(Photo from Pumpkin Patch Quilter)
This article was originally part of Lilo Bowman's Let's Get Organized Series.
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 spending 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 writing them down for easy reference. That way you'll be ready the next time you spot a sale on rulers at your local quilt shop.
A good basic set of rulers that you 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 you desire out on the market today:
Do you perfer a clean and visually clutter-free space with tools, books, fabric out of sight?
Do you like a visually stimulating space with areas for art, quilting tools, and other items of interest?
Does your entire workspace allow for large amounts of horizontal or vertical storage?
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.
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 an 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.
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 Bloc_Loc 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.
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
Click here for a list of links to other Organization blogs.