Quilting means cutting a large piece of fabric into smaller pieces and sew them back together into a large piece of fabric again. As a quilter, you must realize the fact that fabrics should not just be cut with approximated measures because they will end up messing up the quilt that you plan to make. This difficulty can be solved by having the best quilting rulers in your storage of tools to help your piecing go together correctly.
Just like the way you need rulers to draw detailed, precise and straight lines on your math or drawing books, quilting rulers help you do the same on fabrics. This means that you can get clear guides to cut the precise sizes of fabrics, enabling you to create high-quality quilts by using quilting rulers and this can ease your sewing work more.
What is quilting ruler?
A quilting ruler is a tool which is used to cut the fabric pieces to the correct measurements so that they will fit together properly, and the pattern of the quilt top will turn out as desired. It can be difficult for you to cut fabric items used in quilt blocks with scissors randomly. In this case, most quilters prefer to use a quilting ruler since this tool allows the quilter to make precise cuts easily.
Quilting rulers are usually formed of clear acrylic with the standard measurements drawn across the ruler, usually resulting in a grid pattern. Most quilting rulers come with different angles painted onto their exterior to help quilters in cutting a variety of shapes. For this reason, quilting rulers have a wide variety of shapes and styles. Most beginning quilters and basic quilt patterns need only a rectangular shaped quilting ruler, but square and triangularly shaped rulers are also common. Smaller quilting rulers are frequently used for very small piecework.
Our Recommended best quilting rulers
1. Fiskars 12-87577097J Acrylic Ruler
Fiskars 12-87577097J Acrylic Ruler is ideal for cutting fabric pieces or squares directly from the bolt. It features a highlighted seam allowance and easy-to-read grid lines.
The dimension of this acrylic ruler is 6” x 24”. The purpose of the 6”x 24” ruler is to cut smaller pieces of fabric away from larger pieces. This ruler is made of 3mm thick acrylic for lasting durability.
The numbers which are painted on the surface of the ruler are quite large making it easy to read. There is also broken grid lines for easy visibility of fabric edges.
For measuring triangle seams, it also includes 30°, 45°- and 60°-line indicators and crosses hatch. It also features non-slip vinyl feet can be added or removed without damaging the ruler.
This ruler doesn’t have imperial (inches) and metric (centimeters) markings. This ruler doesn’t measure 1/8″ increments. It’s difficult to measure cuts with accuracy by looking at some opaque line that’s already 1/8 inch thick.
2. ARTEZA Acrylic Quilters Ruler
ARTEZA Acrylic Quilters Ruler is made of laser cut acrylic and is 0.1” thick, making it very strong and durable, with very clean edges. This quilting ruler features patented double-colored design grid lines, which is black and lime green in color.
Quilting patchwork ruler is rectangular in shape and comes in a set of 4 measures the additional half inch gives you a seam allowance on one end. It has 1/2″ seam allowance across its length. It can also measure 1” grids with 1/8”, 1/4″ and 1/2″ increments.
Beside cutting fabric pieces, you can also use it to cut angled lines, for example when making a triangle or diamond art in your projects. To do this, the ruler has 30, 45 and 60-degree mirrored angled lines markings from both the left and right side, which make it possible to use by both left and right-handed quilters.
Square quilt blocks with this ruler may be seemed challenging to you as the measurement numbers are backward from other rulers. The line is not drawn from corner to corner and this makes squaring up blocks difficult. They do not have grips like other rulers. It has been found the thin grid lines too transparent.
3. Omnigrip 6-Inch-by-24-Inch Non-Slip Quilter' s Ruler
Omnigrip Non-Slip Quilter’s Ruler is designed to make your quilting, sewing, or craft projects easier. It has a standard quilting grid system along with 30°,45°, and 60° diagonal line marks. Ambidextrous angle system ensures cutting with accuracy with both left and right hand.
It is long enough to create long strips, and small enough to not so difficult while measuring out fabric to cut. It features crosshatch diagonal lines for measuring triangle seams. This is an ideal ruler for triangle patterns and is suitable for either right or left-handed use.
It is useful for accurately laying out and cutting patterns for prototype work (parallax error is eliminated). It also has fluorescent number markings with a contrasting black and yellow grid which makes it easy to throw down on any pattern or drawing.
They come in 6” x 24” set. One side of a ruler has highlighter coloured and very thin coating. But still, it doesn’t have enough grip to prevent slipping against the fabric while cutting.
4. Olfa Frosted Advantage 6" x 24" Quilting Ruler
For the busy quilter, this is an excellent addition to his/her set because it has very useful features that reduce the cutting time. A compass is included, with pivot-point angles for 15- 30-, 45-, 60- and 90-degree cuts that make it easy to cut shapes for triangles, diamonds, and others that may require such lines.
This OLFA ruler is noted for its glare-free finish, perfect for use under bright work light. The black numbers on the ruler’s frosted acrylic surface make reading measurements easier, whether you’re working with light or dark materials.
It is designed for accuracy and precision with grid lines marked in a 1/8″, 1/4″, 1/2″ and 1″ increments. This makes it easy to use because you do not require to turn it every time you get it wrong. The ruler is designed for either right- or left-handed use.
Though the ruler is said to be non-slip, it tends to slip easily. Olfa Frosted Advantage 6″ x 24″ Quilting Ruler is comparatively thinner than other rulers and the corners of the ruler doesn’t have good finishing.
5. Creative Grids 6.5" x 24.5" Rectangle Quilting Ruler
The creative grids quilting ruler is a perfect choice for beginners for its easy to read markings. The markings are black and white. The black colour makes the lines appear on brightly coloured fabrics while white colour does the same on dark fabrics.
This ruler has two 45” lines running in opposite directions on two-quarter lengths of the ruler. This design allows you to cut diamond or triangularly shaped fabrics accurately. This ensures that you can have perfectly cut shapes, which makes it very practical. It includes a 0.5” allowance on one side to give room for seam stitching.
The ruler itself is rectangular in shape, measuring 6.5” × 24.5”. Its grids are divided into 1”, with each having 1/8” and 1/4” increments. This helps you to cut precise measurements that go up to an eighths level.
Even though it has embedded gripper dots on its back side to prevent slipping when cutting, it still slips a bit when cutting fabric with the rotary trimmer. This is the major drawback of this ruler.
6. Omnigrid Ruler Value Pack 2, Package of Four
Omnigrid Ruler Value Pack is one of the best options if you’re looking for a variety of measuring support at a minimal price. Giving attention to every detail is one of the best features of the Omnigrid rulers.
Each ruler line is so clear that highlighted in both light and dark colors. With bright and clear gridlines, reversible use, this is the complete set of quilters rulers for any beginner or advanced quilters.
Omnigrid Value Pack 2 comes as a package of 4 quilting rulers, measuring 2.5, 4.5, 6.5, and 9.5-inch square rulers. Each of them has a 0.5” seam allowance on one side. This variable size reduces your quilting time because you can switch to the most suitably sized ruler for whichever project you are working on.
This ruler is made from sturdy plastic which is durable enough and functional. With a wide base, angled measurements, and a length that allows you to work with larger patchwork pieces, use to cut square and trim blocks.
There are so many neon markings on the ruler for the well-being of the quilters but sometimes it appears little hazy to them. This ruler is not so much slip resistance, so it may seem little difficult to you while cutting the fabric.
Best quilting ruler buying guide
Size of the fabric:
Depending on the size of fabric that you want to cut, a ruler can lessen the cutting time if it is the right size.
It would be tough for you to measure a 12-inch wide fabric using a 6.5-inch wide ruler, even though quilting rulers have grid markings that enable you to cut any size of the fabric. So, size is an important factor to consider.
Increments of the ruler:
You cannot cut fabric pieces that are 3/8” wide with a ruler of 1/4” increments. If you want to cut the fabric to the precise measurements, you must have knowledge about the increment of the ruler.
Most quilting rulers have a minimum of a 1/8” increment, but some have a quarter while others only have the 1” grid markings.
A seam allowance is meant to provide you with the convenience of cutting your exact measurements with an extra length of fabric included for seam stitching. If a ruler has an extra width on its side, this is the additional space that is given for seam stitching.
Quilting rulers come with different cutting options to the straight grid lines. Some rulers have preset measurements drawn on them to shorten your cutting time. Others have angled lines to cut different types of triangular or diamond shapes. Again, rulers with a preset 10” square enable you to cut square shape without going through the measuring process.
Quilting rulers are found in a wide variety of shapes like rectangular shape, square shape, triangle shape and many others. Which of the shape you buy should be guided by the type of cuts that you want to do.
If you cut long pieces of fabric, a rectangular ruler is the best option for you. However, if you want a triangular shaped fabric piece, a triangular ruler is the best one to use.
To work on dark and brightly coloured fabrics, you will need a ruler that has both dark and brightly coloured markings so that the colours can contrast with the fabric colour, leaving you with easy to see grids, lines, and numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why do I need a quilting ruler to create a quilt?
Ans: Yes. To ensure your pattern turns out as you planned, you will need to measure and re-measure at every step of the way, and without a good quilting ruler, you will find it challenging.
Q: How many quilting rulers will I need?
Ans: The majority of serious quilters have their own several rulers for different purposes. To take measurements, work with angles, and use rulers on seams, you will need different qualities in a ruler.
Q: How can I prevent quilting ruler from slipping on the fabric?
Ans: To minimize slipping, use a more balanced pressure on your ruler when cutting. You could also apply some optional products like grip pads to stick on the back that help prevent slipping.
You can also use a vinyl cling product that can be cut and applied to the underside of rulers to create a non-slip surface.
Q: What can I do to get the sticky residue off of my ruler?
Ans: You can use household rubbing alcohol to remove any glue or sticky surface from the ruler. Use a soft cloth and gently rub with it. Never use anything harsh on your ruler.
Q: How do I clean my ruler?
Ans: We suggest you clean your quilting ruler by using warm water with a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent. Rub gently with a soft cloth.
Quilting rulers are usually used beside rotary cutters to ensure that material to be used in a quilting pattern is cut to the exact size required. If one piece of fabric has cut out of size, the entire pattern of a quilt can be ruined. For this reason, most quilters, especially professionals, prefer to use quilting ruler, rather than a regular ruler and scissors to ensures greater accuracy.
However, quilting rulers are available in different shapes and sizes. It might seem difficult to you get the right one to satisfy your needs if you do not know what to look for. To help you get the best quilting ruler, this article has an in-depth look at some of the best ones in the market, showing all the features 0and benefits including upsides and downsides of a product.