Preventing Quilting Ruler Slip

You’ve lined up a 24″ cut, and you start the long roll. You know the ruler can shift, but you’ve done this before. You’re prepared. Half way down, you pause to reposition your hand. You’re so close. Just a little more. And then it happens: the dreaded slip. It may only be an eighth of an inch, but you know what that will do to your piecing. So, you shift the ruler over and line up for another cut, praying you’ll still have enough fabric to finish. This was my life for 10 years–yes, I tolerated quilting ruler slippage for that long. Little did I know, there were already cheap solutions to this common problem on the market: non-slip stickers and specialty rulers with a non-slip surface. But do they really work?


Non-Slip stickers

The Good

The non-slip stickers are a quarter-sized stickers made of a jelly material that you can stick on the back of quilting rulers you already have. I got a pack of 24 stickers on amazon for $8.99. I put about ten stickers on my 24″ x 8″ ruler which left plenty for at least one other ruler.


Since I have placed these stickers on my ruler, I have cut fabric for two quilting totes and one lap-sized quilt. So far, they have done an excellent job at stopping my ruler from slipping. They have all stuck well to my ruler and not started to peel off at all. And while the stickers aren’t perfectly clear, you can still see through them. Look on the right below. You can clearly see the white lines of my cutting mat through the sticker.

Quiltng Ruler Stickers
Quiltng Ruler Stickers
Quiltng Ruler Stickers

The bad

But the quilting ruler stickers do have downsides. The same jelly material that keeps your quilting ruler from slipping, also makes the stickers kind of sticky. Not in the messy, glue all over your hands way, but if you try to slide the ruler off the fabric, it will catch and pull the fabric. This means you have to pick the ruler off the cutting mat every time you want to move it over fabric. This can make setting up your ruler for the perfect cut a little more fussy.


Also, my stickers said there were 24 large and 24 small stickers. As you can’t see in the picture above (because of how poorly the stickers were ‘cut’), the small stickers are the center of the large stickers. But no matter what I tried–pens, fingernails, seam ripper–I couldn’t pop the small stickers out. This meant I got half as many stickers than advertised.


Non-slip stickers overall rating

Overall, I am very happy with the stickers. The little inconvenience they pose as I reposition my ruler is much preferable to the headache of having to re-cut pieces and potentially running out of fabric. At almost 10 bucks a pack, I feel they are quite expensive for what they are, but they’re cheaper than replacing a ruler and they seem to be holding up well.


Creative Grid quilting ruler

Note: To be completely transparent in this review, I only bought the 12.5″ x 6.5″ Creative Grid quilting ruler. This means I haven’t experienced the super long cuts most likely to cause the worst slippage.


The good

When I stripped off the packaging of the Creative Grid quilting ruler, I was more than skeptical of its design. It felt and looked like a quilting ruler with some sandy texture bits. Surely that wouldn’t do anything. But, boy, was I wrong. Not only did it hold through every cut, but it slid effortlessly over the fabric as I re-positioned for my next cut.


It also came with some surprising advantages I hadn’t looked closely enough to notice before I bought it: this quilting ruler marks every inch with the solid lines, but if you turn it around, the inch and a half are marked. This is super convenient as many of the patterns I use need the pieces cut to some inch + half amount.

Creative Grid Quilting Ruler
Creative Grid Quilting Ruler

The Bad

But it’s not all puppies and rainbows. The Creative Grid quilting rulers are pricey. I got a 12.5″ x 6.5″ ruler and it cost me $22.49 on Amazon. Ouch. And the marking system that I praised above, can also be very confusing if you don’t know to expect it. It’s also annoying to make sure that you have that your ruler is turned the right way all the time or mistakes will be made. I’d know–I’ve made them.


The Creative Grid quilting ruler overall rating

Overall, it’s a fantastic little quilting ruler that I love to use for cutting my small- and mid-sized pieces. It’s ease of movement across the fabric and it’s solid hold when cutting have made it a favorite tool of mine–that is, once I got used to its numbering system. Though next time I’d be interested in trying the Omnigrid quilting ruler which is $10.35 on amazon for the 12″x6″ ruler.


The non-slip quilting ruler winner

The Creative Grid ruler is the winner. Hands down. It’s a lot more expensive, but the way it holds when you need to cut, but slide flawlessly over the fabric when you need to reposition for a new cut can’t be beat. Also, when you add up the price of a normal quilting ruler and the stickers, it’s only a few dollars more for a Creative Grid ruler. You can make do with one or two quilting rulers, so the little splurge is worth it to me.


However, I will say, if you’ve already got some rulers, the non-slip stickers are a great second-best alternative. Slap them on the back of your ruler and use that thing until you can’t see the lines no more! But… when you need a ruler or template, I’d definitely consider Creative Grid quilting rulers first. I know I will.

Sew on!

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