Scrappy Ruler Sleeve

By Krista Hennebury (aka Poppyprint)

Dive into your scrap bin and create this colourful Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) ruler sleeve to protect your rulers in transit to your next workshop, sew-in or The Festival of Quilts!

The main sleeve holds my favourite 4” x 14” ruler and the outer pocket is perfect for a 3” x 9” ruler or your rotary cutter. This is the perfect project to use up those long strips of wadding trimmed from the edges of your quilts. I’ve included several options to customize the look of your ruler sleeve.

NOTE: You can make this project to fit any of your favourite quilting rulers; simply resize the sleeve pieces to finish 1” longer and wider than the largest ruler and the pocket piece the same width as the sleeve pieces, but 1” shorter than the smaller ruler.

You will need:

Wadding scraps:

  • two rectangles 6” X 16” for sleeve
  • one rectangle 6” x 9” for pocket

Fabric scraps:

  • assorted strips at least 1” wide and 6” long
  • two rectangles 6” x 16” for sleeve lining (OPTIONAL)
  • one rectangle 6” x 9” for pocket lining
  • one strip 1 ½” x 6” for pocket binding
  • one strip 1 ½” x 9 ½” for sleeve binding


  • rotary cutter
  • snips/scissors
  • binding clips
  • chopstick
  • coordinating 50 wt or 40 wt thread
  • topstitch 80 needle
  • basting spray or fabric glue stick (OPTIONAL)
  • walking foot if your machine needs help sewing through 3 layers of wadding
Krista Hennebury_ruler_image2

All seam allowances in this project are standard patchwork 1/4”

RST = Right sides together                        

RSU = Right side up

Step 1

Press the lining fabric RSU on the back of the wadding pieces. It isn’t necessary to line the ruler sleeve, I typically leave mine unlined to reduce bulk, however I do line the pocket. If you are worried about the lining shifting, use a few dabs of gluestick or a little bit of spray baste to adhere the lining to the wadding.

Step 2

On the right side of the wadding, place a fairly wide strip of fabric across one end, RSU. Secure the strip to the wadding by quilting parallel lines the length of the strip about 3/8” apart. Simply use the edge of your presser foot as a guide. 

Krista Hennebury_ruler_image3

Step 3

Place a second fabric strip RST on the first strip, aligning the raw edges. Sew a 1/4” seam to join the strips. Flip the second strip RSU and again, quilt parallel lines across the strip about 3/8” apart. Repeat this process until the entire piece of wadding is quilted.

Step 4

Once the wadding pieces are fully covered in fabric strips, trim the pocket piece to 5” x 8” and the two sleeve pieces to 5” x 15”.

Krista Hennebury_ruler_image6

Step 5

Bind the top edge of the pocket piece – Sew the 1 ½” x 5” strip of binding RST to the top edge of the pocket piece. Press the unsewn edge of the binding to the wrong side by 3/8”. Wrap the binding around the top of the pocket piece, pin or clip in place. Secure the folded edge to the back by stitching in the ditch from the front.

Step 6

Assemble the Sleeve: Place the pocket piece RSU on one sleeve piece, aligning the sides and bottom edges. Baste the pocket piece in place with a 1/8” seam allowance.

Krista Hennebury_ruler_image11

Step 7

Place the two sleeve pieces RST, clip or pin in place around the long side and bottom edges.

Krista Hennebury_ruler_image12

Step 8

Sew sides and bottom edges together, back stitching at the top of the side seams and pivoting at the corners. Clip across the bottom corners carefully to avoid cutting your seam stitches. Press the side seams open from the top edge of the sleeve just down to the top of the pocket. Turn the sleeve right side out and, using a chopstick, gently poke out the bottom corners. Give the project a good press, making sure the side seams and bottom corners are fully turned out.

Step 9

Finish Your Sleeve with a Binding: Fold the longer binding strip in half and sew into a loop across the short edges. Press the seam open.

Krista Hennebury_ruler_image13

Step 10

Place the binding around the top edge of the sleeve RST aligning the top raw edges and centering the binding seam at the middle back edge of the sleeve. Sew in place from the inside of the sleeve.

Krista Hennebury_ruler_image14

Step 11

Fold up the raw edge of the binding by 3/8” and press. Wrap the binding to the inside of the sleeve and stitch in place. This a little tricky on such a small round opening, but sew from the inside, just catching the folded binding edge.

Your sleeve is complete!

Some fun options

  1. Use selvedge strips. No need to stitch and flip, simply overlap the raw edge of the previous strip with the finished selvedge edge and topstitch in place.
  2. Unlined sleeve, lined pocket with fully quilted strips.
  3. Fully lined sleeve and pocket with “stitch and flip” strips that are unquilted.
  4. Unlined sleeve, lined pocket. The pocket is made from one quilted piece of fabric rather than QAYG strips.
Krista Hennebury_ruler_image1

I’d love to see your ruler sleeves! Tag #qaygerulersleeve on IG

Further information

Find more of Krista’s tutorials and 10 years of quilt blogging at:

For modern quilt patterns and her popular Level Two Tote beginner tote pattern visit:

Instagram: @poppyprint