Thursday, May 30, 2013

FMQ Challenge #5 Design Idea

SewCalGal has challenged us EQ users to come up with design ideas for your Free Motion Quilting Challenge #5 - It's All About Borders.

Using the golden ratio to change the sizing of the borders, you achieve a depth like you're looking down into a stairwell. Consider putting a Snails Trail block in the center to make it go even farther.

What is the golden ratio you might ask?

Wikipedia has a good illustration and definition.

I learned about it during Jinny Beyer's last Hilton Head seminar in 2009. It spoke to me geometrically and the math behind it, and I've tried to always incorporate this into my designs.

I've put an on point, 12" block as the center. This makes for an almost 17" center.

I started with 1" as the consistent dividers between each border.

There are 5 borders that scale.

Border 1 - 1.5"
Border 2 - 2.5"
Border 3 - 4.25"
Border 4 - 6.75"
Border 5 - 11"

These aren't exactly scaled, but are made convenient for standard 1/4" increments used in quilt making.

This quilt would be almost 79" x 79".

I've used the long-horizontal to set each border, but there are a plethera of other ideas you could do to create more of an effect in a pieced border. EQ7 provides lots of options.

If you are quilting on a domestic machine, how fun to just work on one border at a time and move the quilt around within the single border.

On a long-arm...perhaps you'll do the top and bottom borders, ditching all borders as you move down to the bottom. Work towards the center, then rotate the whole quilt and work from the outside in. This will allow you to do the entire row in one continuous movement. If your free motion design is friendly to starts and stops, you could stitch it top to bottom as you go without turning it later.

Smaller designs in the smaller borders, and larger designs as you move out. How fun to incorporate so many different styles.

Will be fun to see what people come up with!

Thanks SewCalGal for encouraging us! 


  1. Fun design. Thank you for inspiring and sharing. I was not familiar with the Golden Ratio. Your designs always look great, with excellent balance. I'll definitely be incorporating the Golden Ratio into my designs in the future.


  2. Wow, very effective! I found a chart in a magazine once that gave all sorts of figures/ratios for border widths, but up until reading this, it is the only time I have come across anything like it. Well done, have you sewn this up? :-)