Florida Patent of the Month – April 2022

Quilting is the art of patching together small squares (or other shapes) of fabric to create one larger design. Handmade patchwork quilts require the quilter to cut fabric into small swatches which are then sewn together. This intricacy means each cut needs to be precise to achieve the desired aesthetic. Quilting rulers are expected to slide easily on top of fabric so it can be quickly positioned in place. Unfortunately, this can be problematic as this low coefficient of friction can lead to it sliding out of position while cutting the fabric. To combat this, quilters often must apply a large amount of pressure to keep the ruler in place while cutting. In an attempt to make the lives of all quilters easier, Beehive Company, LLC has developed a ruler which can easily slide across fabric while remaining in place when it’s most important.

The ruler is designed with a retractable pin. The user can easily slide the ruler over the fabric surface, positioning it as desired. When happy with the position, a light downward pressure is used to engage the pin. The pins pierce the fabric in order to hold its position securely. The user can continue with their cutting and, once complete, simply lift up from the ruler to disengage the needle. In the engaged position, the friction coefficient is significantly increased, providing a strong grip between the bottom surface of the ruler and the material underneath. 

With regular rulers, the user often had to press down on the ruler with a good amount of force to try and keep it in place. If they were cutting multiple pieces throughout the day (as quilters often do), this could cause strain on their muscles. Quilters with arthritis or carpal tunnel might not be able to cut multiple pieces without requiring breaks. The combination of the pin and increased friction coefficient means there is no longer a strength barrier to quilting. Reducing the required force increases the accessibility of quilting. Beehive Company is set on improving the quilting experience and helping to make sure you get a simple and straight cut every time.

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