Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Drafting Fans...

I remember being a fairly new quilter and asking a very experienced quilter how she made her beautiful fan quilt. And she casually replied "Oh, I just drew it." Well, I went home and tried it and let's just say...I didn't make that fan quilt until many years later. I felt dumb and frustrated that I couldn't do it. But I just didn't have the right tools.

All you need are a few simple items.  Paper, pencil, calculator and this ruler.

First, decide what size finished block you would like. I chose 6".
Using the markings on the edge of the ruler, create the block outline.
Then place the corner of the ruler with the circle over the corner of your drawn square.
Be careful to line up the sides exactly.

You can see the drawn square outline better in this photo.

Then choose the size of the fan blades you would like. I traced the 2" and the 4" arcs.

Once the ruler is removed it will look like this. Now you must decide how many blades you would like. I like odd numbers as that allows you to alternate fabrics. If you are doing totally scrappy, even numbers would work as well. Now take the calculate and divide the number 90 (because that's how many degrees your arcs are) by the number of blades you would like. I chose 5.

90 divided by 5 equals 18. So I marked both arcs with a tiny pencil marks every 18 degrees. Using the calculator helps to avoid mistakes with this as well.

After the small marks are made to show where the blades will be, simple use the side of the ruler to connect the marks.

See how easy this is?

Now you can draw a fan pattern in any size with any number of blades.
I use these for paper piecing, and yes, I will show you how to that as well, but not today.
I think this is enough photos for one day...don't you?
Now go draw some fans!
Enjoy every stitch!




  1. great tutorial - are you going to print them out at home for PP?

  2. I need that ruler! Thanks for your excellent demonstration!


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