Vintage Fan Block Quilt

I started hand quilting another quilt.  I made the top with vintage fan blocks a while ago.  see the post here  (

It has been a while since I have shown how I layer and baste a quilt so for the newer followers here is how I do it.

First I need a space big enough to lay out the quilt on the floor.   Fortunately If I move the furniture around I have space in my quilt room.  I start by laying down the backing on the floor, face down and pin it to the floor ( I use thumb tacks)  I have also done it with masking tape and if you are concerned about your floor that is probably a lot safer.

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After the backing is pinned down I spread out the batting.  I am using Nature’s Touch batting.  It is my new favorite cotton batting, east to quilt and not too thin…I like a bit of heft and loft. Some of the battings that I have tried are so thin that it feels like I am quilting without batting….

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So I layer the batting on top of the backing

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I have some wrinkles to smooth out here ( its worth the time it takes to get it very smooth).  After I have that all flat I put down the top and again spend a lot of time smoothing out all the wrinkles (lots of time on hands and knees)

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Then I pin it together with safety pins…I don’t use nearly as many pins as some people do but use what works for you… wont hurt to have too many pins

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Next I trim off the excess batting and backing….I like about 4 or more inches of extra backing and batting fabric beyond the edge of the top because it helps when quilting the edges to have that extra so there is something to get into the hoop.

Here is the backing fabric that I trimmed off and will be used in another project some day ( I could have measured carefully and bought less fabric but I had this fabric in my supply so I didn’t worry about it)

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Then I unpin it from the floor and fold it up and I am ready to get quilting

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I am quilting this in my 22″ quilting hoop on a stand.  I am using a John James #11 between needle ( I do not like the John James needles that are labeled as quilting needles they are thinner and weaker and bend….look for the ones labeled as betweens).  I am using YLI Hand quilting thread.  I have a 1000 yard spool of white that I think will be just about right to do the entire quilt. ( I have plenty more if 1000 is not enough)

I am not doing any marking on this….just quilting by eye which for me is so much more relaxing!

gears start of quilting 5-29-13 009 gears start of quilting 5-29-13 010 gears start of quilting 5-29-13 011

I will be working on this on and off (I think) and also the whole cloth quilt and some others….I will post pictures as it develops.  I also Have a special Double wedding ring piecing project to work on that I will write about soon….

As always  I am being well supervised

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Happy Quilting


26 thoughts on “Vintage Fan Block Quilt

  1. Sara says:

    It’s a good thing that you are well supervised as there are just too many projects in your hat to go it alone! That one will be a great quilt!

  2. Rita Larson says:

    Teddy ~~ make him toe the line! 😎

  3. cynthia says:

    Thanks for sharing your basting method. I use safety pins, too–and I just tried a package of the EZ bright basting pins. They’re lighter weight and easier to use; I’m going to get another package.YLI hand-quilting thread is my favorite, too, and I just found out that they have some variegated.

  4. Your vintage fan quilt is already looking superb. I have nominated you for a WordPress Family Award because I thoroughly enjoy reading your day to day progress. Happy stitching.

  5. haleyarden says:

    I’ve always thread basted but intend to try pins on the next quilt. Teddy did a good job supervising, the quilt looks good.

    • timquilts says:

      thanks….I have always used pins…. I seem to always snag the basting thread….I did a whole quilt with thread once and ended up taking it all out and pinning it

  6. I see you like the idea of quilts going to France! 😉

  7. Sharon Eshlaman says:

    Thanks for the tutorial on how you sandwich your quilts and the type of batting you prefer to use. The quilt top is beautiful, as usual. And I’m glad you’re being well supervised by that good looking fella as one can’t be too careful with those sharp needles 🙂

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks!…..I do have to be careful of those sharp needles….but mostly I need to be sure to get on my hands and knees and find them when I drop one!,,,,Teddy’s little paws don’t need to be a pin cushion

  8. Kate says:

    Hello Tim, thanks for all the recent posts, I love the free hand stitching on your fan quilt. Can I ask about your hoop? You say it’s on a stand, so does the hoop rotate, like when you use a hoop in your lap and you can turn it any way you want, or is it stationary on the stand?
    Many thanks.

  9. audrey says:

    Great quilting pattern for the fan quilt! Very vintage compatible.

  10. Thank you for sharing your quilt. I’m glad you mentioned the quilting needle you use. I too find the quilting needles break so easily. I thought it was just me. Your work is inspiring.


  11. Good to see Teddy is keeping you in order! Like this quilting. And thanks for sharing your basting method.

  12. […] of the quilt is not.  I posted about how I layered and basted this quilt for hand quilting here ( and in that post I said that I try to make the batting and backing larger than the top.  The idea […]


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