Baptist Fans Archives - Constantine Quilts

No-Frills™ Baptist Fan 135deg templates 

The baptist fan templates come in a variety of sizes. Normally you would only need the 7″ & 8″ if you already own the circle templates up to 12″. However the smaller 135deg templates are convenient for those with smaller machines that can’t fit the large circles between the needle & the machine. This enables shortarmers to still do up to a 8″ diameter arc on their machines.

NB: these template sizes measure along the straight side of the templates. ie: 6″ baptist fan will draw out a 12″ circle curve or 6″ radius. The finished stitched size will depend on the diameter of your particular sewing/quilting machine.

Some hints, tips and techniques for using these & the circle rulers for Baptist Fan Pattern on your quilt tops.

Using your quilters ruler, score a line to create a 1/4 circle on your template. This will give you your horizontal & vertical  axis to help with placement on your quilt top!  


You will need the 2″, 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″ & 12″ circle templates along with the 7″ & 8″ baptist fan ruler. This will give you 8 arcs at 1″ apart over your quilt top. This is usually plenty but at times smaller ‘fans’ are more desirable with less arcs in them.

This diagram shows only 4 arcs in each fan. The concept is the same! Decide which way you would like the fans to run on your quilt top. If you have houses for example, then you would decide if you want the arcs to run like bushes or like sunrays coming down. Load the top appropriately on your machine. Looking at the diagram above is like looking at the quilt top from the front of your machine. 

These instructions are for using the templates from the front of your machine only!

Starting from the top left corner, place the first smallest template with the horizontal axis on the edge of the quilt and the vertical axis on the side of the quilt. (If you prefer you can start with the largest template and work to the smallest! It is purely personal preference at this stage. There would be slightly less thread wastage with working from smallest to largest using an even number of arcs/templates….) Do not clip your threads between each arc until you get right to the end of the row. At this stage I clip all the threads on the top of the quilt before rolling forward to start the next row.

Make sure you secure your stitching at the beginning and end of each row, using either small stitches or a tiny backtack.

Another nice way to start your baptist fan is to mark the centre of your quilt top and stitch a complete half circle set of arcs. Then you would do your arcs going in different directions from each side of the centre set. 

A single row like this looks fantastic in a border!! Use a 3/4 circle in the corner if you can work the mathematics out to make it work!! Another advantage is that half of your stops & starts would be off the quilt top ….

Please feel free to let me know of any other wonderful ways to use these templates so that it can be shared by all!

WHOOOO HOOOO!!!! Another use for these templates……

Curved & straight radiating LINES!

Firstly you will need to download & print a polar grid to aid you in scoring some lines on your baptist fan template!

Polar grid  (click here to download pdf file to print)

Then you need to choose which size baptist fan template you are going to use on your block. I like using the 6″ one for most applications. This one will manage up to a 14″ block with a nice curved line!  I would probably use the 4″ baptist fan for smaller blocks to achieve a more pronounced swirl effect….but it is up to you of course!

baptist fan radiating lines.jpg (346870 bytes)  Place your template as it looks in this picture on top of your printed polar grid, lining up the CENTRE of the grid to the point at the bottom of your template. Use your rotary cutter to to trim the paper on the straight edge on the right and the curved edge on the left of the template. Remove the template and trim the curved edge of your polar grid. Now put a dot of glue on the back of the paper grid you have just cut out and stick it to your acrylic template (where there are no lines) Using a sharp tool, like a compass, and a straight ruler – score the lines following the polar grid. I then removed the paper polar grid & extended the first couple of lines right to the point of the template.

To use this template you then flip it over so that the scored lines are on the bottom of the template resting on your fabric. The slight friction of the scored lines also assist in minimising slipping by the way….

Find the centre point of your block that you wish to put radiating lines on. Place the bottom point of your template (ie the centre of the polar grid) on this centre spot and guide your foot from the outer edge of your block towards the centre point STOPPING at the edge of your appliqué/embroidery etc

radiating lines.jpg (260691 bytes)  Here is an example for you to follow…. NOTE the dot in the centre that I used as my guide for the pointy end of the template to rest on! This was done by starting where ever the template initially sat & then just using the polar grid to guide me with the spacings.

This is a 12 1/2″ block & I used a 7″ baptist fan template to draw the radiating lines. If I use a 6″ template then the lines would have a tighter curve than this one. PS: I do not draw the lines on my quilt top, just plop the template down & start stitching!! I try to do this as a continuous design by following the edge of the block & the edge of the appliqué/embroidery design to get to the next line of stitching.

Another alternative is to place your ‘centre point’ OFF CENTRE!! Wowzers….we can come up with some really cool movement by doing that as well….

Next, you can flip it over again so that the straight edge is on your right hand side and now you can do STRAIGHT radiating lines on your block using the polar grid lines to guide you again……


No-Frills™ Baptist Fan Rulers – The size is the radius of the circle!


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