This week one of my best friends married! CONGRATULATIONS!!! The quilt above is my wedding present. I wanted to give them something special, to show how happy I am for them that they’ve found each other. So naturally, I referred back to quilting. This quilt symbolizes how their love for music binds them together. Although their taste couldn’t be more different in some ways (there is overlap of course). How that works I’ll tell below.
At first, I wasn’t planning on using the double wedding ring pattern, but to design the whole quilt myself. However, while I was still trying to work out a design in my head, I stumbled across the double wedding ring quilt and decided that pattern would be perfect.
What is the double wedding ring quilt?
The double wedding ring quilt is a traditional pattern which symbolises love and romanticism. The interlocking rings of the pattern symbolise the union a couple goes into when they marry. Therefore, this quilt is a great present for weddings or anniversaries. Personally, I like to combine the traditional meaning of quilting and patterns with my own modern take. Below you see an example of the traditional wedding ring pattern. Usually one makes multiple rings until the quilt is big enough to cover a bed or so. For mine, I decided to make a table runner / wall hanging combination because they are already getting another quilt from me later (The big quilt for a lovely friend).
But my double wedding ring doesn’t look like that!
I struggled a lot with the traditional pattern of the quilt which consists of a lot of round shapes. I tried a few different techniques, but I couldn’t make them work. I’ve tried English paper piecing and patchwork. I guess my mother was right when she said this was a tricky quilt… Luckily, I found this paper piecing variant on Craftsy!
My mother first taught me how to paper piece, so I felt confident that I could accomplish the quilt using this pattern. Also, this pattern has only straight lines which makes it easier to sew as well. I did modify the width of the rings though because I thought they looked better a bit wider.
Symbolism and meaning of the quilt
As said before, this quilt symbolizes how music unites the two lovers. To make that clear I needed some way to symbolize their individual musical taste. My friend loves Punk and her husband plays the carillon and is really into bells. It was hard to find fabric symbolizing those two loves though, so I decided to design my own fabric. For this quilt, I used woven monkey, but there are many companies who print fabric. I chose them because their design program worked for me and they are from the UK which made shipping cheapest for me (to the Netherlands).
Above, you see the drawings I used for the fabric. The oi! oi! oi! right up is a phrase used in Punk (I very subtly asked her to tell me about the history to get some valuable information). Left are the bells, which are for her husband. Her is a carillonneur and he plays the organ, so logically he loves some beautiful clocks. The music notes symbolize the shared love for music. In the end, music is music, and a music lover would choose another music lover of a different genre over somebody who is not interested in music at all. I decided for black as a background fabric, because the pink, white and brown fabrics were already set and black made the colours come out well.
The making of a double wedding ring quilt
In the pattern below you can see the pieces of the double wedding ring. I named some of them ‘A’ because it means those were a mirror image of the other pieces (so many times in my life I’ve sewn mirrored pieces the wrong way…). Good notes are key with paper piecing if you want to do everything only once. The drawing also shows that the pattern is divided into squares which are attached by borders. That is also the order to sew them in.
Now I had the fabric, and pattern, I needed to find a way to make the pattern be in the same direction for every piece in the finished quilt. Also, there was an extra challenge of being as thrifty as possible with my fabric because there was a limited amount. This means I drew out all the pattern pieces on the fabric before paper piecing them. To keep track of how to place the pieces on the fabric I laid them out as you can see below. If you don’t care about fabric placement this step is unnecessary. Very happy I did it like this for this quilt though, because I couldn’t have gotten the result as straight otherwise.
The above picture shows the heart I added in the middle segment. This is to symbolize their love for each other and music. The picture below shows how beautifully straight their quilt turned out! Look how the OI!’s are not upside down. I am so glad this worked out, because all those pieces in different directions managed to make me go almost insane many times. The picture below are some squares joined with a border on the left.
Finishing off a quilt
My mother gave me the brilliant tip to pin the pieces on a towel to keep them in place. As a good girl, I finally listened to her sewing advice for once. I have to say that it worked very well! You can fold the towel and store the pieces away for later and laying the pieces out prevents mistakes sewing them together. The sock is knitted by my mother btw.
Here is a bad-quality dramatic pose of the big construction of the pieces. Here the white and brown part are attached and I was working on adding the pink part on the left.
For batting, I used some leftovers my mother had. I believe it was wool. For the back, I wanted to do something special as well. I randomly sewed pieces of the leftover fabric together to create a crazy patchwork. This was a lot of fun to do. You are basically a crazy scientist-quilter sewing stuff together in the hope it will come alive and look pretty and lively.
The quilting is done by hand along the edges of the rings in a colour matching the fabric. I also quilted around the heart with black thread. The pieces of fabric standing are for PVC tube which will help to hang the quilt on a wall. They are attached in such a way that they won’t be visible when the quilt is used as a table runner.
And now for some detail pictures!
And here follow some detail pictures of the finished quilt to gush over all my hard work.
If you have any questions about this project feel free to ask! It was a BIG project, so it’s hard to put everything down in a blogpost and keep it readable. I loved this project though, so always ready to talk more about it.
I want to end this post by saying that I wish my friends all the happiness in the world! You are lovely together and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful life together. You are the kind of couple that gives hope to everyone that it’s truly possible to find ‘the one’.
See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.