There are a million types of clear acrylic quilting rulers out there in so many shapes and sizes, it’s mind-boggling.
Do you actually need all of those to make a beautiful quilt top to stitch together on your sewing and/or quilting machine?
Many of those rulers are pretty unique in their shapes, useful for making specific fabric cuts.
If you’re just starting out with machine quilting or don’t plan to make anything that requires those shapes, all you really need are a few of the tried and true basic rulers until you get bolder with your designs and more experienced with piecing!
1. Standard Grid Rulers
Available in various lengths and widths, long grid rulers are the ones you will use the most with any quilt project for measuring, aligning, and cutting fabric.
Have one large one that’s big enough to cut long lengths of fabric on your cutting table and then various shorter ones for easily making smaller fabric cuts.
Buy rulers that are embossed with markings down to ¼” or â ” and have grid lines throughout the whole thing to make squaring up fabric easy.
If possible, buy the same brand so the quality and grid marks are consistent throughout your set.
2. Block or Square Rulers
Next you’ll want to have a block or square ruler that is a big square with measurements and grid lines all over it.
Of course they are handy for cutting; however, they are invaluable for making sure your cuts are a square 90-degrees to align correctly when you sew pieces together on a quilting machine.
Square rulers are very important for cutting square and rectangle pieces for the quilt top and equally important for squaring up the top once it’s all stitched together and ready to be set onto the quilt sandwich and readied for stitching.
3. Half-Hexagon Rulers
Half-hexagon rulers are ideal to have in various sizes if you enjoy using the full hex or half hex shape in your quilting design.
Using one of these rulers, you can simply set it on the fabric and cut all the way around it to produce a perfect half-hexagon or a full hexagon by cutting on the three short sides, then flipping the ruler and cutting the other three sides of the hexagon shape with, no measuring required.
4. Triangle Ruler
Another very popular shape to include in your quilt design stash of rulers, triangles help to avoid the difficulty of correctly cutting triangles.
Using a half-square triangle ruler, you can get perfect angles by simply cutting around the shape.
Even better, you can make a perfect square with a half-square triangle ruler by flipping the ruler over.
Purchase one with square-up marks to check your triangle or square for correct angles after the cut to make sure you have straight pieces that will sew together properly.
5. Specialty Shape Rulers
Beyond the basic four types of rulers you’ll want to have around for machine quilting projects, add any less common shapes you might need for a particular quilt top design.
There are many types available, including Dresden rulers in the shape of an elongated diamond, crescent and curved rulers for making circles, wedding bands, and similarly curved cuts, clamshell rulers, circle rulers, and more.
Quilt Rulers Make Cutting Shapes Easy
Cutting out tens or hundreds of the same shapes for a quilt you’ll stitch on a machine like the Grace Q'nique 15 Pro Midarm can be both tedious and challenging plus it’s critical that all the angles come out right.
With a good set of acrylic quilt rulers in just four common shapes, it’s possible to cut many of the shapes needed to construct your quilt top.
Buy them in a variety of sizes as needed or one that has markings for different sizes and you’ll be set to make almost any shape you need.
Add whatever specialty shaped rulers you need and the next quilt you make will look crisp, clean, and wonderful!