A quilting ruler is an essential tool for most quilters. Historically quilters used cardboard templates and scissors. This technique was very time consuming, fabric wasting and easy to be inaccurate.
The rulers quilters use are made from heavy-duty transparent acrylic that are cut by laser for accuracy. They are designed to be used with a rotary cuuter and a self-healing mat. Each ruler should have standard measurements marked along their length and width. The inch marks will likely be marked by solid lines along the length and width of the ruler. Whereas fractions may appear as shorter and thinner lines. Expect to find fractional increments of 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch. Quilt rulers usually have numbers placed so they can be read from the left-hand edge or the right-hand edge, to accommodate left-handed or right-handed cutting.
The rulers have a number of different angles marked onto their surface to assist quilters in cutting a variety of shapes or for mitering edges. These markings should be 30-, 45-, and 60- degree lines.
Some of the most common rulers quilters start with are:
4" x 12" and/or the 3" x 24" rectangular ruler. The longer ruler is best used when cutting long strips of fabric. It is also the most common one used in quilting shops.
6” x 24” ruler enables you to do most other cuts.
6.5” x 6.5” square ruler is great to align and cut squares and triangle squares.
Rulers do come in all shapes and sizes depending on what you are making. Begin with the basic rulers then, increase your collection gradually as you need to.