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Hex n More Quilting Ruler Review by Pippa

Hello,
When I was offered the chance to play with a Hex N More Quilting Ruler from Minerva Crafts I jumped at it. I mean, why wouldn’t you?  
I don’t tend to go for gadgets but a ruler that helps you cut awkward shapes is going to make life so much easier. No more drawing hexagons to cut out fabric. Then I fell in love with the Jewel shape.
Sooo pretty!
Now, my go to for inspiration is Pinterest to just gauge some ideas. There were loads, so many options to choose from. I kept getting drawn to the Lotus pattern with the prairie braid a close second. I’d not tried either pattern and I felt like a challenge. I’ll say now that if you’re going for anything other than cutting out hexes for epp these shapes aren’t for the beginner. 
Working out how to put the shapes together once cut out is part of the fun for me but it’s not always obvious. I drew out the pattern to help work out how many pieces I’d need and how big I might work.  I’d seen a bag on Sew DIY and fancied a go.  It started as a rectangle so looked the perfect thing to try out some shapes.
I gathered my fabrics and set to work.  I’d use a block width to make the pattern with a 6.5” jewel. The blocks are all set out on the ruler with the measurements on each shape. The joy of this ruler is that you don’t just cut from your fat quarter to garner your shapes, you start out with a strip of the right depth first. 
I cut a strip of 6.5” and placed the edge of the ruler to the end. First cut is on the right hand side. This makes the start of the jewel, top and bottom.
Next you flip your fabric around to match it to the inside of the ruler making sure you choose the right line. This felt a bit odd at first but once you get going it makes it so easy to cut. You’re now cutting the other side of the jewel. 
You continue until you have enough shapes or, if you get carried away like me, until you run out of fabric.
As long as you’ve kept the top straight on your fabric and keep an eye out for the size you’ve decided on, you can’t go too far wrong. 
The lotus pattern uses just two shapes, the jewel and a triangle. These can also be cut using the ruler. As I’ve said before, the shapes are all labelled with measurements so I used the 2.5” triangle to match my jewel. I cut a 2.5” strip and levelled the bottom and top up. Cutting both sides of the triangle and flipping the fabric to dovetail the shapes. Check that you fabric pattern allows you to do this or you could end up with it upside down on half of your pieces. 
I laid it all out to play with the colours and pattern. 
Then I played around with it and worked out the best way to put it all together.  The leaflet that comes with the ruler gives you an idea of how to put it together but only to create some basic shapes. I flipped them back and forth a few times until I’d got the gist and started to put it together. I was essentially working in triangles. 
Once it all started to come together it was quite quick to come to shape and pattern. I like to keep everything laid out on the table so that I can keep track of which bit I’m doing, pressing the seams to one side as I go.
The half shapes made it interesting as I got confused more than once on which way up the triangles were going and on which side but having it all set out helped me see where I’d gone wrong.
The pattern for the bag doesn’t really use a lining but I didn’t want to see the multitude of seams so cut a lining from one of the fabrics the same size as the patched piece and worked out where it would meet. I stitched up the two pieces at the ends and put the sides together leaving a gap in the seam so I could turn it out.  Fabulous, I’d have a new bag ready for the festival of quilts.
Err, no.  My brain couldn’t cope with the pattern not matching up too well. I loved the shape of the bag but I couldn’t live with it. Hello unpick.
I had just enough of the fabric to extend the sides to make an ordinary tote bag shape so I slashed down both sides and across the top of both front and lining to make them wider.
It's not what I'd planned but, hey ho. 
It’s not worked out so bad and now I’ve got another book bag/shopping bag. Much prettier to pull out when you’re in need.
All in all I liked the ruler. Once you get the hang of it you can totally become a hex n more ninja, cutting loads of perfectly accurate shapes. Makes it so much easier to match up when they’re all the same size. 
Thanks for reading,
Pippa

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