This is a post I’ve been mulling over for awhile. It seems like there are 2 camps of quilters: those who live and die by BlocLoc Rulers and those who live and die by Triangles on a Roll. For those of you unfamiliar with either of these tools, here’s the basic run down.
Bloc Loc Rulers are a hard acrylic ruler with a groove in the middle. Assuming you press your seams to one side when you sew, the seam will nest in the groove, thus “locking” it in place and making it much easier to trim as compared to a ruler without this groove.
Triangles on a Roll are basically foundation paper piecing papers that are literally in a continuous roll. They come in many, many, many sizes. When you purchase a roll, you want to buy what the finished size of the half square triangle (HST) should be. For instance, if your pattern says you need to cut your squares at 3″, trim to 2.5″ so you end up with a 2″ finished HST, you order the 2″ size. It took some navigating, but always, always check the pattern for the FINISHED size. The Triangles on a Roll work differently than most traditional ways to construct HSTs. First, you cut your fabric in strips at a determined length (as stated on the packaging of the specific size of Triangles on a Roll that you purchase), sew up and down the lines in the direction the arrows point, then you cut them apart, rip off the papers, and trim the dog ears.
I recently made eleventy billion HSTs, one set for a Radiant quilt by April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns, another set for a Ruby quilt by Amber Johnson of Gigi’s Thimble. In making my HSTs, I have used both my 6.5″ Bloc Loc ruler as well as Triangles on a Roll and here are the pro’s and con’s about each product.
Bloc Loc Ruler:
– I can use my 6.5″ ruler for ANY size of HST, as long as it’s smaller than 6.5″. I use it for 1.5″ squares, 2.5″ squares, any HST that needs to be trimmed. I use it on a daily basis. Yes, daily.
– I only have to buy it once. As I said, I can use it for any size. While it is a larger up front investment, it is just that, an investment.
– It can get a little monotonous trimming 600+ HSTs.
– Owning this is a life changing event, in my opinion.
– There are enough steps in the process that it is hard to get bored of one specific job, like getting bored of trimming eleventy billion HSTs with a ruler.
– The sewing of the HSTs together went very fast.
– I’m not entirely sure it saved me loads of time from just trimming them HSTs with a ruler, however there was enough variety that I didn’t want to put my quilt away and never look at it again (sound familiar to anyone??)
In the end, I do believe I will continue to use both products, the Bloc Loc ruler as my daily go-to tool for smaller projects and the Triangles on a Roll for larger-scale projects with a LOT of half square triangles involved.
* This is not a sponsored post, just my opinions on two products I have used. The link above to Amazon is an affiliate link.
2 thoughts on “Bloc Loc Ruler vs. Triangles on a Roll”
thank you for your comparison. No one really talks about how to adjust your pattern cutting directions to use these products though. If a pattern has you cut tons os squares the exact size to make the half square triangles say in a kit…..how do you make the change to creating larger pieces to trim down? Won’t you run out of fabric? Are they only good when you have extra fabric then what is required in a pattern? thank you!
The triangle papers have specific instructions on how to cut the background fabric, etc to make it work for them. You don’t cut them into individual squares, but instead larger chunks based on how many you need. It takes a bit of math, but you can figure out yardage and make sure it’s the same as what your quilt pattern says. It should be pretty close. If I am using a BlocLoc, I just make sure that my HSTs are a tiny bit bigger than required. Some patterns add in extra waste space knowing people like to trim and others don’t. Generally when I see one that has a 3/8 or 7/8″ end measurement, I round up to 1/2 or the next 1″ up and that gives me enough space to trim. I hope that makes sense.