The Strip Tube Ruler.. My favorite ruler ever!

National Sewing Month 2013

Daniela StoutHello!  My name is Daniela Stout and I am thrilled to be part of this month long cutting event with Moda. I own Cozy Quilt Shop (which is outside San Diego, CA) and Cozy Quilt Designs (a pattern, book and ruler publishing company.) And I love strips! Today I want to show you the most brilliantly simple invention that makes quick work of strips, turning them into gorgeous blocks in no time at all.

We call it the Strip Tube Ruler and my mom made me do it.

Quick sidebar: It’s true… my mom made me do this. When we started writing patterns for 2½” strips we used this tube technique with a square up ruler. Then one day my mom (and then primary sample maker) said we should create a ruler to make it easier. Naturally, I ignored her. (Just like your kid, huh?) But then a customer said the same thing! Then my husband made us a prototype, found a company here in the States to make it, and a best-selling item was born.

And if you don’t mind a shameless plug.. this mom of mine is Georgette Dell’Orco and she is way talented in her own right, creating some of our best-selling patterns. She even digitizes quilting patterns for the terrific computerized quilting machines out there. Check her out at

Now.. back to the ruler. How does it work, you ask? It’s easy.. .and sooo versatile!  Today, I am going to quickly show you just one way to use it.

First. Sew two 2½” print strips together (a “print strip” is a strip from a bundle like a Jelly Roll). Press the seam in one direction. Next sew a print strip to a 2½” background strip to make another set. Again, press in one direction, preferably to the dark.

Place the two sets right sides together and sew a tube by stitching a ¼” seam on the top and a ¼” seam on the bottom. A tube? Yes. Trust the process. 🙂

Place the 5½” line of the Strip Tube Ruler on the bottom STITCHING line. Cut up and down to cut out a triangle.

Now pull the triangle away from your tube and open to reveal a diagonally pieced square that measures 5½” square. BRILLIANT!

Next time you cut, place the ruler on the top stitching line (make fresh cuts) to reveal another triangle that opens to a perfect 5½” square! 
You see how this goes… continue down your strip to cut out a bunch of triangles that open to perfect squares… making fresh cuts, now.
Notice the fabrics are the same but in different placements? Sort them into two piles as pictured.
Arrange your fabrics as you desire and sew the four blocks together. Below is my very favorite block (which I regretfully named the Daniela Block. Why did I do that again?)
Now… let’s see how it looks when you put 40 strips, some background and the tube technique all together using this technique.

Do you love it?  Do you want the pattern? Well! I invite you to subscribe to my eNewsletter and you can have this pattern I call Strip It Tube It for FREE!  Click here to subscribe.
So in this sample we used the 4½” measurement, but The Strip Tube Ruler goes up to 9½”… so you can just imagine the possibilities are endless.
And for more ideas check out these other patterns by Cozy Quilt Designs that use the tube technique with 2½” strips.




Parallel Universe
Parallel Universe

Lotus Blossom
Lotus Blossom

Paradise Found





Need more inspiration? Come visit our Strip Tubing feature page and meet the baby brother, Strip Tube Junior.
Now if you are still reading this, you get bonus information! On our Strip Tubing feature page is a link to “The Chart”… this handy pdf will tell you how you can use this technique to cut out regular half square triangles!! Sweet stuff. And if you want to make your own designs, it will tell you what size tube to make!
So hey, one more thing… if you like videos, visit our YouTube Channel to see me in action. I debut a Strip Pattern a month… And many of them use the tube technique!
So that’s me and the Strip Tube technique. Hope you love it as much as I do…
I will be giving away one of these wonderful rulers to one lucky winner! To enter please leave a comment telling me your favorite Cozy Quilt Designs pattern. Feel free to use one I mentioned or pictured in this post or maybe you even have a favorite in your own library.

You will have until September 30th (That’s TODAY!) at midnight to comment. All winners will be randomly selected and announced on Moda…The Cutting Table Blog on October 2nd.

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276 thoughts on “The Strip Tube Ruler.. My favorite ruler ever!

  1. I have always liked the Tradewinds patterns but I think my new favorite has to be Timber! So cute! Thanks for the giveaway. Just a note – I signed up for your newsletter and the free pattern was Beachcomber, not the strip it tube it pattern.

  2. My favorite Cozy Quilt Designs pattern is Intertwined. I’ve been interested in the Strip Tube Ruler for some time but didn’t realize how many pattern options there were. Can’t wait to try it out!

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial – I have a strip ruler in my sewing room just waiting to be put to work! Easy piecing — that’s Me !! I just love Parallel Universe… Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Karen on Keuka

  4. What a COOL process and nifty tool. I love all the quilts, but Tradewinds really stands out as one I’d love to try and have hanging on my wall. Glad I found your blog.

  5. What a fantastic ruler! I had heard about it but never seen it in action! I like the pattern Timber and have signed up for your newsletter – thanks for the tutorial.

  6. This is just incredible!! Thanks for sharing this post and the giveaway too. I really like the 1 Fish 2 Fish design.

  7. wow…LOVE that ruler. The more I read, the better I liked it. I like when such a simple concept gives you such AWESOME blocks.
    My favorite was the MULTIFACETED.
    Will you have a booth in Houston during the quilt show?

  8. I really like the Tradewinds, also Timbers. Oh, how I would love to add this to my collection, would be perfect for what I do. Thank you for the offer.

  9. Ooooh, I love the Daniela block. I think it’a a must try. Thank you for your technique! Just in case I don’t win, 😉 can I uses a squaring up ruler and get the same results?

    Thank you for the chance!

  10. I love the Festivities quilt, It’s got some movement goin on!!! Thank you for the bonus of The Chart!!!! I sure hope I win this awesome ruler. You are a genius!! I have never heard of the Tube technique before. If I don’t win this ruler, I am gonna have to go buy one!!! 🙂

  11. Hi: I have been getting the newsletter from Danielle for forever and I love to read it each week. I have watched some of the videos, have some of her patterns but not the ruler. I would love one! Thanks for the chance.

  12. Fantastic!!
    My 10 year old daughter and I have been looking at strip piecing ideas for her to begin her patchwork and quilting journey. THIS is just perfect for her and to win this for her would be just awesome!! thank you for the opportunity.

  13. Right now Tradewinds is my favorite, but I imagine the favorite will change depending on the mood I am in each day since they are all great. I’m glad your mom made you do it…and that you and your husband listened! I like this!

  14. I have Paper Lanterns which makes a lovely quilt in Japanese fabrics – that is my favourite pattern.

    I’m glad your mum made you make the ruler.

  15. Sure wished I had one a couple of months ago as I made a quilt like this with a square ruler and messed up on a couple of cuts. And all the photos you showed looks like I have another quilt or two to add to the want-to-make list

  16. I am new to your designs but I really like the “Daniela” block – it looks like spools of thread! I’d love to win this ruler and use up some of my strips!!

  17. Very clever! Love Tradewinds and Multifaceted. I own several of your patterns. Yesterday I pulled out all of my Christmas fabric which meant moving a bunch of stuff away from in front of the cabinet…now I can’t reach my patterns so I can’t tell you the names! Does anyone else play the sliding boxes game in their sewing room? I’d love to try this technique. Thanks for the chance to win this fun ruler.

  18. I love all the patterns. I helped my mom create one of these quilts out of scraps. She has dementia and it was an easy step by step process for her.

  19. All of the patterns are beautiful! The Parallel Universe is my favorite, it’s out of this world! The rulers are great. They will make a tedious job so much easier. Thanks for being so talented!

  20. So many possibilities for a favorite! How about X-Factor. I enjoy your videos…they make me wish I lived near San Diego! It looks like you have a lot of fun! Keep up the great work!

  21. Lotus Blossom is my favorite but they are all very pretty so it was hard to choose just one. Thank You for the chance to win this ruler and for designing tools that make the art of making quilts easier. The easier it is the more fun it is.

  22. What a great post with very good information. Thank you so much. In looking at the patterns shown here in the post, I really LOVE “Paradise Found” a lot. That would definitely be my favorite.

    The first time I had heard of the Strip Tube is on Connie’s blog. She does quite a few beautiful quilt projects using the Strip Tube. I think my favorite of hers is Neopolitan Dreamin. It’s such a beautiful quilt and layout. She does a great job showing how to create quilts and projects too using the Strip Tube.

  23. I can see this is a new must have for my studio. I have 20 grandchildren to make quilts for and am not even half way through and I love all these patterns. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win.

  24. L love the pattern Tropics because of it’s bright, vibrant colors. We’re starting a rainy fall here and am already missing the warm weather. Your ruler is incredible!

  25. Well, this was all new to me, but I am majorly intrigued! I really loved the Trade Winds quilt shown in the email. I am going to check out some of the videos. I just love new and easy techniques! Thanks for the chance to win AND the great new info!

  26. I can’t believe that the Strip Tube ruler makes all those beautiful patterns….it is so versitle! I really like Tradewinds and Festivities. Thank you for sharing! anglanouette at gmail dot com

  27. This is brilliant! My favorite is the “Parallel Universe” pattern. And as a side note, I used to live in Santee and visited you when you first started out! Nice to know that you’ve grown and flourished!

  28. Hi! I just love Lotus Blossom and Tropics! I couldn’t choose just one. I would love to try out your ruler. It looks like a real time saver and it makes interesting designs! Two things that I really like!

  29. Oh, so you’re the one…I went to your website and notice that I do indeed have many of your patterns. Yes, I’m getting old or I can get away with saying its that my pattern stash is as huge as my fabric stash. I do like “Up Square Down Square”.

  30. Lotus Blossom is my favorite. I can just see it as the quilt in my guest room. Also, if I win, this would be a perfect project to take on retreat which is coming up fast .

  31. I’ve never heard of the tube technique before. Fun ruler! I really like the Parallel Universe pattern that you highlighted in your post.

  32. I love this ruler and the technique will be easy to follow and I love timber pattern. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to win one, so excited to make one of these quilts. Thank you again

  33. I love all of your patterns and I have been wanting to try this ruler …would be so fun to win it!!!! I did choose Multifaceted pattern….really like that one!Fingers crossed!

  34. Really love Tradewinds. I do own this ruler. So if I won would give to Barb H. a new quilter and my daughter’s mother in law. Great tutorials. Cozy is my favorite quilting shop.

  35. Transitions is so beautiful, I would love to make one. I have never seen this ruler before, sounds interesting. Thanks for this opportunity.

  36. Transitions is my favorite. Thank you for a great tutorial, participating in Moda’s blog and a chance to win a this ruler. What a great birthday (this week) present this could make!13

  37. Several of them catch my eye, but I would probably choose Festivities. I can see it in several different fabric collections. Thank you for the giveaway and the opportunity to try this ruler.

  38. It put me as unknown, eventhough I signed in with my Google account.
    I said, ” Transitions catches my eye the most. I would love to try this ruler!” Cyndee Davis

  39. This is the first I’ve seen the ruler and I’m amazed at all the beautiful patterns that can be made using it. Now, to pick “just one” 🙂 …..I guess I would start with Multifaceted. (But I love them all) :)))

  40. My favorite patterns are Star Crossed and Parallel Universe patterns. This ruler has been on my wish list, since I watched one being used at our quilt retreat, thanks for the chance to win one!

  41. It would be so much easier to say which patterns I don’t like. None! Love your choices of colors too. I would really like to make Intertwined. Thanks.

  42. I did subscribe to your newsletter, and I thank you for a free pattern but it is not The Strip It Tube It pattern. How do we get that pattern? Thanks for a great tutorial

  43. It’s difficult to pick just one, they are all so beautiful. I have narrowed it down to three: Intertwined, Lotus Blossom, and Paradise Found. Thanks for the chance to win!

  44. Thank you so much for sharing this easy to use idea. On my way to the “room” now to use mine. Not sure how long I have had it but I think it was received as a gift for my May Birthday!! I really need to act quicker. Hopefully my name will be drawn and the USPS will not be as slow as I am in getting it to me!!

  45. Daniela, I’m liking the Paradise Lost quilt. Something about it is callling my! Love the ruler and tube cutting idea. Aren’t Mom’s just great? Thanks for the giveaway.

  46. Daniela, you are even more beautiful in person! I so enjoyed visiting Cozy Quilt last month for the Saturday Fun. It seems we have also been Facebook friends for awhile. It has to be because of simply fantastic SewCalGal. I really like your Spin City pattern. Happy Fall!

  47. Thanks for this post, the tube method is a great idea. I looked at your site, you have a great selection of patterns, but Hint of Fall is one I’d like to make with a charm pack and some appliqued leaves. Nice.

  48. Tropics is what caught my eye. Great post…I’ve never heard of this ruler before. I’m off to check out your patterns. Thanks for the chance at your giveaway.

  49. Thank you for sending us to your site to subscribe to your newsletter. I loved looking through your site. I saw many future projects I will purchasing from you. They were all beautiful. I love the Spangled pattern. Your tool is awesome. Whether I win or not I have to have one. Thank you for the chance to win one!!!

  50. I thought all the patterns were pretty. But I think Tropic’s jumped out at me the most 🙂

    Now I am going to go check out your mom’s site..

  51. I have purchased “1 Fish, 2 Fish” to make for my grandson. He loves the Shore and always told people he wanted to be a fish when he grew up so that he could swim all the time. kathleen dot lutz at comcast dot net

  52. Wow – this is very fun to learn about. I love the look of Parallel Universe, but there are several that call to me. Thanks for explaining how your ruler works!

  53. Oh my gosh, to have to pick just one. I guess I would say Transitions is one of my favorites. Thanks for the chance to win this great ruler

  54. Trade winds for sure! I watched someone make it at a retreat several years ago and still think I need to get the pattern and make it – I had no idea it was easier with a special ruler!

  55. Wow, what a concept! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before. I love the pattern, Multifaceted. Thanks for sharing all the great info.

  56. I love all of your strip designs and probably own about 30 of them. Tropics is my favorite, along with Christmas Cactus. This is a great post!

  57. I have this ruler and it is great, but I didn’t think I realized the wide variety of possibilities in design until I saw all the photos of your patterns. So great!

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