Thursday, August 30, 2018

Quilting baptist fans

Starlight Wishes, grown up version, has been a top for several months now.  A year ago this month all it needed was final borders to be a completed quilt top.  Becoming a completed, quilted quilt has taken longer because I just didn't know  how to quilt it and it was being awfully quiet about its own preferences.

It finally started talking!


It wanted baptist fans.  I didn't jump right in. All those curves were a bit daunting, particularly for my rather orderly brain that likes to see nice even spacing and regular curves.  My freemotion skills were just not going to result in baptist fans that I would be happy with.

But wait, the second day of Westalee ruler classes offered by Quilting Connection here in Ames in June included baptist fans.  It's like the quilt knew!  I signed up.  You've seen my practice on the Cyclone quilt. It is in timeout while I brace myself to add borders to a partially quilted piece. Anyway, Starlight Wishes cut in line earlier this week.

Here is the ruler I'm using:  one of the Circles on Quilts rulers for domestic sewing machines by Westalee Designs.


I'll be honest, I'm still getting a few wobbles here and there from fabric tugging in directions I don't want it to under the needle, but overall I am getting very good results. I'm also learning how to repeatedly rearrange the bulk of the quilt so things go more smoothly. There is a little bit of freemotion backtracking required to stitch from one arc to the next in the baptist fans design, but I'm getting more accurate with practice.

I was worried about that backtracking, because I decided to use matching top and bobbin threads to avoid seeing little dots of bobbin thread on the top.  I tried adjusting tension to not see them, but when I finally got it right for the top, I had pesky eyelashes on the back of the quilt. Never mind.  Matching thread it is!  However, I really wanted cream thread on the top, and that does not blend at all on the navy blue back!


It's turning out much better than I feared on the back.  It's a little shakier in the center of the quilt, where I am dealing with more bunched up quilt in the machine's throat space, but overall, I can live with it.

I think I have quilted almost half of the center, one row at a time, with breaks to do other things in between rows. Maybe by the end of next week I will be ready to bind the quilt, then I'll start working on rewriting the pattern with additional sizes.

How about a close-up of the front?


All that scrumptious quilted texture!  I think the quilt chose well!

14 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this one, too! The Baptist fans are perfect for this quilt. I love all the scrappy goodness in there, too.

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  2. The quilting looks great! I like to use the same thread top and bottom, too, just in case my tension isn't perfect, but I also like to use funky, wild backs because they hide a multitude of signs. (And they're fun!) But practice is key and it looks like you're getting a lot with this quilt. Before you know it, you'll be thinking how easy that ruler makes things and will have forgotten the beginning struggles!

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  3. Oh yes the quilt did choose well. Your fans look great and once it is washed all that yummy texture will show and noone will pay any attention to the thread colour on the back.

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  4. Such fabulous texture!! Very brave to use light thread against the navy blue, and it's paying off for you :)

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  5. I think it looks fabulous! Love it!

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  6. Wow, looks great. I love Baptist fans but haven’t tried them yet!

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  7. Love the grown up version... and the baptist fans! Hmmmm. I might have to revisit this pattern and play a bit.

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  8. I love your quilting. Yay for it talking to you. Rob has been teasing me about waiting for a quilt to talk - it's nice to know I'm not the only one who listens for it! :-) Yours looks great.

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  9. Excellent choice and the quilt looks very fine. Heading off to Youtube to see how that ruler works.

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  10. And you chose well, by listening to the quilt. Your quilting looks great!
    I have wondered about these rulers. I watched a video once of someone using one, but felt I would need a "hands on" experience to decide if I should buy one. Still haven't had that opportunity. Do you highly recommend them?

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  11. I do love baptist fans. bit have never used any tool like that. I trace them from a template and stitch with a walking foot. It is a tedious process because I only trace one fan at a time and have to stop and start a lot. Maybe I should look into that tool. Thanks for sharing it!

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  12. Quilts ALWAYS talk to us; some are more shy than others. Glad you waited for this quiet one to speak up and then the Universe aligned! As do your Baptist fans, whoa! I don't see any wobbles my friend. I need to check out and/or take some classes on some of these rulers I'm seeing around QBL. Can't wait to see the quilt all done; that texture-!!

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  13. I love the texture from the Baptist fans too. I have wanted to try it several times, but speed usually wins out for me. Your quilt makes me want to re-think that.

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  14. Wow, j'adore ce motif, et tu l'as très bien exécuté ! C'est LE motif parfait pour ce quit ;)

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