A Different Slant on Fans

Part 2

Stephanie Novatski 2004

   
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The fan block featured in the last issue was composed of fabric "swatches" arranged like a fan. The block I am going to explain in this issue is laid out similarly, except the blades of the fan are rounded on top. This block is constructed using primarily the stitch and flip method. For more information on this construction type, please see the references.

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I find it easiest to piece this block following these steps:

1. Transfer piecing pattern to foundation fabric such as muslin and also to paper. When transferring to the foundation fabric, I use a light pencil line and trace the block IN REVERSE on the foundation fabric. This will be the WRONG or BACK side of the Block. These will be the sewing lines.

2. On the paper, mark the right side of each piece with the numbers as indicated in the illustration. Cut up the paper so you have pieces to use as patterns. The numbers indicate the order you will be attaching the patches to the foundation.

3. Using the paper pieces and adding a MINIMUM of 1/4" seam allowance all around, cut out the patches in the fabrics of your choice. For easier sewing, I recommend you place the edges marked with an arrow on the straight of grain (Parallel or Perpendicular to the selvage). This will also help the pieces lie flat.

4. Press under the curved edge of each of the blades and baste in place (basting is optional).

5. Piece onto foundation fabric in order indicated. Pin Patch 1 in place, wrong side of patch to the UNMARKED side of foundation fabric making sure all seam lines are covered. Place the fabric of Patch 2 right sides together over Patch one, matching seam line. Pin in place. Turn block over so the markings are on top. Sew on sewing lines. Fold and press in place, making sure remaining seam lines are covered by patch. Place third piece of fabric over second right sides together , matching seam lines. Pin in place. Turn block over and sew on lines. Turn to right side, open out piece and press in place. Make sure the sewing lines are covered. If there is not enough seam allowance to cover the sewing lines, you will have a gap of foundation showing. Repeat process until all pieces are sewn in place.

6. Blind stitch the curved tops of the blades in place

7. Embellish as desired

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This is the block that was used for the Bride's bag, winner of the "My Block Published" contest.

Another variation I would like to share is the use of the fan as the "skirt" of a Kimono. Below is a picture of the pieced unembellished block.

Kimono Block with fan skirt

The same process for foundation piecing as above was used. Below also is the piecing diagram. The finished size of my block is 16" x 16". If you would like to make a smaller block, I suggest you make the sleeves one piece and make the skirt three or four blades. This will make your patches larger and easier to piece and embellish.

Kimono Block Pattern

If you create a block using this pattern, please share it with us!

References:

An Encyclopedia of Crazy quilt Stitches and Motifs by Linda Causee
The Crazy Quilt Handbook by Judith Baker Montano
The Magic of Crazy Quilting by J. Marsha Michler
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