Saturday, March 26, 2011

Constructing a Wedding Ring Block

Welcome to the 100th post of No Rules Quilting! **********************************
Because I'm a little crazy, I have embarked on making a "wedding ring" quilt for Craig and Rhonwyn. My EQ7 program has a number of wedding ring blocks to choose from. It does a great job of providing the templates in any desired size, but does not provide sewing instructions (and to be fair, I haven't made a big effort to find instructions elsewhere). I've made a few of the blocks now - and have developed a method that I think works best, which I am documenting here: Sew? How do we get from this.... To this? A finished Wedding Ring block. Start with the inside rings and the "ovals".Mark the center of the two pieces. I used pins, but do whatever works for you, although I don't recommend clipping - 1/4" seam allowance to too shallow for clipping. Pin the two centres together for each of the four quadrants. Stitch - you can chain them together.
Tips for sewing curves:

  • The bigger the curve radius, the easier it is to sew.

  • Sew S L O W L Y.

  • Use a relatively short stitch length - the tighter the curve, the shorter the stitch. I used my machine's default stitch length for my block, but you may wish to use a shorter stitch.

  • Stop frequently (needle down) to realign the edges and the sewing direction if necessary. By this I mean, raise the presser foot to ensure no bunching and that the seam is tracking smoothly around the curve. Depending on the curve, this may be only a few stitches between stops.

  • NO CLIPPING. I know some suggest this, but I do not. It weakens your seam and can make it look disjointed. Follow the go slow/short stitch advice above and you will be fine.

  • Similarly, I do not pin other than the center and at critical points - pinning is a time waster and can cause a disjointed appearance on curves. Use your fingers as you go to ease the edges together.
Press the seams toward the light fabric. You should now have four bigger "oval" pieces, as per below. Next up - the outside rings and the little square ends. Stitch the end sections to the ring sections. Press the ends toward the ring section. Now pin the outside ring/end section to the corresponding "oval" sections. Again, mark the centers and pin centres together. For this step, I also pin the seam join. As it is on a curve, I want to be sure the easing is equally distributed. Stitch the outside rings to the "oval" sections - again, the four quadrants can be chained together. Press two opposite quadrants toward what will be the centre of the block, the remaining two quadrants toward what will be the outside of the block -as per below. Now there is an even larger set of four "oval" sections (above). Next step is to stitch in the centre piece. A note about this - I've chosen to do this as one large block. The big block can also be made by joining four smaller blocks, in which case, this centre piece would be four "corners". To eliminate seam bulk, I combined the four corners into one large piece. Anyway - use the same method as above - mark the centre, pin at the centre. Stitch opposite sides. Then press toward what will be the centre of the block.

The shot below is to show that the centre "ends" start a seam allowance (1/4") past the seam joining the outside to the inside ring section.

Below is a closer shot of the pressing direction - not sure if it shows up any better here.

Use the same process to stitch the remaining opposite "oval" sections to the centre piece. This time press toward the outside of the block. One note: the "ends" of the centre piece are "raw" as per the photo two above. Be certain to stitch such that the end is tucked inside the seam. It may be necessary to deviate slightly wider from the 1/4" seam allowance at that spot.

Below is what the block should look like at this stage - it's almost done!

Above is a close up of the pressing direction for the last opposite "oval" attachments.

All that's left are the corner pieces. Using the same method: mark centre, pin centres, stitch - and again the "ends" start a seam allowance past the ring section into the "end" section.

All corners are pressed such that the seam allowance goes toward the outside of the block.

Below is the full block from the back - if you click on it to see it much larger, I hope the pressing directions can be seen. I found this the best compromise for minimizing seam bulk where all the little "ends" come together and for "locking" the pieces together for ease of stitching. You may find a better way - if you do, please let me know!

And of course, here is the finished block from the front!

And with it's increasing number of friends!

1 comment:

  1. That is very clear and easy to follow - thank you for putting it up!