Sunday, 10 July 2016

Westalee Sampler Template Set

I have bought the Westalee Ruler foot last year some time and have only dabbled with it here and there. I found it a bit fiddly at first and obviously was not used to stitching with it at all. Recently I have dug it out again as I want to use it to finish off one of my quilts. Looking around for a suitable Arc shape on the Westalee website I decided in the end to get the Sampler set. At $65 this represented good value when I was looking around. It has a 6" Spiral, Spin-e-fex No 4, Circles on Quilts Spinning Wheel No 36, 4"Arc, Clamshell and a 2" Circle.
Westalee Template Sampler Set

It comes with a few pamphlets, however I would advise  to check out the YouTube videos that are on the website. They are excellent and give you a really good idea on how to use the templates.

Today I thought that I put up some pictures of my trials with those templates...so how difficult is it to stitch with those templates?  I obviously can FMQ but stitching with rulers is a completely different ball game. The photos are from my second time using these templates, so they all look less than perfect but will give you an idea of what to expect. I was very curious about this...

For Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 owners: I used Aurifil thread 50/2 on a 80% cotton/20%polyester batting. I used a Titanium Topstich 70/10 needle. I think the recommended needle size is 80/12, however I do stitch better with the 70/10 needle and my machine likes it. Had no problem with my tension or stitches.

I am particularly keen on the Arc as this is the shape that I will have to use to finish off one of my quilts. So I drew myself a 4.5" square and started outlining it with the Arc. As I am going to have to deal with a large quilt I did not turn my sample but tried to stitch it as I would on the real quilt which meant stitching with the Arc both in front and behind the foot. Now this was a bit of a challenge. Initially the template moved a fair bit, until I put that little tape on to keep it in place.

First attempt with lots of slippage
On the plus side, I noticed that I have conquered the straight ruler...have no problems aligning this and stitching nice straight lines that meet in a tidy fashion!
Second attempt...getting much better
Eyeballing the 1/4" space was tricky particularly stitching behind the foot. I started to examine the Arc's markings...very clever really...it obviously got the arc lines etched on it but it also got some straight lines.
4"Arc
Took me a while to work out how to align my Arc using those straight lines and eyeballing it from there. This will need some more practice but if you look at the second attempt I am definitely getting the hang of that. Also useful for filling in sashings
Just arcs
Next I did the Circles on Quilts Spinning Wheel No 36...very handy, comes out at 5.5" and is a lovely simple shape that would look great both in alternate solid blocks or simple 9 patch blocks.
Circle on Quilts Spinning Wheel No 36

I loved doing that. Bit strange to stitch inside a template and be restrained by its form but easy enough to execute. Was actually very impressed with this as the template makes you stop in exactly the right place, like magic.

Then I tried the Spin-e-fex No 4...
Spin-e-fex No 4

Simple flower shape that I could use on my Meadowbloom quilt (yet to be done) in the solid alternate blocks. No problem stitching that out. Might just have to get a bit neater with this and the surround is obviously a fail...was just mucking around.

Then came the Clamshell. I like the big Clamshell but realised fairly quickly that I needed to put the tape on to keep it from moving. Now here you stitch on the outside of the arc which is a little bit more difficult...if you loose concentration, you start stitching away from the template, as I did a number of times.  Again, this needs more practice...not sure I aligned this correctly all the time. The little clamshells were a hoot to do. Initially I would slow down every time I came to the valley and make some horrendous long stitches with the ruler foot going into the valley however second time around this was better. Certainly very easy to stitch out and alignment was easier for me on the smaller ones.

Overall, I was impressed...with a bit of practice this should become easier as you go along. Particularly like the Arc...this is a shape that I use very often, so using a ruler foot instead of marking would make life a lot easier. I will have to do a few more practice samples to get my alignment right and to practice stitching behind the foot before I go on the quilt with this. But yes, definitely do-able!

Highly recommended!

Karin

2 comments:

  1. As always Karin this is really helpful. I've also bought this set plus the intro set but haven't been brave enough to try it. I did have a play but the sticky stiff wasn't on the back and I wandered a lot..... But with this at my elbow I feel a whole load more confident. Mind you I'm not posting my first attempts on my blog!!!

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  2. Thanks for sharing. It's wonderful to see some of the quilting options you can make with the templates.

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