Friday, September 19, 2014

EZ Dresden Ruler X Block Tutorial aka Hummingbird Block

Earlier today I posted a beautiful scrappy quilt designed and made by Squares and Triangles.  Below is the photo of that quilt.

She created this quilt using the EZ Dresden Ruler and a paper piecing method.   I will demonstrate a method different from hers to create your own scrappy quilt!  You will of course need The EZ Dresden Ruler shown below.

I am using two Over the Rainbow Batik Charm Packs by Moda from the fabulous 

I have made some little video clips to demonstrate how to do this. Sophie, our kitty, decided she needed to get in the picture so there is a bit of a break between one and two, but I think you will pick it right up.

If you are making a scrappy quilt, gather up your bits and cut yourself some 5" squares.  Light in one pile and medium and darks in another.  You will need four of your light 5 inch charms and four of your medium or dark 5 inch charms.  This will make 2 blocks that will measure 8.5" when complete and will finish in your quilt top at 8".


1.  Draw a line with a permanent marker down the center of your ruler, this will help line things up perfectly.  

2.  To keep it from sliding around, I use paper crafting adhesive micro dots on the bottom of my ruler .  It's very important to line your ruler up properly and not allow it to slip as you cut your fabric. There are lots of adhesive micro dots out there, you probably have some in your crafting supplies.  I like the micro dots because they are not overly sticky and yet they do the trick.  You can see a sample of the dot size on this photo below.  You may have another solution that works for you and that is fine.  The goal is to make sure your ruler does not slip.

3.  Do not stack and cut more than 4 charms at a time.  You will lose your accuracy if things are forced or are sliding around.  Be sure if you are cutting 4 pieces that you take the time to line them up carefully.  A little attention to detail makes for easy piecing later.

To square up your blocks you will lay your block as shown below, line your ruler up with the outside squares and trim off the excess with your rotary cutter as shown.  Each block should square up to 4.5".  

Tips for lining up your block:   

Line your ruler on the outside edge of the pinked edge of the charm square. (when you purchase charm squares they often come with a pinked edge which confuses people...cut to the outside edge and when you stitch, use that pinked edge as the point you measure from to get your 1/4" seam allowance.) 

Position your block as shown below and line your diagonal line on your ruler up with the upper right and lower left corners, then trim. Turn your block completely around so that the large end of your wedge piece is now in the upper left.  Again, line up your square on the diagonal, check to make sure that you have 4.5" showing on your ruler on both the upper left and lower right corner, then trim away the excess.  

Take your time with this process.  Getting a nice squared up block will help you piece things together accurately as you go along.   Chain piece all your blocks at one time, one side, then press that seam open and proceed to chain piece all your blocks on the other side, again press them all open at the same time.  Then, take your blocks, get comfortable, turn on the tv, some music or a quilting video from Youtube and get all your blocks trimmed.  Then you will be ready to stitch them together without interruption.  Quick as a wink you will have your quilt top finished!  

There is very little waste with these blocks, you can see the tiny bit of trimmings below. 

Now sew the top two blocks together and the bottom two blocks together and then press them with the seam going in opposite directions.  Now stitch your top two blocks to the bottom two blocks and press your seam open.  Should look like below.

I am playing on the design wall with some blocks today...Love the Fall Harvest feel of these fabrics.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  We are giving away the EZ Dresden Ruler this month as our Monthly Quilt Tool giveaway.  Just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page at to be entered into the drawing.  There is nothing to purchase.


  1. Thank you for the tutorial..I enjoyed watching your instructions for a very effective block

  2. I like that block, if I can't win that ruler, I will have to buy it! Follow you on FB @ Humming Bird.

  3. Great tutorial. I will need to win the ruler or I will have to buy it but this will go on my Winter list of to do projects.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. This is a cute block.

  5. I must get myself an EZ Dresden Ruler! Your tutorials are awesome!

  6. Great tutorial!! Always like hummingbird block. Have to give it a try