Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bit off a little too much...

I did exactly what I was trying to avoid. Biting off more than I can chew. I did it anyway. Gah!

Things were moving along pretty well, at the beginning of my Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along. I was also in the midst of prepping for Quilt Market, but things were getting done, and I had it all scheduled. (Schedules keep me moving forward. They're essential for my ADD brain.) Then it happened. I hit a wall. The disdainful hand/foot/mouth disease is completely to blame. Both of my daughters got it; my sweet Nora, then Little Miss Molly. I've been able to scrape by with the help of my mother-in-law, and get the bare minimum done, just to keep my head above water. Under the surface, I'm scrambling like mad.

Ilness came at the most inopportune time. Really, the worst time of the year. And my babies needed their mama, more than I needed to keep up on the quilt along. I thought I could keep it all going, when only Nora was sick. Once it spread to Molly, it just wasn't going to happen. I feel guilty. I knew you'd understand, though, and I wanted to make sure you knew that I will keep it going.

I'm leaving for Quilt Market, in Houston, bright an early in the morning. I'll update while I'm on the road, and we'll get back on track once I get home. I'll update the schedule soon.

Thank you all for staying by my side, and being understanding.

Love you all!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along - Cutting Instructions

Hi! I'm so sorry about having to delay my posts. After being a work-at-home mom for over 8 years, you'd think I'd get use to my kids getting sick, unexpectedly. It doesn't seem to work that way, though. And when it happens, I have to push some things down on my "to do" list. Thank you for understanding!

I'm going to update the schedule, but we should be pretty close to finishing when I planned to.

Are you ready to cut some fabric?

I have three new videos for you! I'm thrilled to share them with you, and I think they will really help with the next step in the quilt along.

The first video has more info and tips for planning out your Double Wedding Ring quilt design. You can still download the printable coloring sheets, if you haven't gotten the chance, yet.

In the next two videos, I talk all about cutting your fabric for the pieced arches and solid arches. In an upcoming video, I'll share how to make the improv arches.

Here's a cutting guide for your pieced arches:

*There are 12 arch pieces and 2 cornerstones for each melon

1 Full Ring

  • 48 arch pieces
  • 8 cornerstones
2 Rings
  • 84 arch pieces
  • 14 cornerstones
4 Rings
  • 144 arch pieces
  • 24 cornerstones
You can join the Flickr group, anytime. And if you're on Instagram or Twitter, our hashtag is #dwrqal.

Next time, we'll be piecing our arches! See you soon!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Life can sure throw some curve balls.

I'm sorry. I have to push the DWR Quilt Along back another day. My youngest daughter got really sick last night, and I was at the ER with her, until midnight. She's been sick all day, battling a fever that just won't break.

The videos have been filmed. I will be doing the final editing, tonight, and will get all caught up between now and Thursday.

Stay with me! Just think of this as some extra design, coloring and template prep time. See you Thursday.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Double Wedding Ring QAL: Update

Hi Everyone!

The next video, for the quilt along, is almost ready. I just have to do a little editing. I'm also in the midst of getting prepared to leave for Quilt Market (which is next week, ahhhhh!). I'll have the next blog post and video ready to post for tomorrow.  I'll be back on schedule for Thursday.

Keep on coloring, and have your templates ready! We'll be cutting and piecing our arches in no time!

See you soon!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along - Preparing the Templates

Welcome to the next post in my Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along!

Now it's time to talk about our templates and get them prepped for cutting and preparing our fabrics. The Double Wedding Ring block pattern, that we are working with for this quilt along, was designed by Sharon Schamber. The design is based on Sharon's Piec-lique technique, for easy curved seams. To get the most out of this quilt-along, I recommend getting one of the patterns. (If you purchse it from my store, please use the code: Inspiring for 15% off.)

Now that I've gotten the business part out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff!

Did you download your Double Wedding Ring coloring pages? I hope you've had a little fun with designing your own DWR.  It's so much fun to play around with colors, and to see how many different ways they can "flow" around the rings of the DWR. I admit, I love coloring. Always have. I just have to keep my coloring pencils out of the hands of my kids. Otherwise, they're never "mine" again.

Are you ready? Let's jump right in, and talk about the templates. I prepared a video that will walk you through each step of preparing your templates. In this post, I'll talk briefly about them, but you'll really get the most from watching the video.

The Templates:

In your packet of templates, you'll find each of the following, pre-printed on freezer paper:

This is our main layout template. See how it's shaped like an apple core block? As we move forward, we will use this to help up put together each of our units. When we have our finished units, they will be set together a lot like an apple core quilt design.

Layout Template D 
These are out cut-out templates for the centers of our arches, and for the center of the apple core unit. We will be using these to cut our background fabrics.

Cut-out Templates C & D 
This set of arch templates is for Step 1: Paperless Paper Piecing. We will be using these to cut and prepare our fabrics for our pieced arches.
Step 1: Paperless Paper Piecing
This set of arch templates is for Step 2: Turning. We will be using these templates for each type of arch: pieced, solid, and improv. It will help up create a smooth curved edge in preparation for sewing.

Step 2: Turning
All of the templates, that we will be using, are printed on freezer paper. If you are making your own, at home, please preshrink your freezer paper (I show you how in the video), to prevent inaccuracies, with multiple uses. To print on freezer paper, cut it to size (either letter or legal size), and be sure to orient it so your printer will print onto the paper side.

Once you have all of your arch templates prepped, this is what they should look like.

Next up, we'll prep our fabric, and get started on our pieced arches.

See you Monday!!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along: Let's Talk Fabric

Welcome!! Today we're going to talk about one of my most favorite things: Fabric. I have a confesstion. I'm an avid fabric collector. Some may call it "hoarding", but I prefer to call it "collecting". Maybe you can relate? My fabric stash is made up of a bit of everything: treasured reproductions, florals, stripes, solids, new, old, and even some rare, hard to find prints. When I can, I like to pull from my stash for projects that I have in mind, or am starting. This is especially true when I'm trying out a new technique or pattern, and want to make sure I can do it, before I cut into more special fabrics. If I may, I'd like to encourage, and recommend, that you consider this as you begin your Double Wedding Ring. I'm going to be teaching you a technique that, most likely, is very new to you. It can be much easier to learn it when you're not worried about messing up your lovely fabric.

I'm going to be demonstrating three different ways to use fabric for making your arches, which are generally the focus of the Double Wedding Ring design. These are: solid arches, pieced arches and improv pieced arches. Using solid arches, makes creating your DWR fast! If you're apprehensive about piecing your DWR, using solid arches might be the way to go. Pieced arches are what we see more of, traditionally. I'll be showing you how to piece these arches with Piec-lique; no paper-piecing required! Then there's improv pieced arches. Did you know that improv and DWR could even go together?? I cannot wait to show you how to make them!!
Improv Pieced Arches - Nordika by Jeni Baker!
As you begin thinking of the fabrics you'd like to use, also think about which method (solid, pieced, and improv) that you want to try for making your arches. Also consider if you'd like to work with prints, solids, hand-dyes, batiks, or a combination. What your fabric is made of, is also an important consideration. I always recommend starting with good quality quilting cotton. As you're learning this technique, and possibly trying the DWR for the first time, you'll probably find cotton fabric to be easier to work with. Once you are comfortable with the technique, and your awesome new skills, trying different types of fabric blends could be a lot of fun. Can you imagine how lucious a DWR made from voile would be? Oh my! But start with cotton. You'll thank yourself later.
I made this one with hand-dyed cotton fabrics.
Prewashing. I've been a quilter for 13 years. In my time as a teacher, a member of guilds, and a quilting-based business owner, I've heard it all about prewashing. I'm going to be completely honest with you. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't prewash. (Are you shocked?) There are definitely times, like with turned-edge applique, that I have "rules", and they exist to give me the final results that I want to achieve. Then there are times that I prewash simply because I don't want to risk any bleeding. And there are other times that the "sewing bug" bites, and I impulsively start cutting and sewing, with little regard to whether or not my fabrics have been prewashed. With this block, I highly recommend prewashing, especially if you're past "trying it out" and want to create a Double Wedding Ring quilt that will, someday, be an heirloom piece.

Why prewash for the Double Wedding Ring? Well, I'm not hosting a debate, here, so I'm simply going to pass along information that you can take, and consider, or decide not to use. Prewashing removes any chemicals and excess dyes from the fibers. If you choose fabrics that contrast a lot, like the red and white DWR I'm making, prewashing will keep you from having a heart attack, as I did, when I saw the red start bleeding into my white background. I had already cut all of the pieces, for my arches, and I could have kicked myself. I ended up washing them, though, and I'll save you the drama that came from washing precut fabric. I don't recommend it, at all. If you're using fabrics that are from different manufacturers, and from different decades (like I did), prewashing can help the fibers to relax and shrink back to where they're meant to be. Whatever your choice, please be consistent. If you're going to prewash, be sure to prewash all of the fabrics that you'll be using for your Double Wedding Ring. And if you choose not to prewash, don't let a prewashed piece sneak into the mix. You may end up with a wonky arch, or center, when you weren't going for the wonky look.
One Melon from my red & white DWR
Another thing to consider as you think about fabrics, is the overall design that the rings of your DWR will take on. Will it be scrappy, or more planned out? I started a Pinterest board, and Flickr Group, for the quilt-along, to provide some inspiration for your own design. I also have some coloring pages for you, courtesy of my mom. You can print them out, and have some fun coloring your own designs. Here are a few of my own, and feel free to use them as inspiration, as well:
My red & white quilt design.
This will have improv and solid rings.
I love rainbow order!
Do you see the flower in this garden?
My modern rings.
Any of these designs can be used with solid, pieced or improv arches. Coloring and designing, like this, helps me plan out what I'm going to do next, and how much of each color I'm going to need. Scroll on down to download the coloring pages.

Let's talk fabric requirements. I don't expect you to make a huge quilt, right now, so I'm only going to give recommendations for a wall-hanging sized quilt. I think it's really important to color/plan your design, and figure out how many rings you want to make, and go from there. It also depends on whether or not you're going to make solid or pieced arches for the rings. This will determine how many different colors/prints you will use. 

One full ring, is 20.5" in diameter, unfinished. A quilt that is 2 rings x 2 rings, will be 34.5", across (from the widest part of the ring). 3 rings x 3 rings will be 48.5". 

Basic Fabric Requirements, for a 2 ring x 2 ring quilt (increase by 1/4-1/2 yard for every 2 rings you add:
  • 1 yard Background, for the centers of the melons, and rings
  • 1.5 yards for Arches 
    • 1/4-1/3 yard for each color of arch, or various colors for pieced arches
  • 1/8 yard for Cornerstones
  • 1.25 yards for Backing
  • 3/4 yard for Binding
Intersecting Cornerstones
The measurements are based on Sharon Schamber's Double Wedding Ring pattern. If you don't have one yet, you're welcome to order it, when you're ready. You can use the code: Inspiring for 15% off your order as well. And it's good for anything else you might need over at Purple Daisies. I'm also working on getting the pattern ready for you, as a download. As soon as it's ready, I'll post again. If you're not already following me, please do, so you will get the news as soon as it click "Publish".

Next time, I'll talk about the pattern and templates. If you don't have them yet, please don't worry. I almost prefer that you follow along, and give yourself some time to wrap your mind around Piec-lique and using it to make the Double Wedding Ring. Just remember, all of the instructions will always be here, just waiting for you.

Thank you for stopping by! See you soon!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along: Introduction

Welcome to my first quilt-along! I'm so happy you're here! The Double Wedding ring has been one of my favorite quilt blocks for as long as I can remember. It's also one of my favorite classes to teach. When I started thinking of which quilt design I'd like most to share in a quilt-along, Double Wedding Ring was it, without a doubt.

My first Double Wedding Ring quilt, from 2005.
As a teacher and quilter, I hear these words often: "curves are scary". They can be, yes. But, they don't have to be. The Piec-lique technique is going to take a lot of the fear out of curved seams. Piec-lique (pronounced "piece-li-kay"), developed by Sharon Schamber, is a simple technique for making smooth, flat, and accurate curves. I will walk you through, step-by-step, how to use this fabulous technique to make your very own Double Wedding Ring. If you'd like to get a little more cozy with the idea of Piec-lique, take a peek at my Piec-lique Circle post.

If you're ready to get started, you'll need just a few things:

**The Double Wedding Ring Pattern and Template will be available as a download, in the next couple of days.

If you're on the fence, and not sure you want to jump right in, don't worry! Follow along, read the posts, and see how it's all being done. I bet once you see it for yourself, you'll be ready to give it a try. I'll be sharing lots of tips and tricks, and putting it all video for you, too. And, I'll be sewing right along with you, so please get in touch with me if you have any questions.

Double Wedding Ring is such a fun, and satisfying, block to make. I know you'll be amazed by what you create! You can start with just one ring, which makes a great mini-quilt to display anywhere. Once you make one, and get the hang of the technique, you just might keep adding on to make a lovely little table runner. You might even surprise yourself and go bigger to create an heirloom piece that will be treasured for generations.

The Double Wedding QAL ( #dwrqal on Intagram and Twitter), will run for 6 weeks. I'll post each Monday and Thursday, through Monday Nov 11. Next time, on Oct 7th, I'll talk about fabric selection. If you'd like to join in, please do!

Here's the DWRQAL board on Pinterest.
You can join the Flickr group here. This is where we'll meet for questions and discussions.
You can find me Instagram and Twitter, too.

The master post for the DWRQAL schedule is {here}. It's a great reference, and perfect for bookmarking.

Did you hear about the DWR Challenge that the NYC Modern Quilt Guild is hosting? This quilt-along is a wonderful opportunity to try a new technique and end up with your very own quilt to enter in the challenge. It might be a bit of a time crunch, but they have multiple categories, so a small DWR is very doable.

I'm really looking forward to talking about fabric (one of my most favorite things) next week. See you then!