Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Foundation Pieced Double Wedding Ring Quilts: A Book Review

I have double wedding ring quilts on the brain lately.  After Mod Pop I have a warped sense of curved piecing confidence (what!?!?) and I thought it might be nice to do a modern twist on a traditional pattern. It is a great way to use up those scraps, too!  


I was never one for rulers that are specific to a project or for tracing and cutting out templates.  I have it stuck in my head that I want to do this quilt via paper piecing.  I found this pattern and templates online.  They seem reasonable.  The commenters, though, seem to have troubles assembling the blocks.  Now, I do not know these folks or their quilting experience, so maybe they are not Mod Pop experienced and confident (ha!).  Regardless, I thought a book might be a good place to start.  

I bought Foundation Pieced Double Wedding Ring Quilts from Amazon last week.  I mean, seriously, it had the perfect title.  Maybe a quick book review is in order.  

Written by Sumiko Minei and translated by Ayu Ohta, this 64 page soft back book is filled with more variations on the Double Wedding Ring than you ever imagined were possible.  It is clear that the author's first language is not English.  However, the instructions for each individual quilt are written out in easy to follow step-by-step instructions, each with a clear accompanying photograph.  Each quilt variation is covered in great detail in those first 13 pages of instructions.  On first impression, the photos and brief description of each step are detailed enough to re-create that step at home.  There are even hints and tips as you go, which I always appreciate.

The one and only glitch (for me) is that the technique described is nearly a combination of paper piecing with reverse appliqué.  There's lots and lots of satin stitching to keep bits in place.  That's not at all my happiness. 


The author then takes you through 11 different variations on the DWR quilt (above) where she demonstrates how the different techniques can be used, gives ideas of color variations you might like and presents a brief description of the quilt stats such as block size, number of blocks used, thickness of border, etc.  I found this section to be particularly inspiring. It was really wonderful to see how you could interpret the same theme in so many ways using color placement.  I loved that.


The quilt eye candy is quickly followed by 2 pages of charts that give the fabric requirements for each variation.  It's super easy to understand and a great way to get yourself started.  

I especially love that included are pages and pages of coloring templates (woo hoo!) to photocopy and experiment with crayons.  I love a coloring page.  Nothing makes me happier.  There are, of course, also templates included to photocopy and use when cutting your fabric.  Included with the templates is a wonderful description of how you'd need to cut your fabric for that template, where to start stitching  etc.  It's all very clear and incredibly helpful.  The only negative here is that the book was originally written with metric measurements that were converted to imperial.  There is a disclaimer that if you choose to use imperial measurements the conversion may mean that your piecing is not incredibly accurate.  Huh.

The book is concluded with several suggestions for quilting your quilt.  It's incredibly inspiring to see.  I must say the patterns suggested are WAY beyond my ability, but it's always nice to have a few fresh ideas to stimulate my imagination.

All in all, it's a very nicely presented book filled with inspiration and very clear instruction.  However, as the techniques described here are primarily a reverse appliqué instead of the paper piecing I was looking for, I will most likely go ahead with the free online pattern I found earlier.  Still, this book did get my creative juices flowing.  For that I'm entirely thrilled to add it to my quilting library.  


12 comments:

Annabella said...

Hmm - just mention reverse applique and it's not my happiness at all lol but it looks interesting and I like the colouring...love colouring!! Good luck C - whatever you end up doing.

cheeky monkey said...

Looks great! I would just do the coloring part and let someone else sew the double rings. It looks stunning but I fear the complexity I can see there. I will be stunning when you finished it.

Leanne said...

I am making my pickle dish quilt which is just another DWR variation. I am sure you can do a DWR and piece all or most of the curves.

Sarah said...

Oh Cinders I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Catherine said...

I have just finished paper piecing my dwr quilt and then machine stitched it to the background material - I absolutely LOVE it
http://www.flickr.com/photos/61841646@N07/8587381716/in/photostream
Good luck

Canadian Abroad said...

And who will this quilt be for?!

Patchwork and Play said...

I was going to say what Leanne said...DWR is a pickle dish variation. I will be looking on to see how you use your new found knowledge....! Love some colouring too!

Flying Blind... said...

Good luck then, I think my brain just went pop!

tomomi mcelwee said...

Congratulations. You got the Japanese book. They think patchwork and quilting should be done by hand! Oh no, not for me. Yes and measurement is a big problem. Good luck!

Katy Cameron said...

Good luck with seeing it all through! I have visions of you sitting demoniacally with a massive box of crayola, scribbling away ;o)

Nicky said...

Similar to Katie Cameron! Hehe! Know what to send you in future you big kid!

I want to make a pickledish/DW quilt sometime in my future - would probably hand piece it though....

diane said...

i think a double wedding ring quilt is a nice slow project. Maybe only work on it once a month and when it's done, voila! It's done.

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