Innovation often leads to inspiration
Westalee Design has been at the forefront of much innovation in the quilting industry for over a decade. The TempLee Technique is another such innovative practice created by Leonie West that marries the use of her famous templates with the more traditional art of reverse appliqué. Westalee templates empower quilters to create stunningly complex geometric shapes which can then be further enhanced through creative use of striking contrast by removing sections of the design in the reverse appliqué process. We recently discovered the work of Dutch, quilter Vera Visscher who demonstrated the wonderful potential of the TempLee Technique. Vera was kind enough to talk us through her creative process and share some insight on how to design intricate and layered patterns with Westalee Design templates.
Follow Vera on Instagram: @atelierdaisyslongarm
I didn’t know the TempLee Technique until I met Leonie last year in the Netherlands. She was there to teach a Masterclass and I was lucky enough to attend. Leonie explained the technique and I fell in love with it, because it can show what you can do with the rulers, besides quilting. My mother has a quilt shop and I made this piece as inspiration for the students that come to the shop for Westalee. I knew that I wanted to make something colourful and my mother had a stunning digital printed fabric with the colours of the rainbow. I was intrigued what the effect would be with TempLee so I cut 1 square yard of that digital print and 1 square yard of the black top and orange backing fabric.
I didn’t draw anything out, except for guidelines with the Crosshair Ruler (16 guidelines). The first ruler I used was the Circle Wreath Feathered Leaf (11.5”). After that I used Spin-e-fex 4 (3.5”) for the middle and Circles on Quilts between those two rulers.
Because I used the Circles on Quilts ruler I now had a circle on which the design could grow. I used Spin-e-fex 11 to make the next ‘border’ and only used the top piece of that ruler. To ensure that I used the very same bit every time, I drew the curve of the circle on the ruler.
I added the little petals inside later with the Feathered Leaf Finials (2 sizes) because I thought that the space was too big and empty. After Spin-e-fex 11 I used the Flying Bell Curve twice to fill the space. The last ‘border’ of the Mandala i made with the 6” Spiral and the Mini Spin-e-fex.
I thought I was finished with the piece but I had so much space left. I looked through my rulers (I have about 60) and I came across Spinning Wheel 27. It’s a beautiful ruler and a beautiful centerpiece but I wanted to know how you could use it a different way. I decided to use it in the corners and after that I still had space left over. Having never used my Rope template, I wanted to see if I could use it in a circle. The instructions for the template cover linear use only, so I had to figure that out too. I didn’t draw anything since I think that takes too much time. Instead I drew a huge circle on the fabric and just started sewing. Luckily the circle rope is round and you can’t tell were the beginning and end is. To enhance the rope I echoed it on both sides, using the echo on the template.
The quilting was done, so now I had to cut the top fabric away. I did this in stages, so I could think about what I wanted to cut away. I started from the middle and made my way to the sides. I started each piece with my seam ripper and then used my scissors to fully cut out the pieces so I didn’t have any trouble with the cutting.
I didn’t cut by the corners because I didn’t use fusible web there but I did think a lot about the rope and whether I should cut the rope or the echos. I eventually decided to cut the rope because it’s calmer.
I worked with pleasure on this piece because it gave me an opportunity to try new rulers and to look at the rulers in a different way.
Full list of templates used:
- Circle Wreath Feathered Leaf (11.5”)
- Spin-e-fex 4 (3.5”)
- Circles on Quilts
- Spin-e-fex 11
- Feathered Leaf Finials (2 sizes)
- Flying Bell Curve
- 6” Spiral
- Mini Spin-e-fex
- Spinning Wheel 27
- Rope template
We would love to hear your thoughts about this project! Thanks again to Vera Visscher for sharing her inspiring creation with us.