How To Organize Your Quilting Rulers

Organization, seems that’s a constant ever changing word in The Quilt Rambler Studio – I’m sure it is in yours too!

Rulers, we all have them. If you are a fan of Studio 180 Design as I am, then you will know that the obsession is ever growing! Especially when Deb announces a new-must-have tool!

Early on, as a new Certified Instructor with Studio 180 Design, one of the other CI’s recommended a large tote that was sold as a scrapbook organizer. It had hanging file folders designed to hold those 12″ x 12″ pages that is popular with scrapbookers. Naturally I had to have one and labeled it as my “Tucker Tote”. It has served me well for over 3 years….but I wanted and needed more.

Necessity is The Mother of Invention

As a traveling teacher, who on occasion flies to other locations, I wanted something that would offer a little more protection for my tools – and not as cumbersome as the large heavy plastic tote. They say necessity is the mother of invention…well…I have to confess I was more inspired than inventive…taking a clue from my favorite bag designer, By Annie Patterns, I adapted her Project Bag pattern (which I’ve made numerous times) to fit my needs.

My idea was to use the Project Bag as a tote for my Wing Clipper tools. What better way to recognize what’s in the bag than to use leftover flying geese from my pattern Geese Over Galveston Bay.

I have Studio 180 Design Teaching Boards, so my idea was to have the vinyl area hold that board. Ugh! It covered up all my beautiful flying geese….

I was pleased with the back side as I used mesh and zippers to make pockets for both the Wing Clipper I and Wing Clipper II . I liked that you could see my fabrics through the rulers and mesh, as one of my goals was to use fabrics and leftover blocks from my original quilts using the tool.

Back to The Drawing Board

Hum….need to rethink the original inspiration….the vinyl was a waste of good product, best save it for a future By Annie Pattern. I mean after all, if you go to the trouble of piecing a block you want to show it off, right?

Time to make a bag for my Tucker Trimmers…this time with a block from my pattern Simply Celebrate. While the original design was done in beautiful Christmas prints I wanted to use my fabrics from one of Deb Tucker’s Signature Collections by Island Batik.

Inside the zippered area I am able to store both my teaching board and my Tucker Trimmer III.

The back side uses mesh as did my Wing Clipper bag. Look closely near the bottom of the rotary cutter, can you see the horizontal stitching line? This was necessary to keep the tools within reach as the bag was very large to accommodate the Tucker Trimmer III on the reverse side.

I love how my Tucker Trimmer I and Tucker Trimmer II fit on this side with the Tucker Trimmer III and teaching board on the reverse side. Yep…the design for storing and carrying my tools was improving.

Third Time’s a Charm

My mind is always whirling, how can I make this work? Can I make it better? What if I tried this?

As I thought about traveling, specifically flying with my tools, I realized that the mesh just wasn’t the protection I was looking for. I neglected to mention previously that I do use Soft and Stable when quilting the pieced block, so there is a layer of protection…but would it be enough? Just like “save the vinyl” for another project, I vetoed the mesh pockets, again to “save for another project.”

Because I’m flying to Arizona next week, the next tool bag I wanted to make would be for the tools I’m using to teach Lights Shine Bright, made of course with the leftover blocks using Vincent’s Garden. Can you guess the tool?

I love how I have a colorful tool bag that not only holds my teaching board and Corner Beam tool safely inside a zippered pocket lined with Soft and Stable, but at a glance I know which tool bag I am reaching for. I have to admit, the fabric just makes me smile.

Two For One!

Naturally there’s two sides to the tool bags, so in keeping with my travel plans I paired up another tool on the reverse side.

These are blocks from my recent pattern Split My Gaggle also in Vincent’s Garden fabrics.

Yep, you guessed it – Split Rects and my teaching board fit safely inside the zippered pocket.

It’s a little hard to see in the photograph, but each side does have its own pocket. I used Pellon Shape Flex iron on interfacing (SF101) between two layers of fabric to match the interior linings of each side.

As a side note, Split my Gaggle uses the Wing Clipper I and the Split Rects, but I already had a bag for my flying geese….

But Wait, There’s More!

More bags in the plans that is! I’m liking the way my third bag turned out with the Soft and Stable quilted to a block made with the tool and having two tools in one bag. My plans are to work my way through my hard plastic “Tucker Tote” until I have a bag for all my tools. I can still store the tool bags in the Tucker Tote in my studio, I’m excited as this will eliminate those hanging folders that never seem to stay hanging!

Where possible I want to use fabrics and units from The Quilt Rambler Patterns and fabrics – I haven’t designed a pattern for each of Deb’s Tools (yet), and for those that I haven’t, I plan on using a Blockbuster design or something representing the tool as my exterior block. Time will tell….

In the meantime I’m packing my tool bags in my new carryon tote, eager to get back into the classroom!

What’s that cool bag you ask? Simply another recommendation by another one of Deb Tucker’s Certified Instructors….a bag designed again for the scrapbook industry – bonus – it’s padded!

...who knew quilters had so much in common with scrapbookers…

Love being organized!

Wonder which tools I will pair up in the next tool bag? Any guesses?

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, hoping that I’ve inspired you to be creative in your ruler organization!

PS – did you happen to notice that the tool bags have handles? Hum…you could hang them if you so desired!

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