A couple of years ago a dear friend sent her future daughter-in-
law love to me with the request to create a signature quilt for her wedding. I showed her several options with one of them being a the double wedding ring. But, instead of pieced in the traditional manner the arcs would be appliqued to 12-1/2" squares and the guests would sign in the center of the square.
The advantage to this option was that the arcs created a space for the guests to sign that didn't allow them to write off into the seam allowance where their message would be lost inside the quilt. Over the years I've found that no matter how many times you tell a person not to write in the seam allowance, even if it's been marked, some of them will still write in that forbidden area. Giving them prepared blocks helps keep the signers contained in the desired area.
As we discussed color options the bride expressed that she wanted it to be pretty, but nothing too foo-foo or frilly so that it would be something that her husband would like and enjoy as well. We choose Pearl White for the background fabric and went with a combination of blues and browns that played well together.
To cut the arcs I used the solid arc template from Marti Michell's Double Wedding Ring Template Set. With careful placement I was able to cut more arc than I imagined I would be able to out the fabric we had. Thankfully being careful gave me extra fabric which came in handy after the wedding when we discovered two of the blocks had been lost or thrown away and needed to be remade.
I used iron-on Feather Weight Heat-n-Bond interfacing to create the arcs.
(My process described below)
I found that the interfacing was thin enough to cut four layers at a time. I probably could have gotten away with cutting at least two more layers, but I didn't want to risk it.
I cut everything first:
3" squares for the corners (set aside to be used after the blocks are signed),
12-1/2" Pearl White squares,
12-1/2" x 6-1/2" Pearl White rectangles (for border - also used later),
Arcs in each print,
I paired an interfacing arc with a fabric arc making sure that the rough side of the interfacing was facing the right side of the fabric.
Then it was stitching time to stitch the long edges of each arc, but leaving the two short ends open. I chose to chain stitch one side of the arc at a time.
Once all of the arc pieces were sewn together I clipped all the seam allowances and then started carefully turning the arcs inside out. If the interfacing was sewn correctly once the arcs were turned the glue of the interfacing is facing out so that it can be ironed to the background fabric.
Here's a video I posted on the Little Pink Rose Facebook page showing how I went about turning the arc tubes.
Once all the tubes were turned it was time to start use my flannel design wall and start playing with layout options. Taking pictures of each option and send them off to the bride for her decision/suggestions. I came up with two options 1) random circles all over the quilt and 2) matching prints arranged diagonally across the quilt with the brown and blue alternating every other row.
The random layout felt like chaos to me. It didn't give the eye anywhere to rest.
But the diagonal layout seemed peaceful, even restful. I hoped the bride would choose the diagonal layout, but of course I would do it wever she chose.
I was thrilled when she wrote back that she really liked the diagonal layout and chose it.
From there I printed off the picture of her choice so that I would have a master plan to refer to and work from. I marked the rows A-I down the left side of the picture and 1-8 across the top. Since each block was unique and would need to fit in a specific place in the quilt, I would mark the blocks with its corresponding letter and number. This would make things much easier once the blocks were returned from the wedding.
With the layout decision made it was time to start stitching arcs to the 12-1/2" squares. Before proceeding any further I marked a 1/4" seam allowance around the edge of each block with a water soluble pen. This would serve as a reference line for me as I ironed the arcs in place, being sure to work all of the interfacing out of sight. Once the arcs were all ironed in place and laid out on the design wall once again to verify that everything was correct, I used an invisible applique stitch to stitch all of edges down including the short edges. For this step I used Aurifil 50wt. white thread in the bobbin and clear YLI monofilament thread in the needle.
Once everything was sewn in place back up on the design wall all the blocks went. Now it was time to mark the center blocks for some specific things.
The center two blocks were going to be hand embroidered with the bride and groom's names and their wedding date. Then the blocks surround those blocks were to be reserved for messages from the bride and groom to one another, messages from each of their parents as well as messages from the Maid of Honor and the Bestman. I made note of whom each of the designated blocks were to be signed by and pinned those notes to the blocks. The rest of the blocks were to be randomly signed by wedding guests at the reception.
At this point the blocks were packed up and sent off with the bride for the wedding day. I sorted out the labeled blocks for their special messages and placed them on the top of the pile, making it all as easy as possible. At this point I was left to work on the embroidery blocks and stitching the arcs to the border rectangles in preparation for the return of the signed blocks.
Stay Tuned for the Finishing of the Double Wedding Ring Signature Quilt.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my quilting journey.
Happy Quilting & God Bless,