Wedge Quilts and some Rulers to Make Them

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.

A Quilt for Baby Ida Styled

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.

Dresden-ruler-EZ-Simplicity
an EZ Quilting Dresden ruler designed by Darlene Zimmerman for Simplicity.

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.

Marlene Doheny's ruler is really versatile because it is so long. Many option here and you can see how it is slightly less wide at 9
Marilyn Doheny’s ruler is really versatile because it is so long. Many option here and you can see how it is slightly less wide at 9

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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!

The Wedge-It ruler goes from 5° to 65° for drawing out your shapes.
The Wedge-It ruler goes from 5° to 65° for drawing out your shapes.

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!!

a Quilt for Baby Ida

One Response to Wedge Quilts and some Rulers to Make Them

  1. Don, I have been consrdeiing a career change to Emergance Managment and would like to get the perspective of someone who is already in the industry. I have background in Disaster Services as a volunteer for the Red Cross and have started my NIMS certs. Would you be interested on sharing a little bit of your time with me?Current score: 1

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