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!!