Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Machine Quilting Baptist Fan

Today I'm going back and forth between baking for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, cleaning the house up a bit and machine quilting.  I have a goal of finishing three of these quilts before Christmas!! One is finished, I just passed the halfway point quilting the second one and the third is ready to layer.
To stay on track, I need to complete two rows of Baptist fans across a quilt each day!  My office (where my APQS George is set up) is adjacent to my kitchen so it's easy to do a bit of this and then a bit of that. 
I'm using HandiQuilter's Half-Circle Templates to layout the fans.  There are other tools with multiple circles that you can use to lay it out but this is the one I own.   When I posted a progress report on my Facebook page (Mary Brower Huey if you want to follow me) a couple hours ago, several questions popped up and another idea for a post was born!?!  And it's more fun to write something than it is to clean something!
After some drawing experimentation, this has been my strategy for stitching the fans on the machine.
For an odd number of arcs, I begin at the right edge of the quilt with my smallest arc and travel left and down to the bottom edge of the quilt. 
I travel left along the lower edge of the quilt to the next arc and travel up and to the right, back to the right edge of the quilt.
Then up the edge to the next arc, turn left and stitch down to the bottom edge. 
Over to the beginning of the fourth arc and up and to the right again. 
And back down to the left.   One fan completed!
To begin the next fan, I travel back along the end of the last arc (see the green arrow) until I reach the beginning of the smallest arc for the second fan.  One of my technique goals for these quilts is to improve my traveling lines so they aren't noticeable -- not quite there but getting better.
Now I repeat the sequence traveling over previous lines of stitching to get from the end of an arc to the beginning of the next arc.
When I reach the left edge of the quilt, I cut the thread and go back to the right edge and begin the process again (the blue lines).  The bottom ends of all the arcs will touch the final arc of the previous row -- more chances to improve my traveling skills!! 
If I were using Baptist fan on a smaller quilt, I would use fewer arcs to make a smaller fan.  The strategy needs to be adjusted slightly for an even number of arcs.  I begin at the bottom edge of the quilt, and work up to the right side, then down, then up, and finally down so I end each fan along the lower edge of the row.
To travel to the starting point for the next fan, I travel to the left traveling along the top arc of the previous row. 
My arcs are about 1" apart and the 5 arcs give me about a 6" tall row.  My quilts are 72" square so 12 rows from top to bottom gets the job finished.  So two rows a day means 6 days to quilt one of them.  Since I have arthritis in my neck and shoulders, I minimize stress in those areas by working at the machine in 30 minute spurts.
 
When I have them all finished, I'll share the complete story of these quilts with you.  And if you are baking today, too -- I hope your pies are glorious!!
 
Linking up over at Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday!!
 
Happy Thanksgiving!!
Mary Huey
 


 
 


17 comments:

  1. Wow, good info on how to quilt the Baptist Fans, a pattern I quite like! And I have an Avanté...might have to check out this ruler. At first I thought you were handquilting these, so good job on the quilting! I, too, find travelling not too accurate yet. Practice is the key, I know, but I love piecing too!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sandra -- glad to know this was helpful!

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your process! I've seen this pattern on lots of quilts but never knew how it was quilted. I'm using a straight ruler today; it takes a bit of practice to learn how to make everything work! :) I also quilt in spurts - it makes me feel so much more productive!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Beth! I used the templates to mark the arcs as I went along but I think a stencil would work just as well.

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  3. I love the look and feel of Baptist fans quilting. I don't have a long arm machine but I think I could manage this on my DSM! Thanks for the tutorial!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Karen! I've done it on my Bernina 1031 on a couple charity baby quilts to work out the kinks.

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  4. Thank you for the clear explanation, and making it easy for us to really put this to work.
    Enjoy your turkey. Happy thanksgiving day.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Hilacha -- glad the diagrams are helpful to you!

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  5. Mary, are you using the half circle temlates to guide next to your foot or just for marking the arches?

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    1. I'm doing both -- seems to go faster when I use them to mark it, but arcs are smoother when I use the template to guide the foot. So pros and cons to each approach. Need to get that "follower" foot I think!!

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  6. Thank you Mary! This sure explains a lot. I think I could even do this. Hope your day was perfect.

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    1. Thanks for taking time to check this out!! It's an easy design and I like the soft old-fashioned look and feel of the finished quilt!

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    2. Mary, I hope your holiday was grand. Thanks so much for clear directions. I have tried Baptist Fan quilting once, but will now give it another go as I really love the look. And the large stars are great-can't wait to hear about the whole quilt.

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    3. I hope you will share your experience with the design when you try it again, Tammy!

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  7. This looks like a solid and efficient way to go about your quilting. I think 30 minutes is enough of any activity before having a change of pace and position. You seem to have an ideal set up having your office beside the kitchen.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by again, Karen!! When we added the room off the kitchen 10 years ago, I don't think the architect had this vision for the room but it certainly suits me perfectly!!

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    2. I wondered how this design was done on a machine also. Do you quilt it with free motion or your walking foot?

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