Quilt Finish: Double Wedding Ring

I have another quilt finish…It’s another from my UFO list.  I’m doing great with my UFO list.  This is the second finish from the list since July 1st.  I’m so glad to be finishing things.

Completing this one might seem like a small feat being all I had to do was bind it.  But this quilt has more of a story to it.  It might just look like a quilt to you but lots is packed into this quilt.
This is the second quilt I made like this.  The first one was for our daughter Kelli and Jason as a wedding present.  Kelli requested I make it just as you see it.  I had made a double wedding ring quilt for Buck.  Kelli loved it but wanted the rings smaller so I dug around and tried to find templates for a smaller ringed version.  This is it.

After Kelli’s wedding we decided to submit to American Patchwork and Quilting.  They accepted it.  We sent it in…but then months-even an year, went by and we didn’t hear anything.

We found out later that editors had switched at the time and the previous editor forgot to tell the incoming editor about the quilt.  It was finally published in June 2018 edition of American Patchwork and Quilting…3 years after Kelli’s wedding.

At the time I told you all that I had plenty of leftovers and fabric so I planned to make another one only this time I was making this for Kramer and me.  Many of you asked me if I would host a quilt along as many wanted to make it but was hoping to have a little more guidance.

I jumped in and said sure.  You can find the installments of the quilt along HERE.  There are 13 seperate blog posts that have instructions.

I was so excited and anxious to finish this up because I wanted it for our bed.

It was December of 2018 as we were finishing up with the instructions yet most of us were still sewing along.  The holidays hit and I didn’t get much sewing done.  I had hoped to pick it back up in the new year and hit it hard as we had a finishing date looming and how bad would it look that me, the hostess of the quilt along, wasn’t finished.

Then at the end of January Kramer, my husband, was diagnosed with lung cancer.

At first Kramer did the driving to his appointments and I rode along.  I pinned and pinned and pinned as we made two hour trips back and forth to the doctor.  I would get home and then sew everything I had pinned.

I was working so hard to have the quilt finished by the day I had committed to.

I pinned and with the pinning so much anxiety about his diagnosis into this quilt.

I put my anger into it.  I put my fear into it.  I put my resentment into it.

Then Kramer got too sick and couldn’t do the driving anymore.

He felt terrible about that.  He knew I always loved pinning or crafting in the car as we traveled.  He felt bad he couldn’t give that time to me.  I had to be the driver.

The quilt didn’t get finished for the big reveal I had promised.

By then Kramer had been hospitalized a time or two.

I was juggling so many things…
this quilt is the ball that I dropped.  I couldn’t do it all.

Any excitement I had for this quilt, a double wedding ring, had passed.  I was starting to realize that we would likely never sleep under it together.  The quilt lost any meaning for me.

Kramer died on June 2nd, 2019.

I lost any interest in sewing.  I only sewed on something enough so that I would have something to write about on the blog for my Monday morning post of What I’m Working On.  Even that was a struggle.

The quilt was in two pieces.  All I had to do was pin and sew that one seam for it to be a top.  Then after that, all I had left to do was to machine quilt it.

The 2019 July UFO list came out. I put this quilt on it.  I never touched it.

The 2020 July UFO list came out. I put this quilt on it.  I never touched it.

The 2021 July UFO list came out. I put this quilt on it.  I finally sewed the one seam to make it into a completed top.  Still the quilt sat.  I had no interest in it.

I didn’t have it in me to do the fancy quilting motifs I did for Kelli’s quilt.  This one got a simple stipple.  My excitement about the quilt still isn’t there.  I really don’t have anything else left to give this quilt.

I found a backing that I loved for it.  I had bought it at an auction.

I hoped that would get me excited about it.  It didn’t.

Even after I got the machine quilting done, it sat for a month.  I didn’t want to bind it.  That scalloped edge needed more than I felt like giving.

The quilt is done.  That chapter of my life is over.  I’m thankful I am done with it.

I should be happy and excited to put it on my bed…but I’m not.

I thought long and hard about donating it somewhere.  I don’t think I will.  I think I’m going to save it…I’ll likely give it to Georgia, my granddaughter when she gets married.  She’ll have the quilt I was working on the year she was born…the year her Grandpa died… the exact match to the quilt she was likely conceived under…It seems like it should be hers.

I did take some pictures and I’ll do a tutorial of sorts on how to bind a scalloped edge quilt…  You can find that HERE.
For now, I’m content that it’s finished.  The quilt isn’t hanging over my head anymore.  I can move forward.

I’m glad to have another quilt, especially this one, checked off my UFO list.

42 thoughts on “Quilt Finish: Double Wedding Ring”

  1. Jo, after reading this, I fully understand why it took so long to complete this quilt. Giving it to Georgia when she’s older is a good idea because it will be relevant to her. It is a stunning quilt.

    1. Someone gave me a framed antique quilt square which included this quote… attributed to “Marguerite Ickis, quoting her great-grandmother”:
      “It took me more than 20 years, nearly 25 I reckon, in the evenings after supper when the children
      were all put to bed. My whole life is in that quilt…All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those
      little pieces…I tremble smetimes when I remember what that quilt knows about me.”

      The story behind your beautiful quilt reminded me of this. It will for sure be a treasure for Georgia!!

  2. So much emotional baggage inside that quilt! I think it is a wonderful idea to save it for your granddaughter. It will bring her happiness instead of reminding you of sorrow. Hugs to you!

  3. This is a gorgeous quilt made during a terrible time in your life. I think by the time Georgia marries it will be the perfect gift for her. I’m glad you got to a place where you could finish it, time can make the difference.

  4. Ahh Jo, that quilt was a tough one, but cancer didn’t win. It is beautiful and it will be loved, all in due time.

  5. Cynthia from Nebraska

    Jo, I started making a quilt when my dad was diagnosed with cancer years ago. It was just a rag quilt, but I had most of it done (and of course would still have needed to clip it and wash it) when he took a turn for the worse and I quit working on it. About 10 years later I finally got it out and finished it and donated it; it went to either Boys Town or Magdalene House. I felt good about that. So I understand your not wanting to work on that quilt, but I’m glad you finished it (it’s beautiful).

  6. Jo, reading this brought me to tears. You are such a determined person to be able to finish it, in a great way. I am so proud of you and this accomplishment; I don’t think I could have done it. You’re right in thinking this would be special to Georgia and a link to her beloved Grandpa. I would just hold it close to me one more time, talk to Kramer about her and the quilt, put a letter on it about who you want it to go to and why and then put it safely away.

  7. What a beautifully written story Jo…Kleenex and all. Choosing Georgia as the recipient of this quilt is the perfect choice on ALL the levels that you mentioned…what a stunner..and one she will be thrilled to have and pass down as a true Kramer legacy…but you must type up that story and pass it along with the quilt so future K generations will know the whole, beautiful story.

    1. Mary Ann Lewellyn

      I so agree that the story should be documented. I would also recommend a fabric label for the back – a sort of dedication label.

  8. Jo,
    What a beautiful quilt. Where you are seeing your pain and loss, I am seeing love, courage, strength, commitment, kindness, and your family history. By finishing it, you put strength and perseverance into it. It is a great example you are setting for your children and grandchildren to put one foot in front of the other and keep living the life you were placed here to live in the best way you can. The quilt is simply beautiful and Georgie will cherish it. Thank you for sharing you stories.

  9. Kris in Naperville

    Quilting is so much more than just fabric/batting/thread… your honesty and eloquence made me teary… gifting it to Georgie for her wedding will attach joyous memories to that quilt, hopefully diminishing the sad memories. It is stunning and I congratulate you on the finish – closing a chapter… be blessed Jo!

  10. That is quite a story….. so glad the quilt is finished and it has a future…….

    I have never wanted to make a wedding ring quilt……. but this quilt has changed my mine…… I think it is the dark background……. it sets the quilt off….

    very very good looking quilt


  11. Julie Hutcherson

    Dear Jo, as a daily blog reader, i carried grief in my heart for you and your family, as you trod the path of your life the last few years.

    The tale of this quilt is the story of your life and your loss. You have told it here, very well.

    You bundled a portion of your despair and grief into this quilt, even so, it will bring joy to Georgia’s life.

  12. My husband passed in 2017, I had a large cross stitch piece I worked on at his chemo appointments. After he passed, I didn’t touch it for years. Finally finished it last year, but, like you, it holds no meaning. But, I’m glad it’s done and off my UFO list

  13. Dianne winter

    It’s such a beautiful quilt. I like that it’s not the ho hum white background usually found on the wedding ring quilt. The backing goes so well. Maybe one of your girls would like it or if no meaning at all just sell it . I’m sure you won’t have any problems . It us so pretty.

  14. This beautiful quilt will make a lovely wedding gift for Georgie. It is good you finished it and got it off the UFO list. Now you can move on and work on things that bring you joy. This quilt will bring joy to Georgie.

  15. The quilt is stunning. There is no doubt your granddaughter will cherish it at some time in her life. Would work one little piece of scrap from the quilt into a cross stitch piece, just for you. Life does go on even though the hole in your heart and being stays forever. Take care of yourself.

  16. such a heart breaking story, but a beautiful quilt, i like the dark background .
    Georgia I’m sure will be very happy to get it at that time.

  17. We understand Jo. There are more tears in this quilt than the number of times you have pinned. You will be with this one for the years it is Georgia’s. It is just beautiful and so is the story that goes along with it. Peace be with you. My prays as well.

  18. Sometimes you just have to struggle through to an end in order to finish that particular chapter of life. This quilt went through a lot of sadness but it will have a happy ending with Georgia; the “cancer” quilt has now become a wedding quilt. My mother started an embroidered state flower quilt shortly after she was married in 1953. It was finished it in the mid 1980’s. She always said that every time she got a good start on it again, someone would die. She finally finished it after the death of her mother. I have the quilt; it’s beautiful but I don’t use it. It’s a “sad” quilt for me but my daughter loves all 48 blocks of it. It’s day will come (maybe this Christmas) to be a happy quilt again and the day will come for your quilt to be a happy one. This quilt will tie the love you and Kramer shared to Georgia in a very special way.

  19. Make a paper copy of this post and keep it with the quilt; that way Georgia will always have the history of the quilt in Grama’s own words. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing the hard, honest journey.

  20. Thanks for sharing the story of the quilt – I think that any of us who have suffered a great loss can relate. I agree with some others here that while it holds the old angst, it also shows your strength.
    I have a cross-stich piece that I worked on while my father was ill; I did finish it eventually, but it is yet to be framed and hung. Fortunately, it evokes more good memories than bad for me now… perhaps this is a good time for me to give it its due…

  21. This really brings meaning to the reason it was so hard for you to finish this beautiful quilt. I’m still sorry for your loss. Kramer was so good to you – as you were to him!

  22. Jo, I cried as I read so many of the comments here. I think the blog reader who wrote about wrapping yourself in the quilt and talking to Kramer about the quilt, family, and especially Georgia and the quilt’s future would complete it’s circle for now. You have great strength to move on to other happier projects.

  23. Remember Jo, quilts will give you a hug, keep you warm, dry your tears, listen to your secrets, and stay as long as you want them. The quilt did not let you down, the cancer did and you prevailed. Teach Georgie about all the love in this quilt and she will not forget. While this quilt reminds you of the pain, for Georgie it will only be joy.

  24. Through tears I read your story and it adds so much to the admiration I hold for you and your family. You are amazing. I love the quilt because of how the dark blue as the background makes it outstanding and the backing is perfect.
    It really is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It means more than you know to so many of us!

  25. Well done, Jo! I always think stippling is good choice, especially on a classic pattern with all those fabrics and colors. Thanks for sharing it’s story, and yours.

  26. Congratulations on a beautiful finish!
    The. Quilt. Is. Stunning!!!
    Some projects get infused with a lot of memories, and memories are sweet, but hard sometimes.
    I’ve been loving your blog for many years, and I was so inspired when you blogged about your first Double Wedding Ring quilt, the one you made for Buck. The navy blue background was something I’d never considered, and I loved the idea!
    At the time, I was sure I’d never have the time for so many patchwork arches, so I decided to do “solid” arches in batik on a navy background.
    The funny thing is … My non-patchwork arches didn’t make the quilt “fast” … I cut out the quilt in 2013 and worked on it sporadically … and it’s still at the “almost-a-quilt-top” stage! I still love it, and it’ll get there eventually!

  27. Lorraine Hess

    I’m glad you finished this quilt. I think saving it for Georgie is a great idea. It will mean so much to her and be like a hug from a grandpa that only got to hold her for a little while.

  28. big pat on the back. what a wonderful way to make the journey and to know where this positively gorgeous quilt will end up one day. this is the first one i have seen with the dark fabric and it is wonderful. thanks for sharing.

  29. All of the emotions that are tied into this quilt. It sounds that you will experience relief and more healing now that it is done. Blessings to you.

  30. Shannon M in Texas

    Congratulations on finishing this beautiful quilt and working through some of the grief. Georgie will certainly appreciate the love in every stitch. I agree that she will see the strength and perserverence of her Grandma Jo.

  31. Judith M Fairchild

    Jo dear, I started reading your post in January of 2018, I read and replied with things I hoped helped you through that bad time. So glad you have come to terms with your loss. It’s part of us who have lost a beloved person. I enjoy your joyous times with your children and grandchildren. I marvel at all you accomplish. Continued prayers for peace for you and your family.

  32. Glad you got it finished. It is beautiful as is all your quilts. I kinda would keep it for myself as a memory quilt of the good times, but for your granddaughter sounds good too. Ah, what to do with a finished UFO? So glad it’s off your plate.

  33. No, that is a stunning quilt, and one that I have the pattern for-cut it out of the magazine it was in.
    I totally understand how that quilt was so hard for you to get back to and finish. One day in 2009 I was making a blueberry dessert when two policemen showed up to tell me my daughter was dead—struck by a car while she was out running, training for a marathon. She had just turned 22.
    I never made that dessert again. Just could not do it.
    A quilt is much harder to go back to and finish, than a recipe, and I can certainly see why it was so hard for you.

    Fitting that Georgia will have it one day. Made with love by her grandma, during a very trying time of her life….but you overcame and finished it!!
    I hope to make it one day, and will be praying for you with every stitch should I actually make it!

  34. As always, thank you for opening up your heart to us. I think your idea of giving it to Georgia when she grows up is lovely. For all the layers of meaning it has for you, this quilt will likely have a different layer of meaning to her: it will remind her of the quilt that she grew up with, perhaps the quilt of which she has the earliest memory, even if she’s not aware of it. What a sweet happiness that will bring her. This quilt will be doing what it was meant to do, all along, in good time.

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