Friday 31 March 2023

My New Rulers Have Arrived!

I have been waiting patiently for my new rulers from Michael Quilts. I ordered them about mid-March and they arrived a few days ago which was incredibly fast considering the distance. Had one of the charity quilts ready to go...a cute little Nine Patch quilt in brown tones.
The rulers were packaged well and came with a page of instructions on how to use them. I have got the original Fab5 Fan set consisting of 3,5,7,9 and 11in half circle (Michael Quilts also sells an expansion set with the even numbers now).
I have done several quilts with a Baptist Fan design in the past. My issue was with the awkwardness of using full circles. In the past I have used Amanda Murphy's circles up to the 7in circle and then switched to the Handiquilter circle rings for the 9 and 11in. As you can imagine this was rather awkward to hold and inaccuracies were unavoidable. Nevertheless the Baptist Fan design is a forgiving design and the quilts that I did do looked ok. However when I first saw the Baptist Fan rulers from Michael Quilts I saw that he had additional lines on the rulers for alignment as well as half circles and thought that this might be easier to manage on a sitdown machine.

So, I went to work on the little charity quilt.
This is the largest ruler which just about fills in my hand. As you can see I put some stable tape behind it to prevent the ruler from sliding, however noticed in the second row that that was not enough. I took some of that off and put the more grippy Handiquilter sticky grips on there as well as using a large strip of that white gripper material you use for lining draws to stabilise the ruler. Quilting a Baptist Fan design on a sitdown machine is harder than doing it on a frame, I believe. On a sitdown everything are holding a large ruler that begins to slide, your quilt is shifting or dragging and your movement in itself might shift the ruler. Add the compaction that is occurring, it can be really quite tricky and you do need to adjust your expectations a bit in terms of how perfect you are going to quilt this out. I noticed in the second row that I was sliding and adjusted the grippy material, however once you are out by a bit you are out of alignment and will have to make a decision on whether to continue or not. As I have done this a few times, I was used to this and continued...the rows looked even across and my fans were looking good in terms of consistency.
Of the five rulers most of the times they were in (almost) alignment, in fact the 5in ruler was always in alignment but across the quilt the upper rulers were sometimes out by as much as a 1/4in. When I had done half of the quilt I also noticed that my fans had shrunk ever so slightly in width...again, a consequence of doing this on a sitdown machine by probably pushing too much against the ruler and thereby inadvertently also slightly shifting the quilt over. Half way through then I had to turn the quilt over to avoid having all this material in my lap which then meant I was doing the fans top down. I found this actually a bit easier and was happy with my alignment, in fact by that stage it seemed to have improved as I did do a bit of fudging here and there.
The completed quilt
The back
I love the Baptist Fan design...looks really nice and my fans appear very consistent. Actually comparing it to a previous quilt I can definitely see the difference that the rulers have made. The spacing of the fans looks so much better.

In critically examining the quilt though I saw that my fans seemed to have sunk on one side. Now that made absolutely no sense as they do look perfectly straight on the back. After a while though I realised that the quilt had a slight bow on the bottom and aligning my first row to this I carried that through all the way to the top...something to watch out for next time! But the design is very forgiving as I said before and that little mishap is hardly noticeable as your eye is drawn to the consistency of the fans.

Really impressed with these rulers. They are as great as I thought they would be. Apart from three points of alignment that you use for doing your fans, there are also little tick marks of 1in for advancing to the next fan and then there is this little mark for when you have to start a new Baptist fan.
See that little mark on the ruler...that is how far you travel up again to start your next fan with the small 3in ruler. I really appreciated this being there as I stitched this quilt with a light brown thread, so backtracking in a haphazard way was highly noticeable on the white sashing and this little mark ensured that you don't go too far and awkwardly backtrack back where you need to start. Made for a really clean start of the little fan.
Overall, really happy with the rulers and will do the next charity quilt with them as well.

In terms of linking up to To Do Tuesday which I am a bit late for as I did get carried away with the new rulers: I did put my design together for my wholecloth, washed the fabric and am ready to start the tracing...waiting for some thread now to see what colour I am going to stitch this out.

For the remaining few days I will
- start tracing my design onto the fabric
- baste another little charity quilt.

Lots of other things to do , but as my machine has finally gone for a spa treatment, that's it...I am off the hook in terms of piecing anything, so that will have to wait. 

Linking up to To Do Tuesday #13 over at Quilt Schmilt and the Favorite Finish Monthly Link Up at Meadow Mist Designs.



  1. This turned out lovely!! I lover reading your ruler review. The fans do indeed look consistent despite the shifting and all. Great finish! It won’t let me log in for some reason so Hello from Sarah at

  2. The Baptist Fan motif is really delightful and as you said, your quilting looks really consistent and lovely on the back of the quilt. It sounds like the new rulers are going to be handy tools for you!

  3. Karin you had another great week! I’m glad your rulers arrived and you are having fun with them. Thank you for linking with To Do Tuesday. 😁 Carol

  4. Beautiful quilting!

  5. Well done with working with rulers on your domestic machine, something I've never mastered. Thanks for sharing.


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