All About Fans

Barbara Warner © 2011

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After finishing my Hoffman Challenge 2010 entry, “Legendary Ladies and Fabulous Fans,” I still wasn’t tired of doing fan motifs. Leslie Ehrlich’s BOI in the July issue of 2010 gave me an opportunity to play with all the fans and fan motifs I still wanted to make.

The first block I made was the one in the upper right hand corner. The fabrics all came from one home decorator silk sample that had squares of related colors. Then I found the lace motif in the upper left corner. I thought it would make a perfect border but thought it was too big for just one 6” block. So, I made 3 more blocks. I had to scrounge around in my stash to find more fabrics that were the same colors since there was no more of the original fabric. Some fan motifs are original, others were inspired by books by Marsha Michler and Carole Samples. Still others came from eye candy on the internet. Articles about lace fans and composite flowers in CQMagOnline inspired me to add those ideas to the blocks too. Sharon Boggon’s Pin Tangle freed me to use some of the nylon lace I had. (I have a lot of narrow French laces that I used with dollhouse miniatures. I didn’t think nylon was appropriate. I was definitely a “Lace Snob”.)

After finishing the blocks, I wanted a small sashing so used some leftover ribbon from my daughter’s wedding dress. I spotted the ombre cotton for the border but felt it was too dark. I toned that down with a layer of point d’sprit tulle. When I had the border on along with the lace in the upper right hand corner I felt the border needed an extension of lace. I got down my box of old lace and lo, and behold, there was the second corner of lace. I didn’t remember I had it.

The beautiful lace corners came from my Great-Aunt Emma, who had been a dressmaker in the early 1900’s. She saved many fabulous pieces of lace and fabrics. I am finally able to use some of them in my crazy quilting. Those corners were probably collars or insets for dresses. They are very similar to some lace kits in the Herrshnerr’s 1907 needlework catalogue. Possibly they are that old.

Close-up of the top 2 blocks:

Close-up of the bottom 2 blocks:

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