Who doesn’t love a new toy? Especially a sewing one! I was thrilled to be asked to test and review the June Tailor Inc Twist ’n Stitch Pinwheel Ruler. I’ll admit when looking at the pictures I didn’t recognise the pattern as a pinwheel as I usually found pinwheels to use half square triangles so you may know it as a whirlygig.
The ruler comes with very straightforward instructions and there is a very helpful video (found here) that shows how easily it works. For my first attempt I just pulled a few matching pieces from my stash and got to work. I cut a bunch of 5” squares from 3 different fabrics and sewed them into a grid adding borders as per the instructions.
Now for the ruler, placing it onto the sewn squares, I lined up the marked X with the seams and used the 3.5” guide to make the first cuts. It was a little tricky to get the rotary blade into the template initially but this got easier with use. Once the first two cuts were made, the ruler is moved through 90 degrees and the second cuts are made giving a perfectly cut 3.5” square.
Now with the squares cut, you do have to keep them in order so that you can sew them back together with the right colours lining up against each other.
I did find it worked best to line the ruler up for the first cuts and keep it the same way moving across the row and then taking a second pass through with the ruler turned through 90 degrees, lifting each square as it was cut. It just seemed a bit more efficient that way but that is just personal choice.
Once you have cut all the squares out and sewn them back together the pattern really quickly comes together, although as with any similar pattern when cutting and re-sewing you do loose considerable size as you can see in the above right picture.
The ruler has slots to cut squares in 5 different sizes from 3.5” all the way up to 10.5” so it would be great for lots of different fabric prints, both large and small.
Overall I really liked using the ruler. The instructions are clear, and the ruler itself feels thick enough that it is not flimsy but not too thick that putting the blade into the slots takes too much effort. After a few cuts, I did get an odd squeak from the blade in the slots but that is unlikely to bother anyone enough that it would stop you using the ruler. The instructions also cover all the quilting maths, with details on how many squares and border strips to cut to achieve a finished quilt from craft (33”x42”) all the way up to Queen (87”x105”) and also lists required fabric yardage.
The video certainly worth watching just to see the process and at only 5 mins won’t hold you up too long. It also has a few helpful tips for nine patch blocks and a pinwheel/whirlygig borders strip.
I haven’t yet decided what to do with this finished piece. It may become a table centre or I might make 3 more the same and put them together to make a nice size lap quilt.
Looking online I’ve found the ruler retails at anywhere from £19.99 up to £35 which is quite a big variance so its worth shopping around to find one at the right price. I think if the pattern is one you love and are likely to repeat the Twist ’n Stitch ruler is a really handy piece to add to your sewing kit.
I am now planning to make my own whirlygig quilt and am hoping to use several of the varying sizes all in the one piece. I’ll let you know how I get on!