Pterodactyl Bait

What do you do when you have an intimidating quilting task in front of you? Do you dive right in and tackle it like you are the boss of that big, bad task?

Or are you like me? You play dead. You avoid. You dust (you know it’s bad when I start dusting instead of quilting). You sort your leaders and enders by color. Etc. Etc.

Or you maybe you start cutting out a new project?

That would be me this weekend — happily watching TV from my kitchen island, and starting a new project as I reveled in my new French General Petite Trip kit and ignored the pterodactyl that is sitting mockingly and menacingly on my sewing machine. (Oh sure that little Spring Chicken looks all innocent and sweet, but when it comes to quilting her, the giant talons come out in a quite intimidating fashion.)

Besides the presence of that looming bird, I justified my petite detour because I was excited to try out a new tool that Cindy snagged for me at Joann. I’ve been a bit frustrated with the preciseness of my cutting skills. It seems that my ruler always slips when I’m at the top of a WOF strip. At a lake house quilt retreat several winters ago I noticed that the fabulous Ms. G, my long arm quilter, had a handled gizmo for her big ruler. Her quilts are always perfect, so I thought that I’d find a similar tool one day and make it mine, but none of my local fabric stores carry such a thing.

I mentioned my slippage frustration to Cindy and she surprised me with a Dritz Ruler Grip when she came to New York for a visit two weeks ago.


Dritz Suction Cup Ruler Grip from Joann.

Now Cindy does not use such a gizmo. She is married to a thrifty Hoosier, so she thriftily uses homemade, removable, non-skid shelf liner pads on her ruler and displays excellent results with same. I, however, am entranced with the handle aspect of this tool. It just makes it easier to grab your ruler and keep cutting and cutting and cutting. I can lean on that handle and use my body weight to keep everything in place.

I can already see that my cutting accuracy has improved by using the Dritz grip; I’m less frustrated, and I’m not wasting fabric. My French General kit is completely made of 2″ squares. I should have all of the <accurately cut> pieces ready for sewing with another hour or two of ruler/grip and rotary cutter work.


The kit includes loads of extra fabric. Because of my new grip handle, I hope to save it for another project. 

Meanwhile the pterodactyl that is draped over my machine is calling my name.






16 thoughts on “Pterodactyl Bait

  1. Chela's Colchas y Mas says:

    I hope you answer the call of that cute little Spring Chicken! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.
    I am Procrastinator in Chief whenever it comes to a daunting task.
    If you find me in the kitchen, you know I am facing a difficult task in the studio.
    My friend uses one of those Dritz Ruler Grips, but I have yet to get one for myself.
    You might have just given me another reason why I should buy one! 🙂

  2. Julie says:

    I thought it was just me. I will walk in the sewing room with intentions of jumping right in, turn around and take the dogs for a walk. Or clean the fridge. eek

  3. Karla says:

    I love my Dritz ruler gripper…I use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to keep it clean. It permantely resides on my 6 x 24 ruler. I also use a 5 lb hand weight to keep my rulers from shifting while cutting.
    I dread quilting my finished tops which is why I have so many UFO’s 🙂

  4. Sparkle On with Abbie says:

    Your post are always so funny! The pterodactyl says “Don’t fear me Sandy, I’m really just a cute little peep”🐥
    I feel you though, I’m in avoidance mode when I feel the need to re-iron already ironed fabric 🤪

  5. Gray Barn Designs says:

    The hexie procrastination continues…I had to read airplane brochures (just in case of in flight emergency) so I didn’t do any sewing. Hey, I need to make sure I know how to make an emergency exit!

  6. tierneycreates says:

    Your blog post title was awesome – I love creative titles. Thanks for sharing about the Dritz grip, I have seen it but I like Cindy I was being overly thrifty and did not consider buying one, until now! I have had terrible cutting slips (like when it is your last piece of a fabric and you need to accurately cute every piece to have enough to finish a pattern) and I think something like this would help me! Cindy did good getting you that surprise!

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