Marking to quilt a Baptist Fan

I made a short video of how I mark for Baptist fan quilting.     I used brown paper as the quilt top and a sharpie for marking so that it would show up well but you should use something washable!     I like Crayola washable markers….but chalk, or a waster erasable marking pen work well too.

I know there are many ways to do this but that is how I marked the one I am currently working on.


Sometimes I don’t mark at all and just follow the curve of the quilt hoop.

I have a power cord and foot pedal on order for the singer I bought yesterday


I also got the cabinet finished.   It was sort of a mess.


I use denatured alcohol and steel wool to clean the old finish ….it sort of dissolves the finish and then I wipe it down with paper towel.  the alcohol dries fast and is much less harsh than paint stripper.   After it is dry I put on a coat of shellac which also dries fast……dry to the touch in 30 minutes.

While that was drying I decided to have a go at fixing up the Montgomery Ward machine that was in it.


it was in bad shape, it had a lot of rust and was frozen. The wheel would not move …..I oiled it and let it sit for a bit and them turned the wheel as much as I could…oiled and turned….oiled and turned… finally started to move more freely.     I took apart the tension discs and cleaned out the rust….same for the bobbin case and hook.    I cleaned out a lot of lint so I know the machine was used a lot at some point.        I didn’t have to rewire it to test it because I had a power cord and foot pedal from another machine that fit  ( I will rewire it so that the knee control on the cabinet is functional)

It is working great now.    Nice stitches and it looks pretty too.


I put it back in the cabinet ( I still think I will put the Singer 201 in the cabinet when I get it running) and Teddy gave it a test run

DSCN9058 DSCN9057

The feed dogs drop easily on this one so I tried out a bit of free motion on it….works great.

not bad…cabinet and machine 22 dollars!


Happy Quilting




49 thoughts on “Marking to quilt a Baptist Fan

  1. Sandra Henderson says:

    Brilliant! Thank you, thank you! Why , or why do I over complicate things?!?! This helps me so much.

    I love the cabinet! You should get a space at an antique mall to rent and resell things… In your spare time, of course. Lol
    No, you do amazing things to rescue items.

    Your hands look like mine. Hard working.

    Go get me Tim! Xo

    • Sandra Henderson says:

      As I said before, this is my favorite pattern to use. Most effective and works for everything and quicker and traditional.

      • timquilts says:

        it is faster to quilt and I imagine that was why it was used so often

      • Sandra Henderson says:

        I knew immediately it was stain, mine get that way. Constantly. I’ve given up on manicures, a waste of money. You’re a hard working man.

      • timquilts says:

        i had just recently gotten all the stain off from the last project…oh well wont be long it will be garden dirt 🙂

      • Sandra Henderson says:

        Yeahp! Mine is currently firewood. Between cutting it, stacking it, keeping fires going, they are dried and cracked and a mess. Speaking of which, need to go stoke the fire…

        Can’t get over how beautiful that cabinet is.

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks….simple is my favorite solution always . My hands in the video look a bit filthy and I didn’t notice until i looked at it after posting…. ….stain from the cabinet ….gets under my nails 😉

  2. Also known as: “fan” quilting or “elbow” quilting when you don’t know what church the maker attended. 🙂

  3. Helenanne says:

    Wow, that cabinet came back beautifully.

  4. Kristen says:

    Teddy steps up! I always knew he would make his move when the time was right. All that supervision — who says management can’t get in the trenches and do the actual work!

  5. Sara says:

    Looks great, nice machine, too, You’re going to have to start expanding into other rooms at this rate! LOL!

  6. kemosabaycampground says:

    I cannot believe that is the same cabinet. That is amazing.

  7. terryknott says:

    That cabinet looks amazing! You sure could see it! The machine looks shiny too and is the perfect compliment to be quilting those feathers! Go Teddy!!! (Wouldn’t it be great if he really could be a second pair of hands?). . .well, I’m sure he is helpful in other ways!!!

  8. Cheri says:

    Thanks for that video. I may have to watch it a couple of times to commit it to memory. Re: the cabinet – what useful information that is too. I can’t believe how beautifully it turned out! I will have to try that out on my cabinet, too. Can it work on just a bad spot if the rest of the cabinet is in good shape? Thanks for all you do to keep us in the know!

  9. adaisygarden says:

    Fixing that sewing machine!…you have so much patience. I’ve never tried using that method for cleaning up old cabinets – can’t wait to try it. The machine/cabinet duo looks amazing!

  10. Marla says:

    Thanks for the fan marking video. I’m definitely going to give it a try. Your cabinet and machine look great after the makeover, and I’m so glad you’re going to rewire the knee lever. That’s one of my favorite features…no groping around for the foot control!

  11. Thanks for sharing, Tim. Great video & I love how your cabinet turned out & it’s great that you got that machine running again! I’m a big fan of knee levers, since my mom had one on her machine when I was in high school! Now I have had to learn that the knee lever on my Bernina doesn’t make the machine go, it raises the presser foot!

    • timquilts says:

      My mom had a knee controller on her machine…..when she got a new one in the 70’s it had a foot control …took her a while to adjust…….My singer 301 and 600 both have knee control……when I use the treadle machine now I still find myself trying to use my knee when I first sit down to sew

  12. Lindsay Pavel says:

    Several lessons in this post; thank you! What is your method of removing rust from the parts of a sewing machine?

  13. Nerida Duncan says:

    What a difference a day makes to a sewing cabinet and machine. They look fabulous. Thank you for the video, I have used the ‘length of a piece of string’ method for marking garden beds as well its simple, economical and no mathematics required.

  14. Sandy Guild says:

    I learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine. So impressed how you converted yours to be able to machine quilt. I enjoy sharing your quilting journeys with you. I just wish I finished tenth of the projects that you do.

  15. Wendy says:

    Thank you Tim for the video. I can see that this technique would also work for marking a clam shell design. You amaze me with everything you accomplish. I am inspired every time you post.
    Thanks again!

  16. Cheryl says:

    Tim, thank you for the Baptist fan marking video. Once again you have shared a low tech method with our quilting community. I have learned to check your site first before I invest in yet another “time saving” notion or gimmic. To be sure I would have saved an awful lot of money on the some of the things that are sitting in a drawer unused.

  17. Karen says:

    You’re such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Terry Boyd says:

    I’ve been wondering how to mark for a Bishop’s fan. This way looks easy!!!! Thanks for the video.

  19. Lucy Brown says:

    I love to see old machines saved and put back to use!

  20. Sharon Hicks says:

    Thank you so much for posting the video about marking the Baptist Fan. I have learned so much from you.


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