Ruffled Fan Block
Quilt designer Donna Kohler uses a sewing machine ruffling attachment for a ruffle-trimmed, machine-trapunto fan block.
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Materials and Tools:
Ruffled Fan wall hanging pattern - includes directions on using ruffler attachments or ruffling without attachment.
Template - included in pattern or make with card stock and directions below
water-soluble basting thread
24-inch length of 2 -1/2 inch bias-cut strip of fabric for ruffle - best to use a thin fabric
5-inch square of darker fabric for fan
5-inch square of batting
6-1/2 inch square of light print for background
15-inch length of narrow ribbon for bow
1. Make quarter circle template from card stock with a five-inch radius. Draw seam lines 1/4 inch from straight edges (figure A). Draw five evenly spaced lines from intersection to outside edge between the drawn seam line.
2. Stack the five-inch square of fabric on the batting. Place the template on a corner (figure B) and cut the curve through both layers.
3. Line up fabric fan and batting on the 6-1/2-inch square, edges and corner matching. Straight stitch the fan and batting in place, following the fan shape and stitching slightly less than 1/4 inch from the edges (figure C). Note: The treadle machine used on the show is a 1917 White Rotary nicknamed "Miss Twiggy" for the twig pattern on the drawers.
4. Place the template on the block to mark the fan lines for quilting. Because this is done on a chain-stitch machine (figure D) where the decorative chain on the bottom the block is marked on the back side with a pencil and stitching is done on the back. If using a conventional machine or for hand quilting, mark the front with chalk.
5. Stitch on the quilting lines (figure E) but not the outer quarter-inch seam lines. The treadle machine used in demonstrating this step is a 1903 Willcox and Gibbs chainstitcher nicknamed "Gibson Girl" because it is of that era and for the beautiful iron legs.
6. Thin fabric is the best choice for the ruffle since the three layers are ruffled on the folded edge. Cut several 2-1/2-inch strips so you can experiment with the ruffler attachment (figure F) to achieve the desired effect.
7. Fold and press a one-inch width on long edge of bias cut strips; fold and press 1/2 inch width. Strip should now be one inch wide with folds on both sides.
8. Thread machine with water-soluble basting thread, both bobbin and top. The purpose of using this is so the finished ruffle will have only one row of stitching showing after water-soluble basting thread is dissolved.
9. Become familiar with the ruffler attachment and make samples till you achieve the desired effect. A 24-inch strip on the bias is used to allow several inches lead that don't ruffle plus at least eight inches of ruffles to go around the quarter circle.
10. With the 1/2 inch edge down (figure G) and to the right, slip the folded edge into the ruffler attachment between the blades and stitch to ruffle strip. Pattern includes other methods to gather if attachment is not available. The machine used is an 1889 Singer Model VS2 with a long bobbin, bullet-shaped shuttle and a low-shank ruffler attachment.
11. Stitch ruffle in place (figure H) matching ruffle stitch line over the curved fan. Stitch along edge, unstitching any tucks that are within the seam line to eliminate extra bulk.
12. When quilt is complete, wet water-soluble thread to dissolve. Spray the thread well with water and gently rub with fingers to dissolve, repeat if necessary. Only one row of stitching should remain on the ruffle.
Kaye England demonstrates a block from her book about historical women who broke the mold -- the Louisa May Alcott block.