I was sending one of my 2012 calendars (that I never got finished for the shop) to my friend Terri and decided the package needed a little something more than that in it. I wanted to make her a little mini to hang on her wall, or use in some other manner, but knew it had to be unique. For as long as I’ve known Terri (since high school) I had a hard time deciding what to make for her. She has been quilting as long as I have (if not a little longer) so I knew she’d probably appreciate something traditional, yet unique…and I think the double wedding ring is just that. Definitely traditional, and unique because you don’t see it as often because of the commitment involved in making one.
Years ago I bought this template set by Omnigrid (I think at Joann’s, its out of stock almost everywhere but here) to take another stab at creating a double wedding ring. I had attempted one before in my early days of quilting, and it’s still sitting in pieces in the box waiting for me to piece the rest of it. I think I got bored with all the pieces involved as well as the fact that I chose all blue and white fabrics for it. I do have plans of finishing it. One day. Probably far in the future.
Anyways, back to my story… I was flipping through some of my Japanese sewing books and saw they had a single double wedding ring and loved how it looked, so I pulled out my templates and my bucket of scraps and got cutting. Having the acrylic templates made it go so much faster. Also, since I was cutting from scraps and those little template pieces can be fidgety, I grabbed my rotating cutting mat. I have wanted one for a long time, but only a few months ago picked one up at Joann’s when their cutting mats were 50% off. It’s not cheap, so the 50% off definitely helped. That made the job so much easier!
I cut out all my pieces and laid it out, making sure to have a good distribution of fabrics and then I started sewing the pieces together. I followed the directions in the booklet provided with the templates, but it’s pretty standard to what’s always been done.
First I sewed the smaller arcs together, then I added on the end pieces to one of the arcs and then sewed both of those pieces to the background piece (in that same order). The directions called for pressing the seam allowances to the side, but I decided to press mine open. Since this is a mini, and wont see a lot of use, I liked the way it looked better and opted for this. I seem to press seam allowances open a lot these days for the “look” of it. And, as you can see, I used LOTS of pins sewing those curves together.
I quilted around the edges of the patchwork rings and then did cross hatch in the background fabric. I started and stopped at the starting and end of each line of quilting and tied them off on the back so they were secured without having to backstitch (which I wouldn’t have liked the look of). That took a lot of time, and I don’t love all the ties on the back, but since it’s meant to be a mini quilt to hang on the wall or put on a table, I’m okay with it. I love the look of it, almost as if the lines are hidden beneath the curves.
I bound it with this cute rainbow raindrop fabric (that I don’t know the name of). I don’t often make “bias” binding, but I did for this since it was going around a curve. Usually on smaller quilts I do a single fold binding, but I went ahead and did double fold since it was cut on the bias anyway and it turned out quite nice.
Overall I was very happy with this mini. I get very anxious about the items I make for friends and for swaps and worry it’s not my best work, but I was very happy with this little mini and so glad it was on it’s way to a friends house to be enjoyed. I love it so much, I think I’m going to have to make one for myself out of red and white fabrics. It really didn’t take too long, but I worked on it on a Saturday, so with the interruptions of family it took all day, but honestly this is a mini that could be made in just a few hours. I know that curves can seem scary to a lot of you quilters, but don’t let them scare you away from trying out projects you are drawn to. My best advice is to use LOTS of pins. Lots and lots of pins.