Painless. Pointy Perfection. Our tutorial and review continue...
Our Corner Beam unit is cut and stitched. All that's left is to trim it to perfection.
Let's get back to work!
At your cutting mat, align the large 'V' marking with seamlines of the turquoise center, point in the upper righthand corner for righthanders. Upper left for lefthanders.
With your rotary cutter trim the right and top sides.
Lift the ruler and flip the block so the pointy trimmed side in in the lower left-hand corner.
Find the marks on the Corner Beam ruler that correspond to the unfinished or cut size (3-1/2" for our sample) and align with the trimmed edges.
Align the acute angle labelled with the FSIZE with the pointy point.
Trim the remaining two sides.
And here it is. Painless. Pointy. Perfection.
An accurate angle, with its point perfectly positioned a 1/4" from both edges. A Beam that's widest edge is perfectly halfway between the two sides at the seam line.
Nice straight outside edges that make piecing it to another unit a breeze.
All that's left to decide is do you NEED this ruler?
As mentioned previously, the scraps from cutting the Center patch are not large enough to use in the same size block.
If you're a scrap quilter, they needn't go to waste.
Cut them down using the 'Side Triangle Trim # ' line on the ruler and the last column of the cutting chart.
Label a Ziploc bag and store the newly sized units for future use.
To sweeten the deal, these patches can be used in several other blocks:
Don't have the accompanying Studio 180 rulers for those blocks?
Not to worry.
Those same patches can be used with the corresponding paper pieced patterns on this site. The angles are cut just right and there's straight of grain on the outside edge.
It doesn't get much better than that...
...except that you've also eliminated virtually all of the waste.
The Corner Beam Ruler does EXACTLY as promised.
Use good rotary cutting technique (and we all use good technique) and the patches are cut accurately.
The true genius of this fabulous quilting tool is that you trim the unit to the perfection with the same ruler after stitching.
If you've used any of the free block tutorials on this site, you already know that makes my own quiltmaking philosophy—perfect patches are just plain easier to piece with.
All the markings you need are directly on the ruler. The lines/markings are thin to improve accuracy.
Now the question is do YOU need this ruler?
If you've got blocks to make that use this unit AND you hate paperpiecing, hate using templates and it's in your budget, then YES.
It's that good (in my humble opinion—and I'm NOT a gadget gal.)
If you're only need a few of these units, then either paperpiecing or templates will be more economical. You can find both on this website.
The final decision comes down to what's your time worth to you and does it at least justify the initial cost of the ruler.
Is a Corner Beam ruler in your future?
To date only one block, the Autumn Leaf, currently on the site uses the Corner Beam ruler.
Quite simply, up until now I hadn't found the easiest way to make these units and relied on both paper piecing and templates.
Both are perfectly good methods, but both require a bit of monkeying around.
Since purchasing this ruler, I stitched several more blocks using the Corner Beam. All that's left is to write and edit the tutorials.
Watch this space for links to them as they are published.
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print.
If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on Amazon.com.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020.
However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.
This is terrific news.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!