The Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful. It is an extremely clever invention, and I quickly became enamored of the device and eager to try out not just one, but many of the patterns put out by the compnay.
My frank and honest review follows.
I truly enjoyed doing the curved piecing. It was a gentle curve, and I had few issues with getting a nice seam. The patterns are innovative and have produced very beautiful results for a lot of people who have tried them out. The tutorials on the Sew Kind of Wonderful website are very instructional and give you a great look at how to go about the curved piecing technique.
My first trial with the ruler was a little table topper my son in law asked me to make for my grand daughter's play table.
No particualar issues with this little project. I uesed some dreamy 3 SIsters pinks and make six blocks for the table topper. Nothing really had to match up precisely, and the six blocks sewed together with no problems and gave me just what I had hoped for. It sort of looks like lips, doesn't it?
The next, more serious project was Metro Hoops, a pattern that requires very precise piecing indeed.
I had major issues with things not lining up properly, due to my failures at following the squaring up instructions, which I found confusing and incomplete. A couple of readers sent me some tips which made all the difference, and the resulting quilt top (shown at the top of this post) ended up being a success, and one of my favorite efforts to date.
I was so frustrated during the construction of Metro Hoops, I decided to back track and try one of Sew Kind Of Wonderful's easier patterns where matching up seam lines precisely wasn't such an issue. I took a break and started up a fresh new project. Next up was Urban Winter, a curved piecing pattern where things didn't need to line up precisely. It went together fast, was fun to piece, and caused me no cursing or hair pulling. A pretty project was the result and one that I can have custom quilted and give to anyone with pride.
I went back to Metro Hoops, with my new courage and instructions from fellow quilters and finally achieved perfect seam abuttments.
Now I was cooking with gas and things were lining up great. Thank you to my blog readers (especially Liz and Dawn) for your savvy and constructive advice. This was a problem child project that was totally saved. I truly do love the resulting quilt top and will have it custom quilted and enjoy it for many years. And I will try very hard not to think of the wasted fabric, mis-cuts and botched blocks. Luckily I had plenty of fabric to sacrifice to this experiment.
Last up was a pattern called Metro Lattice, which my friend Thelma Cupcake made first. She altered the pattern and left out the lattice, so we started referring to the project as Metro Hold the Lattice. This quilt top resulted in a stunning success for Thelma, and a botched mess for me. She seemed to grasp perfectly how to square up the blocks and get the sharp points to line up perfectly. I left out some crucial measurement in the squaring up process and ended up with some seam intersections that looked like this:
I have to say, this was not the fault of the pattern. I altered it, and left out the lattice, the inclusion of which would have forgiven the imprecise lining up of block points. Thelma figured out the magic ruler line up points that had all the block points perfectly squared, but that process remained a mystery to me. Please note, this was not the fault of the pattern, but of me making a major change to the pattern that I seemed to be unequal to figuring out. Any way, my quilt top is a big mess, with huge fat, needle breaking seams, and points that are way off. A disaster.
So in summary, here's the deal. In my opinion. The ruler is fun to work with. If you follow the instructions and are intuitive where the instructions fail to give complete information (mainly in the squaring up process) you will have an amazing result that you will love. If you have trouble following complex directions and intuiting things that are not specificically directed, you will waste fabric, throw away blocks, and be supremely frustrated. And for heaven's sake, don't alter the pattern, unless you are a genius like Thelma Cupcake.
I do not mean to be harsh. That was my experience. I loved using the ruler, want to use it again, but am very wary of the fabric waste involved and the frustration factor I experienced. The instructions for curved piecing are great, the instructions for lining up the ruler for cutting block sections are good, but the instructions for squaring up the blocks just did not sink in for me.
My advice---If you can, take a class. I think if I had had someone right there in the room with me, showing me how to line up the ruler ("on or close to the 4 inch mark on your ruler"-- seriously?) it could have made a world of difference in the success of my results using these patterns and the Quick Curve Ruler.
This ruler is getting a lot of press right now, and the successful finished projects are awesome. If someone at your local quilt shop is offering a class, do take it. You will be much happier having an experienced Quick Curve Ruler user showing you the ropes than tackling the patterns on your own as I did.
Hope this review is helpful.