Hi, it's Amy here today to share a Sizzix Quilting Tutorial for the New Year.
I think that the Double Wedding Ring block is one of those traditional, well loved blocks that is on most quilter's bucket lists. Maybe it is time to check it off yours! It might seem overwhelming to begin a quilt like this especially if you are new to curved piecing. I find that the best way to tackle a project like this is to make a smaller project first, like a mini quilt or bag or pillow, using the block design to get a little practice and learn a few lessons before starting it on a larger scale. Today, I thought I would give the double wedding ring die a try and simply make a table topper measuring 18 1/2" diameter, using just one complete unit.
Remember, if you are going to use the Double Wedding Ring die, it is a BigzPro 25" die requiring the Big Shot Pro Die Cutting Machine with extended accessories (cutting mats and tray).
Sizzix provides a handy pdf instruction page that you can download on Sizzix.com that will help you through the assembly of the double wedding ring unit but I am hoping that my step by step photos and hints will supplement that and make it even a little bit easier.
To begin this project, I cut the center unit of the double wedding ring as well as the 4 melon shaped pieces out of my background fabric which is Finnelopy in Aqua from Novella by Valori Wells. I liked the icy, wintery feeling of the print and the white birches. I decided to choose my fabrics to not only coordinate colorwise but to also go along with the "birch forest in winter" sort of feeling I was going for. So when I created the outer rings, I cut fabrics from woodgrain prints and whites and greys. If you look at your die, you will see that one of the shapes is a square. You will need 2 squares for each of the melon shapes you cut. In this case, cut 8 squares. You will also find a piece that has sides that are identically angles. They form the center of the arc and you need to cut 6 of those per melon piece; or in this case 24. Finally, there is a shape that has two angled sides but one side has a more drastic angle. It is used at the end of each arc and you need to cut 4 per melon shape for a total of 16. When you cut those pieces, your fabric should be placed on the die with right sides facing up for 8 pieces and right sides facing down for 8 pieces because they are directional.
To create your first arc, lay out three of the identically shaped centermost pieces with an angled piece on either end as shown above. Stitch with a 1/4" seam and press.
Now it is time to attach this arc to the melon shaped background piece. At first you might think that they are not going to fit together because the melon piece looks too long.
That's because you need to account for seam allowances. The melon piece will extend 1/4" beyond the arc on both ends. I found that it was sufficient to pin the arc at either end and then stitch.
Press the seams out, away from the melon.
Now it is time to assemble the second arc. In this case, it is laid out the same way as the first arc but a square is added at either end.
When you stitch this arc together, you will note that the square ends also need to account for the 1/4" seam when they are attached (see image above). Once this arc is attached to the melon, carefully matching the seams on the end pieces, press with the seams facing out. Create 4 units.
To assemble the double wedding ring, you first attach two units to the sides of the center piece. Take note that the squares of the arch will extend beyond the center piece.
Next, attach the other units to the top and bottom, again matching the seams carefully at the beginning and the end of each unit. Spray your block with a bit of starch and press. It should lay nice and flat.
Next, I backed my finished block with Therm O Web Fusible Fleece and made a quilt sandwich with some backing fabric which I spray basted to the back of the fusible fleece. I quilted straight lines on the rings/arcs of the block. Then, in keeping with my theme, I free motion quilted some vines in the melons and extending into the center of the block. I cut binding on the bias and bound.
The finished mini quilt is the perfect size for a table topper with a vase or candle in the center.
This project really went together nearly effortlessly. All the curved pieces matched up easily without my needing to tug a little here and skimp on a seam there (you know what I mean!). It's a testament to the precision of the die cutting system. I feel ready to tackle a quilt using this die now and perhaps I will once I settle on fabric choices....that's the next stumbling block!