Monday, January 28, 2013

Wedding Ring Quilt Inspiration and Free Pattern Day!

The Double Wedding Ring is the most popular pattern in the history of quilting. Here are some inspiring quilts and free patterns!  To go to a pattern: Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the words "CLICK for PDF download" (or the hyperlinked website name) in the title above the quilt.

Note: Please check out our eBay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and unique vintage jewelry ! 

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, 2013 Raffle Quilt by the River City Quilters Guild (California);  photo by Quilt Inspiration

First place winner for "Best Group Quilt" in their 2012 quilt show, this is the RCQG’s Opportunity Quilt for 2013. It is adapted from Jennifer Chiaverini’s Caroline’s Wedding Quilt  (a Double Wedding Ring quilt embellished with floral appliqués, a cherished gift for a very special bride). The quilt was made by 25 applique artists and 4 piecers. This quilt has four gradations of red and green fabrics, creating an elegant luminous quality.  You can see the detail of the blocks in the close-up photo:

Bachelor's Wedding Ring by Eric Gunson of Pieceful Expressions

Shown above is Eric Gunson's "Bachelor's Wedding Ring". We first featured this stunning quilt in a 2011 Blue Quilt series called The Blues. Eric Gunson is the lead designer at Pieceful Expressions, which is his family's business in Sisters, Oregon.  To our knowledge they are no longer producing patterns, but you can sometimes find individual patterns on eBay or Etsy.

Double Wedding Ring design

The diagram below shows the pieces which form the rings in a basic Double Wedding Ring quilt:

In this diagram there are 6 fabric wedges in each arc, but there may be as many as twelve or more. The wedges can be cut from templates and pieced traditionally, or they can be foundation paper pieced. Once the arcs are constructed, they are attached to the melons (B) and center shapes (A) with curved piecing; alternatively, the finished arcs can be appliqued on a background block. In addition, the arcs can be made from a single fabric, without any piecing, as in the auction quilt shown below:

The Double Wedding Ring design - first published in 1928 - is believed to be a variation of an even older pattern called Pickle Dish (see the article by historian Barbara Brackman).  Barbara explains that a wedding ring quilt has four-sided patches in the arcs, whereas a pickle dish quilt has triangular pieces as shown below.

Pickle Dish Quilt, c. 1930, seen at Ebay (January 2013)

In this colorful 1930's Pickle Dish Quilt you can see that the rings are pieced with triangles that form spiky sawtooth points:

Close-up, 1930's Pickle Dish quilt

  Kaffe Fassett's Pickle Dish Quilt

Just when you thought the naming was straightforward, on the cover of Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Romance there is a hot pink quilt which looks like a cross between a fat wedding ring and a Dresden fan.  This is Kaffe Fassett's Pickle Dish Quilt. Whether you call it a Pickle Dish or a Double Wedding Ring, we love Kaffe's brilliant, vintage-inspired design !

Golden Wedding Ring, 1940's, seen at Ebay (January 2013)

This beautiful and unusual vintage quilt from the 1940's features a design known as a Golden Wedding Ring.  We love the sunny orange and yellow stars:

A 1989 pattern for a Golden Wedding Ring quilt, originally seen at Ebay, shows the construction of the blocks:

We can hardly wait to show you some more fabulous Wedding Ring quilts. In the meantime, here are some free patterns for your collection!

Forever Yours quilt, ~53 x 70", free pattern at Tilda's World (CLICK for PDF download)

Forever Yours pillows, free pattern at Tilda's World (CLICK for PDF download)

Beach Day baby quilt, ~33 x 43", free pattern at Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Jot Dot quilt, 72 x 84", free pattern by Denise Russell for Blank Quilting (CLICK for PDF download)

Lovey Dovey quilt, 52 x 52", free pattern by Marsha Evans Moore for Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Pickle Dish selvage block, free pattern at Modern Quilting by B (CLICK for tutorial)

Pickle dish mini quilt at Pie Lady Quilts,  based on a free pattern at Modern Quilting by B (CLICK for tutorial)

Viennese Waltz quilt, 85" square, free pattern by Natalie Crabtree for Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Blue Jean Baby quilt, 48 x 48", free pattern at Robert Kaufman (CLICK for PDF download)

To Have and to Hold, free pattern designed by Kathryn Smith for McCall's Quilting (CLICK for PDF download)

A Graceful Wedding, 70 x 83”, free pattern by Shelley Pagliai for Quilt Alliance (CLICK for PDF download)

Modern Love quilt, 43 x 43”, free pattern by Victoria Findlay Wolfe for Quilt Alliance (CLICK for PDF download

Garden Rings quilt, 84 x 96", free pattern at Robert Kaufman (CLICK for PDF download)

Double Wedding Ring Quilt, ~54 x 54", free pattern by Marsha Evans Moore for Free Spirit Fabrics (CLICK or PDF download)

Double Wedding Ring quilt, 61 x 75", free pattern by Debby Kratovil for Windham Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download) (designed for fusible applique)

Double Wedding Ring quilt, 54 x 70", free pattern by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Flea Market Fancy quilt, 97 x 106", free pattern by Lucy A. Fazely for Free Spirit Fabric (CLICK for PDF download)

Ophelia Wedding Ring quilt, 84" square, free pattern by Konda Luckau for Timeless Treasures (CLICK For PDF download)

Farah Flowers quilt, 60" square, free pattern by Debby Kratovil for P&B Textiles (CLICK for PDF download)

Three Ring table runner, ~21 x 42", English paper pieced, free pattern at Connecting Threads (CLICK for PDF download)

Dill Pickles quilt, 60 x 72", free pattern by Christine Stainbrook for Windham Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)

Bright Pickle Dish wall hanging, ~48" square, free pattern at All People Quilt (CLICK for PDF download)

Pickle Dish quilt, 60 x 60", free pattern by Michael Michalski for Fons and Porter (CLICK for PDF download)

Double Wedding Ring pillow, free pattern for pre-printed interfacing by Quiltsmart (CLICK for PDF download)

Image credits: Note: this post was updated on March 17,2023.  All images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs. Complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links.  Some of these are tutorials while others include downloadable (.pdf) patterns; we have tried to note which is which in the titles.  We update our links every 6 months as needed; however, websites may change their pages in between updates.  If any link is broken, we'd love to know so we can fix it; email us at quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Exuberant Color

One of the blogs we love to read is Exuberant Color by Wanda S. Hanson.  The name sums it up:  "exuberant" means "joyously unrestrained and enthusiastic".  Regarding color, Wanda says:  "I love color and am driven to create with it."  There are plenty of eye-popping quilts at Exuberant Color, and more: the blog is like a romp through the design and quilting process, sprinkled with tips gleaned from Wanda's 55 years of experience (she has been quilting since 1957).  It's no wonder that her site has racked up more than one million page views, and over 630,000 visitors from 179 countries!

Sparkling Stars, 2012, by Wanda S. Hanson at Exuberant Color

Sparkling Stars, above, is an example of Wanda Hanson's expert use of color and value, which makes the stars really sparkle. This stunning quilt was exhibited in a 2012 solo show at Ciel Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it was purchased by Lynne Tyler. We also just learned that more of Wanda's quilts will be exhibited at Ciel Gallery in February and March, 2013. Wanda selected part batik and part bright tone-on-tone prints in warm and cool hues for Sparkling Stars. Her favorite fabrics include Kaffe Fassett florals, and you'll even see African fabrics in some of her quilts.  Regarding her black-and-white stash, Wanda says:  "Of all of the black and white prints available I like the zebra stripes the best. Those who have been to my house know I have a "little zebra" in every room."

 Crazy Patch Quilt, 1998, by Wanda S. Hanson (in the collection of Wanda Hanson)

Wanda's interest in art quilting began in 1985, when she took a 3-day workshop with Nancy Crow (you can read the story here). Wanda's quilts exhibit an improvisational style that was quite uncommon in those days.  For example, the stunning quilt shown above is an example of crazy piecing with colorful, contemporary fabrics.  Wanda explains: "Crazy piecing [is] something I have been doing since the early 1970’s. It didn’t get any respect made with cotton fabrics until it got renamed ‘wonky’ and ‘liberated’. I would try to share my passion for it with others in the 1970's and 1980's but the reaction was that… well… I was crazy, just like my crazy piecing... During the early 1990’s when it seemed the art quilt movement was gaining speed, it was accepted more as a free way of working and was adopted by the newly inspired, previously non-sewers as more fun than traditional blocks." For more examples check out Wanda's crazy pieced quilt gallery.

Crooked Cobblestones 2, 36.5" x 34", by Wanda S. Hanson at Exuberant Color

The quilt shown above was included in Wanda Hanson's 2012 solo show  (as of this writing, this quilt is available for purchase at the Ciel Gallery website). She chose the name Cobblestones to refer to her original block design, which she has explored in a series of quilts; this is #2 in the series. The black-and-white print borders allow the colorful blocks to "pop", and the use of an inner border of the same fabric as some of the blocks makes it seem as if you are looking through windows in the middle of the quilt.  

Mini Colorwash Quilt by Wanda S Hanson at Exuberant Color

Wanda has been making colorwash quilts since 1990; you can see examples, and how her style has evolved, at her colorwash quilt gallery. Her first colorwash pieces were made with calico type fabrics, and from there she went to multicolor busy floral prints of a larger size.  The mini quilt shown above is made with tiny scraps of batiks; most pieces are less than 1" across as described in this post.  This piece was sold and is now in a private collection.

Skewed, approx. 39 x 44", by Wanda S. Hanson at Exuberant Color

"Skewed" is one of Wanda's recent finishes (January 2013).  An intriguing combination of textures, colors, values and lines can be seen in this quilt, which is pieced with uneven width strips. This represents one of Wanda's signature styles, and a series of work, which can be seen at her gallery of quilts pieced with uneven width strips.  About working in a series - which also is the subject of one of Wanda's classes - she says:  "Working in series is a quest for the best one I can make." Here are more of Wanda's inspiring words of wisdom:

~The lines are not "perfect" because I am not a perfect person. I like things with their subtle imperfections that look they have been made by a human being. Actually I like wonky even better than that. ~Wanda S. Hanson, in : A Quilting Day

~I don't let the quilting police into my home and I will accept my abilities, such as they are. I have been doing free motion work for 48 years. I don't have to prove anything to anyone else. ~Wanda S. Hanson, in: Practicing your Free Motion Quilting

~For those of us that believe the fabrics and the piecing design are the most important part of our quilts, it is paralyzing to try to dive into the quilting of the layers that may 'ruin' our quilt.  I know there are others out there that share my feelings; I read it on your blogs.  All over quilting designs sometimes mush the piecing design and beautiful custom quilting takes over and that is all you see.  I want my patchwork to be the star. I want the quilting to compliment but not take over.  I like simple quilting the best. ~ Wanda S. Hanson, in: Binding and Quilting

~ I believe in saving time, since we can't buy any more of it. ~Wanda S. Hanson, in: What makes me tick?

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Wanda S. Hanson.  In addition to her quilts that are represented by the Ciel Gallery, check out items for sale at her online shop:  Wandaful Quilts. Last but not least, on the sidebar at Exuberant Color you can check out a video, "My Film Debut",  in which Wanda presents her quilts (you'll be glad you did !)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

International Quilts From P.I.Q.F. 2012

Today we're featuring some wonderful quilts from different countries that were displayed at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in October, 2012.  We think you'll really enjoy these intriguing works from New Zealand, Germany and Japan!

Ride With Me, 35.5 x 37.5, by Joanne Mitchell, New Zealand

This enchanting merry-go-round pony is actually very high tech. There's a motion sensor sewn into the quilt which causes lights to flash and music to play whenever a viewer walks near it.  Joanne writes, "An original design based on the early carousel horse of my childhood. The original music from the old steam driven organ and the flashing lights are all part of the memory. Thanks for the technical assistance from my husband Paul and Carl of LED Dunedin."

Close-up of  Ride With Me

In this close-up, you can see some of the sparkling embellishments on the carousel itself, as well as the beautiful quilting on the horse's head and mane. Featured on the cover of  New Zealand Quilter,  "Ride With Me", won not only First Place but the Viewer's Choice Award in the Hoffman Challenge.

Mandala Magic, 69 x 69, by Judith Ross, New Zealand

Judith notes : " [The circular designs] of mandalas have always fascinated me. I enjoy the contrast between their restful symmetry and joyous colour. This original design is based on ceiling mandalas I saw in Sikkim temples. Techniques include printing on silk, machine piecing, applique, and quilting. The centre is a piece of the antique Indian zardozi embroidery." For more information,about Judith's creative \and original quilts, please visit Judith Ross' website.

Pineapple Blue, 61 x 84, by Brigitte Morgenroth, Germany

Blue ribbon winner for "Best Use of Color" in the World Quilt category, Brigitte says, "Pineapple is a variation of a log cabin pattern; the pattern is very clear and severe, but so interesting and modern thanks to the choice of colours and materials. Dupioni silk gives wonderful light and shadow reflections because it was sewn in different directions. This work is paper pieced, and the white circles are magnified through hand quilting."   For more information on this talented quilter, please visit Brigitte Morgenroth's website.

Zen by Yoshiko Katagiri,  Japan

P.I.Q.F. 2012 featured a special exhibit titled "Life", by very skilled Japanese quilter Yoshiko Katagiri. She created the "Life" exhibit in gratitude for the contributions of quilters and others around the world to the relief work after the 2011 large scale earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Yoshiko notes that this natural disaster and the help sent to Japan caused her to consider the role of nature in our lives and the importance of the lives of each animate being, no matter how small.Yoshiko's "Zen" quilt displays a giant red peony flower, sitting placidly amidst a contingent of energetic dragonflies.  

Close-up of Zen

Yoshiko notes,  "The peony is called the 'queen of flowers' in China.... but the Japanese people [often liken it to] the image of  a beautiful sitting woman." In this close-up, you can see some of the intricate piecing involved in the construction of the flower.  

Uneri by Yoshiko Katagiri

The word "Uneri" in Japanese can be loosely translated to mean "Undulation, or like a wave that rises and falls."  Yoshiko writes, ...."Life has many ups and downs. Sometimes it pulls by a strong power; the other times it tangles by various happenings, like a rope."  Yoshiko has characterized the "peaks and valleys" of life by depicting them them as these colorful fabric ropes which twist, turn, and wind around each other. 

Ushio by Yoshiko Katagiri

A very approximate translation of  "Ushio" is "the tide."  Yoshiko says, "The regions where the earthquake and tsunami hit had the luxuriant forests and the rich sea. ......The destroyed forests and sea are going to [recover]  by the efforts of numerous people."  We love these vibrant, eye-catching fish with their strong fins, which swim in all directions, both with the current of the water and against it. Look carefully, and you'll see several outlines of fish quilted into the black background.  

Corona by Yoshiko Katagiri

Brilliant warm colors denote the flames of gas which surround the sun's surface like a crown ; hence the name "corona." Yoshiko notes,  "Without the sun, I imagine that life would never have existed on earth. I think that the entity of the sun itself is natural, but close to wondrous. "
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