Sunday, February 26, 2006

Confession is good for the soul


I admit it. I am a ruler junkie. I love rotary rulers. All kinds of rotary rulers. I have no idea how many I have. They are hanging all over my sewing room wall - two deep in a couple places. I have three slotted ruler holders too. One sits on the end of my cutting table, and two smaller ones sit on one of my storage carts. I need to toss some of them because the corners are nicked from dropping and reckless driving with my cutter, but that would be like tossing an old friend. I used to use Omnigrid rulers because I could see the yellow and black markings so well, but now I'm gradually replacing them with Creative Grid rulers. I'm in love with these rulers because they have little "sticky dots" built right onto the back of the ruler to prevent it from slipping. As the arthritis in my hands developed I found it harder and harder to hold onto a ruler while cutting, and these rulers have solved the problem. It was just like Christmas this week - I got three new ones! Three squares - a 2 1/2", a 3 1/2", and a 16 1/2". (Don't you love 30% off sales?) I firmly believe that "the right tool makes the job easy", and "good tools will last a lifetime". I like to use a ruler that's just the right size for what I'm cutting, so I don't have to try to hold down any extra ruler. I figure if I'm going to spend much of my leisure time quilting I might as well have the best tools I can afford, right?

Any other ruler junkies out there? Time to confess. What's your favorite ruler?

I've been doing mostly appliqué for months now, but the urge to piece has been getting stronger and stronger. Both the Heirloom Stitches and the new Jan Patek mystery are perfect projects for me this year, because they have some of both. I spent yesterday piecing the first three blocks of Heirloom Stitches, and it was so enjoyable! There's just something about hanging a new, beautiful block on my design wall that fills my heart with joy. I keep ducking back into the room for another look. I love the way the colors and designs of the fabric play off each other - sometimes subtle and sometimes with much contrast. Many of you will think I'm nuts, but I love to piece complicated blocks. Sure, I love to piece simple ones too, but there's something very satisfying about getting dozens of little triangles, squares and other shapes to fit together into an aesthetically pleasing whole. These three blocks certainly gave me that. The simplest of the blocks has 28 pieces, and the most complicated has 87 pieces. They aren't big blocks either - two 9" and one 6". It took most of the day to cut them out and put them together, but that hardly matters. As Patty says in her Morning Ramble, many of us are rushing through life at too fast a pace anyway. It's so rewarding to savor each step of the block construction - the way the fabrics feel, the way they play off each other, and feel the joy of seeing all the smaller parts slowly come together to make a beautiful whole.

People who don't quilt just don't know what they are missing, do they?

12 comments:

Linda_J said...

Ruler junkie, yes--Trudie Hughes Big Mama and Big Daddy here. I spray some Plasti-Dip on the back of all my rulers for no skid. Like you, I noticed one of my favs has a small chip--how did that happen since it hasn't left the house?

The blocks are wonderful! Can't wait to see what the quilt will look like. Stay tuned?

Oh what fun--the word verification starts with the letters "qlt"!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Great blocks - I like the color combinatins - and those are some tiny pieces you are working with!

Can't live without my big rectangle ruler of course so that doesn't count. This winter I have been having fun with my Wonder Cut ruler and also a kaledioscope ruler.

Cheers!

Evelyn

Nines said...

Giggle. Enjoyed your post. So glad that your friend was feeling loved and special on her birthday. We should all feel so blessed! I have two long rulers- I only use the 5". and two square rulers, but I only ever use the 12" one. They are so chipped, dinged and faded that I am embarrassed to use then when I teach a class. But, strangely, I just can't bring myself to buy new ones. I'm like that- I hate change:)

Mary said...

My favorite rulers are the Eleanor Burns flying geese rulers but I have a bunch of other ones!

Cher said...

lots of rulers here...many still in their wrappers...waiting their turn to be played with. I have also been gradually switching over to Creative Grids...a goal I have this year is to play with at least two new ones. I agree wholeheartedly that good tools are worth the investment and even if I only use them once in a while, they are worth the money paid. The right tool for the right block works for me! nice blocks! wow, so many pieces...this will be quite the quilts when done!

Finn said...

Love the blocks Patti...very intricate and they do play off each other very well.
Sounds like alot of pieces, but you are right..life is short, lets enjoy dessert and the process..*VBS*!
The birthday party surprise sounds wonderful...and a cake to die for..wow!

Rebecca said...

Beautiful blocks. I love stars. The colors are great and sometimes a hard block is just the thing.

I have about 12 rulers I can see hanging on my peg board. The newest one is a 16 1/2 inch square used to square up large blocks. I love it. I also got a large cutting board that fits the top of the table my machine is on. That way I can square up or cut right next to my machine. Great investment!

Inga Helene said...

When I started to quilt about seven years ago, I was on my way to addiction, but I managed to break the habit. But lately I've been buying rulers again. I do need a 16.5 x 16.5 and then there's the wondercut ruler and then there's......

Inga

Vicky said...

Oh, yeah, rulers! Ssssshhh, folks only think the addiction is with fabric and books! I buy tons of rulers and they usually sit for a long while before I use them - but it's such a good feeling to find out you've got a specialty ruler just when you need it!

BTW, Judy gave me a tip yesterday when squaring a block - to use a slightly larger ruler than I was using to keep it from slipping. Worked perfectly! Thanks, Judy!

Joanne said...

Beautiful blocks, Patti. Doesn't every quilter have an obsession with rulers and other tools? I thought they did (vbg) -- I tell my husband "everyone" does!

Patty said...

after reading your confession, I think I should go out and get a few more, they really seem to be a good tool. I have only one and now I feel kinda like I am missing out : )
I am still afraid of little pieces.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh gosh - I love the color placement of your pieced blocks! My favorite part of the heirloom stitches is the pieced blocks. I"m thinking of doing the one she has that is all pieced just because I'm hand quilting a quilt right now and still trying to finish millenium garden. These are great!