Which Ruler Should I Try First with my Long arm?

Posted by on May 22, 2014

There are so many long arm rulers on the market now that it is hard to decide what you should acquire for tools. You probably should start with something simple.

We believe that the simplest rulers are the straight edge, the wavy edge and the arc. Small rulers fewer than 10 inches are the easiest to control.

The rulers below are the ones that we have chosen to use first in this beginner class.


The wide variety of designs that can be made from the arc ruler will amaze you. The trick is to learn to hold the ruler with slight pressure down and into and toward the quilting foot. As you hold onto the handle bar on the quilting machine also place a little pressure toward the ruler. Some quilters glue small button shaped pieces of sand paper onto the rulers to help reduce the slipping of the ruler on the fabric.


The wiggle ruler will help guide you through small scallops, shells, arc, and apple slices. If you want to add a busy look to the quilt you might use smaller wiggles or waves. If you wish to have a more relaxed look to your work you might use the larger wave or wiggle side of the ruler.


The straight edge acrylic ruler is ¼ inch thick. One end of the ruler has a 45 degree angle on it and the other end has an arc on it. This ruler is sometimes called the ‘stitch in the ditch’ ruler. The long sides of the ruler are notched to help hold tight the front or the back of the quilting machine foot. When you begin or end a straight line, you do not want any wiggle in the end of the line so the notch helps to steady your line. Long engraved lines appear on the ruler and these lines can be placed on the seams of the patchwork to measure the stitching distance from the seam.

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