Monday, December 28, 2015

Learning Curve with the Quick Curve Ruler

Learning Curve with Chic Country pattern

Home from the holidays and ready to sew!  I've been cutting fabric in the nooks and crannies of the past few weeks.  Now I'm set to piece up a pile of blocks!


A few years ago my husband gifted me the Quick Curve Ruler for Christmas.  I was disappointed to find it is a slotted ruler.  My experience had taught me that a rotary cutter easily gets stuck in ruler slots, which nick and dull the blade.  Still, I've been meaning to try it, but didn't feel inspired until I came across this pattern designed for the ruler:


It's called Chic Country and is one of the many patterns designed to work with the Quick Curve Ruler.   Sew Kind of Wonderful, who manufactures the ruler, also publishes a large catalog of patterns that take advantage of the ruler's specific curve.  My thought was to combine Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope collection with other fabrics by the same designer already in my stash, in a very colorful version of the Chic Country quilt.

Fortunately, this ruler is different!  Right from the start I was pleased that my rotary cutter doesn't get stuck, even when using a regular 45 mm blade.  Yay!

Learning Curve with Chic Country pattern

The next hurdle was the pattern itself.  It was more detailed and technical than I was expecting.  Maybe there is too much information presented in a compact format?  I took some time to get to know the pattern and found that there are three different curved pieces to cut to create a Chic Country block.  The ruler is all you need - no other templates required.  However, to make that work, the pattern calls for one to measure and mark points on cut fabric pieces to reference while cutting the curves.  Sounded a bit time consuming.

a new quilt in Katie Jump Rope

Happily I found that I could completely avoid marking by just placing the fabric squares (cut to pattern-specified sizes) on a cutting mat, matching the raw edges of the fabric with the lines of the mat.  In this way I could visually align the ruler with points designated on the pattern, allowing me to cut without marking.  Once I had that figured out, it was a total joy to cut with this ruler.  So much safer and quicker than cutting around paper templates!

Learning Curve with Chic Country pattern

My next learning curve (ha) was squaring up the quarter blocks.  I tried to simplify the pattern's squaring process, but it turned out that the reference measurements called for when trimming are key.  On my first few blocks I squared up making sure that all points were preserved with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Since I didn't use the reference measurements, those blocks have curves that won't quite line up with other blocks when sewn together.  Oops! 

Now I'm following the pattern, and things are lining up pretty well.   Still, you can expect to have some variation in point alignment resulting from the simplified style of curves that can be sewn with this ruler.  It's not an absolutely precise style of cutting and sewing curves.  I think it would suit most quilters, but it's nice to know going in that this ruler is more about ease and speed than accuracy.

Learning Curve with Chic Country pattern

Don't you think it's a beautiful pattern?  I'm very excited to get back to my sewing.  You can find the ruler, Chic Country pattern and several other popular patterns to go with the ruler at one of my sponsor stores, The Loopy Ewe.

24 comments:

  1. This is going to be very pretty!

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  2. Ohhhhhh I've always wanted to make a Winding Ways quilt! I have the ruler too but until now haven't been terribly inspired to use it. Hmmmm this could be just the project!

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  3. Nice review. My LQS Trailer Stash fabrics is getting ready to do a block of the month starting in January.

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    1. Using the quick curve ruler. I love the looks of the clocks

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  4. Rachel--you will get better results with your slotted ruler by using a smaller rotary cutter. The big one you show will be hard to get around those curves!
    It is a beautiful pattern.

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    1. I actually don't have any trouble at all with the regular size cutter in this ruler. But, if you did have trouble, the smaller size cutter would probably help =)

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  5. Also, Mad About Patchwork--another one of your sponsors and in Canada for your Canadian readers--also has the Quick Curve Ruler.

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  6. Very informative. Thank you for sharing.
    Renragjdatgmaildotcom

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  7. I have made one quilt and four table runners using the QCR and the QCR Mini, and right now I am cutting a wall hanging using the mini. I am grateful for your thorough review because I thought it was just me having trouble with accuracy. It would help a lot if the ruler alignment points were enlarged. I just told my husband today that I'm having a love-hate relationship with the rulers. That being said, I am obsessed with these rulers and there are many more QCR projects in my future!

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  8. What a great pattern ~ can't wait to see your finished quilt with the fabrics you chose! Thanks for the input on that ruler ~ I've been debating but it sounds like a must-have!

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  9. I have made a couple of her quilt patterns with this ruler. To find the registration points more easily I take colored sharpies and make circles around the registration points for quick reference. I can wipe the cicles off with rubbing alcohol when I'm done. I really like this ruler and the clean look of her designs.

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  10. Thank you for the thoughtful and honest review. The QCR looks daunting to me, but I'm glad to know some tips, and what kind of outcome to aim for. Your quilt is coming along really nicely! Love the off white you used with the Katie Jump Rope.

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  11. That's going to be a beautiful quilt. I hope to have the skills someday to conquer curves.

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  12. I've been avoiding this ruler like the plague, because, well curves. But this pattern is SO on my to do list. I'm in love with yours!!

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  13. Good for you, learning something new!
    All those curves and the mix of colors/patterns, its going to be fun happy quilt :)

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  14. This will be a gorgeous quilt! I love the QCR :-)

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  15. I did a class recently on that very quilt! The ruler does make it easy to cut the fabric but you really do have to pay attention to what you're doing - whoops, cut the wrong shape, whoops, forgot to make that cut (on the Star Trek shape base ;-). I like that it isn't perfect because making things perfect drives me nuts.
    You are going to have a super cool quilt!

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  16. I'm in the process of finishing a Winding Ways quilt, too! I've never heard of the ruler, but quite happily used Inklingo to make mine. Of course, I love handsewing gentle curves, so this block was right up my alley!
    For pictures of my quilt, go to http://welovefrenchtoast.com
    Love your blog and classes, appreciate your openness, wishing you a good 2016!
    Fiona

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  17. I've made several quilts using the QCR, and taught a class of other quilters how to use it too. What I've learned is that it has many possibilities for designs! I haven't seen a QCR project I haven't loved. And now with the mini... ooo, even more possibilities!

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  18. It's definitely a beautiful pattern to begin with, but I love the way that you brought color to it! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

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  19. Thanks for showing this!!! The thing is I have been wanting to make this pattern for a very long time and....I also have this ruler and didn't use it. I will have a look at the pattern...never knew you could use the ruler for this;)
    Groetjes
    Annemieke

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  20. Love these blocks, can you tell about the size of fabric before you cut? Is it possible to make the blocks smaller or bigger? I hope you will show the use of this ruler once more, step by step, easier for a beginner to understand the technique with pictures!!!

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