I love quilts that use wedges. Dresden Plates and Wheels can be transformed into all sorts of interesting things: long curvy lines to half-circles and corner blocks. Michelle Muska’s “A quilt for Baby Ida” used wedge in the Spring Issue.
While our typical grid rulers can cut wedges with some fancy handling, it is often easiest (and quickest!) to use a ruler designed specifically cutting wedge shapes. Like traditional rulers meant for rotary cutting, these rulers are made using a hard acrylic to guide the edge of the blade. The trick is to make certain that you choose the correct size: wedge rulers are classified according to the number of degrees of a circle they contain from seam line to seam line.
When a wedge is shown as 10°, that means it contains ten total degrees of the circle. A circle has 360°, so if you were to cut wedges for a complete circle, you would need to cut 36 wedges to create a complete 360° circle. Let’s say you have a different size of wedge. To find out how many wedges fit into a circle, divide the total number of degrees in a circle (360°) by the number of degrees on the wedge. With a 9° ruler, you would need to cut 40 wedges to complete a circle, and the sizes of each would be slightly smaller than with the 10° wedge.
Many wedges on the market these days are 9° or 10°, but there is a cool little tool called a “Wedge-it!”, which looks an awful lot like the compasses we used at school for geometry class. This wedge has degrees from 5° to 65° marked at the central point, and you simply find the angle you want, tighten the screw, and mark your wedges. This does not have a built-in seam allowance as the other two do, so be sure to mark that in before you cut!
If you’re interested in designing wedge quilts in EQ7, you might also like to follow this link to our web extra from September 2013! There’s a great tutorial on designing all sorts of great wedge quilts there by Heidi Kory!!