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Thread: Quilting rulers.....which ones to buy?

  1. #11
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teeler View Post
    How the heck am I supposed to NOT use the mat line to cut??? Do tell because I obviously am not doing it right.
    If your method works, then continue using it. I never line my fold line with the mat. Instead I use a cross line on the ruler along the edge of the fold. I still get a 90 degree angle that way and it works for me.

    I like the rulers that are marked with yellow and black. I find them easier to align. My favorite sizes are the 6x12 and the 6 1/2 square. However, I also use the 15 square and the 6 x 24 for squaring the top, and I recently bought some more squares for my blocks. (9 1/2 and 12 1/2).

    The triangle rulers I bought were a waste of money (for the mose part). I generally use the angle line on the 6 x 12 ruler to do my angled cuts.
    Last edited by MadQuilter; 03-13-2013 at 10:49 AM.
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  2. #12
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Eastern Washington
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    Oh goodness me, I think I own almost every ruler out there. My family buys them for me as gifts. If the project requires a specialty ruler, i get it. I know, spoiled I suppose but there is a place for them when working on certain projects.

    As a beginner, I love the 6 x 24 ruler and the 6 x 12. Then my second purchase would be a 6.5" square up ruler and a 4.5" square up ruler, and a 2.5" square up ruler. These rulers can come in packages sold as such.

    As for preference on brand, I prefer the yellow and black lines of Omnigrid. I can see them the best thru all fabrics. I find that the clear ones with black lines are hard to see when cutting my black and white fabrics or a dark fabric.

    I have learned that using the ruler to cut is faster and more accurate. I love to do minature quilts and using your mat will mess it up for sure. You cannot get an absolute accurate cut from the mat. I have a friend who does nothing but cut from the mat. She looses her points quite often in her quilts or she has to recut or fudge, plus takes her much longer. They call me Mrs. Edward Scissorhand because I can cut a quilt twice as fast as anyone else in my group and just as or more accurate.

    Also, on the rotary cutter, that is a definite personal choice no matter what. I use the Fiskars rotary cutter because of how it sits in my hand, so much more comfortable for me. There are those that love Olfas and swear by them. It is how you like to hold them. be sure to try them out if can to see which one cuts better for you. My first one was an Olfa and I sliced the side of my finger right on down the side. Had no meat on my finger for quite some time. I then got a Fiskar and have not had the problem at all. It is all in the way you can handle it. I cut it years ago.

    As for mats, since I cut by ruler, the self healing mat is about all for preference. I have not seen the the other brand of mat so I can't say how it is, but I may purchase it next after I wear out the other three the family bought me.
    Life is short, live it while you still can. QuilterMomma

  3. #13
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't see why the need to buy the same brand rulers/mats. An inch is an inch is an inch.
    That being said, you may discover you prefer the markings on a particular brand of rulers over the other ... but that's personal preference, not the need to match the equipment.

    As for inaccurate measurements ... I have not noticed that at all.
    Perhaps if there are problems it is an off-shore knock-off type? Or perhaps they are metric and not imperial .... a cm is a cm is a cm .... and yes, should not be mixed with imperial inches, etc.!

    As for myself, I have an assortment of ruler brands. My preference are the frosted rulers as I get less glare with the lighting, plus the lines are finer for measurement accuracy. The one that has the full grid markings on it is nice, though at times I find it drive me nuts, as it;s not easy to distinguish between 1/2" vs. 3/8" (for example). Again, that's a personal preference ... and I still use that one a lot, as it's just the right size when I am trimming PP work.
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!

  4. #14
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    North Pole
    I have a collection of rulers given to me by a friend when she was downsizing..I have never used one of them. I have my original fiskar 6X24 ruler with the attached rotary cutter that I use all the time from the day I started quilting 8 years ago...Too bad the do not make them anymore, as I would get another one....I keep watching ebay etc for a used one for sale...I have a June Taylor mat which works OK...I rarely use the lines except when I want to "level" the fabric to cut

  5. #15
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    I inherited several rulers and such. The ones I use regularly are the 6"x24" and the big 16" square one that is marked in 1/4" increments. I also use the 6" square one, but not as often. I did not like the yellow printed one although I can understand how it would be useful on dark fabrics.
    The only time I use the grid on my cutting mat is when I'm cutting something wider than 6", such as fabric for a tote lining.

  6. #16
    Super Member
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    Mar 2011
    Central NJ
    I would suggest going to a shop (either LQS or JoAnn's) and pick up just about every manufacturer's ruler they have. Pick out a bunch of different fabric colors that call to you. Ultimately these will be the colors you will go back to time and again. Lay the various rulers onto the fabrics. See which colors of lines on the rulers are easiest for you to see. Stick with that brand and get at least the 6 x 24 (or an 8 x 24 if available - works well for borders). I would also pick up a 6-10" long ruler by at least 3-4" wide...easier to manage when doing some trimming or small work. As for a 'square up' ruler...I only own a 12.5". I can use that on up to a 12.5 x 12.5 block to square or anything smaller. Make sure the main (6x24) ruler has at least 45 and 65 degree lines on it. They will become your friends.

    While it's true that 'an inch is an inch is an inch' some lines may be thicker/thinner on the various rulers. Hence the recommendation to use at least the same brand throughout a project. Check to see that the rulers you like have 1/8" markings. As your quilting expertise progresses, you'll want these.

    As to mats...I use a self-healing. Frankly, I don't care about brand either but I do have Olfas. I generally don't use the lines on the mat for measuring...I use the ruler. I place a perpendicular line on the ruler on the fabric fold. I then use the measurements on the ruler for cutting. Remember to keep the piece of fabric you want to keep under the ruler!

    Just use the same method throughout your project whichever method you decide works best for you.

  7. #17
    Senior Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Eastern Madera County, Ca
    Here's my 2 cents. Cutting mats are OLFA. For most cutting I use the unmarked side. Less time to just lay the fabric down, then trying to line it up. Also, this saves the markings for when cutting very long strips. The rulers have the markings for inches, etc. Martelli mats were mentioned-I'll look for that at the next show.

    Rullers: my go to brand is Creative Grids for the size of the marking lines, non-slip feature and the extra 1/2" on the size of the rullers. First size is 8 1/2" x 24 1/2". This allows a longer line to get the cross cut from the fold very accurate. Also, I use the "Power Cutting" method and get more cuts before having to start over. Second is 4 1/2" x 12 1/2". Then, although it isn't used often, I love the 20 1/2" sq for squaring the quilt after being quilted. Another choice is the 2 1/2" x 36 1/2" for cutting binding.

    More on rullers: The "Power Cutting" method for 1/2 sq triangle and setting triangles is very accurate. It requires special rullers by Omnigrid 96, 96L, 98 & 98L. When PP, a 12" "add a quarter" is very helpful. I love hexegons so I have 3 sets of those and equilateral triangle. I have a whole lot more that were added as I had a special need.

  8. #18
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Monroe, IN
    I just measured the lines on my mat and all are spot on.....I have been cutting by the lines on the mat since the beginning and have no trouble with losing points or getting straight cuts.....shows me that there are still different strokes for different folks

  9. #19
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    I don't use my mat for measuring/lining up. Ruler only. I had been using a 6" X 24" EasyRule forever. Went and bought a 6" X 12" Creative Grid a week ago and Monday went back for the 6" X 24". These rulers come with the grippy things etched into the ruler-kind of like etched glass. I checked both old and new rulers and switched to the new mid-project. Top came out square.

    As far as the mat goes, I have an Omnigrid. Depending on my fabric color, I will flip the mat over to the grey side to see the fabric thru the ruler easier.
    Never outsmart your common sense.


  10. #20
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    I do this also and never have had an issue with using the mat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose View Post
    I just measured the lines on my mat and all are spot on.....I have been cutting by the lines on the mat since the beginning and have no trouble with losing points or getting straight cuts.....shows me that there are still different strokes for different folks

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