How to Use Quilting Rulers

It doesn’t matter the level of your quilting skills; a quilting ruler is fundamental for obtaining the best results. Not only that rulers guide better accuracy on your work, but they also come in a great variety of models which makes them even more critical on any quilting project.

An entry-level quilter may get overwhelmed by the diversity of rulers out there, but he/she should be focused and get to know a thing or two about rulers. After all, they’re supposed to help you get better at quilting.

What are quilter rulers?

Anyone quilting for a while now knows that there are many elements to address to obtain the results you want. The various techniques and the necessary tools to use for quilting are only some of the things you need to learn about when quilting.

One of the aspects you can never undermine when quilting is the accuracy. It’s fundamental when piecing the top of your quilt, but that’s only one of the many examples to note. You only need a few inches off for your pieces not to match, resulting into a big messy look for your quilt. Fine adjustments and perfect matching are essential for your quilting. It’s going to take some practice until you discover which technique is going to work the best for you. There are no ideal ways, and any quilter is going to develop in time special skills for getting the accuracy the quilter needs when quilting.

When you’re cutting, a mat, a rotary cutter, and a ruler are going to be fundamental. The quilting rulers are unique as they’re designed to work only for quilting.

Most of the rulers out there are made of clear acrylic and come with essential information on every side. Rectangles, triangles, and squares are very popular in the quilting world, but the variety of shapes is very generous.

What’s the best ruler for a beginner?

A 6.5×24” ruler is a perfect option for an entry-level quilter. It’s easy to use for cutting yardage as it has the same length as the fabric. Cutting the fabric in half or strips is comfortable to do when using this type of ruler as you’re not going to have to move the ruler around very much.

But it’s not enough for using a ruler as you also need to know how to read the information on the ruler. If you do it right, you may get even better results.

As the information is printed on both sides (in the case of acrylic rulers), you also have to get accustomed to the ruler’s layout for cutting correctly. A patented double color grid gives clarity to the ruler and eases out the reading on both light and dark fabric.

The etched squares should be 1″ each, helping you cut straight line easy. The tick marks inside the square go as low as 1/8″.

Diagonal lines help you when cutting different angles for triangles or other shapes; you want your ruler to come with diagonal lines as well. You typically turn the ruler opposing the fabric for cutting corners. You continue with lining up the edge of your diagonal with the side of the material. You’re done!

The second ruler for a beginner

The more you quilt, the better you’re going to get at it and expanding your quilting kit is the right thing to do. You should also add four square rulers (4.5″X4.5″, 6″X6″, 9.5″X9.5″ and 12.5″X12.5″) to your kit.

When you have more than just one size for the rulers, the cutting system is going to run smoother. You can try various types of cuts in all sorts of sizes and angles, without worrying about your accuracy.

Even if the 6.5×24” is versatile and can handle almost everything in quilting, some other rulers that work for the smaller details are going to count to. After all, you’re aiming for best results every single time!

How to use other shapes of rulers?

One can only ask what’s the difference between the rectangular and the square rulers. The triangle ruler sounds complicated to use as well.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

  • Rectangle rulers

They’re great to use when cutting strips or trimming the edges of the fabric. When you want to obtain some short pieces and secondary cutting, a small rectangle ruler is going to be a reliable option.

You can also use this type of rulers for cutting yardage. They can be long, so make sure you don’t wiggle it as you may end up with an uneven cut. Put your hand near the bottom, moving it to the middle when you get to the halfway.

  • Triangle rulers

You may use triangle rulers for cutting half-square and quarter-square triangles. They ensure the fastest and easiest way to cut angles or triangles.

  • Square rulers

Cutting strips or squaring quilt blocks is easier when using square rulers. You can also use them fot cutting angles, with the little ones being crucial for cutting blocks or units.

  • Curvy rulers

This type of rulers is dependable for making curvy log cabin quilts or other less common shapes.

Some useful tips for the road

There’s no such thing as knowing how to use the quilting rulers too well, so here are some tips to keep in mind:

Rulers should come with noticeable and easy to read markings

Most rulers come with 45-degree angle line

Double-check the new ruler for accuracy

Get an acrylic ruler as it’s going to last for a reasonable amount of time.

Many rulers feature, so it’s easier for you to hang it on a wall mounted pegboard.

Using a ruler gives you both speed and precision. Learn how to get the best out of it!

Related posts

How to Use Quilting Stencils

Other resources

How to choose the perfect quilters ruler – Arteza.com

Quilting Basics 13: Ruler Foot Quilting for Beginners – Free Motion Quilting Project

Getting The Most Of Your Acrylic Rulers – Quilting Board

Quilting Rulers that Make you Lazy