A Double Wedding Ring Quilt – “Never Say Never”

I never thought I’d make a double wedding ring quilt. I admired them, but didn’t have any interest in making one. It wasn’t the piecing that turned me off. I am an old-time garment sewer. Pinning and sewing curved seams doesn’t scare me. But in recent years I have enjoyed working improvisationally, making odd shapes of fabric work together and moving quickly without any pinning or worrying that things had to fit a certain way.  Double wedding quilts were just too fussy for me.

And I never thought I’d make a quilt with those “tacky” novelty and commercial licensed fabrics I saw in the stores. I did not like them at all. Maybe they were OK for a child’s quilt, but fabric snob that I was, I had no interest in adding them to any of my projects.

Well, never say never!

When my nephew and his partner announced their upcoming wedding, I wanted to make them a special gift. Usually when one of our nieces or nephews marry, I take vintage trims from my husband’s grandmother’s stash and sew a sweet little pillow to commemorate the special occasion. See one of my pillows in this post. But that just didn’t seem right for these two guys. I needed something more modern, but still with a nod to the traditional.

Inspired by Victoria Findlay Wolfe‘s fabulous book, Double Wedding Rings Quilts – Traditions Made Modern, I started thinking about making a large scale double wedding quilt. I wanted it to reflect the guys’ eclectic interests, so I found myself looking at those novelty fabrics in a whole new light. I found several Dr. Who fabrics (They are big fans.), as well as dragons, beer bottles, old books (my nephew is a librarian), and mustaches. I even located a print fabric of Corgi dogs from England (My nephew loved his Corgi growing up.). It was a wild mix of colors and patterns, to say the least. IMG_3761Of course despite knowing about the wedding months before the actual date, I still waited until the week before the big day to start this project. I had to move quickly, which meant I just followed my instincts and listened to the Tim Gunn in my head – “Make it Work!”. Victoria’s Retro Poly Mod pattern was the perfect design to use for this quilt. The pieces were large and would show off all the crazy prints and I only needed to make four blocks to make a 60″ square quilt. Here is the first block. To speed things along, I decided that all four blocks could be pieced in the same way. I selected the solid gray fabric to calm down all those crazy prints and colors.QuiltBlockThe top sewed together easily, and somehow the quilting angels helped me get it machined quilted quickly (Don’t look too close if you are a member of the quilt police.). And since we had a long car ride to get to the wedding, there was time to finish the hand sewing of the binding in the car.

Quit on CoachC&RThe boys were very happy with their unique wedding gift. I hope it makes them smile whenever they use it. Cheers to two guys starting out married life in a modern way.

Congratulations, Chess & Robert! Wishing you many years of happiness snuggled under that quilt.

QuiltCon Fun

QuiltCon, the first conference of the Modern Quilt Guild, was a blast!  Austin, TX is such a cool place and all the conference leaders and volunteers went out of their way to make this a spectacular event.

WelcomeThere were exhibitors…

Andover Fabrics booth and Vickie Anderson and Carol Zentgraf at the Modern Quilting Unlimited booth. MQU was one of the sponsors

Andover Fabrics booth and Vickie Anderson and Carol Zentgraf at the Modern Quilting Unlimited booth. MQU was one of the sponsors

There were wonderful lectures and workshops….

I was fortunate to get into a class with Japanese artist Yoshiko Jinzenji - quilting with sheer fabrics

I was fortunate to get into a class with Japanese artist Yoshiko Jinzenji – quilting with sheer fabrics

Foundation Piecing with Penny Layton.  I learned how to piece curves and Y-seams and I designed a fish with floppy fins.

Foundation Piecing with Penny Layton. I learned how to piece curves and Y-seams and I designed a fish with floppy fins.

And then there were the quilts……!!

Quilts

Including this stunner by Thomas Knauer  - In Defence of Hnadmade.  It's a large scale reproduction of the UPC code of a Martha Stewart quilt for Macy's.

Including this stunner by Thomas Knauer – In Defence of Hnadmade. It’s a large scale reproduction of the UPC code of a Martha Stewart quilt for Macy’s.

And Best of Show - Double Edged Love by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

And Best of Show – Double Edged Love by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I am so happy that I was able to attend QuiltCon.  A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the event happen.  A job well done.  It will be hard to wait those two years until the next QuiltCon, but I understand there will be some regional “Sewdowns” happening around the country next year.