Set aside your rulers and templates as you work through the project scores in this book. All of the cutting you’ll do for the projects will be by your own hand, guided by expression rather than a ruler. While it may sound scary, it really does make sense when you’re improvising. Here are my top ten reasons to go ruler-free.
1. Precise measurement slows you down and vectors energy away from improvisational flow.
2. Ruler-free supports spontaneity and creative play.
3. Ruler-made lines always communicate the same thing. They never vary in expression.
4. Ruler-free nurtures authenticity in your work since your “signature” will be revealed in the way you cut, just as it is when you draw.
5. Your hand-eye coordination will improve. Let go of the crutch and soon enough you will be able to cut perfectly straight 1″ (2.5 cm) strips without a ruler if you want to.
6. There are more opportunities for happy accidents. Responding to imperfections and/or letting them stand adds beauty and interest to your quilts.
7. Patchwork construction becomes less familiar without the habit of templates to depend on, leading to a deeper understanding of how patterns work.
8. It supports flexible patterning since no two sections will be exactly alike.
9. You become the measure of things and will grow to trust your own authority. Get used to being the ruler instead of depending on one.
10. You won’t need one to make your pieces fit together and lie flat. And you’ll soon learn how!