I’ve had this idea for a while to try to make more traditional quilt designs with an improvisational approach. After many hours in the sewing room, I’ve discovered that I need to use this time to just play, and for me, that is what improvisational sewing is all about. What I love about this approach is that there are no rules, and if you don’t love something cut it up and start over, or transform it into something else.
I wanted to take on making my own modern version of the double wedding ring quilt, and I knew this would push me because of all of the curved pieces in this design. Every curve was cut freehand and sewn without pins, and rulers were only used to square up larger pieces. I really tried to let go of the rules on this one!
After looking at lots of photos of traditional double wedding ring quilts, I mentally deconstructed the pattern into its most basic forms, and then created these out of improvisationally pieced panels of fabric.
In my quilt, the rings are made up of the negative (light colored) spaces. It makes the “rings” more subtle, though they’re still there. I also chose to piece everything from scraps, as I think this gives the quilt more depth and visual interest.
I also wanted the quilting to complement the design, so I rolled up my sleeves and quilted different free-motion designs in different areas of the quilt. It took me quite a while, but I think it was worth it. I’ve never quilted a quilt so heavily– and I likely won’t do this often– but it’s nice to know I can when the design warrants this level of quilting detail.
One reason I was motivated to finish this quilt was so that I could enter it into the double wedding ring quilt challenge that is wrapping up at the end of the month. There are so many cool quilts entered already, and I love seeing how differently people can interpret the same design.
I also wanted to test my design out on a smaller scale, so I finished a mini quilt using the same improv techniques. For this quilt, I used organic wavy lines for the quilting.
It finished up quickly, and I had so much fun sewing it. I highly recommend taking a little time to just play around with your scraps and designs to see what happens!