Easier FMQ with a Ruler Foot and Rulers!


I finally finished my Spinning Spools quilt… and quilted it with designs that I never imagined I’d ever be able to do. Check this out:

Have you ever tried to free motion quilt beautiful flowers, circles, and stars on your quilts, but then been disappointed when you couldn’t get it right? That’s totally me. It’s happened so many times that I now have a stack of quilt tops ready to be made into quilts, I’m just afraid that I’l ruin them if I try. Well, Sew Steady gifted me a ruler foot and some rulers, and I think my pile O’ tops might just see the batting.

Look at this beautiful flower I quilted! Yes, me, a not-expert free motion quilter on my Juki TL-2010Q (I’m showing you the back of the quilt because it’s easier to see the design). This design was made with the ‘Spinning Wheels 36’ ruler that comes in Westalee Template Set #1 (a great starter set).

In between the larger star designs I added sweet smaller flowers with the ‘Spin-E-Fex No. 4’ ruler (also in the starter set..

Here’s the front of my finished quilt, you’ll recognize it from my Classic Spool Block tutorial. The fabrics are Modern Lace from Blend.

This is the special ruler foot and the first ruler that I used. The ruler attached to my quilt with that ‘pin’ (I call it a thumbtack) which made quilting those fancy stars so easy! Leonie of Westalee designs even has a video tutorial for it. They make special feet to fit almost any sewing machine, plus a generous selection of rulers.

It was really amazing for me to be able to quilt this way, sitting at my sewing machine.

This is the second ruler that I used to add the 4 petal flowers. I stopped at 4 petals, but you don’t have to. In her video, Leonie quilts 8 petals on each flower.

There was a learning curve, of course. See my practice ‘quilt sandwich’ above?  I had to get used to moving the ruler and quilt as one under the free motion quilting foot. I spray basted my quilt with SpraynBond (from Thermoweb) instead of using pins because I thought they might get in the way. I also followed my other usual free motion quilting practices, like using quilting gloves and a Supreme Slider.  I’m also using my Wish Table from Sew Steady. If you are new to free motion quilting, then I suggest you get comfortable with the basic feel of it first, then using the rulers will be easy. 

{And FYI, Sew Steady often has product giveaways on their Sew Steady Facebook page!}

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. Love love love that quilting. I didn’t realize you could even use a ruler on domestic machines. So fabulous!

  2. Virginia Q says:

    Brilliant innovation! I don’t have the space for a long-arm so these rulers could be the perfect alternative for home quilting. Love, love, love the Table!

  3. Roberta Kennedy says:

    I hadn’t heard of these quilting templates until now. I am so excited to use these in my quilting!

  4. I would love to have these rulers. To do the designs on my domestic machine would be perfect!

  5. Michelle Ford-Copley says:

    I am excited to enter for this giveaway. I have always dreamed of quilting freehand, these templates will help me learn and get used to dealing with quilt sandwiches hands on.

  6. Carolann Sandone says:

    would love to win these templates.

  7. Looks like a great system! Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Christine Owen says:

    I need to have the Spinning Wheel template for the quilt I do next!!! Love it!!!

  9. janice friel says:

    Would this be a anniversary present for me!!! Love to have

  10. I have never seen these before. I must live a sheltered life. Very interested!

  11. Amazing, I have to try this!

  12. Wow! These look like great fun to play with … and would encourage me to complete quilting all of those unfinished quilt tops.

  13. G Rodriguez says:

    Such great tools, would love to win this giveaway!

  14. Looks like a winner for someone.

  15. Ruth Hampson says:

    I would love to learn and use these products!

  16. Wow! What an awesome giveaway!!!! I’d SO love to win that! I’ve been learning to FMQ for a while now, and I can do pretty well I think, but I’m ready to start learning how to use rulers. This set would be perfect!!!! And the table would work perfectly for retreats – OMG!!!

  17. This is too cool!!!! The things I could do with this!!!

  18. Sheila MacDonald says:

    These honestly are a dream come true. I have @ 6 quilts I haven’t finished because I’ve been concerned with getting the quilting perfect !

  19. Christine W says:

    This is so beautiful, I’m feeling inspired!

  20. Exciting. Love to be able to quilt my quilts this way!

  21. BJ stultz says:

    I would love to win this! It would be super useful for all the gals doing charity quilts to share.

  22. Carol Denny says:

    It would be great to have this!

  23. Betty Keene says:

    With these rulers, maybe even I can quilt on my domestic machine. Very interesting concept.

  24. martha brown says:

    Just moved and can’t wait to get to my machine and play!!! What awesome tools you are giving away ! They would be big go to my sewing!! Would love to win them!

  25. Sally Dea says:

    I love quilting on my domestic machine… these rulers would be amazing…. thanks

  26. Very impressed, would love to win them, haven’t seen them here in the UK.

  27. Sally Dea says:

    Watched this video… amazing… I didn’t know there were such amazing templates…. I have to have this… win or loose… winning would be amazing

  28. I love that large extension table for working on larger quilts . I can not image being able to free motion quilt with rulers assisting but would love to try!

  29. Patricia Faye Mc says:

    What great tools! Would love any one of them!

  30. Sondra Gingery says:

    I don’t know how to enter for this drawing, but at least can enter the comment section. I love the look of these tools, and the ideas of all that you can do with them. Glad to see them being made for the domestic machine people.

  31. I can’t imagine all the room using that extension table! I would so love to have one! Your Facebook site is awesome! Just checked it out. Will be following you there now.

  32. Amy Caldwell (SeeAmySew) says:

    OMGosh!!! Being self taught, These prizes would give me that extra boost of confidence to actually finish my quilts, instead of folding up the flimsies and starting to piece another top.

  33. I have had a Sew Steady table for one of my machines for about 15 years! Love the extra room it gives when quilting by machine!

  34. Marian M. says:

    Would love to win this!

  35. Debra Kay Neiman says:

    All I can say is … WOW! crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  36. Gail Beam says:

    OMG This is an Awesome prize package! The template you used on your quilt is amazing! Thank you for the chance to win this Super neat prize package.

  37. Leah Garhovd says:

    This is almost too good to be true! Hoping I finally get lucky.

  38. claudette flanigan says:

    Seriously?? Where has this been all my life? What a tool!

  39. Rebecca Conway says:

    Would love to win this!

  40. This is really an amazing giveaway! I have been thinking of getting a Sew Steady Table for some time and have been waiting for the Bernina ruler foot to come out to buy rulers. Winning this would be a dream.

  41. Would love to win. What a generous prize.

  42. Very interesting would love to win

  43. Lori Morton says:

    AWESOME Give-a-way!!!! My sewing machine would be soooo happy if I won! ( & so would I…giggle)

    Loved that you shared the video! Looks fun…and is so cool!

  44. Melanie Jackson says:

    Wow! I was just wondering if this is just for the US?

  45. What a lovely opportunity to win it has awaken mind and is already visualizing what I could make for my little 4 year old princess I am a beginner seen what you can do it’s challenging my creativity.

  46. Wow! This is awesome and an amazing coincidence. I was just inquiring on Instagram if quilters could recommend rulers for domestic machines. Thanks!

  47. Karen Felton says:

    This is amazing. Does one need the table inserts or just the templates?

  48. What a great tool!!! I’d love to win 🙂

  49. Lori Fedorek says:

    I love doing FMQ and the rulers will be the next step up. Watch all the video’s and
    wish I could afford all of the rulers. This would be such a great giveaway to win. Thanks for entering me.

  50. How wonderful!! They are a must have, so now when my sweetheart ask me what I want for my birthday I know what to tell him.

  51. Amanda Fisher Heitkoetter says:

    WOW – that looks sooo useful! Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to win. Thanks!

  52. Kate Welch says:

    wow. just. wow. I admit, it looked kind of cool, but now, after watching the video, I see how super-slick it is. I HATE the quilting part of my quilts. Watching this is making me WANT to have a project ready to quilt. (and that is WAY too cool!)

  53. What a great idea! Would love to win this!

  54. For those that are sooo particular, this would be great to keep the pattern nice and even.

  55. How do you sign up? I dont want to miss out. I love quilting and sewing so much.I have made multiple tote bags and wallets and I am making a curtain currently. I love sewing and I really hope I win. Even if I dont it won`t change that I love that someone else has the joy of owning these things.

  56. What a great contest! I watched the video 4 times, but it wouldn’t let me add that as an entry. 🙁 Thanks for the opportunity.

  57. Joy French says:

    This is the best giveaway ever! Thank you!

  58. Chris Peterson says:

    What a great giveaway! I would love to win! I am definitely looking at this to purchase.

  59. Vickie Bell says:

    This was a very nice video. I was impressed with the finished quilting motif since I have a hard time doing free motion quilting.It was also the first time I have seen the quilting rulers.They would be great to win!

  60. Dorothy Paeschke says:

    I have try several ways to enter your contest and have not found a place to enter.
    Also, I have purchased the Sampler Template Set I, from Paramount sewing & Vacuum. I am wondering about classes or information on making the designs, from each template.

    Dorothy Paeschke

    1. Hi Dorothy,
      There is a giveaway widget below the blog post (above these comments) and also on my giveaway page: http://www.sewcanshe.com/giveaway. I’m sorry if your network is blocking you from seeing the giveaway widget. I can’t do anything about that.

      The only instruction that I have seen for these rulers and the ruler foot is the YouTube videos that I have linked to in the blog post above. I suggest you check out all of the videos on the Westalee channel.

      Good luck!


  61. I enjoyed the content of your post. FMQ with rulers has been a topic I wanted to know more about, and I was excited to get a brief introduction to the topic. However, I was annoyed by the pop up ads that invaded every single picture in your post as I scrolled down. I might have been able to overlook one pop up ad, but pop ups time after time was just irritating. I don’t care how good the content is – those kinds of annoying ads mean I won’t be back.

    1. I’m sorry that the ads offended you so badly. I am trying to deal with rising blog and newsletter costs and diminishing affiliate income. Hence the experimentation with different types of ads. I’ll keep working on it. Thanks for your input!

  62. Shirley Walton says:

    Punch with Judy runs an online class on these rulers, you get 6 rulers with the course as well as the ruler foot specific to your machine – the 6 rulers are a pack which are only available to the online class – find out more here – https://www.punchwithjudy.com.au/shop/Westalee-Ruler-Work-Online-Classes.html – my only affiliation with Punch with Judy is as a very satisfied customer. just thought I’d post the info for all to see – am thinking very seriously of enrolling – great value as the ruler foot costs $55 and comes with a straight ruler and additional rulers [for different effects] sell from $18 – $80 and then they have sets as well. I think the 7 lessons over 7 mths is great idea and you get to download the lessons and keep forever! Heavens , they even offer a discount if you already have your ruler foot! Need to have some dental work done at the moment so soon as that’s paid for , I’m signing on !

  63. Cathy Junga says:

    I saw these rulers demo’d at the Sewing Expo a few weeks back and had to get the sampler set and foot. Wow, after a few minutes of getting acquainted with moving the foot along the edge of the ruler, I was in business. I’m not the greatest with free motion, but this technique makes me look like I know what I"m doing. My next purchase from Westalee is going to be the feather templates, can’t wait!

  64. What foot did you buy to fit your juki? I have the same machine and I’m not coming up with much searching for a ruler foot for it.

  65. This is awesome; your quilt looks great!

  66. Marlene R. says:

    Love learning new techniques! Can’t wait to get started!

  67. I am getting ready to dip my toe on the FMQ area, thanks for the review!

  68. Wendy Kienbusch says:

    Did you have a hard time with skipped stitches? Whenever I use a ruler foot on my juki my stitches don’t do well. They are fine with my regular fmq foot.

    1. I had that problem until I learned to work with the tension – it needed to be a lot higher than usual. It’s also important to use the right needles and thread. I like Superior brand.

      Good luck!

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