Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another Tools Tuesday . . . .

So for those of you stopping by for the first time, one of my summer goals was to clean out my tools, templates, and rulers drawer; and then, any item in the drawer that I didn't know how to use would not go back into the drawer until I determined how to use it or decided if I would use it. 

This week's tool is the Petal Shapes ruler by Darlene Zimmerman for EZ Quilting

I don't remember why I bought this ruler, I don't remember ever wanting or needing to make petal shapes, although with a blog name of Cupcakes n Daisies maybe I just had daisies on my mind when I bought it, more likely, I thought I could use it to fashion some sort of ice cream cone appliqué project.

As with my other rulers, I found little guidance online when it came to instructions for using this ruler or or finding any projects that required this ruler.  The Petal Shapes ruler did come with this 6 page pamphlet that was luckily still attached to the front of the ruler.

According to the chart provided, I can make flowers ranging in size from 1 inch to 9 inches, sounds pretty good to me!

  I decided to make a 5 inch flower block.

The instructions were few but good enough.  Cut wedges first, 

then cut  the curve.  

I struggled a little here, the lines on the side of the curve are supposed to help you center the wedge.

Each one of my cuts was a little different, even though I thought I lined up each wedge the same.

No worries, I just stacked them up and trimmed them all.

Then I sewed them together, easy peasy.

And this is what I got!!!

Hmmmm, something's not quilt right with this flower, is it me or the ruler?

This is the picture on the front of the directions, and sort of what I was expecting.  It must be me, who would sell a petal ruler that doesn't yield petals?

So I decided to give it another try.

I looked at the directions again and decided I didn't cut the curve quite right.

This should do it!

My first attempt is on the left, the second on the right!

Still doesn't look like a flower to me!

So I tired one more time, going for the 9 inch size, so I wouldn't have to wonder how to line up the wedge when I cut the curve.  And I did get a petal shape.

So I'm curious about this Petal Shapes ruler, it does make an OK 9 inch flower but what about the other sizes listed on the chart, didn't anyone test the other shapes, is it me or is it the ruler?

As with all my Tools Tuesday posts, be sure to add any experience you've had with the Petal Shapes ruler, this one is a mystery to me, and probably not going back into the tools drawer!

A friend suggested I call these posts "Terrible Tools Tuesday", I think I'm starting to agree!

Added Later:  I contacted Darlene Zimmerman for some help with this ruler.  The ruler will make a wonderful large flower but the curved top of the template does not work for smaller flower petals, not enough curve.  This ruler does make traditional dresden plate blocks, just ignore the curve.  So I'm relieved to hear it wasn't me, it was the template.  This ruler is also sold to folks who do scrapbooks and has some other uses, it wasn't made just for quilters.

Darlene responded quickly and pleasantly to my note and asked me to pass along that more free patterns and how-to videos are going to be added to the Simplicity.com site soon for her rulers. That will be great!


  1. I'm thinking Quality Assurance took a vacation when this tool was created. I knew this one was not going to work when you first aligned it to make the curve. It was just too wide. I like the terrible tools Tuesday name on this one, because this tool takes the cake! Wow! Thanks for the test drive. If I was ever inclined to buy a petal ruler (which I really can't see in my future), I'll avoid this one.

  2. Oh dear Thelma! Maybe one of your readers (not me!) would like to have this ruler to make something creative...not a flower!!!

  3. it's the size of the petals - the smaller ones don't use the entire curve of the ruler. I agree, terrible tool! It should only suggest sizes that actually MAKE a flower!

  4. Once again, thank-you for all the work you're putting into testing these tools so the rest of us can be well informed. Quilt tool makers should really send their products out to people like you to be tested before they market them.

  5. Love reading about your tools (and some of mine that are still in the drawer). Nice to have an objective review, and not a sales pitch, showing wonderful things that can't easily be made. Thanks for your work!

  6. this really has nothing to do with tool but i have 2 layer cakes and 1 jelly roll (serenade kate spain )i got from the green fairy and now i dont know what to make with them thought about an extra large bounce but i never come out right when changing sizes of patterns help!anyone have a suggestion thanks

  7. I've been quilting so long that when I see these tools for patterns we use to cut from paper or mylar templates, it makes me think how far we've come to entice new quilters. Thank you for sharing your experience. XOXO

  8. Are you supposed to start sewing further down on the petal and then press under the top? When I look at the white "flower" it looks like you don't sew to the bottom and then there is a circle in the middle. I haven't used this template and I haven't seen the full instructions, but I have taken a class with Darlene and I do know she is really good about her instructions, they are simple, but seem to work if you follow them to the T.

  9. I have a template almost like that but I use it for Dresden Plate petals. Have fun figuring it out...

  10. I have a template almost like that but I use it for Dresden Plate petals. Have fun figuring it out...

  11. "Terrible Tools Tuesday" made me laugh!

  12. thank you Thelma for taking the time to do this for us. We all have these "wonderful" rulers/tools. Maybe we saw them at a demo, maybe they were on sale and we thought we would use it someday. For whatever reason, we have a pile of them (and we all do!) that we don't use. Thank you for sharing your demos. This really helps all of us. If I have this one at home, it's history!

  13. This is going to drive me crazy because I don't have the ruler to figure it out. I think Kristen is on the right track. Does the directions say anything about sewing it depending on the size. You could email Darlene.

  14. I have too say that I also do not own this ruler, however, I think when you sew the petals, it is more like making a Dresden Plate blade. Are you sure you don't sew it by folding the petal piece in half, sew the top curve, then open it back up and press open the petal blade? Karen in PA

  15. I don't have this ruler but I'm thinking if you lined up one edge (rather than centering it), the curve of the petal might be deep enough to actually look like a petal. Love your blog and your sense of humor!

  16. I agree with Miss Jean. Ask Darlene. I am sure she would help you figure it out. =)

    Your post made me laugh. =)

  17. You shouldn't have to ask the designer for help though to make it work. On the face of it, terrible tool.


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