Archive for the ‘Project Tutorials’ Category


Thanks for coming back! Today we make the fan quilt.


Fans: 8 Fat Quarters (if only using 2 fabrics you need 1 yard of each fabric)

Background squares: 2 fabrics 1 3/8 each. Cut into 18  9" squares. ( you could also use the 9" die)

Center oval: 1/2 yard

Fusible interfacing like Wonder Under for the ovals. Note: you can use this for the fans too. However, You will have to die cut them out first. Ironing the seams open with wonder under… quilting fail!

Clear nylon thread for applique.

Ok, lets get started!

First you need to cut 18 fans from each fat quarter. The best way is to fold the FQ length wise to make a 9" strip. Cut a fan from a scrap of fabric to gage your folds. Lay the scrap fan on the bottom edge and fold like an accordion to cut 8 fans. You will have a little left at the bottom. Like this:

Cut out the fans, then cut one more with the little bit left. This gives you 10 fans. Now going the other way laying the fan long wise, cut 8 more. Like this: 
IMG_0335  IMG_0336IMG_0337
 Repeat with all 8 fat quarters. Lay out the fans on the background blocks until you like what you see.

Put all the fans in sets of 2. The two being each set on a block. Sew them together and iron open the seams.

IMG_0300   IMG_0305

Pay close attention when you sew them together that the seam is on the correct side. I sewed every other one backwards and had to seam-rip them out. Why I messed that up.. I don't know. So pay attention. Ok, lay out your sets on a 9" square like this:

You will need to put a pin in both fans to keep them from flopping around. You could also fuse them onto wonder under. You will need a teflon pressing cloth to keep every thing from getting messy. You will also have to trim the wonder under around the edges of the fan. But it will help to hold down the edges for sewing later. You can also use a basting glue. You could also look at how I appliqued them down and do that now too if you wanted. I just did it all at once…more below on that.

Putting all the squares back into place, sew two squares together. Making sure to match the scallops from the fans on the inside.

Repeat with the other 2 blocks. Iron the seams open. I didn't on my first seam and regretted it later. Then sew the two block sections together. It should look like this:

IMG_0313 IMG_0320
Lay the blocks out on the floor or a large table and sew them together. Removing pins you don't need as you go along.

Now I did this wrong as I sewed this quilt. After I put all the blocks together, I sewed on my border to hold down the outside fans. They were floppy and I thought this would make it so I could remove all the pins. But when I got to the  red ovals, I realized I should have put the ovals on first, then the border. So….. at this point, iron your fusible interfacing to the fabric for the ovals. Cut 19 round ovals. 4 of them cut in half long wise and 2 of them cut in half across the middle. Fold the short ones like this and cut off the outside folds. You should have a pie shape. You need 4 for the 4 corners.  

  IMG_0334   IMG_0333
Peel off the paper backing and iron on just the ovals for the outside pieces. To center the ovals, fold the long ones in half and match up with a center seam. The pie shaped ones, you just line up with the corners.

  IMG_0338      IMG_0339

Ok NOW sew on the outside border. Sorry my colors aren't very good. But you get the picture. IMG_0328

Here is another picture of the outside edge. Yes, I didn't have my outside ovals down yet. This is where I messed up. Don't do what I did!

Please Santa, can I have a new camera so my colors come out bright and clear!!

 Now you need to sew down the fan tips. I used a clear nylon thread because I really didn't want to see this part. I'll send it off to my quilting goddess later and she will make it pretty. I started to just sew a straight stitch using my regular sewing foot and because my fan tips weren't glued down, things got a little messy. So back to the fabric glue. You could also cut fusible interfacing with just the tip of the fan with the die cutter and put it just under the ends of the fans and iron them down. Then I used my darning foot, lowered the feed dogs and free hand stitched the fan tips town. It was so much easier and with clear thread, you can't see anything messy.This is a great way for beginning free motion quilters to get a little experience. Clear thread is very forgiving. Remember to use regular thread in the bobbin.

Iron down the rest of the ovals to the fan centers and sew around them the same way.

And you are done! Send it off to your long arm quilting goddess. Mine is Dee Small and she does a wonderful job. She has done quilting for Alex Anderson and wins ribbons at our local quilt show every year. I'll show you the finished quilt when she gets it done.

 I hope you liked it. See you soon!


PS.. ok it is 2am and I can't sleep. I finally got the quilt back from the goddess… here is a picture for ya. Taken with my iphone and the colors aren't too bad if I say so myself.

Finished fan quilt


Read Full Post »

Ok, so you have made all 4 blocks right?  If you just found this and need the rest of the info.. go to 52 weeks of Accuquilt and look for “flowers in the forest” No… well Im working on some kits, so stay tuned.

But as I promised, today is to show you a new way to sew all this together and quilt as you go. Here is the finished top.


First, some basic instructions:

1. All seams are 1/2″ and you will need a walking foot.

2. What ever you do on the front, you do on the back. Ill call it “top” and “back” for reference. WOF means width of fabric (from salvage to salvage).

3. Batting will always (except for the last border) be cut 1 inch shorter than your fabric.

Ok, lets get started. Here is the fabric I used. Sorry about the dull colors, I”m still camera challenged.IMG_0291 
The two green fabrics are for the back and the blue, black and purple are for the top.

 Fabric needed:

Back fabric for blocks: four 9″ x 9″ blocks , batting: four 8″ x 8″ blocks

Sashing: Top and back fabric, 1/2 yard each,  batting, scraps at least 1 1/2″  wide and up to 24″ long. You will need 2 @ 8″ long, 3 @ around 19″ long, 2 @ 22″ long and 2@ 24″ long. You will probably trim these later,but longer is better. Cut Sashing into four 2 1/2″ wide strips wof from both top and back fabric.

Inner border: top and back fabric, 1/3 yard each cut into four strips 2 1/2″  wide, wof.  Batting, scraps 1 1/2″ wide and up to 30″ long, you will need 4 strips.

Flange: 1/4 yard, cut into 4 11/2″ strips.

Outer border: Top and Back fabric: 1/2 yard, cut 4 strips 4″ wide and wof. Batting, Scraps four strips  3 1/2″ wide and 32″ long. Binding: 1/4 yard, 4 strips 2 1/4″ wide x width of fabric.

Layer your back fabric 9″ square with a 8″ batting square.

Block week finish 2
Then lay your quilt block on top. At this point you need to secure it however you want. I use basting spray. Then sew around your applique pieces with what ever stitch you like. I used a blind hem stitch with clear thread. This is your quilting as you are sewing through all 3 layers. Do this with all 4 blocks. FWI, as I said in the first post about this, I used a fabric glue for my applique pieces, not doing that again. It didnt hold down the fabric very well and I missed a few places. I would suggest using a fusible web. Use which ever is your favorite.

Second: Cut from both back and top sashing fabric 2 strips 2 1/2″ wide and 9″ long. Cut from batting scraps 2 strips 1 1/2″ wide and 8″ long. Lay the back fabric right side down, then batting then top sashing fabric.


 Mark your quilting pattern and using your walking foot, quilt the two pieces. An important note: Your seams will be 1/2″ wide. So I marked 1/2″ from the edges before marking my quilting pattern so I wouldnt sew past it when I sewed everything together.


This is what they look like from the back after I quilted it.

Sew this to two of your quilted 9″ blocks to connect them. Match up the right sides of the sashing and block sewing a 1/2″ seam allowance and seams will go to the back of the quilt. Repeat with the other 2 blocks and sashing piece.

Measure your two sections and cut your next 3 strips 2 1/2″ wide per your lengh measurement from both top and back fabrics. Cut batting strips 1 1/2″ wide and 1 ” shorter than your fabric lengths.

Quilt your sashing strips and sew onto the quilt block sections. Seams go to the back. Repeat this step with the remainding 2 sashing strips.  This is what your quilt should look like from the back.


 Kind of funky huh…. Anyway, measuring your quilt as you go, repeat steps with your inner border fabric. Strips from both top and back are 2″ wide and measure for length. Cut batting strips 1″ wide and 1″ shorter then fabric strips. I didnt quilt these because they were so narrow. I did sew a basting line on each end to hold them together as I sewed.
Ok, now cut 4 strips from your flange fabric, 1 1/2″ wide and measure two sides of your quilt for length. Fold the strips right sides out and iron. Cut 4 strips from each of your outer border fabrics, 4″ wide. Measure 2 sides of your quilt for length. Cut 2 batting strips same length minus 1″ and 3 1/2″ wide. Layer your batting on the back fabric with one edge matching.

This is so when you sew your binding on, you will have 3 layers to sew through. It is hard to hand sew binding with only 2 layers of fabric.

Lay the top border fabric next and then on the side where the batting does NOT match, add the flange.

Pin your flange down and sew a 1/8 seam to keep it in place.  Sew two of your outer borders on. Measure for the last two borders and repeat this step. You are almost done! 

Cut 4 strips of binding fabric, and bind your quilt like usual.

This is what the back should look like now.IMG_0277 

Next you want to cut all those seams like a typical rag quilt. I use these Fiskars craft snips.

Start anywhere you want and clip your seams open on each side. Like this:

Sorry for the raggy looking nails. Im not a high maintence girl and certainly not in the public eye much. Then clip your seams about 1/4″ to 1/8″ inch apart. Make sure you dont cut through your sewing seams.

Ok, Ok, it looks like I cut past a seam here. It is the basting seam I sewed the flange down with. See the black thread.. that is my actual seam. Do this with all the seams on the back of your quilt.

Then I spray the dickens out of the seams with water and throw it into the dryer with some other wet clothes and let the seams fray.    

Here is the finished project from the back.

And here it is from the front.

Now a little note here. I usually would not use this method with a small wall hanging like this. I would do it with a large quilt. But I wanted to show you the technique. I will probably use this again later for a larger project. I hope you enjoyed this. Next week, we work on a larger quilt using only 2 dies.

See you later!

Read Full Post »