Now on to the fans! This is such a great quilting pattern for anyone who is looking to stretch themselves a little and go beyond straight lines. It's not as scary as free motion quilting and it looks really cool! It does require a little setup, though, a template and some marking. Oh, and a free motion foot with a sewing guide.
To start we need to make our template. I'm using a side plate to make my template, but for a bed quilt I'd suggest something a lot bigger. You could use a compass to draw a big circle or check around the house to see what sort of big circles you have kicking around. A tray, garbage can lid, old record (not the husband's limited pressing orange vinyl, please), heck go big and use a hula hoop. You also need some cardboard. Lighter is easier to cut, but use what you have. I recycled a priority mail envelope.
Trace your circle onto the cardboard, cut it out, then fold it in half twice to create guide marks.
Darken the guidelines up a bit at the edges with a pen or pencil then punch a hole through the very center. You can use a hole punch or just the end of a pen like I did.
Now grab your favorite marking tool (I'm using a crayola wash-out felt pen, they take a little bit more work to get out than markers specifically for quilting, but they're cheap and show up really well). Line your template up so that two of the quadrant lines are aligned with about the ¼" seam allowances at the bottom left corner of your quilt top. Trace the arc onto your top.
You should end up with something like this.
Now move the template along, positioning it so that the whole in the center of the template is over the line you just drew and the right most quadrant line is lined up with the ¼" seam allowance. Trace the new arc.
Keep going along the bottom of the quilt until you've traced a whole line of arcs.
Now go back to your starting point to begin the second row of fans. Line the template up so the top quadrant mark is on the ¼" seam allowance, the right quadrant mark is lined up with an arc and the center hole is showing an arc line. Trace your arc.
For the next arc in the line, align the template so the left and right quadrant marks are touching arcs from the first row and the center hole is showing the spot where the arc you just drew touches the row below. Trace your arc. Repeat this across the width of your quilt top.
Keep marking rows of fans in this way until your whole top is marked.
Next post... quilting!