Rulers are one of the most essential tools when it comes to quilting. They are there to help you to cut out your fabric to piece accurately in multiple ways. That way, you’re sure to follow quilting patterns so that the design comes together perfectly.
First, rulers work in tandem with cutting mats to help you measure the correct amount of fabric to cut out for the pattern you’re working on. They’re covered in measurements, usually both metric and imperial. They’re clear, too, so you can see the measurements on the cutting mat to ensure you’re able to match up the lines to get the right cut.
Sturdy Straight Edge
Secondly,rulers for quilting provide a sturdy edge that is usually straight, making it possible for you to cut out shapes to piece in the quilting process. They work best with rotary cutters but can be used along with electronic rotary cutters, electric scissors, and other cutting machines.
Square it up!
Third, and finally, quilting rulers are great for squaring your quilt up. Squaring your quilt after each step will help you assure that your seams and points match up. It also guarantees, that your top can fit on a longarm quilting machine properly and your binding goes on the quilt straight.
Quick Summary Of Our Recommendations:
- Best Overall – Omnigrip Non-Slip Ruler 6″ x 12″
- Runner-up – Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 6-1/2in Square
- 3rd Favorite – Omnigrid 1” x 6” Clear Ruler
- Great for Big Projects – Omnigrid Non-Slip Quilter's Ruler 6″ x 24″
- Versatile and Easy to Read Markings – Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 6-1/2 in x 18-1/2 in
- Great for EPP projects – Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 2-1/2in Square
- Best for Beginners – Creative Grids Turbo 4-Patch Template Quilt Ruler
- Cutting Flying Geese Blocks – Creative Grids Ultimate Flying Geese Tool
- Travel-friendly Long Ruler – Omnigrid Folding Ruler 4 inch x 36 Inch
- Great for FPP projects – CM Designs Add-A-Quarter 6 Inch
- Accuracy in Curves – OmniArc 8-Inch-by-8-Inch Non-Slip Circle Cutter
- Great for Round Corners – Creative Grids Curved Corner Cutter Quilt Ruler
- For a Sturdy Grip – Dritz Omnigrid Double Suction Cup Ruler Grip
- Great Suction for Small Rulers – Ruler Knob
- Easy Application in Any Ruler or Template – Dritz Quilter's Slip ‘N Grips
What to Consider When Choosing a Quilting Ruler to Purchase
The type of quilting ruler you decide to purchase and use will depend on the type of projects you’re working on. Some are basic, others are specialized for a specific type of project. Here are things to consider when choosing a quilting ruler that is tailored to your needs:
Shape and Size
Rulers come in various shapes and sizes. Some are large enough that they span a large cutting mat. Others are only a couple of inches wide. Most are rectangular, but you’ll certainly find other shapes such as triangles and curves for a more specialized cutting experience.
As with most quilting tools and accessories, there are a few brands that are highly popular among the quilting and crafting communities. Brands such as Omnigrid sell all kinds of high quality accessories so you can do all your shopping in one place and make sure that your tools are 100% compatible with one another. Cutting tools are usually interchangeable, so if you prefer an Omnigrid cutting mat, a Fiskars rotary cutter, and a Creative Grids ruler, you’re still in great condition to quilt to your heart’s delight!
Added or Special Features
If you want to make sure your ruler doesn’t slip while you’re using it, or you’re prone to work with more slippery fabrics like cotton lawn, you can purchase rulers that have friction patches on them or referred to as non slip quilting rulers. It is also adviced to get a ruler that comes with (or purchase one separately) a handle. The handle can be great for those who suffer from arthritis as it helps to keep pressure from the wrist and other tender joints.
Some quilt rulers come with special instructions in order to make a specific block. These can be an easier way to create challenging blocks or be instructions that streamline the process of creating traditional blocks. Others might have ridges that help you with certain techniques, such as foundation paper piecing.
Best Large Straight Edge Quilting Rulers
Large straight edges can also be used to cut out larger pieces, such as quilt backings. Medium to large rectangular rulers are some of the most versatile and widely used while cutting out fabric, especially if you’re working on a simple pattern of straight lines.
1. Omnigrip Non-Slip Ruler 6″ x 12″
Omnigrid is one of the most popular brands of quilting rulers. They’re widely available online and in big box stores. And this size of ruler is extremely versatile! It’s big enough to use on large cutting mats and be able to use the entire thing. It’s also small enough that you can cut out smaller pieces, but might be slightly too large to work on teeny tiny pieces.
2. Omnigrid Non-Slip Quilter's Ruler 6″ x 24″
Twice the length of the previous ruler, this Omnigrid works best with extra large cutting mats. It’s great for cutting out backing fabric to piece into the right shape and size. It’s also perfect for cutting out medium-sized quilt pieces. You can use it with small pieces, too, but it’s not always the most convenient.
3. Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 6-1/2 in x 18-1/2 in
Another great brand of quilting rulers is Creative Grids. They have high-quality rulers that are clear and come with non-slip patches that help to keep your ruler in place as you cut.
Best Small Straight Edge Quilting Rulers
Small straight-edge rulers are nifty little tools to have on hand. They’re great to have, especially when you’re working on small piecing or when you’re traveling. These small rulers can fit into any travel bag and are easy to grab when you need to trim something really quick while you’re sewing or are working on tiny projects and don’t want a huge ruler getting in the way.
1. Omnigrid 1” x 6” Clear Ruler
This little ruler is as cute as it is useful! You can keep this one next to your machine whenever you need to trim a little bit before sewing your next seam, or you can use it to create very detailed, tiny blocks. It’s a great tool for anyone looking to create art quilts, as you’ll be able to cut out smaller pieces to fit together.
Best Square Quilting Rulers
Square rulers are less popular, but very useful. They’re most useful for measuring out squares for half-square triangles and for squaring up blocks before assembling your quilt top. They work just as well as all straight edge rulers to cut or trim straight lines.
1. Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 6-1/2 in Square
One of the most widely used sizes for quilt blocks is 6-1/2 by 6-1/2 inches. That’s where this square ruler for quilting can really come in handy! It will help you determine if your block is square, what you need to trim in order to make it square, and use it to cut out every piece you’ll be sewing into that particular quilt to begin with!
2. Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 2-1/2in Square
This square quilting ruler is just too cute for words. This ruler is great for anyone looking to fussy cut small squares or to square up English Paper Piecing blocks.
Best Specialized Quilting Rulers
What are specialized quilting rulers? They’re rulers that are made to assist you in cutting out odd shapes or make piecing specific quilt blocks much easier.
1. Creative Grids Turbo 4-Patch Template Quilt Ruler
While creating a 4-patch block might seem like one of the easiest techniques out there, this little square ruler is a great guide for any beginner.
2. Creative Grids Ultimate Flying Geese Tool
Another great ruler for anyone looking to make a specific quilt block.
3. Omnigrid Folding Ruler 4 inch x 36 Inch
Are you looking for a large ruler that still easily fits in a travel bag? This Omnigrid ruler will be your best friend!
4. CM Designs Add-A-Quarter 6 Inch
If you’re looking for a ruler that will make foundation paper piecing so much easier, then you want to pay attention to this special quilting ruler! This ruler is meant to add a quarter-inch seam allowance as you’re cutting away excess fabric in your foundation paper piecing projects. This assures you that you’ll have enough fabric to work with without worrying that you’ll pop a seam or leave too much fabric.
Best Curved Quilting Rulers
Sometimes you need a curved ruler for that special quilt project.
1. OmniArc 8-Inch-by-8-Inch Non-Slip Circle Cutter
Don’t be intimidated by curves when it comes to quilting! Sure, it can take a little practice to get the hang of cutting and sewing curves, but this next ruler wil make cutting curves much easier than you ever thought! This ruler was designed to give you multiple sizes of circles that you can cut out. It also provides normal measurements along the sides as well as degree markings so that you can be sure that you’re cutting out your curves perfectly!
2. Creative Grids Curved Corner Cutter Quilt Ruler
If you’re not wanting to cut out perfect circles, you might be more interested in this Creative Grids ruler! This nifty ruler has curved corners so that you can easily round off any corners on your fabric pieces.
Best Quilting Ruler Accessories
When it comes to holding onto your ruler, some people might find it difficult to hold onto them, even if they have non-slip grips. Whether you have chronic pain, or you just like holding the ruler differently so that your hands don’t feel fatigued after working on your quilt for many hours, you may want to consider any of the following accessories.
1. Dritz Omnigrid Double Suction Cup Ruler Grip
If you want to really have a good hold on your ruler, this grip is one of the most popular out there. It suctions on to any large quilting ruler and allows you to put some weight behind both the ruler and your rotary cutter!
2. Ruler Knob
When you have a smaller ruler or template, a whole handle won’t fit on it. Instead, you might consider these smaller suction cup knobs that allow you to get a similar amount of leverage behind the ruler.
3. Dritz Quilter's Slip ‘N Grips
Not every ruler comes with non-slip grips already attached. Some rulers wear out over time. That’s when these stick-on grips come into play. They work well as replacements and additional grips to be certain that your ruler doesn’t move while you cut.
If you’re looking to purchase a versatile ruler, we recommend the Omnigrip Non-Slip Ruler 6″ x 12″. The size is perfect for most cutting mats and isn’t too big that you can’t cut out smaller pieces of fabric for those more intricately pieced quilts.
Our second favorite quilting ruler is the Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 6-1/2in Square. This ruler is sized well for detailed cutting and helps you ensure that your blocks are perfectly squared for assembly!
Finally, a third favorite option for any avid quilter to have on hand is the Omnigrid 1” x 6” Clear Ruler. This ruler may be tiny, but it is fantastic to have for anyone who travels with their sewing (including those who hand piece or English Paper Piece!), and it’s great to have on hand beside any sewing machine in order to trim corners and threads quickly and efficiently.