No April Fooling Here: Proper Care for Rulers, Templates, And Mats

Road invited Patricia Simons of Quilters Rule International to present one of its new $5 Lectures. She shared how her company makes rulers, templates and mats and gave some handy tips on how to care for them too. Speaking to a full room, it was evident that Patricia was both passionate and knowledgeable about these tools. _i4c4037 


When investing in durable rulers, Patricia gave three important features to consider. She said that rulers will last longer if they are

                         ● Molded instead of cut out of plastic;

                         ● Have their lines injected instead of silk screened on;

                         ● Have a clear coating protecting their marking instead of just having the ink speed dried.


Regarding templates, Patricia suggested that they should be ¼’’ thick if they are going to be used with quilting machines. Thinner templates should only be used for tracing designs._i4c4023


Patricia mentioned that many quilters misunderstand the durability of mats. There is a notion that mats are self-healing; that cuts and scratches are able to magically fill in thus preserving the life of a mat. But Patricia pointed out that because mats are made of non-living materials, there is really no way a scratch or cut can totally disappear. The ability for a mat to last over time is due more to the care that it is shown. Some tips for extending the life of a cutting mat include:

                        ● Only use a sharp blade. Dull blades will damage a mat.

                        ● Never push harder with a sharp rotary cutter than is necessary to cut fabric.

                        ● Cutting repeatedly on the same line will erode the mat on that line and cause it to bubble or warp. Move your cuts around.

                        ● Wash your mat occasionally with warm soapy water to keep it clean.

                        ● While you might have bought your mat rolled up, it is best to store your mat flat

                        ● Keep mat away from direct sunlight or excessive heat sources for long period of time.

Handy tips for keeping some of the most used quilting tools in tip-top shape.