Monday, March 2, 2009

Not all antique quilts are pretty

This sad quilt, dating from the late 1800's, is my most recent addition to my quilt collection. The main portion is machine pieced from two very similar double pink prints and a nearly identical double purple that has faded to a muddy grey. Apparently it was not large enough, as at some point a haphazardly stitched hand-pieced border was added (obviously NOT designed to complement the rest of the quilt, but click on the picture and see if you locate the antique bit of cheater cloth on the border). Okay, I'll admit it, the quilt is homely, but it was so cheap!
What IS interesting about this quilt is the proportion of the rectangles. Have you ever heard of the "golden ratio"? This is a mathematical ratio, 1:1.618. I first came across this applied to quilting in Jinny Beyer's  highly recommended book, Quiltmaking by Hand. She includes a lovely pattern, inspired by an antique quilt, in which the rectangular pieces are "golden rectangles", rectangles with the proportion of length to width of the golden ratio.
Looking more closely at my quilt, I realized the rectangular patches were not the typical 1:2 rectangles. I got out my tape measure and calculator and lo and behold, my quilt was also made of golden rectangles! Naturally I had to make one of my very own. Stay tuned!

Happy quilting,
Barbara Chojnacki
Six Gables Designs

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