Favorite Rulers

A new quilter recently asked which rulers I would recommend for a beginner.  My response was:

My best recommendation is to sign up for classes at a local quilt shop
or guild or even find a quilter who would mentor you.  Chances are the
instructor has her favorites and you might can try before you buy.
Creative Grids makes hundreds of rulers and their rulers are clear
with rough grip spots on the back.  They are my favorite brand but
otherwise, I would recommend starting off with something like a 6-1/2″
x 12-1/2″ rectangular ruler and maybe a 9-1/2″ square ruler.  That
would get you started.

My favorite day to day rulers are the Creative Grids rulers I mentioned above.  They stay put due to the rough spots on the back, they’re clear and easy to see the lines on most any fabric and heck . . I like it when all my rulers match and look like a set!  🙂

Their Turn-A-Round™ rulers are the ones I use the most.  As far squares, I use the 12-1/2″ and 9-1/2″ most often, though I do have the 6-1/2″ and maybe one smaller.  I find that having the larger size gives me a place to put my hand to hold the ruler steady without worrying about losing a finger to the rotary cutter.

Creative Grids also has a “Simple 7/8″ ruler that I like a lot for when we need to cut those strips/squares that end in 7/8”.

I keep it completely separate from my other rulers and keep a Post-It note on it that it’s 7/8″ and not a full inch because I’ve picked it up before and thought it was my regular ruler.

My favorite specialty ruler is the Tri-Recs™ by EZ Quilting.  These are difficult angles to get right and with the Tri-Recs set, they come out perfect most every time.  It makes perfect little points for blocks like this:

Questions for you today:

  1. If you were recommending rulers to a beginning quilter who had a limited budget, which rulers would you recommend and why?
  2. What are your favorite everyday rulers and why?
  3. What are your favorite specialty rulers and why?

Comments

  1. 1

    Pat in Washington says

    1) 6 x 24″ because you can cut width of fabric strips. 9 1/2″ square for squaring up blocks.
    2) 6 x 24″ and 6 x 12″ for everyday cutting. Plus E-Z Angle ruler. Plus 9 1/2″ square ruler. I use all of them every week. I have several projects going at once, so I NEED them (so I have convinced myself).
    3) Tri-Recs of course! Love the blocks you can do with it. And I recently won a Fit to be Quarter ruler from a give-away on Open Gates Quilts and can’t wait to get it and try it out.

  2. 2

    Linda says

    1. The best quality you can afford
    2. I use my 6 x 12″ ruler the most along with the 12.5″ and 6.5″ squares.
    3. My fav specialty ruler is the June Tailor shape ruler (or some name like that) you can cut up strips lickety split! I bought the one that is in 1/2″ increments – may have to get one for 1/4″ if they make it!

  3. 3

    says

    First and foremost I would say CREATIVE GRIDS in:
    ~ 6 1/2 x 24 … although I bought an 8 1/2 x 24 and have to say it’s become my favorite … you can power cut three 2 1/2 inche strips at a time with little movement of fabric
    ~ 6 1/2 x 12 1/2 – Works great for crosscutting and for cutting up scraps
    ~ 12 1/2″ square – for squaring up
    ~ 6 1/2″ square – for squaring up small blocks

    I don’t use much for speciality rulers … I own a bunch of them, just haven’t used any of them much. I do have a rotating cutting board … it is GREAT, I use it a lot when cutting small things or squaring something up.

    I’d also make sure they know to get their tools as cheap as possible, I go to the local JoAnn Fabric Store, when they are 1/2 price. Save as much money as possible for Quilt Shop Quality fabric.

  4. 4

    Cindy B. says

    One of the very first rulers I bought is still one of my faves. The information on the ruler says: O’LIPFA. Lip Edge Ruler.It is 24″ long plus the lip edge. I have a suction cup handle on it so I can grab it easily. My point being: this ruler helps me make those width of fabric cuts without getting the little tweek in it.

    Learning to make width of fabric cuts was the very hardest for me. Ummm … still might be at times!

  5. 5

    says

    For me a 6″ x 24″ is essential but my personal favorite is the 4″x 14″. Long enough for most jobs but small enough for tiny squares. The other ‘must have’ is the 6″ x 6″. My favorite specialty ruler is the “Precision Trimmer” by Marti Michelle. No other ruler is a s good for squaring up half-square and especially quarter-square triangles. You really have to find this ruler and note the special markings on it to know what I’m talking about.

  6. 6

    Debbie says

    I definitely agree on the Creative Grids rulers.. I love how they stay put. I use 6 1/2 a lot. and 8 1/2 x 12. I like Eleanor Burns square up rulers also but they don’t that the creative grids dots on the back so slip sometimes…

  7. 7

    pdudgeon says

    favorite ruler company would be Omnigrid.

    everyday favorites would be the 6 x 12.5 rectangle ruler for regular cutting, and the 3 x 18 ruler for strips and squaring up quilts.

    for specialty rulers, gotta love:
    the large triangle rulers for setting squares,
    the 3 sizes of lucite tumblers (from Temecula Quilt Company) it doesn’t get any better than these goodies to use up your odd sized scraps for some fabulous quilts!,
    the 6.5 x 6.5 ruler from Omnigrid for squaring up smaller blocks,
    and the 12.5 x 12.5 for cutting backgrounds and squaring applique blocks.

    a lot of rulers, i know, but these are the ones i use the most.

  8. 8

    says

    My must-have ruler is my 6″x24″. Perfect for cutting width of fabric strips. 2nd most-used is 9 1/2″ square. I use that for almost all cross-cutting of my strips, plus squaring most blocks. I do have a 12 1/2″ square, but I seldom make blocks bigger than 9″ finished When I do, however, this ruler is a life-saver for squaring up. When I can find it, I like my 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ for smaller work.

    I have a few speciality rulers, but none stand out. Thats probably because I use them for one quilt and then put them aside.

  9. 9

    says

    I have the Creative Grids 8 1/2 x 24 ruler and now use it more often than any of my other long rulers. I love the extra width.

    • 9.1

      says

      The original rulers I purchased were from Omni Grid – they all have the OmniGrip anti-slip added to them – actually I use that stuff on all the rulers and plastic templates that are not already textured.

      The specialty ruler I can’t live without is the Shape Cut Plus… Love it for cutting strips!

  10. 10

    quilterbee says

    I use the Omnigrid rulers because I am visually impaired and can see the yellow lines the best on fabric. I have all diferent sizes . I do have a Creative Grids ruler but I find it difficult to see the lines on the fabric. It has different measurements on both sides and I find that confusing too. I bought a ruler that is 2 1/2 wide and I think it is 8 inches long. It is at the quilt shop with my stuff so I am guessing at the length. This is great for cutting all those 2 1/2 inch strips for the newer patterns that are out. I am not sure which brand of ruler it is.

  11. 11

    Natasha C says

    I definitely recommend hitting up Joanns with a coupon to get rulers.

    I mostly use:
    (1) a 6.5″x24″ ruler with a gypsy gripper. I use this for all of my width of fabric cuts
    (2) 12″ square
    (3) I have a 2.5″ x 18″ for smaller work

    I use other rulers, but those are my most used and favorite!

    • 11.1

      Belinda says

      I still love my Nancy Crow Quickline. This is my 3rd since 1988 and now I can’t find them anymore–anywhere! I do love the way the lines go all the way and I can flip it to get the right increments without having to watch all the little tick measurements. I make mistakes using any other rulers. Belinda

      • Katie says

        Hi Belinda,
        They are available at local quilt shops and select Michael’s, Hancock and Hobby Lobby stores. They can also be ordered through Wright’s Outlet Store at (508) 347-2839. I hope this helps.

  12. 12

    Katie says

    Judy,
    Thank you (and all) so much for all of your valuable information on your favorite rulers. I am going to follow your advice and sign up for beginner quilting classes and, like you say, gain a mentor. I visit your blog everyday and I hope one day to make one of your beautiful quilts. Thank you, Judy for all of your helpful advice. Good luck in your transition to Texas and your search for your new home. Katie

  13. 13

    Greg says

    My favorite daily rulers are Omnigrid 6×12 and 6×24. I can tape them together if I need a longer ruler. And I like the Omnigrid squares, too. I’m like you – I want them to all match.
    I just discovered the Bloc_Loc rulers and love them – I use them to trim oversized HSTs and QSTs down to the exact size without cutting my fingers off!

  14. 14

    says

    My non-quilting friend just joined the guild last year so she could get out of the house after a divorce, and yesterday actually bought a machine! LOL. I knew it would get to her sooner or later.

    I just had the “RULER” discussion with her and we went to the store to pick out a few for her.

    I think the basics should be:

    6 1/2 x 24
    12 1/2 x 12 1/2
    6 1/2 x 12 1/2

    After that you can get some specialty rulers. I do like the Tri-recs.

    glen

  15. 15

    says

    I have quilted with 3 rulers since I started.

    omnigrid 15″ sq
    omnigrid 3 x 18

    Patch work place bias sq 6″

    those 3 travel with me and stay on the table when Im home. for the last 15+ yrs or so.

    I really havent felt the need for anything else.

  16. 16

    Jill A says

    On a limited budget I would go for the 6×24 and one of the medium squares….9.5 or 12.5. I also agree with the other comments about buying the best you can, even if it means one at a time. Cheaper isn’t always better, I found a 6×24 at a show once and didn’t notice until I got home that the lines were on the top. Ick, I think I’ve only used it when I needed extra width.

    I like to use the smallest ruler for my job, so my 6×12 gets used more than the larger one once I’m done with my inital cutting.

    My favorite specialty rulers are the Easy Angle & Companion Angle. It does sometimes take a little extra math to adjust patterns to use them, but I like them much better than most of the other HST & flying geese methods I’ve been taught.

  17. 17

    says

    I love the Omnigrip rulers; it’s easy to see the lines, and they stay put on the fabric when I put a little pressure on them. I love the 4″ x 14″ ruler for cutting strips, since it’s just right for a width of fabric folded in four. I also like the 12″ square and the 8.5″ x 24″ for larger jobs. I have several others, and I like them all, but I think these are the most useful.

  18. 18

    says

    1. 12.5″ square – you can cut/trim almost anything with it, especially if you won’t be making teeny-tiny blocks

    2. 3″ x 18″ for cutting long strips/WOF things.

    I also have a 6 1/2″ square, but I don’t use it nearly as much as the other two.

  19. 19

    Connie says

    I LOVE CREATIVE GRIDS. Don’t have a ton of them yet, need to get more. I also love Eleanor Burn’s triangle square up rulers and flying geese rulers. Tri-recs are great, too!

  20. 20

    says

    I’m with you on this one, Judy. I would recommend Creative Grids – the 12 1/2″ square, the 6 1/2″ square and the 6 1/2″by 12 1/2″if they have one. My first one was 6 x 12 and I really could have used that extra 1/2″ . When I go to the Long Beach show in July – I plan to replace my first one – I have worn off some of the lines I have used it so much in the last 10 years.

    I’ve found it’s very important to use the same company’s rulers when cutting out pieces because they are not all the same.

  21. 21

    Diane says

    My favorite ruler would be the Creative Grid IF I didn’t already own a bazillion Omni-Grip rulers. I love the Omni-Grip 8.5″ X 12″ the best. But lately I have noticed the yellow line is starting to irritate me. It never bothered me before, but for the past several days I have been reaching for a differnt ruler when I was trying to make sure something was dead on. I sure hope I don’t have to buy all new rulers. My husband would stroke out!

  22. 22

    says

    I agree with all the posts about the 6x24inch ruler for strips! I use a 12 1/2″ruler for squareing down all my blocks. But recently I have designed about 7 patterns using the EZQuilt rulers: Easy Angle, Companion Angle, TriRecs set….and I’ve added Marti Michelle’s kaleidescope ruler to my “fun” rulers!!
    if you are a new quilter and on a tight budget, you really only need to have the first two rulers listed. The 6×24 ruler has the 45 degree and 90 degree lines and you can create lots of quilts with just this. But we all know quilters…we must have those gadgets!! LOL Happy quilting!