I first shared my Herringbone quilt with you a few weeks ago. It's a fun quilt top to make! The construction is very different to our usual piecing techniques so it made it that bit more interesting than a standard quilt top to make. You can find the details here.
As I was making this quilt I spent some time contemplating the quilting that I would use to finish the project. This is always my favourite step. It was the glorious texture of quilting that drew me to quilts in the first instance. I knew that I wanted to hand quilt this project but the unusual lines of the quilt didn't provide me with a 'instant' answer for a quilting design. We are lucky to have had many of Sandra Boyle's quilts with us on display over the years, they provide such a wonderful nod toward the traditional. After reflecting on my favourites of Sanrda's designs and trawling Pinterest for many hours I settled on a Baptist Fan, a design that I had never attempted before.
I thought it would be fun to share the marking process here applying the principle that; if its new and interesting to me then there must be plenty of you who would also like to know more about the process!
It's quite remarkable how simple it actually is to mark out this quilting design. It certainly looks a lot trickier than it actually is! All you'll need is; a finished quilt top, some template plastic, a ruler with inch increments, a permanent marker, a fine hole punch, an awl & a clover water soluble marking pen.
Cut your template plastic into a long strip approximately 1.5" x 12". Mark out the increments that you would like to have as the spacings between your rows of quilting. At first I had thought that 1" spacing would work perfectly ... then I stood back and thought long and hard about how long it would take me to quilt it and quickly did a reset and opted for 1.5" spacings! Now decide how many rows of stitch you want in each fan. As you will need a zero point you will need one more marking than the number of rows you decide on. I chose 6 rows of stitching so I needed 7 increments marked out on my template - as I had a longer piece of template plastic I marked one further increment just in case I needed it for a different quilt.
You will need now to create small holes at these increments - this is tricky as you need the holes to be just the right size to ensure accuracy. I have an awesome hole punch tool so the next step was a little easier for me. Just keep in mind that if the holes are too big your pen will move around within the hole and cause wobbly & inaccurate spacings. However, if the hole is too small it becomes difficult to make a clear mark. The first hole is particularly important as this needs to house the awl so you definitely want this hole to be small - I actually used the awl to create this hole.
Once your little making tool is complete you can go ahead and start marking your quilt. Locate the bottom left corner of your quilt top. place the template so that the zero point is positioned right at this corner - use your awl to hold it in place. Place your water-soluble
marker in the first hole and mark out your first arc using the template as you might use a compass. Proceed in this manner until all of the arcs in this fan are complete.
Move along the bottom edge of your quilt until you reach the last arc in the fan you just marked out. This is the zero point of your next fan. Continue in this way until you have worked your way across the bottom edge of the quilt. It's a little difficult to see the markings in the photos but if you look closely you'll find them.
Now move back to the left, side edge of your quilt. Move up this side until you reach the last arc in the first fan. This is the zero point for the first fan in your second row of fans. And so it goes ... simple right? Who would have thought? I love learning new techniques and have been thrilled with how simple this beautiful quilting pattern truely is. Now, if only the stitching progressed as quickly as the marking!
I can't wait to see all of your beautiful new quilts finished off with a Baptist Fan! Fingers crossed actually I finish mine some time soon!!!