (Sorry for shouting!)

I have the larger 12"x18" one and use it for just about every project! The great thing about it is it has a 1/4" "shift line" so you can cut at 1/2" increments as well as 1/4" (but make sure you keep the instruction sheet that comes with the ruler with all the specs for the shifted cuts).

Also this is not just for cutting strips. I once dreaded to have to cut 32 1-1/2" squares for a project but using the Shape Cut to cut the initial strips and then turning the ruler to sub-cut the squares, it took all of about five minutes to do. Love it, love it, love it!


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