Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Like

Specialty Rulers

But only those that have a scientific mathematical foundation.  Not the kitchy one-trick ones.

My favorites are the 45-degree right-triangle rulers that assist in making no-waste triangle squares (also called half-square triangles) like those in my most recent Long Time Gone block.

There are several different brands on the market, and the best ones are marked based on the finished size of the square and compensate for the dog-ears with either a flat top or a line to mark the top.  In my example, the finished square is 2" so I start with a 2-1/2" strip -- no high-level math involved.

My favorite is the Creative Grids 45-degree Half-Square Triangle (CGRT45).

Creative Grids CGRT45
It has the typical Creative Grids frosting on the back to grip the fabric and the fine 1/4" spaced lines are easy for me to read and are logically read from the flat top down.

Other examples are the Omnigrid 96 (6") and 96L (larger 8").

Omnigrid 96L
The Omnigrid is also lined from the top down in quarter-inch increments, but it relies on a dashed line to line up with the top of your strip.  I also find all the crosses distracting and the yellow difficult to read (it's a personal thing) except when I'm working with very dark fabrics.

Possibly the earliest and most common right triangle ruler is the Easy Angle.

Easy Angle by Sharon Hultgren
 I used this one for years, but I found the bottom-up measurement markings counter-intuitive (another personal thing) so I developed my own methodology for using it.

The most recent product on the market is Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool which combines the half-square triangle and quarter-square triangle in one tool.

Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool
The biggest shortcoming I've found with the ETT is it doesn't have 1/4" marks, which is what I needed on a recent mystery clue.

Yes, I guess I'm a ruler junkie.  But I try to avoid purchasing a specialty ruler that I will only use for one quilt.

This isn't my typical "I Like" Thursday post, I know, but it's a subject that's been on my mind the last few days.  Please visit Not Afraid of Color to see what other quilters like.


  1. Thank you, i found your post very helpful! Have a wonderful day!

  2. I just read Michele's comment and wanted to say, Me too! I always wonder about those triangle rulers that are supposed to help with accurate HSTs. I know Bonnie Hunter doesn't want you to waste fabric, which is what I do when I make the HSTs bigger than I need and trim down to size! Which ruler works best for you?

  3. I like that you are a gadget girl. YOU try them out and report back. Save me a TON of money!! :P

  4. I'm with Diann. I tried to use the easy angle ruler (which Bonnie promoted before she marketed her own), but I couldn't get accurate blocks, so I went back to using squares and drawing lines and trimming. Yes, it's more work, but my blocks are always the right size.

  5. That Easy Angle ruler changed my life! I'd been cutting weird-measurement squares and throwing away tons of trimmings for years, which really offended my stingy soul. Such a timesaver, too, not having to trim the hsts down to size. It was a good choice for me, because it seems to work the way my brain works.
    I like the idea of Bonnie's ruler, combining the easy angle and the companion angle rulers. But since I already have both of those, I won't be adding hers to my collection.
    I haven't tried any of the others you've mentioned. It's nice to know there are so many choices out there, which means everyone can find something that suits the way they work.
    Thanks for the reviews!

  6. I have only the Easy Angle of the four you showcase. It & I seem to work ok together. I've considered getting BH's ruler, but wasn't keen on spending $$ if I already had a ruler(s) that do the same. This is also the first time I've seen a clear image of it to really see if I'd want to add it to my 'collection' - I have been on the fence about it. With some of my other rulers, I'm leaning toward strictly going with Creative Grids, particularly for those I use most that approaching the replacement stage. I really like their clean lines and the grippy stuff.

  7. I have the easy angle, but haven't used it yet. I prefer to work with larger strips and then cut them down. I'm just more accurate that way. Thanks for sharing all the information. Great info on what's out there.

  8. Whenever I've tried to use Easy Angle I've flipped it and flopped it. I'm relieved to read your post to find I'm not the only one. I haven't invested in the ETT (yet). I still like to make HSTs large-and-cut-down. The Triangle Square Up Ruler (by Eleanor Burns) makes that so much easier. (And I just learned that it comes in 9-1/2 as well as 6-1/2. Hmmm....)


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