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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bloc-Loc Rulers

Rulers — can we quilters ever have enough of them? Naturally, we could all probably get along with a minimal number, but sometimes a ruler or set of rulers comes along that just makes life nicer and easier. The ones I'm talking about today are sort of comparable to Susan Cleveland's Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool, which I love and use frequently. Yes, you can trim piping with a flat ruler, but the groove in Susan's tool just makes it easier, faster, and much more precise.

So that leads me into my topic for today. Last fall I happened upon a booth selling Bloc-Loc rulers, about which I'd only recently heard from a member of my local group. Based upon her glowing review, I bought a small set; they are used for squaring up half-square triangles (HSTs). As it happens, I'm currently making a slew of HSTs for a project this month at that same local group, so I got out one of the rulers.

At the left, you can see (click on each photo for a larger view) a ragged square, ready for trimming. Note the dog ears and not-very-neat edges.

And now note the ruler placement. There is a wide groove on the underside, and this corresponds to the seam allowance, so there's no risk of the ruler tipping or slipping out of alignment. By wiggling the ruler into place so that it "locks" onto the seam, it's ready for me to use my left-handed rotary cutter to trim the first two sides.

Here we go! :) Slice, slice!

The next step is to swivel the entire thing — fabric and ruler together — 90°. Keep the seam allowance inside that same groove and slide the ruler down so that the — in this case — 2" mark is on the outer edges that have already been trimmed. The actual seam line will be exactly in the corner. Now trim those last two sides.

Look how nice the whole finished block looks! As I said above, this can be done (and I've done it for years) with an everyday flat ruler, but this is so much more accurate and so much easier. The rulers are available in a variety of sizes. I have no affiliation with this company, but I am very glad I purchased their product. :)

Back to my cutting!

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