Quilting Rulers Rock

Quilting rulers are the third essential cutting tool for quilting.



The self-healing cutting mat and the rotary cutter are the other two tools.


Having a suitable ruler is as necessary as having a sharp blade in the rotary cutter or a self-healing cutting mat to protect your table top.

Beginning Quilting

Remember, the three quilting tools are dependent on each other and are quite useless apart!

No matter how you choose to store your rulers just make sure they are always within easy reach.

The challenge will be how to organize because they come in many, many sizes and shapes. More on this in a minute.

Rulers are a very necessary quilting tool! Some rulers are sold specifically for the pattern which you are making.

If this is the case, be sure and save the package and or book as you most likely will be given other ways to use the ruler.

Learn to use all your rulers whether they are just a straight ruler, a curve, an arc, a hexagon or any other shape.

Learning happens over time and as you gain experience.

But, choosing a ruler will depend on the quilt pattern you are making and the job at hand.

Now you know why I think quilting rulers rock!



How to Use and Care for Quilting Rulers...

Beginning Quilting

yackety-yak...A rotary cutting blade is used in conjunction with an acrylic ruler that is relatively thick so the sharp blade has a lip to follow when applying pressure and pushing the rotary blade forward.

  • Rulers will have visible and easy to read markings.
  • The markings will be laid out in 1/8-inch increments.
  • The markings run in both directions making it easy for both right and left handed quilters.
  • Most rulers have a 45-degree angle line.
  • Some will have a 30 and 60-degree angle lines.
  • Always check a new ruler for accuracy.
  • If you are a beginning quilter, the most versatile ruler is 6-inch by 24-inch.
  • Some rulers are marked with dark paint and some use light paint. This allows you to see the measurements better. Use the dark markings with light fabrics and light markings with dark fabrics.
  • Acrylic rulers are long lasting. But, markings can wear off with usage or if rubbed together; handle with respect.
  • Most rulers come with a pre-drilled hole which you can use to hang the ruler on a wall mounted peg board.
  • When you are doing routine straight cutting with a quilting ruler, you will save both time as well as fabric using a ruler.

Safety and Storage for Quilting Rulers...

quilting ruler

Quilting rulers can be wall-mounted or stored in a special made holder such as the one my son made for me. The 3/16-inch wide by ¼-inch deep groove allows the rulers to stand upright.

The ½-inch spacing between the grooves allows for rulers to be taken in and out with limited contact to minimize damage to the rulers. The holders can be made any length to accommodate numerous size rulers.

Another idea for storing rulers is to place them upright in a small waste basket that has a weighted bottom such as a fabric sleeve filled with sand.

The idea is to have the rulers stand upright without tipping over the holding container. It is fair to note that your rulers will have more contact and result in wear and tear.

It is extremely important to hold the ruler steady so apply fabric grippers to the back side of your ruler.

Dritz makes a clear fabric gripper that when applied to the underside of your ruler, they are intended to prevent the ruler from slipping when cutting fabric.

Another alternative is to pick up some self-sticking sandpaper and place small cut-out pieces on all four corners of each ruler.

When cutting with your quilting tool, periodically stop and advance your supporting hand on the ruler so that it precedes the rotary cutter which is in your dominate hand. This is kind of like a leap frog motion.

Also, for safety, always roll the cutter forward…backwards is dangerous. Just one last safety rule...always close the cutter before laying it down. In my quilting group it is a $5 fine if you renege on this promise.




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