Thursday, 28 May 2015

Add-A-Quarter Ruler: Review

Instagram can be a great chance to pick up tip from some very skilled people.  I follow Dan Rouse  (@dsrouse) on Instagram and as well as being an all round lovely person, I admire his work, his distinct individual style and the precision in his piecing.  When he mentioned the Add-a quarter ruler in a recent pic with the comment " I don't know how I lived without it", I thought this might be something I need too.  Justine at Simply Solids kindly offered to send me one to review and I said yes straightaway!

My usual go-to ruler for adding a quarter inch is a mini creative grids 1"x6" ruler.  It is handy but I do risk slicing my fingers off from time to time as it is a little small.  Justine sent me the larger Add-a-quarter which is 12" long- I believe the company make a mini 6" version too.

On the add-a quarter ruler, the numbered part is frosted and the quarter inch is clear and chunkier that the rest of the ruler with a lipped edge on the reverse side.  This can slide against either a template, or a seam on foundation paper piecing and it holds in place really well- much better than my mini ruler!

You can see how thick the lipped edge is compared to a standard quilting ruler. 

I am making the My Small World quilt at the moment and I am using templates for the majority of the pieces. I tested the Add-a-quarter ruler on adding a quarter inch border to the template pieces I am drawing on the reverse of fabric.    

Pink on pink seemed to be a good test.  The ruler is a simple but clever design.  The thicker transparent edge is the part to focus on and I placed this so I could see the pencil line and then slid it so the line was just inside the frosted section and then I trimmed the fabric with a 28mm rotary cutter.  As you can see, my fingers are safely out of the way and I can verify the ruler stayed put- no slipping or sliding.  To be honest, when I posted a pic on Instagram, it seemed like everyone else already had one, or more than one and I am kicking myself for not having bought one sooner!  I will be using this for foundation paper piecing which is what is is primarily designed for- trimming off all those excess seams to a quarter inch, but I found it idea for the many straight-line templates to add quarter inch borders to for the My Small World quilt along    You can buy one at Simply Solids, thank you to Justine for sending me one, and thank you to Dan for the nudge too!

*Disclaimer*  I was sent a free ruler to review by Justine at Simply Solids.  All opinions are my own- it is a great gadget and you can read more about the Add-a-quarter ruler inventor and see how to use it for foundation piecing here.  For social media fans, Simply Solids are offering a monthly competition on all purchases, just share with the hashtag #simplysolidsmakes for a chance to win a £25 voucher.

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  1. The add 1/4" ruler was one of the first tools I was adviced to buy in a quilt class for foundation piecing, years ago. It has been my #1 favourite quilting tool ever since. I also use it to add 1/4" to all the fabrics I cut for hand pieced projects and EPP.

  2. I love my add a 1/4" ruler for foundation piecing. I don't often use it for anything else as I eyeball the seam allowance when prepping for hand piecing (I mark the sewing line and then cut out about 1/4" from the line as it doesn't have to be exact unless I'm mixing hand and machine piecing) but it lives with all my template/prepping things though, just in case I ever need it! Glad you've discovered it, it's always nice to find a new notion which does exactly what it says on the packet!

  3. I've not used mine for anything other than paper piecing, but it is AMAZING for that.

  4. You're not alone-I still don't have one either! Well, now I am alone I guess since you do have one but you know what I mean.

  5. Food guy Alton Brown criticizes "uni-taskers" in his kitchen -- tools that do one job. But I dutifully bought one anyway in the form of this little ruler (or so I thought), for the paper piecing block in my beginning class. I can't imagine HOW you could paper piece without it. And when the first ruler disappeared, I ran out and bought another short one. And when I found the long version, I bought one of those. It is a GREAT ruler. The fact that it's small but wide and doesn't move means it's great for a lot of little work where I don't need 2 feet worth of ruler in the way.

    I've been happy with my purchase, but I am so glad to hear a professional validate me. :)

    1. You are right, it is a GREAT ruler! And being called a professional is very flattering, thank you!

  6. Oh, gosh, Kerry, I've been using an Add-a-Quarter ruler for ages and I totally love it, but it has never occurred to me to use it when adding a quarter inch to a template! Thanks so, so much for mentioning that! I'm currently working on Jen Kingwell's Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt, so that will come in very handy. Seems like it'll be much quicker than lining up a regular ruler with my template pieces.

    Once again, I learn a great technique from you! I was just telling someone on Instagram about your excellent single binding tutorial. Thanks for being such a great teacher!

  7. I love my Add-A-Quarter ruler for paper piecing, but I had no idea that I could get one that's 12" long! With my giant 17 3/4" paper pieced pineapple log cabin blocks, I'm having to slide the ruler and trim the seam allowances in two passes as I get to the longer strips at the outer edges of the blocks. Thanks to you, I'm off to order a longer ruler! :-)

  8. I have had this ruler for a really long time and would find it much more difficult to paper piece without it. I also have an add-An-Eighth although have never really found an opportunity to use that one.

  9. I have this ruler and find it particularly useful for foundation piecing. Very easy to use and faster than using the regular ruler. I really love it!

  10. Hello,
    Carol Doak recommends using this type of ruler with a postcard:
    Same method with better pictures here:
    Using the ruler for the "My Small World" quilt along is a great idea!


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