Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: Drunkard's Path Strip Ruler by Creative Grids

In the world of quilting there are so many tools and accessories to make specific tasks easier. A case in point is the vast range of rulers available from Creative Grids. I bought their 45 and 90 degree angle ruler (it results in half square and quarter square triangles if you were wondering) a little while back to go alongside my purchase of the book "Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts". Whilst browsing the shop I bought it from, I also saw the Drunkard's Path ruler and decided right away that I must have it!

It's taken a few months to actually use it for little more than the straight edge side, but I have successfully tried it out this weekend. First you use the straight side to cut the strips (3 1/2" for the outside of the curve and 2 1/2" for the quarter circle shape), and the length of it means you can cut fat quarters into strips. I was lazy and just used it for scraps, so my strips weren't really strips at all.

Anyway, after you cut the strips, you rotate the ruler and using a little rotary cutter, go round the curves starting in the grooves. This is great for accurate cutting, but it does require a little rotary cutter and I prefer to use bigger ones so I found myself using two different tools.

Also I'm left handed (which you can tell from the pictures!) which is never a problem for me as I was brought up using right handed scissors and eating with cutlery in the correct hands, however I think this is to my advantage when using the cutter as I found it easier to cut the curves with my left hand (or your right, right-handed reader!) and then the straight edges of the pieces with my right so you do have to be a little ambidextrous.

It would be great if this was available in different sizes, as this produces a finished size of 3"- this does mean that if you arrange the curves in a 4x4 grid though you get a great 12" standard size block and there are tons of combinations you can make. The little instruction book that comes with it is very informative, not only explaining how to use the ruler but showing some of the blocks it can make- don't throw this away! The examples are shown on the ruler though if you do make this careless mistake ;) An excellent feature.

A problem I found is you can splinter the edges of the ruler a bit if you're giving it some welly, which isn't great for your rotary cutter's blade. It was true to it's name though and was non-slip! Anyway, there is no way on earth I'd be able to cut these shapes accurately without this tool so I'm pretty happy with it. Sewing the curves is a different matter though, that was quite tricky and I probably need a little more practise. Not that that is the ruler's fault.

And here is my finished first project using it- ta da!

A demonstration video on how to use this ruler is available on YouTube here.
The Creative Grids Non-slip Drunkards Path Strip Ruler is currently £19.96 from the Creative Grids website.

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