Pterodactyl Bait

What do you do when you have an intimidating quilting task in front of you? Do you dive right in and tackle it like you are the boss of that big, bad task?

Or are you like me? You play dead. You avoid. You dust (you know it’s bad when I start dusting instead of quilting). You sort your leaders and enders by color. Etc. Etc.

Or you maybe you start cutting out a new project?

That would be me this weekend — happily watching TV from my kitchen island, and starting a new project as I reveled in my new French General Petite Trip kit and ignored the pterodactyl that is sitting mockingly and menacingly on my sewing machine. (Oh sure that little Spring Chicken looks all innocent and sweet, but when it comes to quilting her, the giant talons come out in a quite intimidating fashion.)

Besides the presence of that looming bird, I justified my petite detour because I was excited to try out a new tool that Cindy snagged for me at Joann. I’ve been a bit frustrated with the preciseness of my cutting skills. It seems that my ruler always slips when I’m at the top of a WOF strip. At a lake house quilt retreat several winters ago I noticed that the fabulous Ms. G, my long arm quilter, had a handled gizmo for her big ruler. Her quilts are always perfect, so I thought that I’d find a similar tool one day and make it mine, but none of my local fabric stores carry such a thing.

I mentioned my slippage frustration to Cindy and she surprised me with a Dritz Ruler Grip when she came to New York for a visit two weeks ago.


Dritz Suction Cup Ruler Grip from Joann.

Now Cindy does not use such a gizmo. She is married to a thrifty Hoosier, so she thriftily uses homemade, removable, non-skid shelf liner pads on her ruler and displays excellent results with same. I, however, am entranced with the handle aspect of this tool. It just makes it easier to grab your ruler and keep cutting and cutting and cutting. I can lean on that handle and use my body weight to keep everything in place.

I can already see that my cutting accuracy has improved by using the Dritz grip; I’m less frustrated, and I’m not wasting fabric. My French General kit is completely made of 2″ squares. I should have all of the <accurately cut> pieces ready for sewing with another hour or two of ruler/grip and rotary cutter work.


The kit includes loads of extra fabric. Because of my new grip handle, I hope to save it for another project. 

Meanwhile the pterodactyl that is draped over my machine is calling my name.