When I mention Olfa, what pops into your head? Is it their rotary cutters with cheddar-colored handles? Or is it their green cutting mats with yellow lines?
You don’t immediately think of rulers, the third essential part of a rotary-cutting tool kit, do you?
That’s about to change. Olfa has introduced a trio of rotary cutting rulers that are quickly becoming the rulers I reach for first.
The OLFA Quilt Rulers come in three sizes. The first is the ever-popular 6″ by 24″ for cutting long strips from fabric lengths. The next size is 6″ by 12″ for subcutting and working with fat quarters. The third size is a 12-1/2″ square for squaring up blocks.
Black Lines, Not Yellow
You’d think that Olfa would put yellow lines on their rulers, even if only to match their other products. But I think the black lines Olfa used make the marks easier to see.
The rulers have clear black lines at every inch. Dotted lines mark the half-inch. And tick marks along the solid line mark the quarters and eights.
The numbers on Olfa’s rulers are ever so slightly larger and bolder than the numbers on most of my other rulers. Even though they are almost imperceptibly larger, they are much easier to see.
Frosting On The Bottom
Olfa’s new rulers are clear acrylic with the underside frosted. Since the numbers and lines are printed on the ruler between the acrylic and the frosting, they are still dark black and very easy to see.
I wondered if the frosting is a special gripping surface. So I gave the Olfa and other rulers a push along my cutting board.
Do you love Olfa products? Who doesn’t? If you do, then you should also check out the Olfa circle cutter.
I was surprised by the results. The Olfa slid farther and more easily along the cutting board. That didn’t seem to be a good design characteristic, since we want rulers to grip the fabric so they won’t slip.
After a few more ruler races along my 70-inch Olfa mat, I decided to try the rulers on fabric. Amazingly, I got exactly the opposite result.
The Olfa didn’t slide along the fabric as well as other rulers, even the ones on which I had installed any of several types of grips. So the frosted back of the Olfa ruler seems to be an effective anti-slip design.
The frosting also helps you align the ruler on either light or dark fabrics. The frosting makes dark fabrics look lighter and light fabrics look darker, making it easier to see the edge of the fabric for alignment.
The Ones I Reach For
I’ve been using the Olfa rulers for a couple of months now. I started by using them exclusively, in order to get used to them. Then I began mixing them in with my other rulers. Shortly I noticed that I was pushing my other rulers aside and specificly reaching for the Olfas.
The larger, darker markings and the way the frosted backing highlights the fabric edge aren’t the only reasons I gravitate to the Olfas. The frosting also cuts the glare reflected from the ruler, making it easier on my eyes.
I didn’t notice at first that the Olfa rulers came with a clear protective sheet on the top to keep it from getting scratched. But my cat, Precious, showed me by trying to pull off the protection.
I like the Olfa rulers even better now — removing the protective sheet makes them clearer still. I can’t wait until Olfa releases more frosted rulers in different sizes. Go here to see other quilting rulers we recommend.
Hello and welcome to my site! My name is Shannon and I have been and avid quilter for over 20 years. My love of quilts came at an early age from my grandmother. I am a mother of 2 and lives in the US with her loving husband.