To quilt like a professional, you need to invest in specialty tools for quilting. One of the most important tools in a quilter’s arsenal is the ruler. You can’t get any real work done without it. And the best quilting rulers are not necessarily the prettiest.
Some people think that Omnigrid’s neon yellow Imagine Crafts quilting ruler is somewhat ugly. But professional quilters love it all the same because it has a non-slip back, clear markings, and various degree angle lines that provide additional measurement options.
The best quilting rulers serve a vital function in the life of a quilter. You need them to make precise cuts and perfect shapes and patterns. And if you’re determined to find the best quilting ruler the market has to offer, consider the following.
7 Best Quilting Rulers
1. Imagine Crafts MP230001 Ruler
This is a beautiful, thick, hardy plastic ruler that is perfect for quilting, though it could also prove adequate for other craft work. The thickness is important because it prevents the rotary cutter from slipping up the edge, In fact, the manufacturer encourages sewers to use the ruler with a rotary cutter or a straight-edge blade.
At 18 inches x 2.5 inches x 0.1 inches, this doesn’t look or feel like a special ruler deserving of its considerable price tag, not until you notice some of the more interesting aspects of its design. First of all, there are angle lines all over its surface, allowing you to make whatever pivot cuts 30 degrees, 45 degrees, and 60 degrees you see fit.
Secondly, the non-slip back will ensure that the ruler stays put while you cut. With rotary cutters and straight-edge blades, slippage is the last thing you want, which is why this ruler eliminates that concern.
Thirdly, you get a 1/2-inch seam allowance that makes the cutting of short strips and sashing a much easier prospect. As with all Omnigrid rulers, this one was laser cut. As such, you’re assured consistency and precision. Depending on your preference, you can get this ruler in the square or rectangular style.
2. Fiskars Crafts 95237097J Rotary Sewing Cutting Set
The measuring and cutting of fabric are probably the hardest aspects of quilting, which is why Fiskars has chosen to offer a quilting set that includes a ruler for making measurements, a rotary cutter for cutting purposes and a mat from which to work.
The acrylic ruler 6.5 x 24 inches is clear, so you can see what you’re cutting. There are degree indicators (35, 45, 60) on its surface along with grid lines. This will make the cutting of shapes easy. That doesn’t even include the highlighted seam allowance which newbies will appreciate because it simplifies the cutting of fabric strips.
The mat 18 inches x 24 inches is double-sided. Not only is it self-healing, ensuring its longevity, but it has a measuring grid that even amateurs can understand. It is wide enough to permit the cutting of full widths of fabric. And the cutting, in this case, can be done with the classic stick rotary cutter whose grip is compatible with both right-handed and left-handed users.
Fiskars says that the rolling 45mm blade can cut through multiple layers of fabric. Customers that have used it agree that it is sharp enough to cut skin. This is why the cutter has a blade guard. None of these tools is as effective as similar products that are sold individually.
But the set is sufficient for beginners sewers who are looking to get a taste of the results specialty quilting tools can produce.
3. Omnigrid Non-Slip Ruler
This isn’t like any ruler you find in the average stationery, hence the price. It is made from heavy plastic that will stand the test of time even in the face of cuts and falls. Despite the color, the ruler is also clear enough for you to see the fabric beneath as you work.
All the figures are clear, easy to see, particularly in light of the contrasting black and yellow grid. The ruler performs measurements in inches. Besides the conventional numbering, you can also use the angle system scrawled all over the ruler’s surface which makes the cutting of certain shapes at difficult angles a lot easier.
Of course, with Omnigrid rulers, the non-slip back is always the biggest draw, That is true for this ruler. It will stay in place while you cut, adding to the convenience.
4. EZ Quilting 882700 Easy Dresden Quilt Tool Set
This Chinese-made tool is perfect for anyone who needs to reproduce a Dresden pattern. A set rather than a single item, the product includes a clear ruler that is 8-inches long, adequate for any beginner, a bamboo pointer, and a creaser tool.
You need a rotary cutter to get the best out of this product. And do not be too alarmed if some of the items in this set appear scratched and worn out when they first arrive. They are protected by a thin film. Once you remove it, you will find that your instruments are still new and unharmed.
While this set is likely to appeal to experienced quilters, beginners can also use it. The quilt instructions provided are quite detailed.
5. Omnigrid Omnigrip Ruler, 8-½” x 24″
This ruler makes the laying out and cutting of patterns so easy, eliminating errors you expect tools like this to introduce. The figures on the ruler are not just bold and clear. Instead, the contrast produced by the black and yellow grid makes these numbers stand out, which in turn, simplifies the taking of measurements.
The material is solid plastic, so you can trust this ruler to survive whatever punishment you throw at it during the quilting process. You can’t miss the angle system Omnigrid provided. Those lines cutting diagonally across the ruler’s surface are not random.
They will make the complex shapes you need to cut more accurate. Despite the color, the ruler is still clear enough for you to see the fabric and its measurements below. At 8.5 inches x 24 inches, this is a substantial ruler, sufficiently thick for use with a rotary blade.
The back is non-slip. So you can perform measurements and execute cuts without the ruler distracting you with its movements. There is enough detail in the ruler to appeal to advanced quilters. But even beginners can find some use for it.
6. Dritz R641 Omnigrid Ruler Set
Omnigrid rulers are well known for their smooth, laser-cut edges that guarantee accuracy and precision. In this case, instead of one ruler, you get a set. Two of the rulers are square-shaped while the third is rectangular. This gives you a variety of measuring options to choose from.
You will find the angle lines 30, 45, and 60 on the 6-inch square. The 4-inch square provides the 1/8-inch grid for miniatures. The acrylic plastic used in the creation of all three rulers is heavy. So you can trust them to survive extensive use, even when rotary cutters are added to the mix.
The biggest complaint is the size. Some consumers would have preferred a set that could cut the fabric into larger blocks. But for the complex measurements it enables you to perform, this set of rulers is adequate for both amateur and professional quilters.
7. Omnigrid Wooden Ruler Rack
Your success as a quilter is wholly dependent on your ability to make accurate measurements. This is why the work spaces of professional quilters are normally littered with rulers of all shapes and sizes. That is also the reason why Omnigrid made this item a ruler rack designed to bring order to the average quilter’s workstation.
The rack is made of sturdy wood. There are five horizontal slots across its surface where your rulers will fit. The slots are deep enough to keep the rulers standing straight, which in turn, makes them that much easier to access at a moment’s notice.
Even if you don’t mind the clatter, you will appreciate this rack because it keeps your rulers safe, preventing them from getting chipped and scratched. As far as the rack’s mobility is concerned, it has non-skid plastic discs that will prevent it from slipping unnecessarily.
At 19.6 inches x 4 inches x 0.9 inches, you don’t have to worry about the rack tipping over once you slide the rulers into the slots. It weighs 15.2 ounces. It is also made from sturdy wood. So it will maintain its footing regardless of the weight of the quilting rulers it is holding.
Best Quilting Rulers Buying Guide
Quilting rulers are a quilter’s best friend. This is one fact that beginners never understand. They think they can get by without specialty tools. And that is often true at the start. But once they delve into the more complex aspects of quilting, it immediately becomes clear to them that the best longarm quilting rulers can make a world of difference.
One could argue that the best quilting rulers do not actually exist. And they would be right. You won’t find one quilting ruler on the market that appeals to every single quilter. The right quilting ruler is the one that matches your needs best. To find one such ruler, you need to keep the following in mind:
This goes without saying. Size matters immensely to quilting rulers. You need to find a ruler that is either big enough or small enough to cater to the needs of your project. It is possible for a ruler to be too big or too small. A ruler that is too big becomes unwieldy for the precise measurements that certain projects require. A ruler that is too small makes the cutting of larger fabric pieces difficult, if not impossible.
It isn’t that uncommon for quilters to keep rulers of varying sizes on hand.
The role of a quilting ruler is to take measurements. To make accurate measurements, you need to look at the numbers and figures scrawled across the ruler’s surface. As such, if the markings on the ruler are not visible, you are going to make mistakes.
If the markings on the ruler are visible but they are difficult to read, you are going to strain your eyes. Look for a ruler whose markings can be read at a glance. The quilting ruler manufacturers will create a stark contrast in color between the body of the ruler and the markings to make them stand out.
The quilting looks like delicate work but it requires a firm hand. It also uses destructive tools like rotary cutters. When it comes to shopping for quilting rulers, you need to find a model made from strong and sturdy material that you can trust to survive all the physical stress and strain you intend to exert upon it.
You can get quilting rulers in a variety of styles. There are 60-degree rulers, square rulers both small and large, and width-of-fabric rulers. Along with stripology rulers, you should select the style of the ruler based on the needs of your project. But you are better off keeping one ruler of each style on hand.
Finding the best quilting rulers is easy if you have a brand you can trust. Omnigrid, for instance, has garnered a reputation for producing some of the sturdiest and most precise rulers on the market. So the people who purchase Omnigrid rulers are assured high-quality quilting rulers and that affords them some peace of mind.
It would be foolish to elevate any ruler on this list to the position of ‘best’. As was mentioned above, the usefulness of a ruler is going to depend on the quilter using it. As such, the different rulers on this list are going to appeal to different people.
Rather than trying to figure out which of these items is the best, you are better off identifying the one ruler among them that appeals to your needs. Look at the measurements and the style. Do they match the requirements of your project? What about the color and the figures? Can you read the markings with ease?
There are also the extra features to consider such as the non-slip back. You can’t go wrong with any of the items on this list but you will only find optimal satisfaction when you locate the one ruler on this list that fits your project best.
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