Marti Michell Kaleido ruler

Hey Everyone, welcome back to Technique Tuesday.

Way back when in the spring I featured this ruler on Cool Tool Thursday and mentioned at the end of it that a Technique Tuesday post would be coming soon. Well, soon has finally arrived and here it is.

I really like these two rulers from Marti Michell and I find them very easy to use. The Kaleido ruler comes two sizes, small and large with the small ruler making 2″ to 8″ blocks and the large ruler making 6″ to 16″ blocks. They certainly offer a huge range of block sizes to choose from. For those of us who like to work miniature or jumbo and everything in-between.

How does the ruler work

Each ruler works in the same way and is used to cut three different shapes for the kaleidoscope blocks.

First Shape

This is the main pie shape or triangle of the block. This shape is cut from strips of fabric whether it be a single piece of fabric or a fabric run made up of different fabric strips like in the Spider Web Kaleidoscope design. The ruler has a blunt corner which is placed at the top of the fabric strip with the corresponding line at the bottom for the finished size of the block.

cut main shape of block here with ruler

Area of ruler to cut the main shape of the block

For example this block is going to be 8″ finished so the 8″ line is aligned with the bottom edge of the fabric strip. The blunt end then is aligned with the top edge. Cut along each diagonal side of the ruler to cut the first piece.

ruler placed for first cut of main shape

Place ruler for first cut

first triangle cut

First triangle cut

Turn ruler upside down and place on strip of fabric to cut the second triangle. Everything is aligned the same way.

ruler in place ready to cut second triangle

Ruler aligned for second cut

second triangle cut from fabric strip

Second triangle cut

How do you know what width to cut the strip – there are two ways. First of all the measurement is written on each line which makes it very easy to know what width to cut the strip. The second method is to line up the 8″ line on the edge of the fabric with the edge being on your right hand side and then line up the long ruler at the blunt corner of the ruler. Make sure it is even along the whole WOF before cutting.

measuring the width of strip to be cut

Measuring strip width with Kaleido ruler

Second Shape

The second shape is the corner triangle. There is no measuring of ⅛″ measurements and with this ruler the corner triangles fit perfectly.

corner triangles cut here

Area of ruler used to cut the corner triangles

Measure the width of the fabric the same way as above but using the opposite 45 degree end of the ruler. Place the line on the edge of the fabric that corresponds with the block size and then place the long ruler at the tip of the ruler. Cut the strip of fabric.

measure width of strip

Align ruler and measure for width of strip

Lay out the strip on the mat and place the same end of the ruler on the strip with the 8″ line on the edge of the fabric and the corner of the ruler will be at the top, the diagonal edge of the ruler will be at the left bottom corner of the strip of fabric.

cut a square with the ruler

Align corner of ruler on the fabric to create a square

Once aligned cut the square and then cut again along the diagonal to create 4 corner triangle pieces.

cut 4 corner triangles

Cut square on diagonal to create 4 triangles

Third Shape

The third shape is a half pie shape or triangle.

cut half triangles in this area

Area of ruler used to cut half triangles

Cut the strips as stated on the ruler for the size of block required. Cut off the selvage. Place the ruler with the blunt corner at the top edge of the strip and the left dashed line along the squared off edge of the fabric. By using the dashed line the ¼″ seam allowance is added in. Cut along the diagonal edge of the ruler.

ruler aligned to cut a half triangle

Cutting a half triangle

To make the next cut place one of the pieces just cut upside down on the strip of fabric with diagonal edges aligned. Place the ruler along the straight edge of the half triangle shape and cut.

ruler aligned to cut next half triangle

Place ruler at edge of shape and cut next piece

several half triangles cut

Half triangles cut

All of these shapes then fit together beautifully as the kaleidoscope block is being made. Having them all cut with the same ruler is fantastic.

Tune in next week to see how to put all of the pieces together. Check out last week’s post all about the Spider Web Kaleidoscope Quilt which I will be teaching at Creativfest this fall – details in the post.

Happy Quilting!

Jen Transparent Signature