Introducing The Ruby Ruler™!
Edited to add link to purchase, because I woke from a deep sleep and sat bolt upright last night because I realized I’d left that off! Get your own Ruby Ruler™
I’ve been working on something for several months now, and I’m SO happy that its finally ready! My new quilting ruler, The Ruby Ruler™ is a brand new tool that will change the way you look at your fabric scraps!
But first, the background story-
As a quilting teacher and scrappy quilt designer, many of the concepts I teach, both in person and online, involve using gathered and collected fabrics in quiltmaking. Fabrics special to us or to someone we love. Often, these are the types of fabrics that my students want to use in their quilt designs. In class, we work together to come up with a design or concept for a quilt that unifies these fabrics. Even though most of the time those fabrics don’t seem to have a lot of unity. They may be fabrics like curtains from a childhood bedroom, a favorite tablecloth used at a wedding, a blouse that was worn when you nailed that job you really wanted (all real life examples of fabrics students have brought to my classes).
These fabrics are related mainly because they hold importance in the lives of the students who brought them. The fabrics themselves weren’t really meant to “match” up in the sense of quilting.
So, how to create a quilt design out of them?
I often talk of the concept of color value in these situations- the relative lightness or darkness of a fabric (print or solid). You can group a large group of disparate fabrics into light and dark color values. Lots of fabrics; but grouped into only 2 piles. From there, I can walk the students through design ideas based on these two different values.
Confusing, huh? I know. It can be a bit abstract for most students to understand. Often skeptical, they begin dividing their fabrics, needing a lot of reassurance from me that they aren’t doing it “wrong” (because there is no “wrong” here!). Once they get it, they understand and gain confidence to start creating layouts using the different values. It is an exciting process once at that stage, for sure! Getting there takes some trial and error.
So, I started thinking about how artists and photographers use rubylith film to judge value differences in their work. Its a concept that’s been around a long time. Why can’t we use that in quilt design? I started playing around with the idea of viewfinders last summer. I visited companies who sold acrylic that could be used in quilting rulers, and after some trial and error, I found a red that would work most often, with the most amount of fabrics. (Fun fact- I had originally hoped for neon pink, because, well, I love it! But it doesn’t work.) Hold the ruler up to your eyes (not on the fabric) and look at your layout or fabric scraps all together to get a sense of their value differences.
Some further playing around with the idea, and I knew I wanted it to be a cutting ruler as well. After some more experimentation, I settled on a 5″ square ruler. This size works perfectly with pre-cuts/charm squares. Its also just happens to be a size that works perfectly with my Complete Quilt Design Planner Pattern. Plus, let’s face it, fabric scraps aren’t really scraps if they are much bigger than that, right?
After some prototyping, testing, and more testing, I finally have the ruler I envisioned! Fun to use and practical too.
And I’m pretty excited about the way the label illustrates how to use it to read value, with half the quilt showing through the back of the ruler. Nifty, right?!
Get your own Ruby Ruler™
I have some exciting buzz planned for this cute little guy, and starting with the introduction of 2 new PDF quilt patterns to celebrate The Ruby Ruler™, Starflake and Interwoven. I’ll tell you more about them soon, but they are available now!
I hope you try it, use it, and love it! Please share your Ruby Ruler in action using hashtag #rubyruler and #wisecraftrubyruler.
If you are a quilt shop and interested in wholesale, here’s the application.