Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ruler Keeper

I bought some fabric last week. No, that's not true. I bought a lot of fabric. But I can't show it to you. Not yet. So instead, I whipped up a little project to complete my closet makeover. I took pictures as I went, not really knowing just how it would end up. Interesting: when I make quilts, I'm more of a planner, but these little projects are my kind of improv. I like how it turned out, so I'll show you how I did it. 

When I was cleaning out my closet, I decided to put up some hooks to hang my rulers on the wall. Most of the rulers had holes in them for hanging, but a couple didn't. I could have drilled holes in them, but that would have been too easy. (Or maybe not. I might have split them.) And I wouldn't have made this little ruler keeper, used up some stash and had something to show you. Here it is: 

And from the back:

Now, if you just want to see how it looks in the closet with the rulers, you can skip to the end. But here's how I made it. It's in three quilted layers, starting with the back layer.

Back layer
First I cut the backing: a little over 26 inches by a little over 8 inches wide.
Then the front: 26 by 8 inches, but I was working with limited fabric amounts, so I cut one piece 12 1/4 by 8 inches and one piece 14 1/4 by 8 inches and sewed them together. 

Middle layer
Backing: a little over 16 inches by a little 8 inches wide.
Front: 16 by 8 inches (but again, I was working with smaller pieces, so I cut two pieces 8 1/4 inches by 8 inches and sewed them together. 

Front layer
Backing: about 10 inches by 8 inches wide. 
Front: 10 by 8 inches.

I cut batting pieces the size of each backing piece then layered each layer and quilted them. 

I used my walking foot for the back layer to make lines about 3/8 inch apart. 

For the middle layer, I tried some FMQ that I hadn't tried before (leaves on stems and feathers) on the lower half. Don't laugh. It was pretty awful. I learned the value of practicing the design with pencil first and what happens when you don't do that. But it didn't matter because no one will see it! I did little stipples in the top half.

For the front layer, I scribble quilted around the floral design.

Here's how that layer looks on the back--but no one will see it.

I trimmed everything up nice and square. Then I put some binding on the top edges of the middle and front layers. I cut 2 strips 2 1/2 inches wide by the the width of the layers. I turned up a long edge leaving about 1/4 inch and pressed it, then sewed each strip on a layer using Edyta Sitar's binding method. (Thank you for this idea, Lara!) 

Then I topstiched them twice to firm up the edges. 

I laid everything out to make sure it would all fit together well. 

But before binding it, I stitched the middle and top layers together down the middle to make two separate pockets on the front. 

Then, one more thing: I cut two 3 1/2 inch squares, folded them into triangles and laid them on the back for hanging. 

I cut binding from 2 1/2 strips of fabric and again used Edyta's method. Because my strips were pretty wide, the binding on the back is fairly wide but it gives good body. I handstitched the binding to the back. I was going to hang the ruler keeper with a bamboo stick on a hook, but the hook made the binding bump out. So instead, I took a length of ribbon, tied it in a bow, slip knotted it to the bamboo stick, and hung the whole thing from the ribbon. 

Here's how the ruler keeper looks in my closet with the rulers in it as well as my batch of bamboo sticks that come in handy for everything. 

I think my closet is done for now. Soon I'll do a separate post of the finish.

I'm linking up with Freemotion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts for their weekly Tuesday and Wednesday linky parties. Buttons are on the right.

Have a good week. I hope you've tried a little project to make your life a little prettier, even if it was more complicated than it needed to be.

Oh, and tomorrow is Throwback Thursday over at Jenn's A Quarter Inch from the Edge. Yippee! Remember to share something from your pre-blogging days.  Oops! Throwback Thursday isn't until next Thursday this month. Sorry. That will give you another week to find something to share!


  1. So smart! I just showed my husband too, as I think it is so perfect! I am going into bloglovin' and saving this! Thanks for the tutorial and I'm looking forward to seeing the fabrics and ensuing quilt that is in the works. :-) And haha, your photo in Connie's linky grabbed my attention, and then I saw it was YOU! Kind of like when you clicked on my link in a party last week.

  2. Brilliant Janine! It looks lovely and makes them all so easy to find too!

  3. What a great idea! And it looks so nice in your closet! Bravo!

  4. How very clever of you to create a fabric hanger for those tricky but necessary rotary rulers. You have given me inspiration for some other pieces that I would like to hang. Thank You. Embracing Creative Bliss...

  5. This is adorable. I think I will make one as well. My rulers generally stand on the floor against my desk. It doesn't take much to imagine how many times they fall over and I trip on them. This would work wonders. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Such a tease.... You bought tons of fabric but can't show us yet??

  6. This is a brilliant idea! I can think of lots of things I could use it for, not just rulers, and a tutorial means I might just get round to doing something about it. Thank you.

  7. What a great project to organize not only rulers but many other quilting/sewing items. Wonderful job!

  8. Oh that is cute! Great way to organize. And um, the fabric - is that confessions is good for the soul?? Ha ha - I love new fabric!!