Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Do I Need a Bloc Loc HST Ruler? And Which One(s) Should I Get? ENABLE ME!!

Attention, Fellow Quilters!  I made it all the way through Lent without buying any new fabric, thread, notions, or quilting gadgets.  I am just itching to try something new.  Please help me shop for Nifty New Gadget Goodies!


Bloc Loc Half Square Triangles Set 1, Six Sizes, photo from Nancy's Notions
Apparently I am the last quilter on the planet to try the Bloc Loc Half Square Triangle rulers that Arna recommended in response to yesterday's post.  Is it too good to be true?  Do these magical rulers with a diagonal groove that "locks" into the seamline of an oversized HST (half square triangle) unit REALLY make it super easy to create zillions of perfect half square triangle units without seam ripping or swearing?  


Channel On Ruler Bottom "Locks" Onto Seamline
It sounds like a genius gadget that a maniacal perfectionist such as myself ought to have in her studio, but when I went armchair shopping for this tool I was overwhelmed and kind of confused by the options.  I mean, I understand that acrylic specialty rulers can be spendy, but what I don't get is why there are so many different sizes of the bloc loc half square triangle or why they would be sold in sets of varying sizes.  I mean, can't you just buy the 5.5" or 6.5" HST ruler and use that ruler to just as easily trim any HST that is less than or equal to the size of that one ruler?  Why would anyone need a 1.5" HST ruler if they already had the 3.5" HST ruler?  Am I missing something here?


I need your help, O Ladies And Gentlemen of the Internet!  Do you own any of these Bloc Loc rulers, and if so, which one or ones do you have?  Do you recommend them for me and if so, do I need a whole set of different sizes or can I get away with just one or two of them?


As I am writing this, my second floor air conditioning is throwing a major tantrum and my husband is telling me that we need to replace the whole heating and cooling system for that floor.  Buying new quilting gadgets makes me happy, but replacing furnaces and air conditioners makes me very, very sad...

19 comments:

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I have the little 2.5 in block lock for hst and yes I do use it sometimes but of course I have to be making those little blocks to begin with . I have another and I have never used it!! It is a rectangle size strip set ruler it is 10 x 7 I thought I would have things to use it for but I'm not sure how to use it!! Why did I think I needed it I too have to find a video I guess so I can get my money's worth out of it
hope you do not need a new heat/ac system

Jackie said...

I have the 6.5" one and see no need to buy the smaller sizes. I have one of the flying geese rulers but haven't used it yet!

ytsmom said...

The flying geese rulers are fantastic. You can use a larger size and trim just the top, and then use another ruler to trim to correct size. I bought a set and love it. Yes, you can get a bigger HST size, and trim many sizes. It is nice if you have a couple hundred to trim if you have the exact size. Worth their weight in gold!! IMHO

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

I have the 2.5, 4.5, and 6.5 but I purchased mine as a package deal during a black Friday sale a few years ago. They are awesome though!

the momma said...

Admittedly these rulers are ridiculously expensive, and in theory, yes, you are correct - if you have a larger size you can trim smaller hst too. BUT the real beauty of these rulers is the ease and speed in which you can accurately (and quickly ;-) and easily trim when you have the exact size ruler you need. You plunk it down on your hst, it naturally fits the SA in the groove. Slice, slice with your rotary cutter, turn your rotating mat if you've got one, or change your body angle if you don't, and slice slice again, and you're done.
The downside of them (besides the price) is that your seams must always be pressed to the side.
My son in an engineering student, with access to a laser cutter, so for Christmas I asked him to make me a set that would allow me to press my seams open. He did - and they work pretty well, but the thinner, wider seam doesn't lock quite as nicely as the BlocLoc's side seam.

I think they are nice to have for hst, if you don't have to go into debt for them, and make a lot of hst. I think the flying geese BlocLoc rulers are darn near essential.

SewingZoe said...

Yes, I have Bloc-Loc HST rulers for the most used measurements. They are fantastic. You should try them.

Amy C said...

I love these rulers. I started with just the 6 1/2 with the idea that I could do all sizes, which I did. But later, I ended up buying some of the smaller ones too to save the readjusting of using the 6 1/2 with smaller blocks. Maybe start with the 6 1/2. You can buy others later if you think you can't live without them.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I bought the 6.5" Bloc Lok ruler about 3 years ago and it is, hands down, the best tool I have for making HSTs. I know it's a bit more work but I don't mind making them oversized and trimming them down if it means they are going to be the perfect size. I know Bloc Lok makes all the different sizes, but think about the size HST you generally make. I never make one that is bigger than 6.5" so this size ruler is perfect for me. I don't see the point in having the rulers that are smaller because you're right - you can use that one ruler to trim your blocks all the way down to, what, 1". And the rulers take a real hike in price once they get to the bigger sizes. I am here to totally SUPPORT your decision to add one of these to your sewing room. IMHO, every quilter *needs* a bloc lok!!! :)

Vicki in MN said...

Yes I love mine, I bought the set of 3(2.5, 4.5, 6.5) Not sure I ever used the 6.5 yet. But the 2.5 is the one I use the most. But it depends on what size blocks you tend to make the most.

Gretchen Weaver said...

You are not the only person who doesn't own one, in fact, I've never heard of them before. I'll be waiting to see what you say before shelling out the money. I really doubt I would use it that much and the ruler/trimmer I already use seems to do a fine job. I guess I'm just not a perfectionist.

Karen in Breezy Point said...

Yes, I do love my Bloc Lok ruler! I purchased the 6.5" ruler a few years ago and now feel I can't do without it. If you are like me and make your HST's a little over sized, then you will love using it for squaring up. If you use triangle paper, you don't need it. I like to make a big pile of triangles and them square all of them up along one side, turn the ruler and my pile, and then do all the other side. They turn out so accurate and make putting them into blocks a lot easier. You absolutely do not need more than one ruler. I've used my 6.5" ruler for all sizes of HST's, but I did purchase a 4.5" one to keep in my retreat bin. I do mostly small blocks and like the feel of the smaller ruler a lot, but there's nothing wrong with the larger one either. I don't have any of the flying geese Bloc Loc rulers, but have friends that love them as well.

Lani said...

I love, love, love these rulers and the Studio 180 Design rulers.

I have both the half square triangle, flying geese and a couple others. For the flying geese you do need to purchase the particular size you want to make. I bought a set of half square triangle rulers and found that I didn't really need to buy so many different sizes as you can cut down various sizes with one ruler. I think the 6 1/2" one is the one I grab the most. I can trim down a 1" x 1" with it if you wanted to. I find that trimming the smaller blocks with the larger ruler holds the block down better. I also have the 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" sometimes can rock a little on the seam while trimming. And remember you can't iron your seams open with this ruler. You can with the Studio 180 Design rulers by Deb Tucker, so..... that's why you NEED both!! Lolololo!!

Arna said...

I have all the hst sizes but that’s because I’m an absolute tool junky! You only need the largest hst size that you’ll make. But if you’re going to do flying geese you have to have the correct sizes.

Needled Mom said...

YES!!! You need one. Get the bigger one as it is perfect for the smaller sizes too. I also love the Flying Geese Bloc Locs. They all make life easier and they are worth the cost in the time it saves.

Jill said...

Interesting post. I bought a set, on a whim, at a quilt show after watching a live demo. Have not used them yet as I have not yet come up with the quilt design. The demo was awesome. Yes, they are on the pricey side.

Malinda said...

Try using clear tear-to-fit medical tape (various brands) along the diagonal of a smallish square ruler. The tape is clear enough to see through, but provides a raised edge to push up against your HST’s seam (tape on the opposite side or down side of the seam) and holds the ruler and block steady enough for trimming. I’ve also read at Podunkpretties about making your own flying geese templates from plexiglass and wondered if adding the tape would make them a good alternative to the bloc locs. Next on my list to try!

colleen said...

I don't have the block loc rulers just too pricey for the amount of 1/2 square triangles I make. Although with this tool I might be more willing to make them more and more often.
I have just bought a ruler that you put the line on the stitching line (before you press open so it is still a triangle shape) then trim 2 sides open and press for perfect 1/2 square triangles
I make mistakes on occasion so 2 cuts is better than 4 cuts 2 less changes of slipping or sliding and perhaps less chance of twisting me to do 4 cuts on a square 2 cuts easier on my old body
Of course if money was not a factor I'd buy the size block loc that I think I'd use most and give it a try and I'd buy a turning cutting mat or just a small one to turn so I could cut without twisting my body in weird angles . If it didn't work for me I'd do a give away or drawing so someone else could try it

Caro said...

I habe the 6.5, 4.5 and 2.5 inch set. They are great but knowing what I know now, I would purchase either the 4.5 or 6.5 inch ruler. The 2.5 inch is almost too small to hold in place and trim two sides, then pivot the hst 180 degrees and flip the ruler around to do it again.

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I'm sold on the 6.5 after reading everyone's comments! LOL (I don't like small blocks) Thanks for an informative discussion. :)

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