Japanese Baptist Fan quilt by erickaeckles


Baptist fan quilt


A few years ago my beloved was going to turn 40, and as it was a big birthday, he asked if I would make him a quilt. He knows they take me a while to make (the longest one has taken me 5 years!) so did ask ahead of time.... and it was still late!

Various things influenced the design of the patchwork.  The beloved likes Japanese samurai films and I thought this looked a little like the paper screen doors...also the fabric was quite a loose weave which meant it frayed like you wouldn't believe, so using large squares helped as I wasn't cutting a fat quarter into too many pieces.  One of his favourite films is Seven Samurai, staring Japanese actor Seiji Miyaguchi.  His character is so calm and graceful...he's not pretty but I think he has a wonderful face.  I wanted the quilt to be a little like him... it's not a "pretty" quilt but I like it's qualities.

All the patchwork was sewn by hand, and I tried to do it when he wasn't around so couldn't see what I was doing.

Years ago I'd been to an exhibition of Japanese pottery and ceramics at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and I'd drawn a pattern of "clouds" that was on several pieces.... I later read that it was a traditional Japanese ceramic and textile pattern, which quilter's know as  "Baptist fan".

The quilting was all sewn by hand, and in all I used about 1350 metres of quilting thread (and my fingers were quite sore at the end).

The binding was made from some American muslin I had dyed with some leaves and acorns, onion skins and walnuts.

I write more about it on my blog.


I love the ripples in the quilt that you get with a baptist fan quilt....
This is lovely to run your finger tips over...
The large centre square is 10 inches wide and the sashing is 2 3/4 inches...
Each "fan" is just over 13 inches wide....
I love how the light dances across the quilt in the afternoon....
I really like the different shades of brown together....





I am blown away this is all by hand,..gorgeous and amazing! Your husband must be thrilled.


Wow this is stunning. And all by hand? I am in awe!!! Gorgeous!


He's not my husband, though I do drop hints!
Yeah, he was really pleased with it... I need to fix it a little as our cat sleeps on it with us and has plucked it slightly where he does "paddy paws" when he cuddles down for the night.


I am seriously getting a huge head reading these lovely comments.
I find sewing by hand a lot easier than using a machine (I tend to be a bit of a boy racer and go too fast with a machine)... I like the quiet time spent hand sewing whether it's piecing patchwork or quilting ...


Really fabulous, and definitely the Japanese taupe feel. How did you mark all those baptist fans?


LOL sorry for making an assumption...like the term beloved better anyway! A little hint for using Threadbias...If you hit the reply "button" it will put the name of the threader you are responding to and it alerts us there is a response!! It allows more back and forth communication...and welcome:-) Caribousmom


Another gorgeous quilt, and the hand stitching blows my mind. Its absolutely perfect!



Thank you for the "reply" tip.... I'm so happy I've found Threadbias, I'm telling all my sewing friends about it as I don't think they know about it either.



Thank you... not sure who like sit most, the "boy" or the cat!
When I put my quilt together, I prefer to do it the old fashioned way, lots of basting stitches, this helped support the quilt enough so that when it was in a hoop I was able to draw round my fan template (please don't laugh, I actually drafted and cut out 14 plastic "fan" shapes by hand) using a variety of pencils....regular HB, a quilter's silver pencil and a quilter's white pencil....
Since I made this quilt I've discovered how to make a tool that helps you draw this pattern up really easily... I could kick myself as I've found vintage metal ones before in old sewing baskets and have put them in charity shops not knowing what they were....
If you look on my blog I do a simple tutorial on how I put a quilt together using the baptist fan pattern (just do a search there for baptist fan quilting) ..sometimes I use a special blue wash out pen though I know they can be a bit of a pin to wash out sometimes....if I know the quilting is going to be managed in a week I'd use the blue pen...any longer than that and it can stain the fabric a bit (I speak from experience!)

You can download the project as JSON data.Download JSON