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

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Usually in my sewing room

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


    I need some schooling on quilting and rulers. In my beginning quilting class, the instructor said to use the same manufacturer's rulers throughout the measuring and cutting process...don't switch up between different ones. Same applies to cutting mats.

    I see so many rulers and mats by different companies. What's the general rule for rulers and mats? When to use, which ones, differences, etc. I'm starting to build my tools and supplies up and want to spend money wisely and still get what I need. Some kits say to buy a certain ruler to help make the triangles, etc. Is that always necessary? Just need your wise advice, please.


  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    If you want to stick with one brand of rulers I would suggest Creative Grids rulers. They are quality made and there are many specialty rulers and basic rulers available from them. I don't use the mat lines to cut so I have different brands of mats all over my sewing room. If the pattern calls for a certain ruler it is usually easier to cut the shape with it but not necessary if you know how to use a basic ruler. The last few years I have been using a Go die cut machine and rarely cut with a ruler anymore so be careful about buying a whole lot right at first.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I really recommend June Tailor's Shape Cut rulers. They are wonderful. I love to buy quilting rulers and the best ruler I have bought is my Shape Cut ruler. They make cutting strips so fast and easy! I watched a demo of using a die cutting system to make strips for a Log Cabin,the lady teaching using the Accuquilt. She took 2 rulers to make sure she had the ruler straight, then she took the one ruler away and cut a portion of the fabric so that it would fit in the cutter. Then she cut some strips.As I watched I thought how much easier it would be if she just used the Shape Cut. When using the Shape Cut,you put the fabric on the mat,put the Shape Cut ruler on top of the fabric, make sure the ruler is level and start cutting. Easy as that. Welcome to the world of quilting.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    The Colony, TX
    I agree with BellaBoo - I love Creative Grids. Also try out some of the rulers that they have at different shops, see which works best for you. I used to love the ones with the yellow but now I have a hard time seeing with them. I like the non slip feature of Creative Grids, but think you need to really use or at least put it down on fabric, move it areound and see if you like it. Remember you are not just buying a ruler, but a tool that is the start of all of your projects.

    Personally I have gotten the you have to use the same brand speech also, but really don't get it. An inch is an inch, and I have put ruler upon ruler and not seen any difference (at least not yet). I think the real issue is how good you can use that brand of ruler and do you read the other a little differently - like is the line thicker so maybe you don't get as good of a measurement?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Orlando, FL
    If I could only have 2 rulers I would choose a 6 inch X 24 inch, and a 6 inch by 12 inch. Both of mine are by Omnigrid. My only requirement for a cutting mat is that it be self-healing. I, personally, only use the lines on the cutting mat for lining up fabric - not for measuring or cutting.

    You should always use the same brand of rulers (omnigrid, Olfa, etc) throughout a project because the width of the markings on the ruler could be different among different companies. As far as which brand to buy, that is personal preference. Some have black and yellow lines. Some only have black. Some have 1/8 in markings and some do not.

    If I were buying now, I would like to try the Olfa frosted non-slip ruler. I would like to see how 'non-slip' it is. I have added Invisigrip to my Omnigrid rulers to help prevent slipping.

    You do NOT have to have a specialty ruler to cut triangles! However, you will have to learn the rules for calculating the size of strips, squares, etc. for cutting various types of triangle - 1/2 square, 1/4 square etc. Some of the triangle rulers are useful but really not required. I have both the easy angle and the companion angle rulers but have only started using them recently.

    Buy what you can afford.

  6. #6
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    home again, after 27 yrs!
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    I started with Olfa cutting mats and Omnigrid (now Omnigrip) rulers and stay that way. i do have one Creative grid ruler i think. maybe two. one i know is very long with a lip on one end. i used that when cutting black out fabric for the back of some curtains. otherwise, it's just hanging in my sewing room.
    i love square rulers, my 8x24 ruler and 12x8 one (think that is the right measurement). close enough anyway to get the idea. i also got recently the 20 inch ruler. it has side and corner triangle measurements on it for on point block design.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Now, see...you've all got me confused. I apparently don't know how to use my rulers properly.

    I fold my fabric, and press the fold line.
    I line up the folded edge on the MAT line.
    I take my ruler, and I line IT up with the (perpendicular) MAT LINE where I'm going to cut.
    I cut on the MAT LINE against the ruler.

    How the heck am I supposed to NOT use the mat line to cut??? Do tell because I obviously am not doing it right.

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
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    there's no problem in using the mat lines as long as you have checked the measurement of them. some mat grids are not accurate.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?

  9. #9
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    there's no problem in using the mat lines as long as you have checked the measurement of them. some mat grids are not accurate.
    Something I learned the hard way!

    I agree with lakekids response and if that frosted non-slip ruler works please please let me know.

  10. #10
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    OK. I like a lot of different brands of rulers. I am back to using the sandpaper dots on the underside of my rulers to help me as my arthritis makes using rulers a tad difficult at times.

    If I were starting out again I would stick with Omnigrid because of the line going all the way across and down the ruler. Start with the 6" x 24" and the 6" x 12". The have the lines for the different angles so you won't need specialty rulers probably at first. The I would add the Martingale/That Patchwork Place square up ruler for my 3rd ruler.

    I prefer my Martelli mat. It has outlasted any other mat by far! It doesn't seem to dull the blades of my rotary cutters as fast either.

    I only use the mat lines to line up the fabric. However, I do use my ruler to make sure the first cut - the trim cut - after folding the material properly, is straight. This is much more accurate for me.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.

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