Search This Blog


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

1) Complete 1 UFO each month  -

  • I did pull out several PIP tops and put them up in my sewing room.  I'm thinking that if I have to look at them each day, I'll have a better chance of really working on them.  That counts doesn't it?
2) Start a new quilt with the caveat that I must finish the new quilt  before starting another

  • I'm in the middle of 2 quilt classes plus I've started a quilt for my nephew on the side ... didn't really break that resolution ...just bent it a little.
3) Participate in on-line sew along and swaps

  • I love the blocks so far from the Craftsy BOM sew along.
  • Contemplating the SWOON sew along.  I love the pattern and the blocks others have posted so far.  Just don't know if I want to take it on with everything else I need to do.  I may just lurk and drool over the SWOON.
  • Still haven't found an on-line swap that appeals to me.  Suggestions?
4) Complete monthly project for my quilt guilds
  • Since I started 2 quilt classes in January, I opted out of the Feb swap project for TMQG.  Can't wait to see Mar Challenge.
  • Davie Guild hasn't decided on this years mystery quilt BUT I'm on the Quilt Show Committee AND I did get the floor plan done as planned.  I'm counting that as a completed project.
CURRENT PIP - Double Wedding Ring using QuiltSmart pattern, wedge template, fusible arc template
I've always wanted to make a double wedding ring quilt but just never had the time.  A class came up, I signed up.  Let me just say that I should asked a few people's opinion first.  I love the class.  The teacher is wonderful but this quilt has consumed most of my free time over the past 3 weeks.  It is a lot of work!

I'm trying to use as much as I can from my stash before buying new fabric for a project.  The Double Wedding Ring (heretofore refered to as DWR) really challenged that.  Every time I got within 20 miles of a quilt store, the Fabric Sirens would begin their chant ... lovely fabric, lovely fabric, come feel, come buy, take fabric home.  I called on the musical powers of Lady Gaga to drown out their luring song.  It took all of my inner strength but I was able to escape with only having bought background fabric.

I decided on a queen size since all of our beds are queen.  This means I need enough pieces to make roughly 200 arcs (42 4-arc blocks + 26 single-arc blocks).  My DWR began to lean towards the scrappy side. I had enough of 4 fabrics that I liked for the arcs but I needed at least 6.  Turns out I had one small print floral in several color ways.  The print floral was the same just on different backgrounds with some tint variations on the flowers.  This was perfect.  Almost!  Just when I thought I was home free (translates as after I cut up all of those scraps and sewed them into arcs), I realized that even putting all of the variations together, I couldn't build enough arcs.  In my own defense, the Queen size decision was made after I started assembling arcs.  So I had to pull in another fabric.  Hi Ho Hi Ho, back to my stash I go!

Found a larger rose print on an off white background.  Didn't really think it would work but turned up Lady Gaga and  decided that it was the best choice from what the stash.  I cut out 2 wedges, put them in arcs and decided they were perfect.  The irony??  Had I chosen this fabric first, it would have been the 5th wedge since there was enough.  Then I would only have to juggle 1 wedge between the similar prints.  Oh well... time to assemble.

Here's what is left of my fabric after cutting out all the pieces -- arcs on left, family jewels on right.

These seem to be very traditional double wedding ring fabric choices.  Not something I'd normally use as my palette.  It's growing on me,  probably because it has history.  I've had some of these for 5+ years.  They have discolored spots from being folded for so long and some even have a stain or 2.  I don't know why.  By the time they were cut up, and put into arcs, faded spots and stains disappear like magic.  Most of these were used to make totes and purses for people.  The larger piece on the bottom was used in another quilt, the larger floral was left over from a reversible vest from several years ago.  One strip was left over from my granddaughters Easter dress about 3 years ago.  The best news - emptied 6 of my folding boards.

Using wedge template

Remember that I have to cut at least 198 of these from each fabric (or combination of fabrics) because I want a queen.  Replaced my blade 3 times.  I started by cutting my fabric into 3" wide strips running width of the fabric. Then you need to take each strip and cut out wedges.  I stacked 2 to 4 strips at a time.  I found that if I went over 4, the lower strips shifted and I got bad wedges.

Cutting complete, assembly started.  Join wedges into an arc.  I ended up with 8 variations of the arc.  The variations was done on the position of the large rose print and the small floral with pink background in the picture below.  The floral prints were rotated through these 2 positions. The other fabrics always stay in the same position.

Press all seams in the same directions.  That's what the instructions say.  The first few I was pressing to the dark side but soon found out it was easier on me to press in the same direction.

At this point, the arcs are sewn to the fusible arc templates.  This stuff is easy to use.  It comes in panels.  Just a matter of stacking the arc and template, sewing & cutting on the lines, turning and bonding to background.  Making bigger than a throw?  Plan on spending several hours doing this.    check out their store. They've got some pretty cool stuff to make life easy.

Here's a picture of the arcs in various stages of completion.  The white edges sticking out are part of fusible arc template.

The template corners will be lined up with the background block corners.  Then the arc will be fused to the background block.  Once you have fused all the arcs for the block, go around the arcs with a zigzag or blanket stitch.  I used invisible thread and a zig zag stitch set at 4 and 1.5.  Be sure to go around top and bottom of all arcs.  Our instructor suggested using the stitch in a ditch foot to make it easier to follow the shape of the arc and get both on and off the arc to hold.  I tried it but found that I could work just as well and faster with my clear foot.

The jewels will be added once all the blocks are finished.   I pinned one set of jewels on just to get a feel for the finished block.

Even though this is a lot of work, I am anxious to see the finished quilt top.  10 blocks down 58 to go but whose counting?  So why did I decide to do a queen?  

I think I would like to do another DWR in modern fabrics using the Judy Nemeiyer approach just for comparison.  If I do, I promise it won't be a queen.

Happy quilting, sewing, knitting & crafting...