Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My First Double Wedding Ring Quilt

I finished piecing a Double Wedding Ring Quilt that I started last Wednesday.

It was much easier that I expected! 
I am going to go into great detail on the making of it (you have been warned!) because I have plans (and more importantly - fabric) for a second one. I find these "tutorials" very handy for myself to refer to when I am making something for the second time. If some one else finds them useful, even better.

The quilt top is 62" x 73". I used 2.5 metres of beige fabric (I bought 3m and had leftover), plus lots of different fat quarters, some yardage and some scraps to make this quilt. I used about 15" of two different fabrics for the connecting corners or "B".

This Double Wedding Ring is made with the GO! DWR die (I gain nothing from Accuquilt - just love the product). I found the instructions that came with the die very confusing, so this is what I did (I am no expert).

I cut the fabric in two sessions (it took a few hours each time).

I find a little 5" mat useful when cutting individual sections (the die runs through the rollers with out harm, and fabric is only cut under the mat).

The instructions call for different widths of fabric to be cut for the individual elements, but I always find that Accuquilt measurements waste fabric, so I cut them narrower, and very carefully place them on the die, making sure the blades are covered (you can feel the metal blade if you press down on the fabric, to make sure it is in the right spot to be cut).

These are the widths of fabric that I cut for the different elements -
                 A - 10"
                 B, E & D - 3"
                 C - 7"
(the letters refer to the package instructions). The fabric is cut across the width of the fabric, and the fabric is passed through the GO! cutter parallel with the selvage to minimize stretching.

I accordion fold the fabric. 

I end up with little waste.

I made all the arcs first. They are made with 3 "D" elements (the ones with 4 notches), with an "E" at both ends (the ones with 1 notch).
I found that I used a true 1/4" seam throughout.

I chained pieced them 4 at a time. 

I had piles of the two element beside me - it was fun picking different colours.

A pile of pieced arcs waiting to be pressed.

I pressed all the seams in one direction, pulling the end slightly.

The instructions recommended cutting out an "F" in paper to make a template to see if the arcs are sewn correctly.

The finished arc.

The elements for the "footballs"

Next is sewing the "football" shapes.

I chain pieced these also. Starting with connecting corner ("B") at one end of the arc, 

followed by attaching a "melon" ("C") to an arc, matching the notch first.

The sewing starts with a little bit of the melon sticking out beyond the end of the arc (I didn't use pins). The instructions call for marking 1/4" dots on every piece - just not something I am about to do.

The sewing is done with the arc on top (throughout the making of this quilt the concave pieces are on the top).

I only used a pin at the notch and found that every time a little bit of the melon stuck out past the end of the arc just like the beginning - they went together beautifully.

Next I added a connecting corner to the other end of the first arc (the same colour square at both ends of the arc).

I started the process again with the alternating colour of connecting square. This way I made sure that I had an even number of each colour.

Since I didn't use many pins I found these tweezers (they came with my serger) very useful.

Especially when holding the ends of the fabric.

More pieces ready for pressing.

The seams of the arcs with connecting corners at the ends were pressed towards the squares, and for the arcs with the melons - the seams were pressed towards the melons.

I used EQ7 to figure out how many arcs I needed with each colour of connecting squares (35 and 36 respectively - the quilt is 6 rings x 6 rings).

 Next was stitching the two sections together. I pinned and matched the centre notches again

Where the connecting corner met the other arc (the end of the melon), I made sure that the seams matched at the 1/4" point,

before adding a pin (at both ends of the melon). Also added a pin at each end of the connecting corner.

There are two different colours of connecting corners on the "footballs".

To make the rows I stitched the centres to the "footballs" (just 3 pins and the tweezers worked fine),

starting and stopping with the centre 1/4" beyond the arc. The centre is on top now (concave).
I kind of stitch closer to the edge of the piece at the start and when I reached the end of the arc, this was useful when attaching the other "footballs" to the centre (I made sure that I was at the 1/4" when crossing the connecting corner and arc seam).

In the above picture you can see the tapered seam allowance. I stitched right through the point where the two seams meet.

The Next Section is Very Important!!

When attaching other "footballs" to the centre it is important to not sew all the way through to the end of the connecting corners.

the connecting corners are left un-sewn

I learned this the hard way (by sewing all the way to the ends, and attempting Y seams to join the rows). This was the only difficulty I had making this quilt, then I remembered that I inherited a book (with rotary cutting templates) that solved my problem!

The book that came to my rescue.

For the outside edges, the connecting corners can be stitched,

An outside edge with stitching to the end

I kept sewing "footballs" and centres together to make a row.

This row is ready to be attached.
The first row had "footballs" on every side, but additional rows only had "footballs" on three sides

Here is where leaving the connecting corners un-stiched makes things easier.

Stitch the rows together, once again leaving the connecting corners un-stitched.

Once the row is sewn go back and stitch the connecting corners on opposite side from each other

This is what it should look like.

 Then stitch the seams in the other direction, locking the centre seam, so the corners meet.

 This results in a nice join of the connecting corners.

I am so pleased with how it turned out. I kept waiting for it to get hard, and apart from the little Y seam incident, it was great to piece. I don't think I could have done it without the GO! though. I just need to get some flannel for the backing, I have the wool batting already, and it will be a lovely lap quilt. I'll show the quilting in a future post.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! 

Update - 
Details for the quilting can be found here.
Check out the comment by Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet - she has a great tip for sewing the rows that I will try next.


Raewyn said...

Oh Dear; sounds like I need to order this die!!! Your instructions are very thorough; I think I could do it!! You must be so pleased, it just looks beautiful, cant wait to see the quilting.

corina said...

How absolutely gorgeous. The words that popped into my head were Tequila Sunrise. I swear you get more piecing done in a few days than I do in a few months!

Auntie Em said...

What a gorgeous quilt! I can't believe you pieced it in a week, even with the help of a cutter.

Thank you so much for posting such detailed steps.

Die Butjenterin Abschnitt said...

Your Double Wedding is gorgeous.
I love the DW an I have also this pattern for my DW.
Greetings Kate

Joan said...

OH - how I wish I had a go cutter...that peicing is fantastic. Guess what else I want to make - and I am STILL tidying my studio..

Nunzia Gregorio said...

Sei STRAORDINARIA in questo lavoro! grazie per le spiegazioni che dai.
Saluti da Nunzia.

Anonymous said...

Well done and so quick, I still have a half done DWR from some years ago in the cupboard somewhere and must finish it as I would like to make one using 1930's fabrics

Anne said...

It's absolutely beautiful, Joanne. I'll refer back to your tutorial if - no, when - I start mine. :o)

Wendy said...

You're right. That does look easier than Y seams. Nicely done. Very pretty.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Another thing to make piecing the rows even easier , look at your photo where you have the one row left, you sew a 4th football to every other one, then instead of you sewing the long curve then a point a long curve then a point, you sew a continuous "S" seam from top to bottom. Try it next time and let us know.

Joanne said...

Thanks Ann Marie. That makes sense.
When I started the quilt, the instructions said to have the concave on the top, and sewing them the way I did made sense. With the apple core sewing them with a concave on the top and then on the bottom is more difficult, so I thought it would be easier to sew the DWR the way I did. The curves are gentle with on the DWR, so maybe it would be easier the way you described. I'll try it next time - thanks!

Impera Magna said...

Beautiful quilt top... and an excellent tutorial!!!

I can't imagine cutting all those pieces of fabric by hand... the GO! cutter looks like the way to go...

Ruth said...

I can't believe you got that sewn together so FAST!! It is gorgeous! And doing your little QAL at the same time!

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Wow Joanne - it is beautiful!

Thanks for sharing and for the tutorial.


Barb said...

I'm in total awe!! fast, I'll say.
This is the best ad for the Go cutter that i've seen.
I love your batik choice, its fresh and different.
Lovely manicure by the way.
thanks for taking so many photos!

Lori S said...

That was amazingly fast! Great tutorial. This is one quilt where a GO! cutter seems to make all the difference. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see the next one.

What Comes Next? said...

you make it look so easy! And I can't believe how fast you got it together. It looks gorgeous, and thank you for all the tips - a DWR is on my to do list, but it might be a while before I tackle one, but I've earmarked this post to help me when I get there.

Donna said...

Wow,your Double Wedding Ring quilt is beautiful! You did such a lovely job, and the fabrics are so pretty!

Myra said...

Wonderful Joanne! Looks great! Awesome color choices!!

Caz@theaccidentalquilter said...

Great tutorial! I am hoping do start my own shortly. No doubt I will be referring back here, often!

Caz@theaccidentalquilter said...

Great tutorial! I am hoping do start my own shortly. No doubt I will be referring back here, often!

Ladyhawk said...

i started a double wedding ring quilt 15 yrs ago and never finished got it out the other day and could not remember how to pc it together, hopefully after reading what you did i will remember and finally get it done

Red Barn Crafting said...

So I just got the DRW die and have plans to make at least 3 of these quilts within the next year. Yours is by far the best tutorial I have ever seen, especially with the Accuquilt notes. However I did have a few questions before I start my own:

1. Are all of your measurements in metric? I noticed your yardage was, but it seemed like the quilt measurements were in inches. (this could just be the dumb half of me asking)

2. How many corner pieces did you have to cut?

3. If I did solid arcs instead of the smaller pieces, around how many would I need?

I can figure out yardage from there, but the trouble I can't tell how much fabric I need until I know how many pieces to cut! Any light you could shed on this would be greatly appreciated!

Joanne said...

Karen you are a no reply blogger, so I will answer you comment here.
I buy fabric by the metre, but all my quilting tools are in inches - I know it can be confusing.
As for the number of corner pieces and arcs - it all depends on the number of circles that you choose for your quilt. EQ is really helpful for that. I ended up with some leftover pieces.
If you have any other questions email me personally (address on my profile page).

Unknown said...

Vos "anneaux de mariage" sont superbes. Beau travail ! Mon amie et moi allons en faire chacune un. Ce bloc n'est pas utilisé en France, nous allons essayer de le mettre à la mode.

Katrina said...

awesome! thank you for all the details! i'm thinking about buying this die. excellent photos!

Clothed in Scarlet said...

Wow! Thanks! I hope to use what you've shared soon :o) Sarah

ajsgramie said...

My husband isn't going to be very happy that I found this page. I have always wanted to make a Double Wedding Ring Quilt. I have a go baby but looks like I'll be upgrading to the go. Otherwise I need to find a shop within a hundred miles where I can rent a studio for a few hours.
Thanks for the incredible step by step directions.
Upstate NY

ajsgramie said...

Update, my go arrived Thursday and my Double Wedding Ring die will be here next Wednesday. Now to pick out fabrics to work with. I'm going to start with a wall hanging for my first one. My next will be a queen size for my grandson when he gets married. I have time he's just graduating high school today. I'm going to print out all of your instructions to study.

Unknown said...

This has to be the best and clearest DWR instructions ever. I have always wanted to make one and found it to be too difficult. You have inspired me. I have to convert a bit for English sewing tools, but that'll be ok.

Thank you so much.

Unknown said...

Your tutorial was very helpful. I made my first one using the dye, and I had problem to lay it flat - It looks as if my center pieces are too big. Do you iron every seam as it is sewn? with the bias, will this distort the fabric?


Unknown said...

Your tutorial was very helpful. I made my first DWR using the die, but I can't get it to lay flat - looks like the center piece are too large. Did you iron after each seam? I didn't because I was afraid that would distort the piece, with all the bias exposed. But now, I think I should have... not sure... Any tip?


Unknown said...

Hi! Thank you for this informative bit on The Double Wedding Ring quilt using the Go dies. Like you I want to make an actual quilt as a wedding gift but Accuquilt only has patterns for a wall hanging or a bed runner.... How were you able to figure out how much yardage you would require? I can be contacted at jgraden@me.com. Thanks. I hope to hear from you.

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