For me, the defining feature of a scrappy quilt is that I use-up scraps of fabric I already have, rather than select and acquire fabrics on purpose for a theme, color scheme, or design.
My recent Acid Trip quilt having used up nearly all of my long strips of scrap, I just have smaller pieces left, and a desire to use what I can and throw out the "crumbs" -- anything less than 2 inch square. (I don't have the patience for crumb quilting!) Moreover, I really enjoyed foundation piecing to make Acid Trip, so I seek another pattern I can do the same way. The Double Wedding Ring pattern (example above) appeals, because I can foundation piece my scraps onto the "melon slices" and go from there.
MAKING THE TEMPLATE
Google gives me images of the general look of a double wedding ring (DWR) tile, and I sketch them roughly: a large circle with melon slices intersecting it that will make other large circles when tiled. I make it fit a 12.5" square, because I have access to a ruler in that shape and size, so I think it'll make trimming my finished blocks easy. (Later on I realize that, because I drew my picture straight to the corners, and then added seam allowances, I'll actually be making 13" blocks, which will be 12.5" FINISHED... but I also realize that a DWR quilt isn't really made in square blocks, anyway, so the whole question becomes moot!)
But I need to simplify things, so I take one quarter of the picture, and trace it more neatly. The picture below shows my method; you can kind of see the messy pattern underneath, but on the surface paper I'm using measurements and a string-compass to tidy up one quarter.
My finished template has 4 pieces. (I label them A, B, C, and D, but these letters are a new nomenclature, unrelated to my drawing above.) A is the slender triangle that can either be cut as-is and sewn in segments to make the center of the ring, or cut on a double-folded fabric to get a diamond shape that makes the center of the ring. If I cut on the double-fold, I will position the stencil so I'm not adding seam allowances to the middle! B is the "melon slice". I have two B pieces, but they are the same. It's just nice to have a back-up template, especially if one gets lost or cut or something. Likewise, there are two C pieces for the intersections between rings. Note that the C pieces are not perfect squares, but are more like keystones or baseball diamonds. This is important, because making them perfect squares deforms the finished rings. Check out the picture at the start of this post to see what I mean. I am particular -- I want my rings to be round! And D is the almond that sits between the two melon slices.
I glue the pieces to an old cereal box, add quarter inch seam allowances, and cut them out. My quilting mentor looks at my work so far and says "You know they sell templates for that, right?" I answer "But I wanted it now!" . . . "She's a madwoman!"
Foundation piecing my scraps to used dryer sheets and light strips of muslin is so fun that I stay up late two nights in a row doing it! It's delightful to see my scrap stash get smaller and smaller while my colorful melon slices pile neatly higher and higher! I pick a few colors in the same range, and make four melon slices with them, then pick another set of scraps and do another four slices. So pretty!
All the scrappiness shall be in the wedding rings, but I want to pick a single color for the intersections, and a single background color. So this project is ongoing, with new melon slices being added as I get scraps. But it sure is more satisfying to see my scraps like this than in a jumble!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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