Tips for Double Wedding Ring Quilt

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People are all intrigued by double wedding ring quilts.  I get comments all the time from viewers about making one.  I thought today I would share a few tips that will help you succeed should you try to make one.

First off, all DWR (double wedding ring) quilts are not the same.  They vary in the size and shape of the pieces that go around the melon shaped piece.  For me, this time around mine are all the same making it a little easier than the last DWR quilt I made.  To start, piece the segments together making an arch and sew that arch to one side of the melon as shown.  Iron to the center.

Dwr-1

Sew together another arch.  This time, I have two extra pieces on each end of the arch.  Typically in most DWR patterns those pieces are a slightly different shape.  Find the middle of the arch and the melon.

Dwr-2

Flip it over right sides together and pin.  Sew from edge to edge then press to center melon again.  Now put your iron away.  You won’t be pressing again until the quilt top if finished.  I know that’s hard for you pressers out there but honestly, don’t press anymore.

Dwr-3
Make two pieced melons.  Here now is the step that I never imagined when I thought of making a DWR quilt.  I thought each melon had to be sewn to the background piece…not quite true-here’s the trick.

Take your two pieced melons.
Dwr-4

Turn them right sides together.  Put one pin at the first intersection as shown.

Dwr-5

Put the piece in your machine and stitch from the edge to ALMOST the pin.  Stop about a stitch or two from the pin.

Dwr-6

DON”T PRESS.  The reason no pressing is done now is because as you press, the pieces become less and less flexible.  We need flexibility.  Further more, the DWR pattern was originally made as a hand  pieced quilt.  Trust me our fore-mothers didn’t jump up and press all the time.

Notice that the melons are attached where they intersect at the pink and red squares.

Dwr-7

Find the middle of the melon and the background piece.

Dwr-8

Flip right sides together and pin in place.  Work with melon at the top.   Notice where my pins are.  Sew from just seam line of the pin on the left around to the pin on the right stopping at the seam…but don’t start sewing quite yet.

Dwr-9

Take time and make sure that background piece is in place.  It should look like the picture.

Dwr-10

Put it in the machine and sew.  Make sure to stop at the intersection at the last pin.  You can’t see it very well but notice in the picture my left hand is between the two pieces.  As I sew I am re-positioning that background piece.  If you don’t do this, you are sure to get some puckers.  Every time you sew a melon to a background piece keep your hand there to guide that background piece along.

Dwr-11

Now  your piece should look like this.  It’s time to sew the other side down.  Find the middle of both the melon that is free and the background fabric.

Dwr-12

As you bring the pieces together take time to make sure the background piece is positioned properly.

Dwr-13

Work with it until it is right.  This is a little tricky.

Dwr-14

Pin it down and sew like you did the other melon.  As tempted as you are…NO PRESSING.

Now, it should look like this.  Despite what you might think, this is actually a double wedding ring block.

Dwr-15

The next step is to sew the pieced blocks together.  Use the same method as before.  To make the row, manipulate the “blocks” as shown.  One with an inny and the next with an outy.

Dwr-16

You can see how they will match up with the first row.  Once you have rows done sew them together.  The first and last rows are slight different but if you get the rhythm of this, you can manage that too.

Before I sewed a DWR quilt, I had no idea it could be sewn in rows.  I thought it went together block by block.

If you have other questions, ask away.  I’ll answer if I can!!

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Comments

  1. Sue L. says:

    Thanks for all those wonderful tips. I love this quilt but never quite got the courage to try it. I have some pieces already partially sew that were given to me some years ago. Now I might just have to get them out and try it again.

  2. Heather L says:

    Thank you for this post. There is always a ‘trick’ to things and I always want to know them in order to be successful. This quilt is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L !!!

  3. Mary says:

    Jo I want to thank you for all you do. Its going to be a beautiful quilt. I would love to learn how to do it. You had templates made can you tell us what magazine you used?

  4. Debbie B says:

    Beautiful! Thanks so much for all the tips.

  5. Cathy Kieser says:

    Hey Jo, thank you so much for posting this. I would really like to know what rulers you are using. Does it make a difference? And have you tried others that didnt go together so well? Sure seems like this works well for you. I love your colors and the scrappy look. Im going to have to try my hand at this. But would really like to know the rulers you use. By the way, I love your blog! and going to have to try to meet you some time!

  6. Great peek into the workings of a DWR quilt Jo! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. mary says:

    I love the dark melons, would never have thought of doing it.

  8. Sydney Holmwood says:

    This is so beautiful! Have not attempted this pattern yet! Love the dark background!

  9. I don’t know if I will ever tackle this quilt, but I so appreciate your showing us tips. Thank you.

  10. Lisa Mikel says:

    The quilt will be very beautiful. Thanks for sharing the tips on making one. I may be brave enough to try making one someday.

  11. Geri Bono says:

    Great tips on working this difficult top…..where/ who did you get this from? Are your pieces cut from dies or rotary/ template/ ruler? ALMOST tempted to try it!

  12. terry says:

    question,first time making a WRQ
    MY INSTRUCTION BOOK SHOWS SEWING IN ROWS ,BUT IAM HAVEING TROUBLES WITH MY FOUR PEAKS BEING SHAPE AFTER SEWING ROWS TOGETHER.IF ANY ONE CAN HELPED ID BE VERY HAPPY.

  13. will says:

    I am about to try a Drunkards Path but I think this will be next..

  14. raksmum says:

    Your quilt turned out wonderful! I am in the process of making one and boy it is a lot of work. I am thinking way ahead of myself but cannot seem to understand how to do the binding.

  15. Alma says:

    Thanks for the detailed instructions! Am stuck on a DWR and this will help me greatly!!

  16. Sarah says:

    Too cool! Thanks for such great pictures and details! I am thinking/debating/mulling over the idea of trying one of these soon! This will help! Sarah

  17. Kathy says:

    Fabulous tututorial for us newbies!

  18. Julia says:

    Ive been quilting for 20 years and have successfully pieced most of the really difficult quilts, including several DWR. But I have never seen this method before and I’m really excited to try it! Ive always sewn the intersecting “corners” together last- and I’ve hated it! I always say “Never again” every time I finish a DWR project, but I cant wait to start on a new one using your piecing method. Thank you for teaching an old dog a new trick. ;-)

  19. jeanette says:

    I have a hard time to get my melon points to be right at the end point

  20. Carmen says:

    The DWR quilt is beautiful. I’ve read your tips but I don’t think there’s any chance of me EVER doing one, I just don’t have that much patience. LOL

  21. I just finished the top of a dwr quilt,except for the 15 melons that goes around the quilt to fill in the innings, as you put it. this is hard for me to explain, i’ll give it my best shot. when I match up the end of the melon to the contrasting color on the top, [mind you I'm only filling in the pieces around the top], the raw edge I don’t know how to work it in, because the top piece that I’m trying to match is already sewn leaving that raw edge on the melon out beyond the seam. my pattern just say to fill in and that’s all. hope you can help me.

  22. Angie says:

    So glad I found this! I have been given all the pieces for an antique DWR quilt. The fabrics appear to be authentic feedsack prints.! I’ve been looking at this treasure for 3 years but was too intimidated to try piecing it together. Thanks to your instructions, I may gather the courage to actually do it. Thanks so much!

  23. kelly says:

    thank you so much for this tutorial. most instructions only deal with the making of one block or a row and don’t tell you how to piece the complete quilt. I’m giving it a try.

  24. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Amazing! I sure wish I had all of your tricks ,oops I meant tips, when I had made my Double Wedding Ring quilt. I really took my time and tried to get everything lined up block by block. It was a beautiful quilt that I was very proud of until about a month ago. I received a call from a very dear friend who had bought the quilt, to inform me that after she had washed it there were several seams that had shredded and come apart and that the way I had closed it looked really awful. So she sent it back to me to see if I could get it fixed. After close examination, I informed her that yes it could be fixed but it was going to take a long time. Just about broke my heart and love of quilting to have failed so miserably at a quilt. But, my live and learn kicked in with my attitude and it will not defeat me. I am going to try to make a new DWR quilt using Cheryl Phillips Rings That Bind quilt book pattern; then when completed go ahead and try doing the piece by piece method you have so fabulously described. Sorry I got carried away with the comment…..Thanks for sharing all of your Tips, Tutorials, Blog Posts and all the Delightful free Quilt Patterns! Have a great day!

  25. Pat Kennedy says:

    i never saw a DWR in another color besides white. I love the dark contrast you chose! Great choice.

  26. Betsy Lowe says:

    Another question: Did you foundation piece the rings?

  27. Laurel Hausman says:

    Beautiful quilt! However, I am looking for directions on how to add the batting and backing on a curved quilt top. I have an Accuquilt Go Big and used that to cut all the pieces, then stitched the top together. I am pleased with the result. How do I back it? Help!

  28. daniella wilson says:

    This is the quilt pattern I’m looking for! Could you please tell me where you got it?

  29. Jo says:

    The pattern will be featured in American Patchwork and Quilting in the upcoming year.

  30. Tina says:

    Thank you for the tuition, bought a set of templates from the show table at the quilt club annual show and to my surprise it was only $2. I had to look twice more as I was expecting $20 but no, it was right so I feel very blessed as I could not afford the new templates! So now I have no excuse not to try it out but you made me feel a bit more confident, many thanks Tina

  31. Mattie BROWN says:

    I have the quilt top but how do i finish off with the round edge ?Do i sew it onto another piece or just put the filler in along with the lining ?

  32. Jo says:

    You will need to bind it as is…no filler. Look up on Youtube and try to find a video that shows curved edge binding. You do need to cut your binding strips on the bias. That’s a MUST!!

  33. Bronwyn says:

    Could you advice on what you do when joining arch with end squares to the melon and then this completed piece to centre background piece. Do u start and stop sewing 1/4 inch in or sew to end. I ask because my instructions say to do this but it is so much hassle and I still don’t get joins neat. I see from your photo that the background piece appears twisted at the end, which makes me think you sewed without leaving 1/4 inch start. Does your way hide the twist once connected to other ring?

    Does this make sense?

    Thanks

  34. Jo says:

    ugh. I’d like to have an answer for you but to be honest, I don’t remember. It’s been awhile since I made it. I do know that I played with a bit to get my method down.

  35. Marie of Nz says:

    Looking at ‘squaring off ‘ the sides of the quilt. I have a 4 inch boarder around the edges at the top (middle of the melon) But I am stuck at the corners as they end in a full circle. Do I use the curve shape on both sides and inset a square in the middle of the two melons? (in the case of photos above on pic five it would be a join between the red and pink floral parts of the melon. ) Am I even on the right line of thinking? Was never given the full pattern so have no instructions for the outside boarder. Help plese, this is doing my head in.
    Many thanks Marie

  36. Jo says:

    I don’t know what you want to do. I have only done ones with curved edges. I really don’t know how to do it any other way.

  37. Nancy says:

    I. Am about to give the kit away. I have taken it apart three times and can’t get it to work. I even recut the melons. ,I am a beginner and this quilt is too difficult. I have a lot of time and money invested in it. Don’t know if I should keep trying to do or figure it is beyond my ability.

  38. Jo says:

    I would go to your local quilt shop and see if someone can help you.

  39. Roberta says:

    I have a pattern for the dwr Ive got the arcs appliqued to the back Now I am trying to set the blocks together and I cant seem to get it to look right Please help if you can

  40. Doreen Haywood says:

    A friend at church has a double wedding ring quilt top that was made by her husbands Aunt. She has asked me to enlarge the quilt to fit a queen size be. However I can see a lot of problems with the quilt top. There are a lot of puckers in the arches and will not lay flat. I am afraid I am going to have to take it apart and resew it. before I can even think about adding borders to enlarge it. Any suggestions?

  41. Jo says:

    I have no advice and I wouldn’t do it. You’re kind to consider but I never do any custom work.

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