Tips and Tools Tuesday – Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

If you’ve been following my Blog for any length of time, you know that I’m BIG on repurposing anything and everything that I can.         I like using things that I already have.

Take the lowly empty toilet paper roll, for example.Now, usually it ends up in the trash or recycle bin.

But today, I’d like to give you a few ideas on how they can be put to good use.

 

 

 

Use it to keep appliance or extension cords neat and tidy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut it length-wise, and it holds wrapping paper securely.

 

 

 

But, by far, my favorite use for this humble little item is for storing binding.

 

 

 

 

 

After sewing your binding strips together, simply roll it up.

 

 

 

 

Some people might choose to put several filled rolls onto a dowel and hang their bindings up until ready to use.

Me, I don’t always get to the binding portion of quilt making as quickly as I’d like. So, the thought of  dust possibly collecting on the hanging binding rolls is a concern.

I put mine into empty pint-size canning jars with a lid just resting on top. No ring.  That way, the fabric can still “breathe” and I don’t worry about dust.

And, it gives my empty jars a purpose while they’re not filled with food from the garden.

The jars are clear so I can quickly find the binding I need. I can slip a paper inside to tell me which quilt this binding is destined for, etc.

Last weekend, I put binding on a quilt.

I’ve tried folding it accordion-style and setting it in my lap as I sewed it on.

Not a very successful method.

I’ve wrapped it around an empty prescription bottle and set it in my lap so that it could “unroll” as I needed it.  Usually, it would roll off of my lap, fall on the floor, twist up, . . .  AAAAAAAGH!

But last weekend, I had a binding epiphany.  I mean, I didn’t see a light shine down from heaven upon my sewing machine and me, or hear angles singing, but as the thought of how to keep the binding in place as I sewed popped into my head, I did look heavenward and say, out loud, “Thank-you, Father! What a great idea!”

I used a wire basket left over from our daughter’s wedding nine years ago that used to hold fabric until I decided to fold it and store it on shelves (see “Is Your Fabric in a Wad?), a wooden spoon from the kitchen, and the binding wrapped on an empty toilet paper roll.

The wooden spoon kept the roll from escaping the basket.

I slipped the end of the binding through the handle and set the basket on the floor under the machine, and beside the foot peddle.

I set the roll on the contraption so that the raw edges were on the right and the fold on the left. That way, it stayed lined up perfectly for sewing to the quilt.

Because I didn’t have to waste time unfolding, untwisting, or chasing binding rolls, I had that binding on in no time! Yay!

Look around your house.  You might just find a new use for some old unused items.

If you do, please share your ideas with me. I’d love to see what you come up with.

As always, I hope this makes your quilting easier.

Diane

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