Saturday, December 20, 2014

And now for the Rulers and Templates

I have spoken about the Westalee Ruler Foot, now the fun part the rulers and templates.

Using Circles on Quilts for Domestic Machines and a straight ruler.
Each corner of the 1/2" lines was sewn using the ruler in a different position

Circles on Quilts Template for domestic and sit-down machines stitch circles from 2" to 12"
(this is the only locating rotating circle template for stitching concentric circles on a domestic machine)

Most of our template designs are made in 3 mm for Low Shank domestic machines and 4,5 mm for High Shank domestic machines and of course in 6 mm for Long arm Machines.

Designing our Ruler Foot has been a long journey and one of the reasons for that was the necessity to make a ruler foot that worked on as many machines as possible as simply as possible. The testing has been extensive.

Our Ruler Foot does not have any mechanisms to interfere with the use of templates, you can work from all edges of the foot Left - Right - Back and Front this makes its so much more useful.

Long arm quilter's use 6mm rulers and templates, because of the hopping motion of the ruler foot, some machines hop higher that others and 6 mm works well for most long arm quilting machines.

  6 mm  or 1/4"                  4.5 mm or 3/16"         3 mm or 1/8"

6 mm is the thickness used for Long arm  machines because of the height traveled by the hopping foot hopping

When using a Low Shank Machine, you will need to use 3 mm Acrylic Templates. Phaff machines with IDT are low Shank and will require 3 mm templates.
The picture show a Pfaff machine with a 6 mm template that is to close to the Shank and IDT mechanism.

We recommend when using the Westalee Ruler Foot:
4.5mm thick templates on High Shank Machines
3 mm on Low Shank Machines

Please note that the Ruler Foot shown is a prototype

Westalee Design copyright 2008-2014. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

More on the Westalee Ruler Foot

More on the Westalee Ruler Foot?

Who can use a Westalee Ruler Foot?

Well, almost anyone, the Westalee Ruler foot has been designed to fit Low Shank and High Shank Domestic Sewing Machines like - Pfaff - Husqvarna - Janome - Bernina - Brother - Juki - Singer

Pfaff - most Pfaff machines are Low Shank
Husqvarna - most Husqvarna machines are Low Shank
Janome - have both Low Shank and High Shank machines
Bernina - have both Low Shank and High Shank machines (with Bernina machines you will need a shank adaptor)
Brother - have both Low Shank and High Shank machines
Juki machines - are Low Shank

If you do not know what shank your machine is, all you need to do is lower your foot and then measure the height of the centre of the hole for the screw from the needle plate.

Low Shank                                                                                                    High Shank

High Shank                                 Low Shank
Westalee Ruler foot
The Westalee Ruler Foot is different from any other ruler foot on the market and has been designed to work with our Quilting Templates.

The Ruler foot is designed to float just above the quilt sandwich, there is no hopping mechanism to get in the way of your hands and impede your vision.

There is no need for a ruler foot to hop, you have more control and ease of movement with a foot that floats.

The Westalee Ruler Foot has a perfect 1/2" circle so that you can use your ruler from all sides and you can work inside and outside templates. with no flat spot in your quilting caused by the  cut out at the front of the foot.

If you free motion you may have noticed that when using a free motion foot with a spring loaded hop or a free motion foot that hops on the needle bar screw, it can often cause problems and many people will modify the foot so that it no longer hops.

I have tried other feet and found that the hopping feet can often press to low on the quilt causing an uneven almost jerky motion.

Please note that the Ruler Foot shown is a prototype.

All Westalee Design Rulers, Templates and Tools are protected by copyright 2008-2014. Simple template. Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More about the Ruler Foot

Why is it important to use a 1/2" Ruler Foot?

Circles on Quilts Wreath 3 - repeats 24 times
Templates and Rulers should be designed to be stitched 1/4" from the template edge, the needle is in the centre of a 1/2" round collar.
If the collar is smaller or larger than 1/2" or not round then the pattern you are stitching will not be correct, repeating patterns will not return to the correct position. 

This diagram shows how one of our Circles on Quilts Spinning Wheel designs should look when stitched at 1/4" for the template edge (USING A TRUE 1/2" FOOT). The pattern stitches to fill an
11 1/2" circle. Beginning at the green and ending at the red the pattern completes 8 rotations. 

In this diagram the pattern is stitched using a 9/16" ruler foot and because the foot is larger the pattern stitched out is smaller and therefore the repeating design does not meet to complete the circle, it is also smaller.

When we design our templates we make the stitching line sew at 1/4" from the template edge. Because of the variances in the long arm quilting machines ruler foot, we make our templates machine specific, so if you are ordering remember to check you machine in the drop box.

Why you can't sew with any shape foot.

In this graphic you can see that when the Ruler is against the edge of the template the needle will always be stitching a 1/4" from the template edge. 

This graphic show that when you are using some of the other feet available the needle will not be the same distance from the template as you move around giving you an uneven distance from the template edge.

The more repeats required to complete the design, the more important it is to use the correct sized foot. Our Circles on Quilts Wreath 16 template repeats 16 times.

The pattern at the sides of this blog is stitched using our Curly-q templates.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Using Rulers on a Domestic Sewing Machine

So, you own a domestic sewing machine and you do a bit of free motion work and like many other quilter’s you would like to do more and you want results that look great but are easy to achieve.

You have seen what the long arm girls can do using rulers and have wanted to be able to use all those fantastic toys on your domestic machine but have not been able to, because the long arm  machines use a RULER FOOT.  A RULER FOOT is a foot designed to ride along the edge of a ruler and always stitch a 1/4” from the ruler edge.
Free motion feet for Domestic Machines
The free motion foot is great for free motion quilting, but is really is not suitable for using with rulers. Free motion feet are usually only about 1 to 1.5mm in height and this height can very easily go under the templates, not a good thing. If the ruler goes under the template and you strike the template with your needle apart for being frightening it can be costly.

Taking a step back in time, designing rulers and templates for quilting can be fun, is fun, but there is a lot of work that takes place before a tool is ready to be used. Testing is one of the most important steps, when I put a new tool out in the market place I need to know that it works. As many of you who know me know that I did not own Malcolm ( my Nolting Pro) until last year (2013). Before Malcolm came to live with us, I did however own a mid arm on a frame the problem was that this machine did not have a ruler foot and I could not buy a ruler for this machine. So in 2010 when I was working on the first of our Rotating Templates, Bill and Sam (friend) set about making a ruler foot for Dodgy (my mid arm) after a number of hopping feet were made we decided to take away the hopping mechanics and have a floating foot. This foot was much more user friendly and I could now do my own testing of new rulers.

Poor Bill has been asked so many times if our rulers can be used on domestic machine on a frame and the answer has always been "Do you have a ruler foot?".  He has disappointed many quilter's. Until now there have only been a few ruler feet available and for a very limited number of machines. We have been working on our New RULER FOOT for quite sometime and it is now only a few weeks away.

The foot we should be using when using templates
We need a foot that is 1/2" in diameter at least .2" (5 mm) in height, and the foot must be high enough at the rear so it does not come into contact with the template.

Coming Soon

Westalee Design Ruler Foot

We are really proud to let you know that the Westalee Design Ruler Foot will be available in early 2015.
The Westalee Ruler Foot is height adjustable and is made in 2 styles for High Shank and Low Shank machines.
We have tested the foot on Pfaff, Janome, Husqvarna, Brother and Bernina machines.

If you would like more information or to be added to our growing waiting list you can contact us by
emailing Bill at

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

About Westalee Design

In 2008 with my husband Bill, I began Westalee Design, we design and manufacture Patchwork and Quilting Rulers and Templates.

The story of Westalee Design really began months early.

As a patchworker and quilter for over 30 years, I had learned that there are 3 steps to beautiful piece - CUT ACCURATELY - SEW ACCURATELY - PRESS ACCURATELY. Well, I could sew accurately using a SCANT QUARTER INCH SEAM ALLOWANCE and I could press accurately, but cutting with the rulers that were on the market always left a bit to be desired.

I was making a quilt with 1200 3/16th Bias strips and as I was cutting the strips I was so frustrated with the inaccuracy of the resulting strips (caused by the ruler slipping and printed lines) that I decided to make a ruler with a guide, this was prototype 1. It worked, I now had perfect  3/16th  strips every time, but I needed a ruler with a guide that I could cut any size and not just the standard measurements. A number of prototypes later the Adjustable Ruler was made, a ruler with a guide to cut any measurement from 3/16th to 6 1/2".

I had invented the first Adjustable Ruler with Locking Fabric Guide for patchwork, a ruler to make it easy to cut accurately every time - without the usual problem of ruler slip.
A selection of our Rulers

2008 saw the launch of our rulers for patchwork and we soon found out that there was a growing need for many other tools and we now had the machinery and the desire to fill the gaps.
In July 2008, I appeared on the New Inventors Show and won the Grand Final Viewers Choice Award for my invention. 

Bill designed the Crosshatch Guide for long arm quilting machines. One of the most difficult designs to stitch is angled crosshatching and this tool makes it easy.
Westalee Crosshatch Guide

2009 was the year we introduced our Guided Templates and our unique key system for quiltng templates.
2010 we sold our first pin and disc located, rotating template, Circleworks and our Pinwheel Tool Set templates.
Circleworks can be used to design your own circular foundation patterns and quilting designs.

2012 In March we sold the worlds first Located Rotating Templates for longarm machine quilting. I designed the Spin-e-fex range to give beginner and experienced  quilters the ability to easily create their own rotating designs. Recently we added the Circles on Quilts series of templates Wreaths and Wheel designs with more than 90 templates, it is also our most extensive,  such as wreath and wheel.

I love to design new tools, it usually begins with seeing a need, creating the artwork, making prototypes testing and finally holding the finished product. Our Ruler and Template will keep growing and evolving filling the needs of quilter's.

In this blog we will be talking about piecing and quilting, new tools and techniques. 
For more information on our tools visit