Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The best laid plans of mice and men. . .

. . .often get completely obliterated. I had the whole month planned out. I would finish binding the three backlogged quilts, quilting the Linus quilts, starting the mystery quilt and the new BOM. Well, flush that. Flush it all.

My brother-in-law (you know, the one I made a quilt for last spring) is getting married the first weekend in April. This afternoon, my husband said "I guess we need to think about what to get them for a wedding present." The twist is, they're both in their fifties, have worked all their lives, owned houses, and generally bought everything they want or need. So what to get them?

"You could make them a quilt," he continued. Wait, I gave his brother a quilt last spring. "Well, that was for him, not them." I'm not sure I like the way this is going. "I guess a double wedding ring quilt would be traditional."

SCREECH went the brakes in my brain. I have 90 days to design a double wedding ring quilt, buy fabrics, make it, hire it quilted and bind it. A DOUBLE WEDDING RING QUILT. Curved seams, people. And oh, it gets better. "He says no quilts are ever long enough since he's so tall. I suppose he's still got the king size bed."

So I have to make a HUMONGOUS double wedding ring quilt.

I remembered my Shar Jorgensen rotary templates for a double wedding ring. Whew, at least the cutting out won't be hard. I pulled the template set out of the cabinet. Wait, it looks a little bit....small. I consulted the instructions. The rings measure 15 inches in diameter? The arcs are 1 1/2" wide?? The center section is 6 inches across???

I call my mom, who has made several double wedding rings, and read off the dimensions. I can hear her gritting her teeth. "Well," she asks finally, "how many rings will you have to make?" I was hoping she wouldn't ask. "At least 60." She has the grace not to laugh.

Basically, she says what I already know. The small curved seams will be a total and complete pain to sew, it will take forever, and by the time I finish it I will be a raving lunatic. So, I ask her if she still has the pattern she used for mine. It's queen size and contains 30 rings. 30 rings I can do.

She isn't sure because it was in a magazine, but she'll look. In the meantime, I'm doing an internet search and come up with a free double wedding ring pattern from McCall's Quilting Magazine. I check out the dimensions. The rings are 23 inches in diameter. Now you're talking!

So, I'm making a quilt for my brother-in-law. Again.

(But I'm still starting the mystery quilt tomorrow. Shhh, don't tell.)

I decided for the sake of my sanity and respect for the timeframe I decided to do a variation of the wedding ring that my mom once made. The centers and "melons" between the rings are a floral focus fabric and the rings are alternating solids or "sorta solids", as I call them. The corner blocks are darker shades of the ring colors. The solid color one-piece ring arcs gives great quilting space, and the floral makes the quilt detailed enough to be visually interesting. Not to mention that using one-piece rings will save a lot of time.


Deb said...

Well that sure throws a monkey wrench in your plans...lol! And a BIG DWR...very ambitious! Good luck, and I'm just glad it's not me.

Happy New Year!

Tanya said...

Oh no!! What a major job! I made a One Arc Double Wedding Ring for my brother and sister-in-law maybe 8 years ago using Ellen Hopkins booklet. As I recall it worked out very nicely though her system leaves holes all through it till the very end and you wonder if it will all come together. Take a deep breath!

Susan said...

I will be reading your post w/interest for I hope to make 2 DWR quilts for my daughter (by June) and daughter in law (by October) for a 5th anniv and a wedding. I have never made a quilt before but am determined to do this. Advice will be appreciated.

The Calico Quilter said...

Well, to be fair I'm making what I call a 'cheater' double wedding ring with solid arcs instead of pieced arcs. But I will be posting as I sew and you can see the construction. I would never recommend these as a starter quilt!