Monday, December 28, 2015
Learning Curve with the Quick Curve Ruler
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.