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A Quilter's Rule ruler is a measuring tool that quilters use to prepare blocks of fabric that eventually are sewn together to make a quilt. The ruler is also known as a 60-degree ruler, since each of its three points forms a 60-degree angle. Staples® carries a wide range of rulers for quilting, as well as sewing mats and other tools to cut and prepare fabrics.
A Quilter's Rule Ruler Helps Quilters Prepare Pattern Blocks
Quilting is the art of hand or machine sewing stitched patterns into a three-layer coverlet or comforter. The top layer consists of the patchwork of pattern blocks, sewn to each other to create the quilting design. The middle layer contains insulation batting, while the backing consists of a sheet of fabric to enclose the quilt. Triangle rulers enable quilters to create pattern blocks consisting of two equal-sided triangles, called half-squares, four equal-sided triangles, called quarter-squares, or a mix of half and quarter-squares.
A Quilter's Rule Ruler Helps Create the Traditional Decorative Quilt
Quilting experts agree that creating half and quarter-square pattern blocks moves the beginner quilter to more advanced quilting techniques. In fact, triangular patchwork quilts comprise the bulk of quilt designs throughout their recorded history, largely because of the difficulty of hand-scissoring and sewing curved and free-form shapes. A triangle ruler is an essential tool for working with fabric that is stretchable. A 60-degree ruler helps keep fabric flat on the sewing mat to create clean measurement lines. Many also have padded feet or embedded grippers that keep the fabric in place while using the straight edge of the ruler as a guide for trimming the fabric with a rotary cutter.
What Are Some Other Features of the Quilter's Rule Ruler?
A 60-degree ruler contains grid measurement markings to provide a universal ruler for creating all types of linear patterns, including 30-degree and 45-degree triangles. Standard 60-degree rulers for quilting range from 7 to 12 inches in length, although some are shorter models for creating mini-triangle patterns. The graduations are in full, 1/2-, and 1/4-inch increments. The 1/4-inch mark is important because that’s the size of the seam connecting the triangles. The rulers consist of clear acrylic to provide a sight-line for the cutting patterns. The graduations are normally etched or painted on the ruler in black to provide a contrast against white and colored fabrics. Many triangle rulers have 1/4-inch notches at the triangle points to serve as a seam allowance guide. Some of the 60-degree rulers also contain internal channels for marking patterns internally rather than along the border.
What Are Some Optional Accessories That Accompany a Quilter's Rule Ruler?
The sophisticated art of quilting relies on several tools beyond the 60-degree ruler. Linear rulers for quilting include seam rulers for marking seams accurately, strip-rulers for cutting ribbons of fabric, and square rulers with removable inserts for creating unique block-in-block patterns. Clear acrylic templates with alignment markings are also available for cutting a range of decorative quilting patterns such as flying geese, clamshells, petals, circles, and spirals.
What Else Makes a Quilter's Rule Ruler Unique?
One sewing-pattern anomaly that quilters encounter in creating half-squares is the dog ear. Because the edges of the triangle need to have the 1/4-inch seam allowance, one of the pointed tips of the triangles will extend beyond the seam by 1/4 inch, creating a flap called a dog ear. Stitching and cutting techniques will get rid of the dog ear, but some 60-degree rulers also come with a flat tip at the 1/4-inch mark to provide a cut mark for containing the extra fabric. Staples carries a wide range of measuring devices including tape measures and T-squares.