Thursday, May 10, 2012

X-Blocks Rulers If you can make and square up a nine patch-this is nirvana-tutorial

The X-Blocks rulers are not a new ruler, but they are awesome nonetheless.

From simple strip sets or 9 patches you can make dozens of different projects and designs.  Here are 4 projects I made last week  (If you follow along on our Facebook page, you know there was some insomnia that helped me out).  I still need to quilt the lap quilt, but all things in time.

x blocksx blocks-002x blocks-003x blocks-004

Plus 1 finished this week, thanks to the hand embroidery.  I bound all 4 with the faux piping tutorial I shared with you a while back.

x blocks-001

I am not a big fan of uni-taskers (as Alton Brown would say of his kitchen accessories).  This ruler definitely meets that criteria; just look at that variety!  There are 2 other big pluses-train yourself to sew an accurate 1/4” seam, and it’s easy-peasy!

Here’s how they work:

{Inside your ruler are instructions on how to use them, so you can use me as your “plain English” tour guide.}  There are 2 sets of rulers.  6.5” & 7.5”  I carry the 7.5” only, as I think it would be confusing to carry both.  You can individually purchase the 3 sizes available for each set. 

Combining the sizes makes some awesome designs.  For example, my flag table runner above uses the large ruler for the waving red & white bars and the medium (mini) ruler for the blue & white stars.  The 3rd size is called a belly button.  It’s small & I have not ventured down that path (or pattern) just yet.  If you love Miniature Quilts, the Belly Button is perfect for you!


Note that the ruler has 3 lines marked: solid, dashed, & dotted.  The pattern you use will tell you which line (angle) you will be using & the leaflet in the ruler will tell you how wide to cut your strips, based on the line style.

For the 7.5” large ruler, solid line, we cut 3.75”. 

We cut strips & stitched selvage to selvage, then:

Make a 9 patch block…no wait, make 2!  If we put like colors in the center (+ part) of the 9 patch, we can create a dual ric rac pattern, as in the batik quilt above.  (light colors across center vertically & gold/tan in center horizontally)


With the X-Blocks ruler right side up (you can read the writing), line up the seam lines of your 9 patch with the solid lines of the ruler.  Cut around the ruler, i.e., square up your block.

 x blocks-005

(note to self…ruler reflects light above  Winking smile)

With the X-Blocks ruler wrong side up (you CAN’T read the writing), line up the seam lines of your 9 patch with the solid lines of the ruler. Cut around the ruler, i.e., square up your block.

 x blocks-006

Now put the blocks together & you get the ric-rac style of pattern.  (below is 4 blocks)



For the pinwheel quilt, all blocks are cut with the X Blocks ruler right side up.

So you are thinking, wow, that’s a bunch of waste…all those trimmed corners.  Now, you know me better than that!  I am a “waste not want not” kinda girl….and we ALL want more fabric!

Use your trimmings to make awesome borders (like in the batik quilt) or new things.  Remember the red & white table runner above?  It’s the trimmings from the flag table runner (yup, 2 for 1, you can swoon now).  Almost all the quilt patterns available show you how to use the trimmings in either the border or in a 2nd project.

Leaving the best for last, you don’t even have to make 9 patches!  The trees were made using just 2 strips!  Ruler right side up to make one side of the tree & upside down to make the other side.  I used the large ruler for the big trees & the medium ruler for the smaller trees.

x blocks-002

The border also uses just strips (green, red, green) and the medium ruler.

It’s so versatile and so easy to make complicated-looking designs, you can whip up quilts in no time flat & it will look like you labored for weeks.

A dozen more patterns are on the way, as well as the belly button template.

You will love this ruler and more importantly, you will love the results!

We used:

X Blocks 7.5” Ruler

X Blocks 7.5” Mini Ruler

Venetian Tiles pattern (batik quilt)-uses 7.5” ruler

Growing Green (Christmas Table Runner)-uses 7.5” & 7.5” mini rulers

Once Upon a Time in X-Blocks Land (Pinwheel quilt)-uses 7.5” ruler

Sweet Liberty (flag & red/white table runner)s-uses 7.5” & 7.5” mini rulers

Assorted Batiks

Candy Cane Stripe & Holiday Fabrics

Assorted Patriotic Fabrics

Assorted Children’s Fabrics & Mini Dots

Pin It


harleywife57/ Mickey White said...

WOW ! these are amazing !!!
very cool stuff !!!

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

This looks like a fun ruler to use and I love the 4 batik blocks! I'm like you and always use every little scrap!

Sue Daurio said...

Oh I need to see about getting one of those rulers. Love the projects.

Carla said...

Wow that is definitely going on my wish list. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah Craig said...

OK, now that's cool! Whoop whoop!!

PersimonDreams said...

Yeah! I can't wait to play - how cool!

em's scrapbag said...

Cool ruler. Is there a lot of waste with the fabric you are cutting off or are those pieces used else where?