Many of you are anticipating the start of “Options,” our 2021 Block of the Month Quilt Along. You will find preliminary information on the “Options BOM QAL” page of this blog; just click the tab in the menu to access the page. I will post instructions for the first of ten block designs on February 1st. In the meantime, you could inventory the rotary cutting rulers you have on hand, making sure you own those that will be most helpful for this year-long project.
It is optimal to use rulers made by the same company because the measurement markings will be consistent from ruler to ruler. I have invested in Omnigrid rulers, but I also like Creative grids because of the roughened spots on the underside of the ruler that grip the fabric as you rotary cut.
The first ruler beginning quilters should purchase is one that stretches across the entire piece of folded yardage on a rotary cutting mat. For example, 6″ x 24″ or 8 1/2″ x 24″ or 4″ x 24.” For many of the blocks in the “Options” project, we will cut 2 1/2″ x WOF (width of fabric) strips and sub-cut them into shorter lengths. A 24″ long ruler will help us cut strips from folded yardage or fat quarters efficiently and accurately.
Secondly, I recommend a 6 1/2″ square ruler. Once we use the long ruler to cut strips from yardage, we’ll use this shorter, more manageable ruler to cut smaller pieces such as 2 1/2″ or 4 1/2″ squares and 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles.
Bottom line: You can easily make all the “Options” blocks using a 6″ x 24″ ruler along with a 6 1/2″ square ruler.
Optional Rulers: Since we are making 8 1/2″ unfinished blocks during the QAL, you will find it helpful to have an 8 1/2″ or 9 1/2″ or 12 1/2″ square ruler to trim your blocks after completing them.
We are going to make some Half Square Triangles (HSTs) a bit oversize that will require “squaring up.” You can use your 6 1/2″ square ruler to trim them to the proper size, or you can use a Quilt in a Day HST trimming ruler, or you can use Bloc Loc rulers. The first two rulers listed here are for multiple sizes. If you wish to invest in Bloc Loc rulers (yes, they are very expensive but yield very accurate results), we will use 2 1/2,” 3 1/2,” and 4 1/2″ squares for this project. If you can purchase only one Bloc Loc square, purchase the 4 1/2″ square which can be used to trim smaller sizes as well.
Just like you, I am looking forward to the kick-off of our “Options” QAL!