This is not a tutorial on how to make a Dresden quilt. It’s a tutorial on how to use the Dresden ruler. This ruler can be used to make many quilts. The fabric pieces that this ruler cuts are called “blades” (not to be confused with rotary blades).
First things first, you will need to have a Dresden ruler. You can purchase one here. This ruler is inexpensive, very versatile, and comes with a hand dandy pointer creaser (for if you were making a Dresden quilt block) and a pattern. Speaking of rulers, has anyone tried this? It’s a spray for the back of your rulers to have a little more grip. I’d like to give it a try soon.
So let’s get right to it then.
A Video Tutorial
Here is a helpful video tutorial detailing how to use the ruler for those of you who learn better visually. Read on to get extra tips and details.
When working from stash…
This ruler will work for any size from 1″ all the way to 8″ blades. You will want to cut a strip of fabric that measures the size you want. For example, I want 6.5″ blades, so I will cut a strip of fabric that measures 6.5″.
With your fabric laying horizontal, line the bottom of your ruler on the edge of the bottom of your fabric. Line the top of your fabric on the line you want your blades to measure. For me, that’s 6.5″.
Cut on both sides of the ruler.
Then continue down the length of your fabric strip, alternating the direction of your ruler to make the most of your fabric. And now you’ll line up the ruler on the fabric edge and just need to make one cut until you have cut all you can from your strip of fabric.
Cutting from scraps…
Now we can get into some major scrap busting. I don’t know about you, but I end up with lots of narrow strips of fabric in my scrap bins and I love to free those bins up. Let’s get started!
Choose some strips of fabric that at least measure about 3.5″. For many of the sizes on the ruler, you could get away with even narrower, but for the largest size on the ruler, you would need at least 3.5″.
When we were working with stash, we cut the strips to measure 6.5″. For scraps, you will lay out the strip you have (whatever measurement), and cut it into the length you want your blades. For example, I’m going to cut my strips into 6.5″ rectangles.
Don’t forget to cut off the selvedge!
Then line your ruler up the same way as you did using your stash.
And that’s that!
Remember, when using a rotary cutter you should always cut away from you, not towards you. So turning the pieces around is helpful (as are rotating cutting mats).
I’m going to be doing some serious scrap busting in my first post on the ‘Rescue Quilts‘, so get ready. Have your scraps, a Dresden ruler and a color palette handy!