When asked, ‘If you could have only one ruler, which would it be?’ time and again, quilters would say that one of five rulers were their favorite. It was interesting that nearly all of the responses to this question fell into one of these five ruler categories.
- The big long rectangle ruler. I think we can all agree, this ruler is a staple. The size ranges for 6″- 8 1/2″ x 18″ to 24 1/2″ long. It is great for all the big and basic tasks like squaring fabric, cutting borders, back cutting, and all forms of cutting to the ruler techniques.
- The smaller companion rectangle ruler. Mine sits in a cup right by my sewing machine, and I’m guessing yours probably does to. The sizes range from 2″ – 3″ x 12 1/2″ long. It is super handy with fast little on-the-go measurements, not to mention any kind of detail work as with smaller blocks and cutting units from stripped piecing. Because it allows for finer control, it’s a great asset to team up with a larger ruler when trimming and accuracy is critical.
- The big square. Usually 12″ to 12 1/2′ square. Great for sizing up blocks and units. It is also the perfect companion to the big long rectangle ruler. They go together like peas and carrots! Butt one up against the other and there is nothing you can’t do…or at least make a good attempt at. The big square lets you take your cutting skills to the next level, it is a powerful too in the battle with accuracy!
- The small square. I’m hesitant in calling it small, at 6″ to 6 1/2″ it certainly isn’t the smallest ruler on the shelf. This is the ruler I can never find! It loves to crawl into project boxes, squirrel away in travel bags, and hide in books! I call it my designing ruler because I sit and stare at it while I design. It keeps my visualization on par. But it is also great for just about everything else too! It is wonderful for trimming those little wings off, separating small units and sizing them up too!
- The giant square. This guy usually starts around 15″ and ends somewhere around 24″. They say you can know a quilter by her rulers…well, my guess is if you have this ruler, you applique! I may be way off, but other than sizing LARGE blocks, this rulers magic skill is organizing applique block layouts. You know -when you decide what goes where on the background fabric and then you suddenly realize you have spacing issues! Grab this ruler and straighten the whole mess out. It is also great for cutting other exceptional things like borders, and fussy cutting seat cushions.
See, you guys made some great recommendations!
Now let’s take a look at some tricks Annie Smith has to share with us about precise measurements and cuts: