Friday 12 June 2015

Quilting With Calipers

A few weeks ago I was excited to receive a package from Jinny Beyer's studio. I had ordered some red fabrics in hopes of matching up my LE2 border and also splurged on a new fabric pallette swatch tool and these calipers. The point of these calipers is to find the golden ratio in your quilting which should have the effect of being visually satisfying.
The first thing I did was pull them out and try them against my existing pattern. Did I have a natural eye for the ratio? Had I created Love Entwined according to it? The answer looks like a definitive yes. Phew! I was so delighted to find that the scale was correct that I checked it against all of my unpacked quilts and they too, corresponded with the ratio. I think this means that as quilters, we have an innate sense of value, balance and harmony which we 'naturally' apply in our patterns and designs. I don't think I would have followed any 'scale' when actually designing or drafting my quilts as it would get so tedious, but its nice to know it 'just happens' without me thinking about it.
Another benefit of the calipers is that they make knowing how wide the next border should be so easy. I have completed my centre now and just need to add a final border on LE2. I hadn't decided firmly on what the width should be - but the calipers indicate a good balance so I'll go with that measure.
 These are the fabrics I purchased from Jinny Beyer. I always love her fabrics (I even made a shirt out of a green one last year). When I shop with her, I always know the fabric colours will have a certain quality and saturation that I like so much. I'm really struggling to find the right borders for my original Love Entwined coverlet and this quilt which is LE2. Finding the right red is tough. It really hurts to shop online from US retailers at the moment because of the dropping dollar rate here in Australia and because of International shipping fees. Luckily Jinny Beyer offers the most economical postage possible so I somehow always manage to justify 'finding' something in her range.
I do love all of these, but none of them grab me. I was hoping for an instant love match but that hasn't happened. The first is too modern swirly, I don't really know what I was thinking. The next along is too dark, the one above is too red-orange and the one below just doesn't feel right in real life, although photographed here it does look like the best match.
I think that at this point I will stop looking for my red border fabric. I've had to do this with my original coverlet as the tones in that quilt are hard to match. I'm waiting to serendipitously find the right border fabric whenever that happens. With my red issue here, well I'm in two minds! Yesterday I thought I would create a HST scrappy border made up from applique swatch scraps used throughout the centre...and I just might. Or maybe not. I don't know. Right now, I'm keeping an open mind.


  1. Love the red LE2! I decided to make my red work embroidery easy. I used the same red fabric so I wouldn't have to worry about coordinating other reds but your quilt is so pretty. Maybe someday I'll be braver. I know if I just add a border so I can call my project finished, I'm never satisfied with the fabric. I'm learning to just wait. But that is so hard!

  2. I like the idea of a scrappy border using all the fabrics that are already in it.

  3. The red a white is fabulous. Sometimes you just need to put it aside and let it percolate and the Inspiration will happen.

  4. Oh Esther your LE 2 does looks so so lovely, love love those reds. What a wonderful tool those callipers would be to any instructor to help show the students about balance. That was some thing I was never able to teach my students on how wide to make the different borders and why you did. I just felt it was right LOL. Happy sewing Glenda


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