Mini Celtic Fans Quilt

Celtic Fans Quilt
Patty mentioned that this was quite a challenging project, so it probably isn't for a beginning quilter.

Although Patty provided some very detailed instructions for the project, believe it’s best if you just follow the picture and make things match.

Patty used Celtic Ornaments designs for this quilt.

Materials needed:
½ yd white linen-weave fabric
½ yd red fan fabric
½ yd red mottled print fabric
¾ yd brown swirl fabric for backing
Red embroidery thread, two colors
Red thread for bobbins (fill 4 bobbins to start)
60-degree Diamond ruler
Paper cutout of hexagon (see instructions)
Black fabric for 1” strips (optional)
Quilting square-up ruler
Rotary cutter and mat
Tear-away stabilizer
Temporary spray adhesive

Starch and iron all fabric to keep its shape. You’ll be cutting and sewing on the bias a lot.

Embroider designs Ornament8 and Ornament4 in red thread on white fabric. Use red thread in the bobbin. Make five of Ornament8 and four of Ornament 4. You are going to cut them exactly into thirds, but do not do it yet.. You will use all but two pieces for fans. I used both 30-weight and 40-weight thread for variety. See notes below to plan your layout.

Cut 3 1/2” strips of red fabric, and sub-cut this into 12 diamonds.

Showing how a 3 ½ “ strip can be cut into diamonds

Six will be used to finish the top and bottom. Cut 6 diamonds in half across the shorter part. This will make triangles to finish the sides. Make 1-2 extra to allow for mistakes. These diamonds are a little larger than I needed, and I cut them down after sewing each row. It’s better to start with a larger piece, sew it, and then trim it to size.

For the sashing and cornerstones, cut 3 1/2” strips of red fabric. Cut 1 “ wide strips of brown swirl fabric. Sew them together and press the seam toward the brown.. Place this piece of fabric with the brown fabric strip at the top. Using your diamond ruler, cut thirty 1” wide strips at an angle. See the illustration. This gives you a few extra. These are slightly larger than you need, and will be trimmed to size later. Each piece will be sewn on the bottom left of each block. Also cut 1” strips of red fabric, at least 100 inches long. You may want to cut strips as you go, to have enough to sew on the bottom right of each fan.

Note, the cornerstones are pretty but take extra time to match up the points. You may want to cut plain sashing strips and omit the brown cornerstones and still have a very pretty quilt.

Cut the black fabric strips 1” wide, totaling about 90 inches long. For the border, cut 2 1/2” wide strips totaling about 90 inches. You may wait until the end to do this.

Planning your embroidery
You are going to cut these designs into thirds. There is less fabric waste if you plan your designs using a hexagon instead of a square, and you will be sure to leave enough fabric around the designs to cut it out. This is very easy to do. Make a paper hexagon. Take a piece of paper 7 ¼ x 6 ¼. Fold it in half. Cut off the ends using a 60 degree Diamond Ruler. Unfold it and you have a hexagon.

Fold paper in half, cut off the edges with Diamond ruler 1

Fold paper in half, cut off the edges with Diamond ruler 2

Snip a hole in the center of the paper.

Using a pencil, lightly draw around the hexagons on your white fabric and mark your centers. I placed a pin in each center to help when hooping the fabric.

Planning the hooping layout

Hooping several designs on one piece of fabric

Notice the pin marking where the center must be

Done, ready to press flat

Use one layer of either tear-away or cut-away stabilizer on the back, sprayed with temporary adhesive. Sew several designs and then cut away the hexagons. Iron and starch them flat before you cut them out.

Cut the Celtic circles into thirds. Mark the center lightly with a pencil. Using the 60-degree diamond ruler, pencil-mark your cutting lines first. Make sure they look evenly distributed. Then cut them apart. I used both scissors and a rotary cutter, sometimes the scissors are best for an exact cut at the center or when blocks are next to each other.

Cut design out

Cut it into thirds

Close up, showing pencil marking

They will be larger than you need. Use your own preferences here, I preferred to cut them 2 1/2” wide. You may like a wider white margin above each fan. I cut only one side at a time, sewed them together, and then cut the other side even. This may sound odd, but the pieces stretch as you sew them. I felt more in control this way, to allow for mistakes.

Assembling the quilt
You are going to chain-sew all the fans to a strip of plain red sashing. Make a pile of fans going in the same direction. Turn the pile upside down. Take a one-inch wide strip of red fabric. Lay it face-up on the sewing machine. Place a fan, face-down on the strip and sew one after another to this strip. Which side to sew? If you hold a fan with the fan on the bottom and white strip on the top, the lower right side is what you sew first. Press the strip flat, then press it open towards the red fabric. Use the Diamond ruler to cut the strips apart, following the angle.

Now add the sash with cornerstone to the lower left side of each fan. Use pins to match the seams before you sew each one. They need to match at the bottom tip of the fan. It’s OK if the fabric strip doesn’t match at the top because the sash strips are longer than the fans. You are going to trim it even later. Press the seam flat, then press it open towards the red fabric.

Now you have a fan-diamond piece. The top two sides are white, the bottom two sides have red sashing and a cornerstone.

Lay them out in rows.

All diagonal rows are numbered

Each diagonal row has the same pattern of fan. Row 2 has two fans of Ornament8,. Row 3 has four of Ornament4, Row 4 has five of Ornament 8, Row 5 has 5 of Ornament 4, Row 6 has five of Ornament 8, Row 7 has 3 of Ornament 4, Row 8 has one of Ornament 8. Sew each diagonal row together. Press seams toward the red sash.

Lay out your sewn quilt rows. You’ll see where to add the red triangles at the end of rows that are at the side of the quilt. Pin them, sew them, press. Lay the pressed row on a cutting mat, Measure and cut off any excess at the top. Mine were just 3” wide, yours may be different.

pinning two fans together matching the cornerstone

Do not trim off the side yet, you want some extra there. Using the picture as a guide, you’ll see where to add the whole red diamonds to rows that end at the bottom or top. Lay them out but do not sew them yet. Any row that ends at the quilt top needs one more row of sashing and cornerstones.

Use photo as a guide, and add sashing pieces or cornerstones to Row 2 and 3.

All diagonal rows are numbered

Then sew on the red diamonds. Make Row 1 with a red triangle and diamond, Row 9 is only one red triangle. Press all rows. Trim all rows along the long edge only. It’s OK if they have extra fabric at the end of the rows.

Now sew the rows together in pairs. Then sew the pairs together to make the top. Press all seams. Breathe a sigh of relief. It is so pretty! You are nearly finished.

Lay the quilt on a cutting mat and square up the edges. I left 1/2” of red above the cornerstones at the top and bottom, and 3/4” of red beyond the cornerstones at the sides.

All diagonal rows are numbered

Smile, it looks so much better now. Mine measured 16 1/2” by 18 1/4”.

Sew the black 1” strips all around the quilt, as the first border. Press. Trim about ¼ “ off the black border so it is even all around. Sew on the red fan border, mitering the corners. Press well.

Cut the brown fabric backing a little larger than your quilt. Layer the top, batting, and backing. Quilt as desired. Square the edges. Squaring is very important before and after you quilt. This quilt has so much bias in it, mine pulled sideways and needed “help” to lay straight. Measure all the edges of your quilt and cut 2” strips of the red fan fabric as binding. I needed 86” of binding. Bind using your favorite method. Optional, add a hanging sleeve before you bind.

The Finished Project!! Finally! Isn’t it pretty? A nice gift for someone you love.

Finished Project