Grandmother's Fan Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Grandmother's Fan Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 66" x 75"
Time: 11 Minutes
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a pretty Grandmother's Fan using a 30's reproduction, Lazy Days 5 Karat Crystals by Kaye England for Wilmington Prints.
Supplies list
  • 3 Packs x 5" Squares (Print)
  • 1 Pack x 10" Squares (Solid)
  • 1 1/4 yds. x Border
  • 4 3/4 yds. x Backing
  • 1 x MSQC Dresden Template

Finish your masterpiece and let us give it the finishing touch it deserves.

Subscribe to MSQC on YouTube
Hundreds of FREE tutorials and a new one from Jenny launches every Friday.

video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a great project for you today. This is a quilt that is based on an old block called Grandmother’s Fan. And I’ve been wanting to do one of these for awhile. I just love how they make up and they’re just so pretty. Let’s look at this quilt behind me. Now there are loads of ways to set this out. We have done ours so that it trails down in these rows like this. But of course please play with this because there’s lots of fun things you can do with it. And you can see we’ve used this awesome 30’s print so it really looks like an old quilt. So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is three packs of five inch squares. And we have used Lazy Days by Kay England for Wilmington. And they’re just the cutest little 30’s print ever. You’re also going to need 42 ten inch background squares to set your little Dresdens on. You’re going to need a Dresden ruler. And you’re going to need some border yardage. We used one and a quarter yards on this outer border and that also took care of all of our center circles as well. So you get everything you need for your circles as well as your border out of that one and a quarter yards. So let me show you how to do this.

First thing we’ve got to do is cut some Dresdens. So because, because what we’re going to do is we’re going to lay our fan on here. And we are just going to topstitch this down, we need to cut off our little points. So take all your little squares and on just two sides, what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut off our little peaks because we want it to have more of a finished look to it. So see that tiny piece, that’s all we’re cutting off is that teeny, tiny piece. And you’re going to do that on opposite sides of your five inch squares just like this. Alright, then what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut our Dresdens. You need five blades for each square. So you can stack up a couple little squares here like this. Let me just, oop they’re stuck together. Ok. There we go. Alright so you can stack these up like this. And you can cut four or five at a time. And when we cut our Dresden blades we’re going to lay our ruler right on the square. And we’re going to make one cut going this way. We’re going to flip our ruler around and make the other cut going that way. That’s why you have to trim both sides. So let’s go ahead and do that. Now this should set pretty close to the five inch line right up here. And we’re just going to cut on this side right here and then we’re going to cut on this side over here. We’ll move this out. We can move this blade section out and then we can just flip our ruler. Use the, the place we’ve already cut and then we’re just going to cut over here as well. Alright so now we have our little blades. And you’re going to cut, actually you’re only going to need to cut about 2 ½ of your packs into blades. So that brings up another really important point. If you want the centers of your fans to be scrappy. You’ll have enough little pieces left in your pack to make your center squares scrappy. We just chose to do ours out of the border but that is entirely up to you.

So normally to make a Dresden we sew the tops of ours but we are not going to do that for this. We’re just going to sew them straight together. That means we’re just going to take our two pieces like this. We’re going to lay them right sides together like this and we’re going to sew a quarter of an inch down the side. We’re going to sew five blades together. So let me sew these so I can show you here. Line up your quarter inch line. And just go ahead and start and sew them down. Make sure they’re lined up. And then you’re going to press them open. Now the only thing you want to do with your pressing is you just want to, I kind of make sure my seams are all going one direction. So a lot of times I’ll sew all five of my blades and then press it once so everything’s laying the same way. Now I have four of them sewn together right here so I’m going to go ahead and sew one more on here. And that will complete my little fan for my grandmother’s fan. You need five blades to make your fan. So here we go, line it up, a quarter of an inch. And I always take a couple of stitches just to you know get it all solid in there and then I sew down. Alright now I’m just going to iron this open. Now I want to look on the back and I want to make sure all my blades are laying nice and flat. Alright. So that’s all that is for the grandmother’s fan. You’re just going to sew five of those little wedges. And then we’ve got to add it to our background square.

Now this should snug up right into the corner just like this, pretty much. So what you want to watch are these edges right here. You want to make sure they are either lined up straight along the edge or that you could catch them in your quarter inch. And then I just hold it down with a little bit of a glue stick. I like this lapel stick. It just washes out so I’m going to put a bit of glue on here. And then I’m just going to put my fan on here. Make sure it’s lined up nice and edge to edge. You also want to make sure that you clip off your threads. You probably want to do that before you glue it on. But I just looked down here and saw these so I’m going to clip them off right now. Make sure your edge is nice and clean. So that means also if you sew them together and they’re not exactly matching just trim it off so it’s nice and clean. Now you’re going to add your little circle in the corner.

Now I used a five inch circle. And I made my, my five inch circle template using the cardboard on the back of the charm pack. And basically what I did, and I know there’s lot of circle rulers out there. And you can also find, you know look through your house: a coffee cup, a bowl, whatever it takes, you know to make your circle will work. What I did was I took my five inch square, because I knew I was working with that. And I folded it in half, and in half again, because each one of these circles is a quarter piece. And so then what I did was I took a circular object, laid it on my corner so it went edge to edge like this all the way up. Traced a little circle on here and then I just trimmed that off so that it made my, made me have a nice little circle right here.And so it makes about a five inch circle that uses your whole little, your whole charm pack. And then we’re going to cut these into fourths. Now I’m going to use my rotary cutter for that. And because I know that is five inches I’m going to come over 2 ½ from that edge like this. You can also follow your fold lines. You’ll have some great fold lines on there. And we’re going to do this. Alright so now I have these little quarters. And it’s a little quarter that’s going to go right down here over this. And we are just going to lay that on there and put a little glue underneath and just hold that little corner on. There we go. Alrighty.

Now what we want to do is we want to topstitch across this edge. And you can do that using a blanket stitch or a zig zag, whatever you like. And we’re going to topstitch along this edge. And that’s going to hold them in place. So let me, let me go over here and do that really fast. I have a little zig zag here I’m going to set up. And I’m going to make it really small so that it’s, it’s wide enough but not very long. And I’m just going to sew right along this edge. Make sure I’m lined up there. And you use whichever stitch you’d like. Now if you’re, if you’re going to do this also what I would do is I would make sure that if you’re using the blue, I would use matching thread on that so that it just, it just doesn’t show. And I’m just going to come sail along this top edge right here. And I could put my pedal to the metal and just glide it through. There we go. Alright. And this is our finished block. How easy is that? Isn’t that fun? I just love how, how these turned out. Alright.

So now comes the fun part, you get to set them. Obviously you can set them any way you’d like. We did ours so that it cascaded down like this, a little bit of a trail. Let me show you here what we’ve got. So you’re going to lay this one here. And your trail is going to go when you do this. So you flip them opposite. Now let’s look at how ours starts over here. So we have one down here in the corner and the next one up. The next one down, the next one up, the next one down, the next one up. It will help you to lay this out. It will help you to lay this out on your design wall, your design floor. I have the design floor. Whatever it is you need to lay it out so that it works for you. But basically ours is one down, one up on each row. One down, one up like this. Ok, and that starts the beginnings of all of our rows. And the next row as you put it up, it is one up because you want it to match, you want it to make that, that little pathway. So see how, see how that curves. And so you’ve got one up, one down like this. One up. And you can see it all come together like that. Now there are other ways to set them. I mean you can make half fans. You can put all your fans going the same direction. I mean there are just lots of fun things that you can do with this, this little grandmother’s fan. And I hope you have fun. Play with it. Actually I would love to see you try it in modern fabrics because I think this would look gorgeous in solids. So just, you know just have fun, have a good time and play with it. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Grandmother’s Fan from the MSQC.

Share your Quilts
& Progress on Social