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Donelle McAdams

Quilting Industry Partner

Promoted Instructor

Westalee Design Accredited Teacher

Indiana (willing to travel anywhere in the US) (willing to travel)

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About The Instructor

Donelle McAdams is the owner of SEW BIZ, Marion, Indiana. Donelle is the designer of Quick Easy Mitered Binding and Border Tools for the Sewing and Quilting industry that are sold internationally and she is also a pattern designer. Previously a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, she has been a quilt store owner for 37 years. She has taught a variety of SchoolHouse and Take & Teach classes and Business Management Seminars at International Quilt Market, Husqvarna Viking Sewing Convention, Vacuum & Sewing Machine Dealers Trade Association Convention and has participated as a Quilt Store Owner/Educator on numerous panels and advisory boards. She writes a column – Profitable Promotions – for FabShop News, an industry magazine.

As an Accredited Teacher for Westalee Design /Sew Steady, Donelle is available to teach classes and assist you as a Ruler Work demonstrator at your next Quilt Show or event. Her love and enthusiasm for sewing and quilting is infectious. Taking a class or booking an event with Donelle is guaranteed to be information-packed, inspirational and FUN!

Why Westalee Design Templates? “Quilting with templates is my therapy! I find that I so completely concentrate on my project that I don’t think about other issues of life when sewing or quilting. That’s very relaxing for me.”

Check Out – Trim The Table Pattern By Sew Biz

103 thoughts on “Donelle McAdams

  1. Wow is all I can say! what a great class. Donnell’s class was high octane! she knew her products. I am so excited to get my rulers so I can create some beautiful quilted pieces. this was the second time I watched the class and leared so much more. thanks for talking about setting up the machine, needles and tension, circles and more. I learned so much. I took a lot of notes and will watch the class again. wish I could refer to it for longer than a month. She made it look so easy when you have the right tools and the machine set up correctly. thanks again Donnell

  2. I loved the designs shown in the class and the instructions were very good. I do longarm free motion and also on my sewing machine. This technique with rulers just adds to the quilting experience and fun. Great job!

  3. Loved Donelle’s class. She made everything seem so easy, I ordered a set of rulers. Patiently (not too) waiting for them to get here. Hope I can view her videos again once my templates get here so I don;t have to rely on my memory.
    Thanks for the great info

  4. Donelle is great! I am a newbie and was having a problem with using my new rulers. I reached out to Donelle in an email and she responded right away. She was able to help me fix the problem with my machine setup so I could continue my practice. Thanks Donelle!!!

  5. Donelle did an amazing class. She explained the use and different options for the rulers on a level that beginners understand and be excited about practicing and masterIng ruler work. I purchased the beginners kit a little over a year ago and have become frustrated. Donelle has motivated me to get out that kit and try again. I personally attended this same class conducted by a different instructor and it was nowhere near as informative and enjoyable as Donelle’s class.

  6. Enjoyed the live event very much. Made me more confident that I can do ruler work. Very happy that information on care and maintenance was included as well as the how-to instructions. Very well done
    I do wish the video would remain available as there are long shipping leads on some of the items I ordered and would like to be able to view the video once I have the supplies.

      1. Thank you for your comments. Which video are you referring to? Most are available later – if not, I can hook you up with a similar video.

        Please let me know.


    1. Hi Cheryl: Thank you for your comments. Which video are you referring to? Most are available later – if not, I can hook you up with a similar video.

      Please let me know.


  7. It was a great class! Being really new at quilting, I learned so much. I loved all of the tips which will be very helpful. Donelle was a great instructor!

  8. Donelle is absolutely marvelous!! Love her teaching style. Would love to take more classes with her. Wished I lived closer.

  9. I loved the class, I don’t feel so apprehensive on trying rulers now. Matter of fact I am pretty excited. The class was very informative and can’t wait to get started on my own projects. Thank you for having this class!

  10. She is great to watch but I have the feeling it will take months of practice to achieve a good job. At least, now, I have an idea of how to handle those templates I bought at a quilt show and never knew what to do with them. I’d love to take a live lesson so I can be corrected while doing it. Thank you!

  11. Just watched the video and was so impressed with the options presented by Donelle. I especially loved some of her quilting tips–the backwards foot pedal technique to regulate speed, the side-threading needles method of burying knots, the Chaco pen marking methods, to name just a few. I purchased a sampler set of templates a couple of years ago and am newly inspired to work with them. I’m also hoping to get the circle mat and tool for Christmas! Thanks for so much great information!

    1. Donelle did an amazing job with this class. I have had the starter set of rulers for a few years now and haven’t done much with them since I couldn’t quite get it right. She has inspired me to try again.

  12. I saw the live event by Sewing Machine Plus and Sew Steady Donelle is a great teacher and gave out alot of tips for ruler work.

  13. I didn’t watch the event live but watched it later. It was very informative and the instructor was very good and patient. She kept on point with what she was teaching even with all the interruptions from questions and announcements. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot.

  14. Wow! I enjoyed and learned a lot from Donelle’s class on ruler quilting for beginners. About three years ago I took a class for beginners using Sew Steady rulers. I even bought the beginners kit. But, I got frustrated and gave it up for “manana”. With Donelle’s class I started trying out the rulers again. I have seen progress and plan to continue. I think that the class I took previously was too fast for me. Donelle was great in teaching slowly and explaining the process of how to use the rulers. I loved all her tips and learned experiences that she passed on to us. I would surely take another class from Donelle. Thank you so much.

    1. Donelle did an amazing job with this class. I have had the starter set of rulers for a few years now and haven’t done much with them since I couldn’t quite get it right. She has inspired me to try again.

  15. Donelle is fantastic! She explained the process so clearly and I feel like I understood. I have been trying to figure out how to use rulers for awhile now without success. She inspired me to purchase the tools she was using. I received them today and cannot wait to get started! Great Job!

  16. I totally enjoyed Donelle’s online virtual ruler event. It was the first time for me to see her teach hints and tips on using the Westalee ruler templates. I now feel confident to use the set I bought months ago. I even felt inspired to buy another set with additional lessons offered online.

  17. I watched the playback. I really enjoyed this class and learned so many things about quilting with rulers that I didn’t know. before. I thought the instructor was thorough and very knowledgeable in how to teach a beginner. I understood her direction and suggestions as she demonstrated clearly and precisely. I definitely want to take more of her classes. In the meantime, I will watch this class again and again because each time I pick up more information than the last time. Thank you Sew Steady for bringing in such a wonderful teacher and much needed class for this beginner.

  18. I too absolutely love every minute of the Donelle’s classes. She is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher. I have been truly inspired and finally took the plunge and ordered a set of rulers. I’m so excited to start practicing the all those great techniques. Thanks for these great demonstrations! You truly are a fantastic teacher!!!

  19. Even though Westalee isn’t my favorite ruler, she did a good job on the sale. She presented useful information.

  20. Donelle is an amazing I instructor. She is extremely thorough. I learn something new every time I watch her. I love hiw she shares sewing tips not just foe ruler work but in all areas is sewing.

  21. She was very informative & inspiring. Gave my the courage & information to do more than straight lines with rulers
    Can’t wait to order more rulers & play!

  22. GREAT class. Donelle is very clear. I love that she does not goes so fast. I am able to follow along and really learn.

  23. Donelle is a master , so down to earth and generous with her years of experience. I googled her store
    and purchased her Easy=Best Mitering tool.

  24. Love Donelle’s classes. She is an excellent teacher and I have so much to learn from her. Her classes are a gift to all.

  25. Donelle is a great teacher, I watch all her demonstrations, that’s possible. She share’s all tips to help in any way.
    Thanks so much for all the time given during the virus, it was a life save. You are great.

  26. Enjoyed the class and learned some good tips. She makes it look so easy. Would love to see her do a book of patterns as I am not as creative as she certainly is!!

  27. Excellent virtual class. Donelle had a wonderful way of teaching so that I could listen, learn and not feel intimidated. She explained things and followed up with “why” so that I could understand and remember. I would love to take another class that she teaches. I have had my rulers for a couple of years. I took another on-line class, but after practicing I felt intimidated. I am ready now after practicing.

  28. Thank you for making this class available and for the excellent presentation. I wanted to learn about ruler work (I sew but don’t quilt) so I looked forward to this class. I was a little disappointed that nearly half of the class time was not about ruler work. I would have liked to have more ruler work material during the allotted time. Nevertheless, it was an interesting and informative class with an excellent instructor.

  29. I absolutely loved every minute of the class. Donelle is an excellent teacher and very knowledgeable. I was so inspired that I went and purchased a set of rulers at my local quilt store and practiced all day yesterday with quilt sandwiches. Awesome job Donelle!! Your a fantastic teacher!!!!!!

  30. This was a great and informative class. I am a beginner but love to get a better understanding on how to quilt. There is so much I learned from the classes.

  31. I have watched some of her other classes and she seems to be a very patient teacher and explains as she goes so no one has the deer in the headlight look for long.

  32. Donelle is a wonderful instructor. During this time of a pandemic, I’m thrilled to learn more about my rulers, through virtual learning. She makes sure that we can see everything she is doing and spends time showing us other things that can be done with the set she is demonstrating. I’m happy for that because I’m not always someone who sees what else can be done, so I stick to the “book” I will be back to watch more.

  33. I absolutely loved this class. I have owned my set for several years but have only used a couple with the simplest pattern. I learned by not only reading but by watching, and yours is the best I have seen, I really enjoyed you sharing tips and tricks with us. I am looking forward to seeing more of your classes and will be watching this one once or twice more before it goes away, this time I will have a notebook and pencil to write things down. Thank again for all your expertise on ruler quilting.

  34. I needed this class so I found it very helpful. Donelle is very knowledgeable and teaches in easy methods that anyone can understand. I look forward to future classes.

  35. Donelle is an excellent teacher. The pace she presented the material was perfect and she had a thorough command of the topic of Westalee rulers. I enjoyed the Zoom presentation very much. I showed me that I too could use these rulers on my own quilts. Thank you for the presentation.

  36. Thoroughly enjoyed the Ruler Work for Beginners class on 8/28/20. Even though I have been doing some ruler work for about 6 months, I learned what some of the tools I have, are used for. This has made me more successful already. The virtual class had a quick pace, so I made quick notes which I am expanding as I view the class again. Thank you for this service. Great class and great instructor.

  37. This was a great class…instructions concise and clear. have been interested in ruler work for awhile but was completely intimidated…no so much now. Now to find a ruler foot that will fit my Brother 2750D machine.

  38. I have watched many online classes on quilting, die cutting, and embroidery since April. The ruler class with Donelle McAdams is one of the best I have seen. She is so knowledgable and explains techniques and materials so clearly that it makes it easy to learn. She manages the class time well so as to cover lots of material and information. Her examples are inspirational and help to increase understanding. Even with the excellent presentation and my notes, I find myself going back to the video to stimulate my memory. As a lifelong educator who has taught teachers and online graduate classes, and supervised student teachers, I have to say Donelle would receive top grades from me.

  39. Donelle did an outstanding job explaining the rulers and how to use them.I am looking forward to to taking more classes with her.

  40. I really enjoyed the Ruler Work class with Donelle. She explained and demonstrated in a way that made total sense to me and now I’m excited about getting started. Thanks again Donelle!

  41. Great teacher. Very thorough and complete instructions. I’ve been quilting a very long time and decided to learn and practice ruler work during the long chilly winter. I will watch the video again as I’m sure there are things I missed. Thank you so much.

  42. I have thoroughly enjoyed your quilting events. Donelle you are a great inspiration to me. I have learned a lot from watching the virtual classes and would love to see more from you. I have also joined your Facebook group and I can’t wait until my orders arrive and dive into quilting some of my quilt tops.

    Thank you for all you for all the quilters!

    1. Awesome class, excellent teacher.New to this so I learned alot. Hope to catch some more virtual classes as works with my work schedule. Thanks again!

  43. I had the pleasure of being introduced to Donelle in Paducah several years ago. She was demonstrating the Westalee rulers and made it look so easy. (I do not do free motion quilting.) I bought the promotion package and have yet to use the table and rulers. I am intimidated about getting it set up correctly. The class helped me understand why it is helpful to use a table with a machine cabinet. Since my machine is in a cabinet I wasn’t sure why I was buying an additional table. After watching the class I was very glad I purchased everything recommended to get started. I plan to watch the class several more times and I am looking forward to taking more classes taught by Donelle. It is my goal to learn how to use the rulers.

  44. I attended a class you held in Holland Michigan. This class reinforced the skills presented and expanded on them. Thank you!

  45. Donelle is an excellent teacher. I have some of the templates and have had so much trouble using them. Donelle got me excited to try using them again. She made it look easy. Hope you have more classes taught by her.

  46. Donelle is one of the best instructors I’ve ever seen. Patient, well educated in products and techniques. She goes above and beyond to help students. I wish I lived closer to my new best friend. Enjoy every one of her classes and look forward to many more.

  47. Donelle was an excellent teacher, and made the whole process look so simple! I’m a newbie, so appreciated her explanation of each step in the process, and clear view of how she did all the steps. And I’m very glad there’s a opportunity the view the video after the course since I know I didn’t pick up everything during the seminar. Thank you for the learning experience!!

  48. I first learned of Donelle through SMP Virtual New Product Extravaganza. I then watched her again demonstrate ruler work for beginners. Donelle is amazing and her teaching techniques are outstanding. Donelle makes it look so easy. I am no longer intimidated by the thought of trying new techniques.

    I look forward to her classes as I am sure many other too. Thank you!

  49. I enjoyed her class very much. Clear and concise. So much great information. I’m glad that we can view the class again as I’m sure I missed some of the great tips.

  50. Donelle was an excellent teacher. She obviously knows the business and what she’s teaching. She also had some very fantastic ideas and tips for other tools to use while you are using your rulers, like Chaco pend and Seweze Snips, which I found very useful and have brought. Will look forward to her teaching another lesson virtually soon as cannot get to the USA to attend one of her classes.

  51. I am so grateful for all the virtual classes Donelle has offered this year. She is one of the best instructors I have had the pleasure to view. She is clear and complete and offers the best little tips and tricks along the way. I highly suggest that if you get the chance to participate in a class with Donelle that you don’t pass it up.

  52. Donelle is GREAT!! Didn’t get to watch all the class but plan on watching the recording and can’t wait to see more. I’m a newbie at quilting and am hooked already.

  53. Hate to admit it, but I discovered I didn’t even know what “Ruler Work” is all about as I was thinking it was a demo on all the different types of rulers. I’m new to quilting…could you guess! Anyway I’m now very interested to learning this technique. It was a wonderful class and she is a terrific teacher. Even though I’m a novice, I never felt lost or not understanding.

  54. Donelle is an amazing instructor and I always learn so much from her. She gives easy to understand instructions and I look forward to more classes from her.

  55. Thank you Donelle for sharing all your wisdom. I have either learned new ways or have been reminded of things I have forgotten. Your teaching skills are the best. You not only tell us how to do something but better yet, you explain why which helps us remember. I wish I could save all of your videos so I could watch them over and over but also share them with others. I so appreciate you!!

  56. I love being able to watch these classes online. I watch as many as I can & seem to learn something new each time. I’ve been working on practicing with the rulers, but no actual project yet. Someday… Thanks to Donelle for your expert knowledge & willingness to repeat things.

  57. Absolutely love Donelle, What a great teacher!! So much information and inspiration. I have had the Westalee for my home machine for some time, but never used them. I have now ordered them for my Long Arm and cannot wait to get to “work”!!! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any tutorials, classes, anything Donelle has going. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  58. I was so inspired, I dug out my rulers and since my confidence level was so improved, finished a lap quilt that had been ready to quilt for a month. It is not perfect but much better with the tips I learned from Donelle. I look forward to more lessons on rulers.

  59. Great class with very good information for a beginner. I hope to learn more about using my home machine n the sew steady table. I m a very new beginner. Thanks

  60. Donelle, you are the bomb diggity! Your intro class last week was amazing. I’ve got enough quality information now to get busy when my starter set gets here. I especially enjoyed the little tips you inserted in your class. Your willingness to repeat information for the side questions was great. It’s very clear you love what you do and love sharing your knowledge! Thanks for the inspiration to get started!

  61. Donelle is so knowledgable, creative, and a good teacher using both demonstrations and explanations. She really inspired me to try out ruler work!

  62. This was a fantastic class!! Donelle is an amazing teacher and explained everything that I had wanted to know. Still trying to decide on the rulers and know I would have to have a table too so it’s something I have to think about with my limited budget. Been thinking about these rulers for quite awhile – just have to bite the bullet, I think.

  63. Donelle is a GREAT teacher! Her virtual class on the Westalee rulers was didactic as well as inspirational. I can’t wait to get my rulers and start quilting beautiful designs. Thanks Donelle! ♥️

    1. Joanne: I just did that on the Buttons ‘n Bows Part 2 video August 8th. It is on the Sew Steady Facebook page. Let me know if you need more help!


  64. I’ve taken 2 classes with Donnelle, the first with the original package of rulers at QuiltTrends in Columbus; the second, about 3 years later at Red Rooster in Dublin, OH. It was a repeat of the first class but I felt I needed some more instruction & updates. Donnelle is super organized, very patient, responds to all questions patiently & respectfully, and makes sewing with the Westalee rulers so simple. She’s unflappable. She offers many tips (which I also enjoy on the Sew Steady videos). I was having a problem using 2 rulers outside the sampler pack and once she showed me “how to” I was able to use them comfortably when I got home. I’m glad to see her sessions on Facebook. I learn something new each time.

  65. Donelle’s class is the best EVER!! She shared an incredible amount of information in just three days. While she demonstrated techniques, templates, and projects, she provided opportunities for questions and answers. I especially appreciate that Donelle offered personal one-on-one help to individuals who needed it. She is knowledgeable, funny, and oh-so-patient. If I could, I would attend all of her classes. Thank you, Donelle, for a great experience.

  66. On March 4,5,6 2020 I was part of 22 ladies that attended a sew steady class at Heartfelt Quilting & Sewing in Winter Haven ,Florida
    I have been to many sew steady events and have learned and enjoyed everyone.
    But this week the event teacher Donelle McAdams was outstanding .
    I leaned more than ever before, she is a fantastic teacher. Although we had some challenges with fabric , she keep the class on track .
    I feel confident after taking the class with Donelle that I can become successful with my quilting projects.
    So again thank you to Donelle for the wonderful class and it was a pleasure learning all the new ideas and techniques .

  67. Katherine Clawson had a picture of a 9 block project that she had done in a class with Donelle McAdams – Train the Trainers. I would love the pattern, but I can’t find it anywhere. Is this particular class only for people who are going to be accredited?

    1. Stay tuned, Sharon! We have just prepared a whole new list of classes that will be available on-line and at events. Watch the Sew Steady page here and also on Facebook. We will be announcing soon!

  68. Just saw you for the first time on Quilting Arts with Susan. Can’t wait to start getting some templetes/rulers!

  69. We had a fabulous event with Donelle here at High Country Quilts in Colorado Springs! We had 2 days of true education and fun! We are already planning our next event with her! Thank you Donelle!

  70. Customers have been hearing about quilting with templates so it was the perfect time to offer this class. Donelle came prepared with a projector and a camera to make it easier for class participants to see what she was doing. Her samples were impeccable and impressive, her demonstrations amazing and relevant, her lighthearted manner and sense of humor made it all so fun and enjoyable! My customers left not only buying but raving about the experience. Thank you Donelle.

  71. Donelle presented at our shop in the Western New York area (4) Open House sessions over a two-day period. She was prepared, most knowledgeable, enthusiastic, kind, eager to answer questions and so much more . . . in two words, “absolutely amazing”! Since we had never hosted an event such as this, she was invaluable to us as shop owners . . . giving helpful information every step of the way. Donelle definitely wanted us to be successful! Thanks so very much, Donelle!

  72. Donelle was a great inspiration for attendees while demonstrating the Westalee rulers in our booth at the International Quilt Festival-Chicago 2016. She is very knowledgeable about the Westalee products!. Our booth was extremely busy during the 3-day festival and Donelle handled the crowds and questions in a professional and timely manner. GREAT JOB, Donelle!

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