Saturday, January 07, 2006

Continuous Machine Quilted Fans

I've done fans on quilts by machine before, using a 'circle lord' attachement, which works much like a spirograph, remember those? you put the peg in the hole, stitch the inner arc, backstitch to anchor threads, move the peg to the next hole, stitch the next arc, and on and on, leaving these 1" to 1.5" toe catcher stitches between each arc that you'd have to go back and clip later. Thousands of them it seemed like! Still, it was a good accurate fan, if people wanted to pay for it. I gave them a deal if they would clip the toe catcher stitches themselves. :c)

Circle Lord has since come out with a continuous baptist fan template which eliminates starts and stops, but in order to do the fans in a continous line, instead of ending at the previous fan stitching, it echoes about 1/8" from the edge of the previous fan before it starts it's next arc. Still, I think this is a good alternative for customers who don't want to pay the higher price for the time and headache it takes to do the non-continuous toe-catcher fans, and for those who don't want to clip the toe-catchers..which includes me!

The set up comes in pieces, and it lays on the quilting machine table on top of that rubberized shelf liner stuff so it is 'non-skid'. You plunk the stylus in the groove and away you go. Sounds easy, huh? Well, I'll have to quilt alot of baptist fans this way for people to make up the $550 it cost me for this set up. Am I really going to quilt THAT MANY fanned quilts with continuous fans? I'm not sure. But my DH the accountant says I need more overhead than I have to show, so I guess this is it. Big over head. Big fans!

I used it on the double sashed string quilt that went stupid earlier this week. I figured I couldn't go wrong even if I did screw it up since the quilt was semi-cursed anyway! And you know what? I actually like it! Yes, I can still tell where the fan blades end and echo the previous fan, it's not like hand quilted fans....but for how easy it was, it still has that circular feel. I'll wash it after I bind it and see if that look is even improved more after washing as far as the echoed parts go. It was kind of tricky to get the rows to line up just right...but for a first shot I don't think I did too bad!



  1. This is one that I've debated getting because it IS a big investment. I have the Circle Lord and the King Clam template, which I really like. If the fans had been available when I got mine, I would have gotten that instead. But I just made my last payment on the CL this month and I'm not ready to take on that too! Maybe if I need another "capital improvement" in 2006! The quilt looks beautiful, Bonnie!

  2. I like the fans on this quilt -- why was this quilt a problem?
    I know what you mean about clipping all those toe catcher seams -- I hate doing borders separately and then moving the needle to start the inside of the quilt -- I always forget at least one of the toe catchers when I go back to clip! Murphy's Law (or maybe Quilter's Law.)

  3. Wow-- I think it looks great. I've been wondering if this was available, because I don't think I have the patience to quilt fans by hand, but I love the look. I will definitely keep your new fans in mind when I'm sending my next quilt out...

  4. Fans rule! I could say this must be the year of the fan, but the year is soooo new..it's hard to tell..*VBG* Maybe we should just call it the Season of the Fan. Mine are nearly completed now on the little halloween practice piece.
    Really like the look of them on your X & O's quilt Bonnie..*G*

  5. Bonnie, I think they look great- especially in this quilt. And I don't think the quilt is cursed. It just has a mind of its own! I'm gonna try fans, soon. They look really lovely- old-fashioned, kinda. You did a great job. Bet that template thingy will pay off when people start seeing what you can do with it!

  6. Bonnie,
    Awesome job! That looks super!

  7. those fans really made that quilt shine Bonnie! I love the movement of fans..I guess I am going to have to try my hand at quilting some fans too..thanks for the inspiration you never fail to give me-Cher

  8. Oh Bonnie - beautiful. You sure put that new gadget to get use - it will make a wonderful example to show customers. Got to love a husbad who tells you to spend more money! But seriously, any self-employed person should really have their accountant do a pre-year-end review to see if you should spend a bit more for your write-offs. One way or another you are going to spend it so you might as well spend it on your business instead of for taxes.



  9. Cursed? Stop picking on "my" quilt. It is marvelous and wonderful and fun just the way it is, you big meanie. Glad you got to play with a new fan thingie tho. Fans are always good.

  10. I LOVE it!! You are so fast ! I can't believe it !

  11. Bonnie- gorgeous!

    I have a question to ask you about hand quilting though...I am nearing completion on my hand pieced DJ blocks...will start putting the top together soon. Did you hand quilt your DJ and did you just do echo quilting? It will be my first hand quilted quilt and I am thinking wool batting for it...Am excited and nervous about starting it...

    Have finally signed up for my blog if you are interestee in seeing it!


    Cathi in Ireland

  12. Gotta lovve have new attachments to "play" with. Hope you enjoy it!

  13. Oh but they look good! I"ve had the regular circle lord fans done before and loved them, but these look really nice for an easier fan - For a lot of quilts I think I would trade the small echo for the fan look! In fact I"m looking right now to see if I have any tops on hand that may have to make it your way!

  14. Oh, your CL Baptist Fans look awesome! So antiquey! Just think what it'll look like if your launder it...nice and scrunchy and even more antiquey.

    Goodness...what's with me and the -y's on the end of everthing? how goof-y! ;-)

    Lucky you to have a DH that know's $$$!

  15. I love the way this turned out! The fan quilting looks awesome.


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