How many rulers do we need? Remember when there was just the Salem Ruler we could trust? I have a pet peeve: Poorly designed tool ‘kits’ for beginning quilters.
When my partners and I started the Quilters Ranch shop in Tempe, Arizona, almost 40 years ago we had only a few useful options for rulers. Most quilters used wooden rulers from the lumber yards — or if they were really serious about their rulers they used metal drafting rulers,T Squares, and Right Angle tools that architects and draftsmen used.pre>
Nancy Crow, and a handful of other quilters, produced limited collections of the first plastic or acrylic rulers in specific widths to make straight cuts easier with the, new, rotary cutters. Some added markings…as often as not those marks were not wholly accurate. Technology needed to catch up with need.
As quilters became more knowledgeable,and the quilting industry grew, accurately marked acrylic rulers became the norm. It has always been necessary for quilters, traditional or modern, to be able to TRUST their ruler. Being able to quickly read the markings on the ruler was — and still is a must.
This is my pet peeve: a fairly new quilter I’ve been helping bought a “beginner – quilters” rotary tool set with cutter, small mat, and an impossible to read acrylic ruler.
How can the quilting industry allow tools on the market that almost assuredly will cause newbies to fail or become frustrated while learning?
Beginners need a well designed starter kit that will assure success not frustration.