Before we get to rulers that we use for rotary cutting, let’s talk about rotary cutters. The rolling rotary cutter, designed to cut fabric, came about in 1979. Sewers everywhere, especially quilters, traded their scissors for a rotary cutter. Hi, this is Susan from Sewfeet.com and today’s post is about rulers and how many you need for quilting. We are talking about rotary cutting rulers but just to be clear, there are two more components that are required for rotary cutting. You must have a cutter designed for cutting fabric, and a cutting mat to protect your table surface as you cut.
Why Quilters Love Rotary Cutting
Even though rotary cutters can be used by anyone cutting fabric, they are especially useful to quilters. Here are several reasons for this:
Almost every quilt project has a large number of small fabric pieces that need to be cut so they can be sewn together into a quilt pattern. Rotary cutting is by far, faster than using scissors for cutting fabric.
Rotary cutting is one of the most accurate ways to cut fabric shapes. Precise cutting is required in quilting so the patchwork pieces will fit together to form the pattern.
Rotary cutting leaves a clean edge that makes it easy to precisely match and seam two patchwork pieces.
Quilters Select Rulers
There are many brands and types of rotary cutting rulers on the market and lots of choices for specific rulers. This post is about Quilters Select rulers and why I use them. Quilters Select is a brand of quilting tools and supplies distributed by RNK Distributing, which is a wholesale distributor of sewing and quilting notions, tools, and supplies. To find a retail store that sells Quilters Select products, CLICK HERE.
Unique Non-Slip Coating
The first thing you see when you look at the Quilters Select rulers is the yellow color. The color comes from a non-slip coating on the back of the ruler. When you touch the back of the ruler, it feels slightly rough. This texture keeps it from slipping and sliding as you use it, giving you more accurate cuts.
These rulers have easy-to-read lines for marking and measuring your fabric with ⅛”, ¼”, ½” ¾” and 1” markings. One-inch lines with two sets of corresponding numbers are placed around the perimeter of the ruler and read both left to right and right to left. This makes it easy to keep your place and read the numbers from any angle. One thing I really like about these rulers is that even with all of these markings, the surface of the ruler is not overly busy, but is clean and easy to read.
How Many Rulers Do You Need?
There are 20+ rulers in the Quilters Select line. If you are new to quilting, it may be overwhelming trying to decide how many you need and which ones you should select. Don’t think you must have all of them to get started. You can start with 2-3 rulers and add more if needed as you go along. I have a few suggestions for you, but you need to be aware that the specific rulers needed will vary from quilter to quilter. I’m showing you what has worked for me because of the way I sew and quilt. I work with smaller projects and smaller quilt blocks. If you like to make big block quilts, you may want to have larger square rulers such as a 12” or 18” ruler. The three rulers shown on the chart below are good ones to start with and as you build your skills and learn new techniques, you can add the ones that will suit your needs. Another ruler that I have found especially useful is 2 ½” wide and 36” long. It is great for cutting strips to make my own jelly roll strips and it is perfect for cutting binding strips.
I keep my rulers organized by using this wooden ruler rack, also a Quilters Select product. I keep it on my cutting table, and it holds my small to medium rulers (my longer, larger ones are hanging on my pegboard). It is so handy to have these racks on my table where the rulers are easy to find as I’m cutting. It even has a place for my rotary cutter!
To learn more from and about Susan Beck, visit SewFeet.com. Happy Stitching!