The Lily Pad: The Journal of White Lotus Quilting


Lazy Girl ruler fun

Posted in gadgets,Quilting tips and techniques by whitelotusquilting on September 14, 2009
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Lazy and Lovin It book with companion ruler and sample blocks

Lazy and Lovin' It book with companion ruler and sample blocks

Once I got started making 30-something blocks with Gayle Bong’s ruler, I noticed that the basic block looked something like a block you can make with the Lazy Angle ruler.  So I gave two sample blocks a try — the two blocks on the right of the ruler.

The top block is one of my favorite quilting elements — the triangle-in-square block.  If you’re new to quilting you might not recognize how wonderful it is :).  It makes wonderful stars when constructed into a nine-patch larger block, and besides, it’s the core of the ’54-40 or fight’ block, named for the line of latitude the US and Canada were considering as a dividing line during a political campaign.  But I digress.

Anyway.  There are lots of ways to make the triangle-in-square, none of them particularly easy or terribly accurate, since they involve tall triangles that love to distort when you sew them on the bias.  But that said, if this pretty little block is going to be a little fussy to sew, it sure would be nice if it were easy to cut, which is where the Lazy Angle ruler comes in.

The nice thing about rulers like this is that they’re marked with several strip sizes, so the tool is useful for several different block sizes.  Plus having a trim-off style ruler — that you can cut from both sides on –is much faster to use than individual templates, at least for me, anyway.

You can work with strips or squares with this ruler, and the hardest thing for me to keep straight was which way to keep the fabric and ruler aligned so that I had both a left and right triangle to sew to the larger square.  I like the way the little ‘bow-ties’ on the edges help you both align the pieces and give you a valley to begin the seam line.  It helped me be more accurate than I’m used to in sewing this block.

The second sample block, the bottom of the two, starts with the same two beginning steps, and then slices off a different edge for the second background triangle, creating a kind of cone-in-the-corner shape.  This is the block that reminded me of the 30-something block.  So of course that sent me looking for the protractor, and I just had to compare the blocks and all their angles.  They’re not quite the same block, even if they look the same.

comparison of two types of triangle in corner of square blocks

30-something blocks on left and lazy angle block on right

For the complete set of pictures I took in making the sets of blocks and comparing all their angles, click here.