Geisha Circular Fan Quilt
If I love a fabric print, I’m often guilty of holding onto it for years until I think of the perfect project for it. Years ago I purchased an adorably bright fabric featuring ladies in kimonos off of eQuilter. I absolutely love it. The scale of the print is fairly large, so I didn’t want to cut it up into small pieces and lose the essence of the print. I used the geisha fabric as the background for an enormous circular design. The overall quilt is busy yet bright and happy. It brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.
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I didn’t follow a pattern for this quilt. This quilt actually came out of me not wanting to waste fabric that I had cut out for another project. I wanted to make a dresden quilt block, which uses similar but more dramatically wedged petal shapes. I had never made one before, and the dimensions of my wedges were not narrow nor angled enough to make the correct shape. I hate wasting fabric, so I repurposed these test petals to create the mega circle featured as the main focus of this project.
I haven’t created a step-by-step tutorial for this project, but I will share some tips on how I created it.
I created a mega centre block out of oversized HST blocks with sashing and double borders. This became part of the pieced background which I assembed like this:
To create the petals of the “fan”, I used the Fons & Porter wedge template.
After cutting out a wedge, I folded the fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together. I sewed a 1/4″ seam along the wider edge. Once you flip it right side out, you can iron it out into beautiful, perfect points.
Typically with a dresden plate quilt, you would applique a circle on top of your petals. However, since my centre block was part of my pieced background, I did reverse applique instead. I arranged my fan petals on top of my background then turned the fabric inwards. My first quilting stitches were along this folded down edge to attach the petals to the background, followed by stitching 1/4″ from the inner edge of each petal to secure it.
If I were to do this again, I would have quilted the centre block prior to pinning and appliqueing the fan petals on. I had some fabric wrinkling that was too late to fix.
Normally I either stitch in the ditch or echo quilt along each block. However, since I had the pieced background, I didn’t have any obvious lines to follow. I used green painter’s tape to create guidelines, starting from the tip of each petal to the edge of the quilt. When sewing these lines, I carefully lifted up the edge of each petal so the stitching would start underneath it.
I normally use Warm & Natural brand batting, but instead I went for a bamboo batting that was on sale for this quilt. I had such a hard time because the bamboo batting would not lie flat no matter what I did. It was almost as if the batting had stretched out at some point, but it had simply been sitting folded in a bag from the time of purchase. I’ve never had this problem with Warm & Natural so I’ll continue using W&N for future quilts.
If you have any questions regarding the quilt, feel free to reach out in the comments.