Ruler: BERNINA cable ruler

The BERNINA Cable Ruler is the ideal ruler for creating professional-looking borders. A simple ruler can be twisted and turned to create this complicated-looking, but easy-to-sew border. Let's take a look at the table runner above and break it down into simple steps.


Creating the table runner in this example is super simple. Here are the measurements. I chose fabrics and thread to highlight the quilting but you can use any fabrics you want.

3 to 7″ squares (pink)

Interior chassis 2 – 7″ x 3″

Exterior border 2 – 7″ x 4″ – short side

2 – 31-1/2″ x 4″ – outside edge – long side

For small projects, I simply spray my layers together to prevent them from moving and wrinkling while I quilt.

The BERNINA Border Set Ruler Kit comes with 4 different rulers and a very informative instruction manual showing how to use each one. Today we are going to focus on the cable ruler.


Start by marking the center of your borders, keeping in mind the 1/4″ that will be covered by the binding. I used a white chalk pencil because it showed up really well on the blue fabric, but you can use whatever works best for you.


To sew the cable you will need to use the ruler 3 times for each cable. The first pass requires you to align the dotted line on the bottom half of the ruler with your drawn center line. The first step is to sew from “A” to “B” and stop in the needle down position.


Next, you'll reposition the ruler so that the top dashed lines are now on the drawn center line. The cable ruler should hook onto your foot in the “C” position. When you have checked the ruler and it is correctly positioned, sew from “C” to “D” and then to “F” and stop in the needle down position. This is the second step.


The third step is the only tricky part to remember. With the needle in the down position on “F”, rotate the ruler so that it is now upside down and hook the “G” on the foot of the ruler, reposition it on the line drawn on your quilt by using the dotted marks on the top of the ruler foot. ruler and point from “G” to “H”, then back to “I” and stop at the needle down position.


At this point you should have 3 stitched lines on your quilt.


With the needle still in the down position at the letter “I”, repeat these three steps by rotating the ruler and hooking it to the “A” foot on the ruler and the dotted lines of the ruler aligned with your midline drawn. When you start sewing from “A” to “B”, you create the center loop of your cable.

Step 1: A to B and stop the needle down


Step 2: C to D to F and stop the needle down


Step 3: Rotate the ruler, from G to F, then back to I, and stop the needle down.


Repeat these steps, positioning the ruler so that A is at the foot.


Simply repeat this three-step process across your entire quilt border. I usually have extra batting and backing so I can finish any half-started cables on the edge of my quilt.


As with any work with a ruler, always look ahead and if you notice you are out of alignment, simply adjust your ruler as you sew to “fix” it.

Remember to use the least amount of pressure necessary to move the quilt and ruler while maintaining contact with the foot. You don't want to “drift” the foot by using too little pressure, but if you use too much pressure, it's difficult to move the ruler and quilt and you'll tire quickly. It gets easier with practice.

If you are new to working with rulers, remember to use the appropriate rulers or templates for your machine.

Happy quilting!

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