Heather Thomas

How to Use Quilting Rulers Properly

Heather Thomas
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Duration:   6  mins

Quilting rulers come in all different sizes and shapes. Heather Thomas will teach you how to use them properly by explaining what all of the different hash lines on them are for as well as the diagonal lines.

Long Rulers

One of the common types of quilting rulers is the long ruler. Previously, they were made anywhere from 3 ½” to 6” wide and in several different lengths. They now make this type of quilting ruler up to 6 ½” wide, making it much easier to cut both strips and blocks. No matter what width your long ruler is, it will still have the same markings. Heather explains that the grid lines on the ruler mark an inch, while all of the smaller hash marks are for other increments.

While some of those increments might be labeled, like the ½” mark, others will not be, so it is important to either be able to visualize what the other marks are or be able to count them. Heather also shows that there are diagonal lines on long rulers as well. These lines can be used to cut 30º, 45º, and 60º angles. Heather shows how to line up your fabric along these lines to give you the angle that you want.

Square Rulers

Another common type of quilting ruler is a square ruler. These rulers come in all different sizes, depending on what size of square you are wanting to cut. While you can have a different square ruler of each different size if you want, Heather shows how you can quickly and easily cut many different sizes of squares with one larger ruler by utilizing the center diagonal line on a square ruler.

Selecting the right quilting ruler for what you are making can help save you time and money. Once you figure out what type of quilting ruler you are most comfortable using, you will find that you can do most of your cuts with just that one ruler.

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16 Responses to “How to Use Quilting Rulers Properly”

  1. Vicki Simmons

    I’m new to quilting so I appreciate this video. Now, I’ll have to go find the diagonal line on my ruler and count it off to confirm. lol

  2. Caroline

    This was invaluable. Thank you. Would love to know how to square up a piece- particularly why videos show trimming a square and then turning it 180 to trim other 2 sides. I’ve never understood the latter- why isn’t squaring 2 sides enough?

  3. Virginia C Clemens

    I am trying to teach myself quilting, I enjoyed this tutorial on the rulers, I would of never known about this important part. Thank you

  4. Joanna Shoemaker

    QUESTION...I know this is an older video, but I'm a newer member to NQC. Question about cutting using rulers. I primarily use Creative Grids rulers. When lining up the fabric, there is the "width" of the line on the ruler. What is the CORRECT way to LINE UP? To the INSIDE or the OUTSIDE of the width of the line? Just curious. Thank you!!!!

  5. Kim

    The lines on the rulers are 1/16 inch thick. Which side of the line do you use? Or do you attempt to center the edge of the fabric in the center of the ruler mark? I've discovered when cutting for high precision this makes a huge difference!

  6. Kathryn Krieger

    Thanks great suggestions didn’t realize that sq center line I do have a problem hearing you sometimes you are okay and then not I don’t know what I can do I really don’t want to use ear plugs Just a note

  7. claire ross

    many thanks for the explanation as i am newish to the magical world of quilting. best wishes to all

  8. Cassie

    I just have to say how thankful I am for this video! I am a nurse and decided to take up quilting on my days off to keep my mind busy apart from the stresses we are currently facing. As someone that knows nothing about quilting, I have been watching many videos but this is the first I’ve seen about all those lines on my ruler - and it really makes so much sense now! I knew they had to have a purpose! Thank you thank you!

  9. Lorraine

    I would like to learn the proper way to use rulers.

  10. Jenn

    Good info if you can get thru the duplicating in the video multiple times. Hard to understand due to this.

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