Wednesday, 7 April 2021

New Project

I started my next quilt...the star being the humble Maple Leaf. Always loved this block.

I am using my favourite fabric - The Dryad range of leafy fabric from Shannon Brinkley. I have lots of leftovers from when I did my fox quilt and the Maple Leaf takes so little's great.

My piecing is as always a bit out of practice. Just don't piece enough to be really good at it. However, a while back I noticed an issue with one of my rulers and today set out to really explore this. I have got a stack of rulers, some of them very old (see selection below). I do try to stick to one ruler for one project as I have heard that there can be slight differences. However, to square up 2-1/2in HST for example I often will use the top square rulers which are both the same brand. In one of the more recent projects (I think it was the Star quilt) where I had painstakingly made sure my pieces were cut accurately I found that after squaring off I often was short by almost 1/8in (I had a good comparison on that project as some of my pieces were cut with the Accuquilt cutter which is dead on correct). That was when I started to get a bit suspicious of my squaring up rulers.
The offending ruler is a 6-1/2in square which I have been using for years. Today I compared this ruler to some of the other rulers in my collection and noticed that it appears a little bit 'out' in its measurement.

Here is my very scientific exploration, i.e. stacked on top of a similar ruler
Slightly out, so I tried to see whether it corresponded with my measuring tape

Almost, but not quite...
Squaring those 2-1/2in HST today for the Maple leaf definitely showed the difference. When I used my old square ruler my unit was inaccurate compared to the 2-1/2in squares that I had cut from a strip with the long ruler.

Now I am actually a bit confused as to what ruler to use as I always will need to use the longer ruler to cut strips and then crosscut pieces. However if my squaring up ruler then is slightly different, it is little wonder that my piecing comes out so inaccurate at times.

Will definitely need to pay more attention to this in the future and maybe invest in a more accurate squaring up ruler.



  1. Really pretty fabric and block. Of course, I'm a bit partial to the Maple Leaf block. Always one of my FAVS. Interesting find about your ruler. I've had that happen to me too! I feel like my "trust" gets broken. I ended up tossing my offending ruler and bought another. Still, you point out the need that we should all probably go thru all our rulers and verify their accuracy. You certainly inspired me to check mine, especially some of my older rulers.

  2. I too have found that my various brand of rulers aren't "true" to each other. Over the years, I've been buying a specific brand. . .then I found a brand I liked even better and so the process has begun. . .again! If you are off when cutting for a block, you will have difficulties getting it to the size it was designed to be for sure. No wonder piecing has not been a part of the process you have enjoyed!

  3. Karin, years ago, in one of the first quilting classes I took, the instructor remarked that rulers from different companies were sometimes lacking in consistency. She highly recommended sticking with one quality brand of rulers to avoid inaccuracy in blocks. Also, don't mind the tape measure, they can stretch over years of use and in hot weather. The instructor also considered mats similarly to my opinion of tape measures. She said we should learn to measure and cut without the lines on the mat. Well, many years later, I have more than one brand of rulers in my collection but I try to remember to compare the markings if I am piecing complex blocks or stick with just one brand for the project.

  4. Me too. I found that the under table stick on ruler for my table insert did not measure true after using it many times over a number of years. Yikes! I always blamed myself for not keeping a true 1/4, then I realized that at times I had used this ruler - it was the culprit. This I discovered upon checking all my rulers after finding a vinyl coated 60 inch tape not true. Any ya, I had used it multiple times. Rather disgusting isn't it. We quilters and sewers need reliable tools!


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