An all-in-one ruler for quilters? It exists!

National Sewing Month 2013

Hello, Moda fans! I’m Jenny and I’ve been a major Moda fan since 1997 when I fell into quilting—first as a job, and then (less than 60 days later) as a passion. I’m currently a writer for Martingale’s Stitch This! blog. If you haven’t heard of Martingale, we publish quilt books. Lots of them. More than 1,200 of them so far, to be sort of exact! We’re delighted to be a part of the “Measure Twice, Cut Once” series, mostly because “measure twice, cut once” is a mantra for many quilters in our office. (I’ll bet each of us can remember the exact pattern, hue, and texture of the fabric we sliced up incorrectly when we weren’t following said mantra.)

So… rulers. How many rotary rulers do you own? If you’re like me, you have a spot in your sewing space dedicated to keeping rulers stacked on their sides so you can flip through them—much like an old-school record bin—and quickly find what you need. It seems like there’s a different ruler out there for every individual cutting task. But did you know that there’s one ruler that’s designed to do the job of many? It proudly proclaims its mission in its name: the All-in-One Ruler!

The ruler measures 6″ x 18″—no bigger than many rectangular rotary rulers.

Kind of funny looking, huh? The All-in-One Ruler does what other common rulers do, but because of that peculiar diagonal slant on the right and the special markings on the back side, it does even more. The ruler is designed by Cathy Wierzbicki, the bestselling author of Twosey-Foursey Quilts, which pairs up with the ruler perfectly. Cathy demonstrates how the ruler works in the video below—but let me give you a quick rundown of why this may just be the only ruler you’ll ever need.

Does the All-in-One Ruler cut all the basic shapes that quilters have universally needed to cut since, well, since the dawn of quilting? Yep. But things start to get exciting when you realize how the ruler helps with cutting triangles. Instead of cutting squares from yardage and then cross-cutting those squares into triangles, the ruler helps you easily cut triangles from strips of fabric. See here:

Cutting half-square triangles from strips. The ruler makes diagonal cutting a snap—and the math is greatly simplified. You only need to add ½” to the finished measurement of a square, instead of the traditional ⅞”. (For example, to cut half-square triangles that finish at 2″, cut a strip that measures 2½” wide.) Using the ruler’s angled edge, position the ruler on top of the strip as shown (above left) and cut along the diagonal edge. To cut the next triangle, rotate and flip the ruler to the right, reposition as shown (above right), and cut along the right edge of the ruler. For this second cut, the back side of the ruler is facing up. The ruler is marked with reverse printing, making the numbers easy to read from both sides.

Cutting quarter-square triangles from strips. The printed diagonal lines show what strip size to use to arrive at a desired finished size. (For example, a quarter-square triangle cut from a 2½” strip will finish at 4″ wide.) This is equivalent to cutting a 5¼” square, then cutting the square twice diagonally to get four quarter-square triangles. To cut, simply align the notched corner of the ruler with the top edge of the fabric strip; then cut along both edges of the ruler (above left). To cut the next quarter-square triangle, rotate the ruler, align the left edge with the previous cut, and cut along the right edge (above right). You can continue cutting triangles all the way across the strip this way.

Here are just a few of the quilts Cathy’s made using the All-in-One Ruler. And each design starts with nothing but strips!


“Wild Goose Chase”


“Amish Sparklers”


“Splash Dance”


“Prairie Stars”

Of all the things the ruler can do, I think this is my favorite… it trims triangle points with a built-in trimmer. It’s just a little thing, but to me it makes all the difference. Cutting the points off triangles before you sew is the key to accuracy. The rounded edges made with the point trimmer match up triangles perfectly—and no dog ears on your patchwork!

About the point trimmer, Cathy says: “If you have trouble getting sharp points on your stars or flying-geese units, use the point trimmer. I have seen quiltmakers across the country go from making imprecise, decapitated flying geese to sewing razor-sharp points with great accuracy—simply because the points were trimmed prior to sewing.”

Here’s Cathy demonstrating the ruler in action:

Watch the demo of the All-in-One Ruler on YouTube

No need for a scatter of specialty rulers—this one does it all! You can learn more about the All-in-One Ruler here.


We will be giving away an All-in-One Ruler to one lucky winner! To enter please leave a comment—tell us about your favorite quilting gadget.

You will have until September 30 at midnight to comment. All winners will be randomly selected and announced on Moda…The Cutting Table Blog on October 2. Make sure to visit the blog every day for the opportunity to win each giveaway!

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345 thoughts on “An all-in-one ruler for quilters? It exists!

  1. I couldn’t use this ruler without my rotary cutter and I want to use this ruler! So–I’ll chime in with the others that the rotary cutter is my favorite tool I would hate to make a quilt without one.

  2. I love all quilting rulers! But my favorite tool would have to be the June Tailor Shape Plus Cut ruler. I first saw this ruler in action at a quilting retreat last year and I bought one from Amazon immediately after using it once. It is so accurate and such a time saver!

  3. To be honest, I have a love affair with my seam ripper! Not that I love to use it, but when I do, mine is fabulous. I keep it,and a spare, close at hand at all times when sewing. A day without ripping is like a day without sunshine. (All that means is I’m sewing everyday and that makes me happy.) Well almost every day…..

  4. My seam ripper. I have had to sew without one and that is not to be repeated! Close second is the rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler. So this ruler would be right at home!
    Kim

  5. My favorite quilting tool is my EQ program. I love to play around and design my own layouts, especially when I have a charm pack waiting to be sewn! Love the look of this ruler, and would love to own one.

  6. The rotary cutter for most things, but definitely the AccuQuilt for applique and anything with curves, and Clover binding clips are right there at the top too.

  7. My rotary cutter is my fav because I am old enough to recall having only scissors to use! I am up for anything that will help me get sharper points on my points!
    Lola

  8. My favorite tool would have to be my rotary cutter. Not only does it get the process started but it helps me when I have to rip out stitches which I do often. It works faster than my seam ripper. A All-in-one ruler would surely be my second favorite tool.

  9. My rotary cutter is my favorite gadget because without it I’d be cutting out shapes by hand…and I wouldn’t like that very much…lol.

  10. Of course, I love my rotary cutter, but I also use my Wonder Clips for almost every task out there – they are great. Thanks for the chance to win this ruler – it looks amazing!

  11. I would have to say my rotory cutter. What did they do before that invention? Now an awesome ruler to use it with. I would love to win! Thanks for having this giveaway 🙂

  12. How did we ever live without rotary cutters! I use mine as a seam ripper as well as a cutter. I sometimes use it to cut threads when I scissors aren’t handy. It is a miracle invention! This ruler looks great and has so many uses also. I’d love to have one!

  13. My favorite notion is the Purple Thang. It comes in handy so many times at my machine. Great little tool.
    Also, does this ruler cut from bigger strips than 2 1/2 inch ones? It looks like it does, which would be really great!

  14. My sewing machine (since it is new and is a serious upgrade from my last one) is my absolute favorite… but them comes my rotary cutter for sure… love the crisp accurate cutes it makes!

  15. It would have to be the seam ripper as I wouldn’t know how to remove stitches so easily!

    Actually, I’m just kidding. Although, the seam ripper is a great tool. My favorite tools would have to be both the sewing machine and rotary cutter.

    Thank you for a chance to win!

  16. I think that my gadget of choice is a package that consists of my mat, rotary cutter and ruler. That is because one does not work without the other.

  17. I’m still a novice with sewing but have been intrigued by quilting – this device looks awesome! I always wondered how some quilts looked so perfect. My favorite sewing gadget are my heavy dressmaker’s shears.

  18. I would not be quilting if I didn’t have a rotary cutter. So besides my sewing machine, this is my favorite gadget. This awesome ruler would just help making the process of cutting fabric so much better.

  19. I have lots of great gadgets but one I’ve only started using recently is becoming a favorite. It’s a wooden seam roller that I used to use when hanging wallpaper. I learned this trick from a class with RaNae Merrill. It’s especially good for flattening seams when paper piecing.

  20. Deciding on my favorite gadget is difficult! For hand sewing, I have to have the needle threader! Those pesky needle holes are small! For machine sewing, I love my bendable bright light! It makes a world of difference, especially sewing at night!

    LaDonna

  21. gosh, this All-In-One ruler may just BECOME my favorite ruler; however, my favorite GADGET is my rotating tool/pencil/scissor holder that is from Pampered Chef, I think. It is round and spins and has probably 12 little divisions. Perfect! It takes up so little space and keeps things OFF the table top. I have one at each machine. I would be a m.e.s.s w/o it.
    In appreciation, I will post a pic of it on my blog.

  22. I’m a quilting newbie, so I’m not sure if I have a favorite tool. Like others, I do like my rotary cutter(s). The all-in-one tool looks like it would come in handy, before I get a “record collection” of rulers! 😉 I always have to stop and look at all of them and think what I might be able to do if I had this one or that one…

  23. My rotary cutter would be my favorite tool and rulers are right up there in importance and I sure like this ruler and would love to own one , thanks for the chance .

  24. My favorite gadget would have to be my Quattro 2 – it sews so accurately, it makes me look like I know what I’m doing . . . .

    Thanks for the awesome giveaways!!

  25. Hi… my name is Christina and I am a gadget/ruler addict. ::: chorus of “Hi, Christina! :::: I adore this new ruler! I must have it! My most recent favorite gadget (they are ALL my favorites) is the quilters slidelock. Oh what a great device. Here’s a link to the website where I bought it.. http://quiltersslidelock.com/ You KNOW you have to have it too!!! And this great ruler you just introduced me to. 🙂
    ~ Christina

  26. My favorite quilting gadget are my small polka-dot scissors that I have attached to a retractable coil string that clips to my shirt. My scissors are always handy and it saves me a lot of time looking for them.

  27. I love my seam rippers but especially my new Seam-Fix seam ripper with the rubber end for removing the threads after ripping. I will be replacing all my rippers with this tool.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  28. I recently had three friends visit for a week and they bought me a rotary mat as a thank you – I have already put it to good use – love it.

  29. Right now my favorite tool is my rotary cutter. If I should become the lucky winner, the All in One Ruler will become my new favorite tool. You have done a splendid tutorial on explaining this tool as well as quilt samples. Thank you for the chance to win.

    Sandi Timmons
    sandit1@sbcglobal.net

  30. My favorite tool is my rotary cutter. I can’t imagine cutting all those triangles with scissors. I like rulers that I can see the numbers clearly which this one looks like you can. Thank you for sharing..

  31. Right now – my computer. In addition to the basic tools (machine, ruler, mat, cutter, etc…) the computer is a font of tutorials, patterns, and ideas without me having to spend my fabric budget on books and patterns.

  32. My favorite gadget is my rotary cutter. But this ruler looks amazing. Sure would cut down on the time it takes to look for different rulers.

  33. I love my Olfa quick-change 60mm rotary cutter, but I also love my Gingher snips which live right by my sewing machine at all times. Thanks for the giveaway. I’d love to try out this ruler.

  34. This all-in-one ruler looks like a winner! My favorite is still a good ole rotary cutter. I wouldn’t know how to cut all the fabrics with scissors. Thank you!

  35. My favorite gadget is my “unsewer”. I like that word…calling it a ripper sounds so defeating. Unsewing sounds like I’m doing something constructive or at least that’s what I like to tell myself. Of course, it’s awesome to have learned how to use it correctly by sliding it along the threads instead of one seam at a time. I can thank the instructor at the last quilting class I took for teaching me that. The All-In-One ruler sounds like something that I would love to add to my collection of gadgets. Thanks for the opportunity!

  36. My favorite tool has to be my clover desktop needle threader! It always comes in handy when working on applique and embroidery projects. I also love my rotary cutter and would LOVE to try out this ruler! Thanks!

  37. I would have to say that my favourite list is quite long but I’ve had a close & personal relationship with the same seam ripper for a very long time. I find it relaxing when I need to use it. would love to give this All IN ONE Ruler a new home. Thanks for the opportunity t maybe win.

  38. I love my Purple Thang, don’t know what I’d do without it. But I really, really need that ruler. I don’t know why I don’t have one already, guess I’ve just been waiting to win one!

  39. I’m not sure if this is strictly a quilting gadget but I love using a Herra marker. I use it to press my seams, instead of an iron, and I use it to mark my quilting linest.

  40. Hmmm … I have a love/hate relationship with my rotary cutter, but I’ll go with that because I wouldn’t want to have to cut everything out with scissors!

  41. Besides my machine, my favorite is my 6×12 ruler. Compact, easy to pack, and I can cut most any shape, but the All in One would probably be more accurate.

  42. Oh, man I have to choose…it would be my necklace/scissor holder pincushion. Thanks for the great giveaway. vickise at gmail dot com

  43. not my favorite but one that I use a lot is the seam ripper. LOL. But I couldn’t get along without a rotary cutter and ruler. Thanks for giving me a chance to win.

  44. My favorite gadget is my Ikea light. It helps me see what I’m working on so much better. Thanks for the opportunity to win the ruler. It looks like a “must have” for my collection.

  45. Well, I don’t suppose my Tin Lizzie 18 counts as a gadget. I don’t consider basic tools gadgets, so that also rules out rotary cutter and basic rulers. To me a gadget is a smallish tool with limited, specific use, to make a specific task easier.as such I rarely buy gadgets. I buy multi purpose basic tools…which is what this ruler seams to be. Judy Martin’s point trimmer tool is one gadget I have and appreciate.

  46. My favorite gadget is graph paper. It helps me to ‘do the math’ and get those measurements right the first time. I’m a visual learner and just have to see everything!

  47. Iwould have to say Wonder Clips are my favorite gadget. I am fairly new to quilting. I was constantly getting poked with pins while trying to stitch the binding. No more pokes. This ruler looks amazing. Thank you for the chance to win one.

  48. My fav gadget would have to be the rotary cutter … I wouldn’t still be quilting today, if the rotary cutter hadn’t come out back when I was a quilting newbie ! Rotary rulers are just as essential as the cutter and this new one looks great.
    Thanks for the chance to win !

  49. Being a new quilter I would have to say that so far my favorite gadgets are my rotary cutter and cutting mat. I sure could use the all-in-one ruler! Thanks for the chance to win it!!!

  50. I would say my 6″ by 24″ ruler used with my rotary cutter is the one I use most. The “All in One Ruler” sparks my interest and would definately like to have a chance to use it.

  51. My favorite gadget besides the obvious cutter and mat is the Thimble Pad. Without this, I wouldn’t be able to hand quilt without hurting my fingertips. Thank you for the chance to win.

  52. I think my favorite gadget would have to be my rotary cutter and rulers-one isn’t worth much without the other. Love my sewing machine too.
    Lyn

  53. My rotary cutter! I don’t know how quilters made precise cuts long ago without them! Thanks for the chance to win one of these amazing rulers!

  54. I have a 6 1/2″ square ruler that has raised ridges on the back that helps it hold to the fabric better when cutting that I use all the time. I also have one in a 12 1/2″ & 18 x 6 1/2″ size that I use a lot.

  55. Those quilts are beautiful but do look challenging. Thank goodness there’s a ruler that will make it all easier. Thanks for the chance

  56. I will have to join the others and say my rotary cutter(s). That ruler is awesome and would be wonderful to have so I could send all the ones that it replaces off to other homes!!!!!

  57. Soooo many tools, how to choose a favorite? It’s like kids, can’t choose! I love them all! But there is plenty of love to go around for a new all-in-one ruler!

  58. my favorite gadget is the Quick quarter. my favorite tool is the rotary cutter! looks like a great ruler, maybe I could replace a big stack of them, with this one!! my birthday is this month, would be great to get a present 🙂

  59. My favorite gadget is a strip-cutter ruler. The 12×18-inch ruler allows you to cut a whole fat quarter at once, in any amount of half-inch cuts. Such a time saver!

  60. This is truly a marvelous ruler!!! What a wonderful idea. There are so many tools that I love, it’s hard to choose just one, but I’ll pick my rotary cutter. Thanks for the opportunity.

  61. This is a great idea. One ruler to do all that is needed. I would have to go along with the rotary cutter. Easier to use with arthritic hands.

  62. Is the design wall a gadget? Because I certainly do love seeing how a design changes by turning and rearranging my blocks. But then where would I be without my beloved rotary cutter. Thank you for the information about this ruler. It looks fantastic. Can’t wait to get my hands on one! kathleen dot lutz at doh dot state dot nj dot us

  63. My favorite sewing notion is my Bernina is there anything else to sew with. Just ask my son, he loves sewing with my Bernina. This ruler looks great as I tired of having rulers for only 1 thing so I could really use it at my house.

  64. My favorite notion is my Bernina is there anything else to sew with. Just ask my son, he loves sewing with my Bernina. This ruler looks grea as I am tired of having rulers for only 1 thing so I could really use it at my house. mdjssi at g mail dot com

    Thanks

  65. I think my favorite notion is a little thread cutter that sticks to the edge of my table in front of my sewing machine. It is great to use during block assembly!

  66. My rotary cutter is a must. I still have magazines/patterns that still call for tracing templates and I have done so using cardboard. I cannot believe it!

  67. How could we use all of the lovely rulers that have come out in the last few years if we didn’t have my favourite tool the rotary cutter. Now I can throw them all away if I get this new all in one ruler.

  68. My favorite gadget is one I made myself: Just a two foot length of unfinished-wood half-round edge trim that makes pressing seams open so much faster and easier to do! I couldn’t find half round dowling, but this is even better as it has a small lip on each side that makes handling it easy. An extra use I discovered one hot day is that I can reach the on/off button on my floor fan with it.

  69. My first go-to item when quilting is the trusty yellow Olfa rotary cutter my grandmother gave me 20+ years ago. This All-in-One ruler looks like it would vie for the top tool though.

  70. Like so many others, my favorite tool is my rotary cutter, but without a good ruler, it wouldn’t be nearly as useful! I’d love to try this one!

  71. I think that my rotary cutter along with one of the 30 or so rulers that I have would be the most used tool. If I could win this ruler then I might be tempted to get rid of some of my other rulers.

  72. My most important notions, besides my sewing machine, are of course my rotary cutter and cutting mat, I couldn’t work without them. I love rulers but I don’t own many, so this would be a perfect addition.
    Thanks for the chance!

  73. My favorite gadget is my rotary cutter(s) and I can not imagine life without it…but, I also have a collection of necessary rulers, and always want the next one I see. lol Keep ’em coming, please. And love the tips.

  74. I’m a toolloon so picking a favorite is hard beyond the obvious, a rotary cutter. Does a lightboard count? How about an Altos cutting system? I like this ruler and would definitely advise beginners to get one so they don’t have to have a ruler for every purpose.

  75. My favourite gadget is unquestionably The Binding Tool…. It has turned a frustrating task into a simple one and my final binding seam comes together perfectly EVERY time.

  76. Choosing my fabric quilting gadget is hard… kind of like choosing a favorite child! Haha! I guess I would have to say my rotary cutter, but I love ALL the gadgets!

  77. My favorite gadget is little peel off labels/stickers that you can write on. They are a great way to label block units or finsihed blocks so they get put together in the right order.

  78. My most necessary gadget would be my rotary cutter first and rulers second! although I’m not sure what would replace a good ruler in any situation of cutting.

  79. I bought this ruler! and now I know how to use it 🙂 thank you so much for the video. I would love to win another to give as a gift. Thank you for the giveaway!

  80. they are always coming out with some new notion or reinventing something old but my all time favorite is the rotary cutter, it never fails you unles you have a dull blade thanks for the chance to win

  81. I loved the video and think the All-In-One Ruler looks like it would be a great addition to my gadgets. I do love gadgets but if I had to choose just one – I’d pick my 45 mm rotary cutter.

  82. I really like my Easy Angle by Simplicity. I love using half square triangles and I first learned how to make them with no wasted fabric with it! I’d love to win the All-in-One Ruler. Thanks for the chance to win!

  83. We’re only allowed to choose ONE? I have a couple indispensable gadgets. Well, maybe more than a couple… I couldn’t live without my rotary cutter. And I have a Quilt Pink lanyard that holds my thread scissors so that they don’t get lost (at least not as often, anyway) And of, course there is Jack. He’s my seam RIPPER ;>. And my 6 1/2 inch square ruler is my go-to for trimming blocks, HST and QST. I’m afraid that gadgets are like potato chips – I can’t eat (choose!) just one.

  84. It would be my pair of simplicity snips. After I’ve sewn my block together I grab my snips and trim off all the loose ends of cotton.

  85. My favorite gadget would have to be my rotary cutter, although this ruler may just take the top spot–it would replace that stack of 6 or 7 rulers I use when cutting. One for long cuts, one for 1/8″ cuts, another for triangles, skinny ones, short ones, even ones with chicken pox (yep, that morphed into the hot dog song-lol). Would love to win one and give it a try.

  86. It would have to be all of my Ott lights. It’s not just the correct color, it’s also the brightness which helps me see better, especially at night.

  87. My favorite notion is my rotary cutter. When I think of what quilters went through to cut prior to the invention of the rotary cutter, I just cringe!

  88. I am a gadget nerd – I love rulers – I have a skinny blue one (forgot what it is called) for marking half square triangles.And i love a chicken pin cushion that I made. Can’t sew without her around. lol

  89. My favorite tool is my Roxanne thimble–does that count as a tool? I love hand quilting but piecing doesn’t come easily for me. I would love to have this ruler to make some interesting, complex blocks without all the headaches!

  90. My favorite tool(s) would be my quilting rulers. They come in handy for so much more than just quilting. This one looks like a real winner and I’d love to have one. Pick me…pick me! 🙂

  91. What an amazing ruler! I love all of my gadgets- I collect them! My most used are the my fancy flowered rotary cutter and ummmmm my seam ripper- or rippers, since I have at least 20 tucked away all over my house.

  92. A nice, flat, pretty ironing space. I never realized how much I took it for granted until I moved into a house with old, all-metal-no-padding ironing boards!

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  93. I’m still very new to this so I don’t have many gadgets, so I’d have to say my rotary cutter (I did make one quilt before the rotary cutter, so it was definitely a welcome addition to my ‘stuff’)

    Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  94. Of course my rotary cutter, would be no where without it. I also keep my seam ripper close at hand for some reason! I also really like my Angler 2 when sewing.

  95. My favorite gadget is my rotary cutter and cutting mat, although I really don’t think of them as gadgets but my most important tools, right up there with my sewing machine! Enjoyed your tutorial!

  96. Thanks for such a great explanation of this all purpose ruler that I hope to add in my possession soon! My all time fave tool, especially after sewing garments for many years has to be the rotary cutter. All those years with a scissors! Wow! Thanks

  97. I love my smaller (28 mm) rotary cutter, along with my lovely little Bernina seam ripper: both give good results and are comfortable in my hands!

  98. My favorite ‘gadget’ is the adjustable height table I was given for Christmas many years ago. It’s been a fantastic cutting table as well as sewing machine cabinet. Thanks for this chance!

  99. I agree with the majority of the comments that I couldn’t do without my rotary cutter but I good ruler is right up there with it and one that does multiple tasks is even better!

  100. Of course, I love rotary cutters, they make cutting much faster and easier.

    But I also love my seam ripper. I’m quite new at sewing and need to use it more frequently than I would like to 🙁

    Thanks for the chance!

  101. I have several very special quilts that my grandmother made by hand no rotary cutter and sewn and quilted by hand. I can’t imagine being without either my rotary cutter or sewing machine.

  102. My favorite gadget is whichever one I’m using at the time! A recent purchase in love is Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors, without which I won’t do appliqué. I love using ruler and rotary cutter too.

  103. I love my rotary cutter, and I still have the first handle that I bought many many many years ago. This ruler looks great, and is perfect for the traveling quilter!

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