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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Leave a Comment


  1. De cartao. Valeu, Augusto. Ao -mе de grande utilidade.

  2. Nancy says:

    I’m planning to take a class using rulers & the instructor said I would need a ruler base that fits my machine. I have a TinLizzie Eighteen. She said it’s an extended table that fits on the bed of my machine. Is it possible for me to acquire one? Also, in a previous comment it was mentioned that we need to use a special foot when using rulers. How do I order these products?

    • Myrl Breinholt says:

      Nancy, is it good to hear from you. You will need both the extension table and the ruler foot. The ruler foot has a higher fence that protects it from hopping up onto the templates you will be using and enables stitching completely around circular templates. The extension table will give a bigger working space and stabilize the templates and keep them from teeter tottering. You are able to purchase both of these items from our retail store. Call 801-255-4130. They will be able to take your payment and ship the items to you immediately. Thank you so much.

  3. Susan Ruiter says:

    can rulers be used with the hopping foot or does it need something different? Where do I purchase rulers?

    • kelleyn says:

      I would start with a straight edge ruler. Make sure it is made for longarm and not for rotary cutting. I like a straight edge that is not longer than 12 inches.

    • Leslie says:

      Can I use the regular hopping foot with rulers on a 2006 Tin Lizzie 18 or must I purchase the ruler foot?

      • kelleyn says:

        Hi Leslie,
        You will need to use a ruler foot with any rulers if you want to do it correctly.

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