Here’s a tutorial a lot of you have been waiting for. It seems a lot of my readers look backwards in the blog and came across a 2014 photo of my friend, Barb K, showing off a ruler organizer she had made for a fabric challenge.
Another quilt friend, Ginny, led a workshop on making these ruler organizers but I didn’t take the workshop as I really felt I didn’t have a place to hang one of these in the RV. I’ve been in contact with the gals over there in Alabama but no one has come up with a pattern for me so I finally decided that I would try to make one and create a tutorial for those of you who asked for one.
Let me say this is a prototype so it’s not perfect but I do have some basic information that should set you on the right path and plenty of photos of what I did to create the ruler organizer.
The ruler organizer is meant to be personalized by the person making the organizer. We each own various quilting rulers and some own more then others. I have rulers split between two locations so I only had five or six to work with here. If you decide to make one, you need to take my instructions and do some measurements to fit your own rulers.
Here’s what I have for rulers here in the RV me.
I am using stash fabrics, several of which are fabrics I bought because they were $3 or $4 a yard and I thought I could make use of them. Several years later they are still here so today they became a ruler organizer.
First I’ll show you what I came up with so you’ll know where I’m headed as I put out the steps.
With this organizer you plan from the back to the front and work from the front to the back. What do I mean by this? Start by laying the rulers out that you want to put in this organizer. If you have multiples of one size, just use one of each for this step.
Put the longest one on the bottom and stack the rest by size, using length rather than width to determine which goes next. I put my 24″ (x6″) ruler on the bottom of the pile. Next I stacked my “12”x12″ ruler on top of that. Next came the 12″ (x8″), then the 5″x5″ ruler. I also have a 3″ and a 2″x6″ so the smallest pocket I put on will hold the 3″ and the next size will hold the 2″x6″ along with the 5″x5″.
Five rulers, five pockets. Pick out several fabrics or you could use a different fabric for each pocket plus one for the backing. Label them A-E or however far you need to go.
Barb’s ruler organizer looks like she had all pockets the same length so she may have had a number of long rulers but also may have stitched a “stop” or the rulers would have fallen down to the bottom of the pockets. I chose to make all my pockets just slightly larger than the rulers I wanted to put in them. Do it the way you want, as the steps are the same, just measurements would be different.
Remember, I said you were going to personalize this according to your rulers. If you decide you like the long lines look of Barb’s just make all the pocketslong enough to reach to the bottom of the bag. I made my different sizes.
Determine what size you want for the longest pocket. Since my ruler is 6″ x 24″ I used the length measurement of 42″, slightly less than twice the length of the ruler. I used the width of 16″, slightly more than the width of the widest ruler. I think I would use 14″ next time.
Here we go….
1. Cut Fabric A 16″ x 42″ OR cut 2 pieces 16″x22″ and seam it along the short edge.
2. Cut one piece of Craft Fuse (or Peltex if you want it really stiff) 16″x21″. Fuse this onto 1/2 of the 16″x42″ Fabric A.
3. Fold this long strip in half, right sides facing out and Pellon sandwiched in between the two sides. This is the back of the organizer. Set this aside until later in the instructions.
Now we are going to work from the top to the back of the stack of ruler pockets so we start with the smallest pocket.
I chose to create a mesh pocket for my smallest pocket so I could easily see what it holds. I plan to use this pocket for my 3″x3″ ruler and my small templates like the Li’l Twister.
Here are the remaining pocket pieces I cut:
8″x8.5″ fabric scrap
10.5″x11″ fabric scrap
10″x14″ fabric scrap
Various scraps 2″ by width of each pocket
Make a binding for each side of the pocket and a cuff, or border, for the top of the bag if you like some extra color. Here’s home to make the cuff.
5. Using scraps cut a 2″x16″ strip and press under 1/4″ on the long side. Pin the right side of the 2″ strip to the wrong side of the 16″x40″ B fabric along the raw edge of both fabrics.
6. Press up and fold over to the front of Fabric B. This creates a cuff or border for that long piece of B. Top-stitch along the lower edge of the cuff.
After you have put a binding on the sides of pockets and finished off the top of the pocket with a cuff, you are ready to put your pockets together. Because you want to be able to use the wider width of each pocket you need to assemble these from the narrower pocket working from the top of your stack of rulers to the bottom of the stack , I say ‘front to back’.
Here I will refer to my binding colors to make it clear to you what pockets I’m working with.
I attached my mesh pocket, the smallest, to the blue trimmed pocket, placing the pocket in the middle of the larger pocket. Stitch the sides down onto the larger pocket. It’s not necessary to stitch along the bottom as this will be caught in when you finish off the whole project.
Depending on the length of your next pocket, you may approach this differently. If you made all your pockets the same length, simply repeat the above process the two smaller pockets on top of the next size pocket and stitch down. I chose to make each pocket fit the length of the ruler, so I have to approach it differently.
Just in explanation, in case I lost you along the way, you must attach one pocket on top of the larger pocket before attaching to the next one. If you wait to stitch through more than one layer of pocket once they are in place, you will change the usable space by stitching it closed. I hope I’m explaining it clearly. If not, just take my word for it. You can stitch these down when they are all piled on top of each other.
I placed my pockets on top of the pink pocket where I wanted it to be and stitched it down only to the bottom of the pink pocket. Then I did the same thing again, stitching the pink to the larger green trimmed pocket. Stitch the green onto the largest piece of fabric, the one with on binding on the sides. Now all these pockets are attached to each other. Each pocket is also fully open so the full space inside is usable space.
I moved the unsewn edges aside you can see what needs to be stitched down.
They aren’t stitched down completely but they are attached to each other. Now you are ready to complete the stitching. You are now going to stitch down along the binding strips ONLY WHERE YOU HAVE NOT SEWN YET. Do not go over any stitching you’ve done previously as you will be changing the usable space. For me, this means I can stitch down the green trim, turn and go down the remaining unstitched pink trim and turn again, going down the unstitched blue trim to the bottom of the pockets.
Now they are all stitched down along every edge.
Now place the entire pockets panel on top of the back piece, the piece that has the fusible interfaching between the two pieces of fabric.
It’s time to attach a handle, if you want one. I don’t plan to carry mine around so I’m actually going to attach a grommet on each top corner to hang it on the wall in the RV as a storage place for the rulers; however, I added the strap for you and it allows me the option of carrying it OR storing it.
My strap is simply two strips cut 2 1/2″ x 24″, a strip of Craft-fuse and stitched. I turned it right-side out and stitched rows of quilting the length of the strap. I laid the ends of the strap between the back portion and the front pocket portion of the organizer and stitched it in place. Nothing fancy.
Next, I cut binding just as I would for a quilt and bound the the remaining three sides of the organizer. I did stitch around the three sides first to keep them in place for the binding. Insert your rulers and it’s ready to go!
Each pocket is room enough for several rulers so you should be able to fit all your rulers into this one organizer unless you are a ruler collector; then you might need to make several.
I hope this helps those of you who wanted to make a ruler organizer. I don’t think my directions are very succinct but they will get you through the process and you can refine it to fit your own needs.
That’s it for the Ruler Organizer Tutorial.