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Do I need another ruler? Beginner cutting help...

Do I need another ruler? Beginner cutting help...

Old 01-16-2022, 04:35 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: UK
Posts: 21
Default Do I need another ruler? Beginner cutting help...

Hello everyone!

I've been quilting for a couple of years, mostly using pre-cut friendly patterns, and I am about to make...my first wedding quilt! It's a surprise for two of my oldest friends, using a cute HST design.

Now, I've got some fat quarters that I want to cut into 5" squares, but my largest ruler is 12" square. Is there a way that I can use this ruler to cut the squares efficiently, or do I need to get myself a nice long ruler so that I can easily cut 5" strips from the FQ and sub-divide them?

In the past I have cut 5" squares from yardage using my 12" ruler and the odd mistake (often at the corners), but as this is a special quilt with some slightly pricey fabric, I want to get it right first time.

Any advice? Is there a knack to using the ruler I already have for this, or do I need to bite the bullet and buy another?

Thank you!

Crafty_Woodmouse is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 04:42 AM
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Sunny Florida
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Fold the fabric in half and the cut the 5 inch width. Open the fold and you will have a strip to cut to size needed.

Be sure the "fold" of the fabric is straight. Then place the ruler so it straight on the fold. This will prevent a "V" notch in the strip of fabric after you cut.

I place that fold on a line on the cutting mat for reference to make sure it's straight.

Rhonda K is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 05:21 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Central Florida
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Yes, do what Rhonda said and you will be fine. However, at some point in your quilting life you will likely go buy a longer ruler anyway (I love my 6x24 ruler). So, if you anticipate many more years of quilting and you have the money for the purchase, then go treat yourself to a new ruler!
LAF2019 is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 05:30 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: UK
Posts: 21

Hi both,

Thank you very much for your answers. I can't believe I didn't think of folding the fabric! I will try out Rhonda's method on some of my ordinary stash. If I can't get the hang of it I will wait until next month and treat myself to that ruler. I reckon it counts as a housewarming present under the 'home-making' umbrella, right?
Crafty_Woodmouse is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 05:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Davenport, Iowa
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I think you would be surprised at how many of us have a multitude of rulers and many of them will do the same think. Counting rulers and templates I know that I have over 25. Anything that makes cutting easier and faster is my moto.
lindaschipper is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 07:20 AM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Make sure that your ruler has a ruler line going along the fold so you don’t get a V shape at the fold when you open the fabric. There are video on YouTube on cutting folded fabric.
Tartan is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 07:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southern USA
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I would suggest a hst square up ruler. It will save you frustration and time.
There are several great ones. I personally like the Clearly Slotted Trimmers. Block Lock is another good one.
How to use them are on youtube and many quilt tutorial videos.
Onebyone is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 08:03 AM
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Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 14,371

I can't tell you how many times I reach for my Bloc Loc rulers. They are fantastic for HST's (half square triangles)
I usually balk at buying a new ruler but those were a game changer for me. They give you an accurate block.
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Old 01-16-2022, 08:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: UK
Posts: 21

Oooh, I shall have to look into Bloc Loc! I got a 'HST ruler' free with a magazine that I haven't looked at yet - basically a ruler with a diagonal slot for you to draw your centre line. How do you all get a perfect centre line?

I came on to say THANK YOU for your tips and encouragement - I am now the proud owner of my first stack of 12 perfect 5" squares cut from a fat quarter.
Crafty_Woodmouse is offline  
Old 01-16-2022, 08:30 AM
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Location: Waterford Michigan
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I mostly use a 6x12" ruler for all my rotary cutting. Folding and cutting works great with a sharp blade. You will do just fine with what you have.
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