TESTING A NEW PATTERN Posted on 08 Dec 15:24 , 0 comments

Let's face it - I'm a traditionalist at heart when it comes to my quilting. I can remember starting a one-patch charm clam shell quilt in the mid-70's. I'm not even sure where that particular UFO is any more. It may have been packed off in the chariy bags.

When I got my first longarm I was so excited to be able to begin quilting feathers and baptist fans on my quilts. I got all of the circle templates, tried all of the paper patterns and don't forget the stencils. Oh my, quilting Baptists Fans is a lot of work. There is a reason quilters charge an arm and a leg for such a simple textural quilting pattern - very labor intensive.

After I got my Statler Stitcher I thought my days of an easier Baptist Fan had arrived. NOT!!! Still lots of calculating, measuring, squaring, and keeping my fingers crossed once I pushed the "GO" button. I kept the ripper warmed up and ready to go at a moment's notice.

Did you know Baptist Fan quilting originated during Civil War times and was a pattern used as utility quilting on the average every-day basic bed quilt. All the ladies would gather 'round the quilting frame needle in hand ready for a day of good social time while getting an important task finished. No templates were used ... no marking ... just put your elbow down on the quilt top and start quilting the first outer band based on the length of your elbow to needle-holding fingertip! Eye it up as you finish each inner band and, when you get close to your neighbor's stitching, just work it in so it looks right. 

Just think how we work so hard today to make all of our fans evenly spaced, square and straight, and to fit exactly as they should across the top of our quilts. What a difference!

In all of my digitizing projects I've been on a quest for developing a pattern with the feel of the traditional Baptist Fan. My pattern must be easy to set-up on for the quilting machine; it must run smoothly, look good, and stitch-out fairly quickly. I wanted an edge-to-edge Baptist Fan pattern to take us back to our quilting roots ... affordable utility quilting pattern that looks sharp! HORRAY! I think I finally did it today!

Check out these pictures of 1312 Fan E2E and let me know what you think!                                                          Ahhhhhh .... Whether I'm piecing or quilting I find myself breathing a sigh of comfort and warmth in my soul as I make a connection across quilting generations while working on blocks that are traditional in nature or quilting patterns that have survived the test of time.