Tip: Improvised Hot Ruler

Afton of Quilting Mod has been publishing a series of blog posts titled 10 Sewing Notions You Need to Know About. Recently, one of the items she talked about was a heat resistant ruler that can be used when turning and pressing seams. I thought this little tool was ingenious.

Last week when I was making the tote bag for the tutorial rewrite, I found myself needing to fold over the ends of the zipper casings. Each end needs folded 1/4″ and then pressed. I always find a way to burn myself when making those casings because that quarter inch is so narrow. Of course, I don’t have that ruler in my sewing room yet so I improvised.

Improvised heat resistant ruler

I used the cardboard piece that came in the charm pack I was using in my project, and I drew a line 1/4″ from the edge.

Then, I folded the fabric to that mark, finger pressed it, and then hit it with the hot iron (after removing the cardboard).

Works like a charm!

Folded fabric on improvised heat resistant ruler

Now all my turned ends are the same width, and none of my fingers were harmed in the making of the tote bag. Yay! I wouldn’t recommend pressing with the cardboard in place – I don’t know how heat resistant it is. But if you find yourself needing to fold over the edge of your fabric and want a consistent size, this cardboard trick will work until you can find yourself the real deal! 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

Linking up with Yvonne’s Tips & Tutorials Tuesday.


About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
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7 Responses to Tip: Improvised Hot Ruler

  1. Bonnie in Va says:

    good make do! I use old card catalog cards from my days as a librarian. I’ve never thought to mark it so I could iron a consistent seam. Excellent idea! Thanks.

  2. quiltingmod says:

    Thanks for the mention! I’m impressed with your clever improvisational version to save your fingers. 1/4″ can sure be a tricky one. You’re going to love it once you get your hands on the Hot Ruler. It’s a little stiffer, has more markings, and is burn-proof.

  3. Vicki in MN says:

    Great tip Beth! I have used a recipe card for that and ironed while the card is still in there, no steam.

  4. A very useful tip, burned fingers are hard to sew with!

  5. Cassandra says:

    So smart! Why bother with the ruler? Your way sounds great!

  6. I hear you on improvising (and burning fingers)! When Afton shared about the heat tolerant ruler I was thrilled to learn about it, too.

  7. Patricia says:

    Great tip, I burn myself also, Thanks

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