Hex N More and Sidekick Rulers by Julie Herman
Driven by Michelle Marvig
I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun playing with a ruler! I had heard a lot about the Hex N More ruler, had seen numerous quilt designs on the internet, helped the girls purchase the rulers while on tour, but had not played with the ruler. I am very happy that Two Green Zebras now distributes these rulers in Australia and I finally was able to play with it, and its friend, the Sidekick Ruler.
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Hex N More was designed in 2012 by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts. It is a largish ruler in a jewel shape. It allows you to accurately cut four sizes each of hexagons, half hexagons, jewels and 60° triangles. All of these shapes interact with one another to create endless designs. Basic cutting instructions for the ruler are included in the initial packaging.
To use the ruler, strips are cut at the specified size. However, the ruler is designed to always be used with the print side down. This requires you to trim the ends of the strips to shape, before flipping the strip to cut the actual shape required. Except for the 60° triangle, the strip is flipped after each cut is made.
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This is not an issue, however setting up on a workbench where you can cut from both sides would be advantageous. Or, having the space to turn your mat would also help. Alternatively, simply be careful when handling the strips as the movement of the fabric could adjust the way the strips sit together if cutting multiple strips at once. And, the length of the edge is changed if the degree it is cut varies.
You could also simply flip the ruler upside down for alternate cuts, however this is not shown in the cutting directions. With the current trend of “fussy cutting”, this ruler is harder to use for this technique as it is designed for use with strips. It can be done, but with effort.
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Julie has put a lot of thought into the Hex N More ruler. A very handy inclusion is a chart showing how many of each shape and size can be cut from one strip. This allows you to easily calculate the fabric required for your own original design. She has us trimming off the “dog ears” for the shapes.
The result is that we have flat edges that align effortlessly when we come to piece. Julie has basic piecing instructions in the original packaging and has many quilt patterns that can be purchased to use the Hex N More ruler. If you are into miniature quilts, then the Mini Hex N More might be more your size. It only cuts a 2/2in hexagon, 1/2in half hexagon, 1/2in 60° triangle and a 3/2in jewel. All perfect sizes for those precut fabrics sitting in your stash.
To coordinate with Hex N More, Julie has designed the Sidekick ruler. It is also based on 60° angles and you can cut four sizes of diamonds, triangles and half triangles. This ruler stands alone, or works with the Hex N More to expand the design possibilities.
For the Road Test I made the Rock Candy Table Topper. It used the diamonds and triangles cut from the Sidekick ruler. Very fast to cut, but a little slower to piece. Julie suggests pressing the seams open, which results in no interlocking of seam bulk at the junctions. And the diamonds do not have flat edges at the beginning of the seams.
You need to offset the two angled pieces, however there is a good image in the instructions to demonstrate this technique. Super Sidekick is the latest to now be added to the range. It cuts the same shapes as Sidekick, but in eight sizes, from 1/2in to 8/2in — a much larger scale of pieces! I did not play with this ruler, but it would allow for much larger designs used alone, or with the Hex N More.
Julie supports the products with online photographic tutorials and YouTube videos. These can be found at jaybirdquilts.com. Patterns and rulers can be found in your local quilt store.
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