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(Photo from Pumpkin Patch Quilter)

Rulers and templates come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.  Keeping these necessary tools organized can be a challenge for any quilter. Before we show you the creative storage ideas we have discovered, YOU need to do your homework by spend some time going through your current inventory of rulers and templates to see if any are damaged or need to be replaced. 

Rulers are a workhorse tool that should be kept in good working order.  There are ideas on the web for repairing a broken ruler using clear adhesive tape or heavy duty glues such as Gorilla Glue, Super Glue or Crazy Glue. But, this solution might lead to problems if the ruler pieces aren't glued together accurately. 

As you go through your collection, take note of rulers that you have multiples of and those that you might need for an upcoming project.  Avoid the need to re-count through the entire collection again by organizing a list on your phone or written down for easy reference.  That way you'll be ready the next time spot a sale on rulers at your local quilt shop. TQS editor Mary Kay, keeps a list of all of the BERNINA feet she owns on her phone, using the Bernina Accessories App, for this same purpose.  But, we will get to machine feet later down the road in our year-long Organization Project. 

A good basic set of rulers that will get the most use from in your work space should include the following:

12 1/2" x 12 1/2"-squaring large blocks

6 1/2" x 24"-cutting yardage

6 " x 12"-cutting smaller yardage

6 1/2" x 6 1/2"-cutting and trimming small blocks

4" x 4"-cutting and trimming small blocks

          1" x 6"-small measurements

Exactly how many rulers and what type does one quilter really need? Well, that depends on each individual. Some quilters prefer a basic group of standard rulers, while other quilters love having a wide variety. Keep in mind if you fall in the latter category, storage can become a challenge. This is when you need to determine what type of quilting space you currently work in (or are trying to achieve this year) and whether your space and budget will allow for all of the tempting rulers your desire out on the market today:

  1. Do you perfer a clean and visually clutter free space with tools, books, fabric out of sight?
  2. Do you like a visually stimulating space with areas for art, quilting tools and other items of interest?
  3. Does your entire workspace allow for large amounts of horizontal or vertical storage?
  4. Do you need a variety of specific rulers such as Longarm, cutting, drafting, etc.?

So, on to the options we found that just might be the perfect fit for you.

Option 1: 

If you perfer a clean and clutter free space, consider these options for your rulers. Each offers close at hand solutions without being a visual distraction. Repositionable hooks along the side of a work table or on the back of a door utilize what is often overlooked place to hang items. Storing vertically also gives you more work surface.

Don't have holes in some of your rulers? Use spring clips from the office supply store.

                  
                                     Kathy Drew                                                                         Pine Needles

 


(Photo by Lilo Bowman)

Jacquie Gering (Show 1202), one of the queen's of a clutter free sewing environment, used an industrial magazine holder to store rulers in her Chicago studio.

Option 2:

Do you prefer a visually stimulating space, or are you lacking in large areas of vertical and horizontal storage? Mary at Pin.Sew.Press finds a table top mail sorter to keep things in order, while Sarah of SewMe uses a wooden plate rack.

                                 
                                                           Pin.Sew.Press.                                                                                Sew Me

 

                    

Companies such as KRHemphill Woodworking can customize pieces to accomodate all of your rulers for tabletop or wall mount storage, while Janna Thomas (Show 1803) of BlocLoc offers the Hang in a Round system that securely clamps to a table or other sturdy surface. The large number of hooks allow you to hold an assortment of tools including a ruler up to 30" in length.

 

Option 3:

What about those odd shaped specialty rulers and templates that won't fit so well on hooks or racks? Della at Della Designs keeps them, along with their directions, in zip style bags on a skirt hanger placed on a closet door. AllPeopleQuilt suggests using a D-ring binder with large clear zipperd pockets. Clip it Up offers a wall mounted swing arm rack with 15 clips.

                                                         
                                                                   Della Designs                                                                          allpeoplequilt


                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                  ClipItUp
 

Click here for a list of links to other Organization blogs.

 

Comments   
#29 Annette 2018-07-16 09:01
I place my rulers in a drawer. I know where they are and it is easy to put away the rulers. Had trouble with peg boards as the ruler I wanted was always at the back of the peg, not on the end.
#28 Kim Hyatt 2018-07-16 07:07
I use a white, plastic gutter hung on the wall, cut to the length of my table. It holds all lengths and sizes of rulers and I have them all handy.
#27 viviane manevitz 2018-07-16 06:41
I purchased a few metal circular belt hangers and organized my rulers according to sizes and hung them on my metal shelves stand that I store my fabrics on.
#26 Ala Mae Wagner 2018-06-13 19:17
I hung a café curtain rod in my sewing room that stands out from the wall about 2 1/2 inches. I had some large (3 inch across) book binder clamps that I used to put through the hole in each ruler. I am able to put several rulers on each clamp. I also used the "old fashion" clip shower curtain hooks that also work well. For me the binder clamps work better in that you can move the ruler you want to use around until it gets to the clamp. You open the clamp and use the desired ruler. It is not as easy to remove using the shower hooks, but it can be done.
#25 Mary 2018-03-12 17:35
My husband cut two pieces of wood about 2 inches wide and 10 inches long. He then added a strong magnet to the back. There is a long hook on the front. I placed it on the side of a tall metal cabinet. The rulers go on the hook. The magnet keeps everything in place. It’s great.
#24 dlodding 2017-01-06 07:21
Slide clipped drapery rings on a 5-tiered swing-arm pants hanger. Then you can hang it from a peg on the wall, back of the door, etc.
#23 Deb Johnson 2016-12-01 15:13
I have put finish nails on the fronts of all my upper cabinets in my studio and hang my rulers on them. I am able to see exactly which ruler I need to use.
#22 katie 2016-05-30 21:56
Not sure the name of the thing but I have a wood frame that you put home cooked bread in and then you use the slots to cut the bread uniformly. I have seen where people use this to hold their rulers.
#21 TQSWizard 2016-04-08 10:41
The quilt behind Janna is called Star Fusion. Look for it on the Blocloc website.
#20 Teresa 2016-03-24 10:57
loved thee solutions. thank you
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