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