Ruler work samples

I have been invited to teach a class on quilting with Westalee quilting templates (AKA rulers) at the local quilt shop in April.  I have been playing with some of these for several months , on and off as I have a quilt that needs quilting and I am excited to share what I have learned.  I spent the weekend making two little samples to use in class.

When I took a class to get started last June, I came away with the basic idea of building designs by tracing various lines and shapes with the templates while freemotion quilting.  What I felt was lacking were examples of how to place those shapes on a patchwork quilt.  All our practice was just doodling randomly on a scrap quilt sandwich.

Having everyone bring a quilt to fill with motifs is a bit much for a beginner class, and different quilts would need different motifs and sizes and so on.  It just isn't practical.  However, I think drawing specific shapes and spaces on a plain quilt sandwich and filling those as though they were blocks or borders or sashing is a good alternative, and that's what these samplers are for.  Between the two, they use all 6 templates I plan to discuss and demonstrate. Participants will have the choice of random doodling, or more intentional placement practice, or both.

This one uses a straight edge, a 12" arc, a 2" circle, a 6" spiral and the Circles on Quits Spinning Wheel 36 (except that spinning wheel, instead of spinning, is being shuffled sideways for a design in the last border, just because I can and it looks cool).

This one (which is actually a pretty yellow but washed out in every picture I attempted) uses the Spin-e-fex No.4 template, the straight ruler, and the 3" clam shell.  I used the clam shell for the leafy bits and that curvy-pointy strip.

My biggest challenge is accepting that I cannot possibly both introduce how to use the rulers AND show or teach every possible design I can think to create with them!  Maybe that can be another class.

Tonight, I'm going back to piecing.  I need to finish the first round on the guild round robin.  I wish I could show you a picture.  Pam made a gorgeous mariner's compass with 32 points, fussy cutting and pattern matching.  It is a bit intimidating, but oh so fabulous!  I think our groups plans to go ahead and admire the progress on all the quits at each round, so I will ask at the next meeting if I can share pictures as I go.


  1. Wow! What gorgeous designs! Wish I could come take a class with you. Looks like you had fun playing with the templates. Hope your group says it's OK to share pictures, the quilt sounds wonderful.

  2. Wow--I love what you have done here. I missed the classes when they were teaching the Westalee rulers at out LQS. I am really sorry about that now. Beautiful work!

  3. Nice examples of what you can do with rulers and easy to pass around in class! I think it is the combinations possible in one quilt that make ruler quilting so exciting.

  4. A good idea to teach how to use the rulers in a block. Makes me want to try new things with my rulers.

  5. Oh, I love these! And I can appreciate how hard it is not to be able to show everything all together at once. Ruler quilting is definitely on my bucket list.

  6. Your ruler demonstration blocks are gorgeous! Wish I could be in you class so I could learn how to use the sampler set I bought 2 years ago at a quilt show! ---"Love"

  7. Gosh you know a post like this makes me crazy-giddy - who needs wine! Wow! Love the designs/motifs you've created. Wish I could be in the class.

  8. Great samples! I wish I could take your class with you.

  9. Beautiful work! The blue one reminds me of the metal ceiling tiles in old houses.

  10. Excellent! Your work fills me with joy!


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