Creative Spaces Blog Hop: Week 6 Tools and Rulers


Good morning my lovely Hoppers! Can

you believe it's been six weeks already!?

The summer has just rolled by like a heat soaked freight train with so much to do and create. I hope you have been enjoying it as much as I have. Here in Southern Arizona, this is the time of the year to be careful about spending too much time outdoors with the 110+ degree days and our highest humidity created from our monsoon storms in the evening, so I take advantage of the forced seclusion to quilt as much as I can! If you're in one of the hotter areas of the country, I hope you're finding similar ways to keep yourself happy and cool.

This week we're looking at rulers and tools.

I see that some of my fellow creatives have already given you some great ideas about storing rulers and tools, so I thought I would show you what I like to have on hand in terms of my tools and rulers and how I try to keep them handy.

Let's start with what's right next to my machine. I have two nearly identical machines (Lacey - a Juki 2010Q and Diana - a Juki 2200QVP). Having two machines that are almost exactly alike means that I don't have to change my set up all the time if I need to do two different things in the same week or in the same day. I might need a walking foot on one machine and a free motion foot on the other. It helps not to be required to make a huge change all the time. I also enjoy naming my machines. Call me silly, but I like to have a sense of a personal relationship with my machines and I name them after fictional female characters that represent powerful examples of women in our culture. Lacey is named for Detective Mary Beth Lacey from the amazing series Cagney and Lacey. Brash and beautiful, Lacey was a modern woman that offered a vision of the future. Diana is named after the incomparable Diana Prince, the one and only Wonder Woman. A mighty goddess, created to fight hate and save Humanity, Diana has blazed a path for young women both of my mother's generation and mine.

At all times, I have a little cup of my most necessary tools right by my machines. I have a screw driver to change feet, marking tools, a seam ripper/stiletto combo, a pair of needle nose tweezers, curved scissors, a glue pen, and a tiny ruler.

I keep a small container with multiple types of needles just behind my tool cup, so I always have all my options handy.

In the earlier picture of Diana, you'll see I have a thimble on her ledge and a small piece of cardstock the same width as I prefer my binding to I have a gauge to help me with turning corners and maintaining a perfectly straight line.

Of course we also have a need for more than

one kind of foot and in my case, seam guides, seam gauges, and bobbins.

I keep all of those things in a long dish under my Sew Steady table, so they are easily grabbed anytime I need them.

My goal is always to have what I absolutely use the most right at my fingertips all the time. I take advantage of simple dishes and cups to make that easy. You don't always have to invest in expensive containers to hold your tools. Use what you have on hand to organize in or pick up a few inexpensive dishes at the thrift store the next time you wander through.

As for rulers, my philosophy is to stay relatively minimal in my ruler collection.

I think Everyone needs at least one 6" x 24" ruler and a 3" x 18" ruler.

I also like to have at least two good squaring rulers. I suggest that a 12 1/2" ruler is something everyone should have since it is a common block size. The other size should be the one you use the most. I have an 8 1/2" squaring ruler since I love an 8 inch block size.