The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Build a Better Mouse Trap - Do You Catch A Better Mouse?

The computer industry is changing faster than a speeding bullet.  Each day you hear that this is the best, newest and greatest technical gadget you have ever seen.  We are bombarded with ideas and images that make us wonder what is going to be next.  Well, the digital embroidery scene is the same.

When you work with any craft, you know that almost without exception, there is the 'start up' costs and then there are the items that bring your work to a new level.  The embroidery magazine are full of great things that are going to make your project more professional, easier or unique.  These items make great gifts for sewing friends and to hint at for a gift for yourself. 

There are a lot of imaginative people who get ideas that are so stellar that they make you say "Why didn't I think of that?" And, then there are some that are simply "What were they thinking?"

Well, I found Martelli "skini-mini" Rulers here on AnnTheGran who built a better ruler AND cutting mat.  There is a 10 minute demo that was interesting and informative to watch. 

  • ·        engineered with the dedicated cutter in mind
  • ·        never slips, protecting fabric, and avoiding waste
  • ·        never loses cut line because fabric is held firmly underneath ruler
  • ·        Polyethylene ruler is durable
  • ·        precision etched laser markings
  • ·        cannot be damaged with normal use
  • ·        Patented No-Slip backing grips solidly for perfect cuts.
  • ·        Does not shift fabric position when you lift the ruler


I don’t quilt, but I do cut things – a lot.  I have my bridal business that requires absolute perfection.  You think you have seen Bridezillas on TV?  Just have a small centering issue and the WORLD WILL COME TO A HALT.

I was really impressed by the video on the link above.  While he had the rules in one piece, these seem to be sold in 5 pieces.  Martelli was very explicit about the buyer needing to read the instructions.  In fact, as I looked over the Internet for ratings, the low rater specifically noted that she had not read the instructions. . . .

Speaking of the Internet, I found these for $90 and $99 and Ann sells them here for $63.48 for Club Members and $69 for Non-Club Members.  Frankly, I paid nearly $20 for one of my rulers and I do consider it to be a good one, but I know that it cannot do all the things that these rulers can.  For instance, my ruler does SLIP on fabric.  Having the right tool for the job is paramount for any project. We can pound a nail with a screwdriver, but it is not the best thing and will likely get damaged the screwdriver in the process.

Next is the Martelli Cutting-Mat.  I have a very worn cutting mat that has seen its better days.  I think I have had this mat for about 15 years, I probably have gotten my money’s worth in that time.   I had not even noticed that it was warped. Then I dragged my finger nail over the still-present cuts and found that there was a small but quite obvious cut still present.  In fact, my nail stopped at the cut point.  That means when  I am cutting with my rotary cutter, I am getting a very small, but present, dip in the mat.

Martelli indicated that his mat is 7 pounds (3.15 kilos).  Mine – well it is just 1 pound 2 ounces (.5 kilos).  That surprised me but I did learn from his information that the Martelli mat is made of Astroturf which is that rugged stuff that football players ‘play’ on. 

  • ·        Heavy and strong - Astroturf
  • ·        Measurement numbers on outside of the 24” by 36” area
  • ·        Quilting blocks on the mat itself
  • ·        Numerous cross hairs for accuracy
  • ·        Iron on fabric on the mat – with some conditions
  • ·        Thinner lines for better accuracy
  • ·        Two easy on the eyes sides. 

 After watching the video, I looked at that mat and was SOLD!  Check it out, you will be delighted that someone has taken the time to reengineer rulers and mats to make your work more professional. 

Don't forget that Peggy's Stitch Eraser is on sale right now with $10 off.  Some of the great things it will do are:

- Special cutting head
- Powerful motor
- Lightweight & portable
- Removes stitches from almost anything
- Easy to clean and maintain

- Unlike regular razors, this unit has a special blade for cutting thread  - I have tried a razor - it does NOT WORK!

I love this hack!!!

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