Thursday, September 30, 2021

Way Back When in 1987 -

It was 1987 when I put the last stitches into my one and only ever (And I mean EVER!) Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

I was born in 1962 - I'm turning 60 in just a few months - and that makes me just 25 when I finished this beast.

On the radio - Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes were singing "I've had the time of my life..." (Dirty Dancing) and as I go through all of these quilts with the great quilt migration of 2021, I have to agree!

I have had the time of my life.  And I'm STILL having the time of my life.  There is still so much more to come!

I was a new quilter.  This was only the 5th quilt I had made -  And why had I chosen a Double Wedding ring?  Because no one told me that curves were any different to piece than straight pieces.

My pattern came from an Aunt Martha's publication -

I had traced the pieces onto cool whip lids and cut them out.  I then traced all of my pieces onto gathered scraps with a pencil and spent Jason's 3 & 4 year old nap times tracing and cutting, tracing and cutting.  

I sewed on my 1981 Kenmore machine - likely without 1/4'' seam, or at least a guessed one because I was so new.

I traced the center design for hand quilting in each block.

I quilted it in a simple hoop, because that was easiest to position in my lap.

I have since tried many frames and stands - even a 3 rail system that took up a whole lot of space, but was never comfortable.

I'm a hoop quilter, in my lap.  That's all there is to it.

I didn't want to outline every piece in the pieced arcs - so I just eye-balled and quilted a simple line down the center to hold everything together.  "My quilt, my rules!" was something I was just beginning to hear and embrace.

But those four-patches at the edge?  I didn't know quite how to miter binding corners yet.  I had no other quilters to show me. I knew I needed bias binding to go around curves - but all of those corners?

I just trimmed them off to make my binding scallops more gentle.  Worked for me!

And I have a confession - it wasn't until years later that I realized that the green/peach solids were polyester blends.  I just didn't know.  And there were not that many offerings of 100% cotton solids at that time.  Sometimes you just have to go with what is available to you.

And at one time - you can see that I was going to initial and date everything in embroidery.

Evidently I thought Roman numerals would be easier in the long run.  What was I thinking?

This quilt was used on our bed for years before I put it away, thinking that it was probably time to stop the wear and tear and just keep it.

I've got a few other quilts like this that I plan to share - 

As seen around here!

It's pumpkin harvest season here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia!

Aren't the green ones interesting?

I love watching the pumpkin wagons rolling on up the highway full of pumpkins in gorgeous colors, shapes and sizes!

No binding stitching on Zoey's quilt happened last night - it was a busy afternoon of welcoming the Shippenstitchers and then we had to run to Jefferson for groceries and more paint.

By the time I was home, it was after 9pm and I was just too zonked to even put on a thimble.

Maybe tonight. We'll see!

Guess what time it is?


Who is entry 529 out of 5434 entries?

Lanna Wheatley!


Lanna, please reply with your mailing address to the email I sent you.  I'll pass on the info to the folks at Quilty Box who will get your prize out to you!

This was a great box and I know you are going to love it.

And yes - there are more gift-away opportunities to come!

So here we are at Thursday - what's on your to-do list?

For me it's this!

This may not be a big deal to you – but this is my last four blocks for my Cabin Corners quilt!
I have sewn up 5376 pieces into this pile of blocks – today I will start to sew them together.

(As you all know - the quilt has to be finished before the pattern can be written, right?)
Someone please tell me why this did not even make the smallest dent in my scrap stash?

These things are also winding down - TODAY is the LAST day -only hours left!
September Sky  Spider & The Fly, the September Sky Pattern Bundle, and Appalachian Autumn  are still on sale at 25% off through 9/30/21.

And the PDF pattern for my Punkin Patch Runner is HALF-PRICE at only $5.00 through 10/31/21. No Coupon Needed!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Talkin’ Turkey quilt from my book String Fling.

This is something I’ve really been working on and some days it isn’t easy.

Remember, no matter what others may say, your heart knows what is right for you.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Today and every day.



  1. I look forward to you every day. Rock on and be well! Marilyn Marks

  2. I was doing an amazing amount of stitching on crumb/string blocks and found the bin was going down. Yippee! Of course then the fabric choices are not so nice, well wouldn't you know I had to add more to that bin. Was hoping I was reducing the amount but then low and behold more is found! Thank you for your scrap inspiration. Love it.

  3. cool whip lids? LOL....i used exposed xray films...we made do and it worked out...beautiful quilt that has only improved with age

  4. The first quilt I decided to make was a Dresden Plate. I loved the pattern and thought why not? It took me 9 years to complete and I have no desire to EVER do another one. At the first of the year I finished my one and only Double Wedding Ring. It was a Judy Niemeyer paper pieced one. That one took took 8 years and it is not quilted yet.

  5. That is one very beautiful wedding ring quilt. I have been quilting for over 20 years now and have no intention of ever making one. Too many little pieces and CURVES - I'm not a fan of curves! Great job! Thanks for all you do. Oh, and why haven't the scraps gone down - I swear they multiply by themselves at night while we're all sleeping!

  6. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I remember Aunt Maratha. I used plastic coffee can lids. They were free and you could buy more fabric. Lol. Pumpkins, a sign of fall.

  7. Beautiful DWR quilt, scrap queen even early on. I find the only scrap bin that seems to go down is the neutrals, so then I have to keep buying more. But most of my little quilts have pieces that are only 1" or 2". I so enjoy the journey with you via your blog. Stay safe, keep on quiltin'.

  8. Oh man I love that wedding ring quilt - I have just found a pattern and will be paper piecing mine. Lots of Xmas quilts on the go for family so it will be a new start in January. Thank you for keeping me inspired and falling more in love with scrap quilts every day - they make my heart very happy!

  9. One thing I love about seeing your quilts is the Aha! Moment when I see a fabric I have in my stash. In today’s case I saw 2. Your quilt will be beautiful. Thanks for all you do, Bonnie.

  10. My double wedding ring was quilt #2. It was a wedding gift for my son and his wife. They promptly put it away and used it only when we came to visit, when it was on the guest bed. It was washed after our first visit (!!), and one blue batik piece, just the ONE fabric, bled everywhere I used it. I didn't know any better, nor did I know about color catchers. I've offered to clean it, but they said no and just put it away instead. Several lessons learned!!
    I have Halloween placemats to finish on my list for today.

    1. My son and his late wife folded up the white on white I quilted them and put it in their closet. They didn't even bother to get it out when we came. The most I've given his wife now is a modern quilted table runner. She at least gets it out once in awhile. Kids!

  11. I love the Double Wedding Ring quilt... I have not yet been brave enough to try to make one. Yours is lovely. I love hearing your story of your quilting beginnings... it gives us newbies hope! thanks for sharing.

  12. Bonnie - thanks so much for sharing your lovely DWR quilt with us. Such inspiring lessons - use what is available to us, do our best and learn as we go, don't be afraid to tackle something, we can do SO much more than we think we can! Treasure the journey!

  13. LOL, when I read your statement about your one and only double wedding ring quilt I laughed. I have one of those too! it was a real mess and some how it worked out. All yellows and golds for my parents 50th wedding anniversary, no pressure there! Never again!

  14. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing the story of the Double Wedding Ring quilt! It is a wonderful quilt and story. Isn't it fun to see how we grow when we journey on, wether it be in quilting, or just in life. I feel like the isolation that came with Covid stunted my growth as a human being, but trust that in the end I will be where I am created to be. Thank you for all your do!

  15. When I made my first quilt I knew nothing but garment construction. I sewed 5/8" seams, but it didn't matter because it was just squares of leftovers from my clothes. I traced circles on top, #2 pencil around a dessert plate, & used embroidery floss in a chain stitch to quilt it over a worn out comforter. It's over 45 years old & I still have it. It's patched now like Sadie's gift to Zoey.

  16. Years and years ago I took a DWR class - a 4 ring wall hanging - from John Flynn. It’s still somewhere in my unfinished collection.

  17. I'm so enjoying the stories that go along with the quilts you're sharing with those near and dear to you. What a journey you have had! You now share everything you've learned over the years with us so we can make our own scrappy memories and that is so very much appreciated.
    My daughter was actually the first to make a quilt in our family, I think she was about 10 or 11. Old enough to take care of herself while I was at work as long as a neighbor was home to help her if there was a problem and mum was always at the other end of a phone line. She made herself cardboard templates out of a cereal box for a 9-patch, a mix of my dressmaking fabrics, 5/8" seams pressed open. Kept her busy during summer break. One of these days I'll use the templates for a DWR that I bought at least 30 years ago from Quilting From the Heartland. Guild members have borrowed them and made some lovely quilts. My turn is coming.
    Your blog and words of inspiration are a welcome I look forward to everyday. Thank you. - Brenda

  18. My love of quilts came from a great Aunt who did scrap quilts. I love them. To me they feel homey. Thanks for sharing DWR quilt. I have never made one because of the curves. Yours tempts me to try. Just Beautiful.

  19. My first (?) double wedding ring was made from my scraps collection for a neice who unbeknown to me was hoping for a shades of grey quilt to go with her favored decor. Now making a baby quilt wih one side in that color scheme

  20. My first quilt was a double-wedding ring as a wedding quilt for my daughter. My mother hand-quilted it for me. It would have been a lot easier had I bothered to read any instructions before starting out!

  21. Oh my, the Double Wedding Ring quilt! I made one in the 80's too - pink & blue. Yours looks better I think. A daughter has the quilt so I can't look at it right now. I've learned so much since then and I will never make another that's for sure! Really enjoy your blog every day and have learned so much from your mystery quilts! Thanks for all you do for us quilters!

  22. I made the Double Wedding Ring quilt in a small size for wall hanging for my granddaughter & hubby when they married. One of my first was the New York Beauty as a wall hanging. Had no idea that it was a difficult design but that's what learning is all about. Love your Double Wedding Ring quilt Bonnie.

  23. I love the story of your Double Wedding Ring quilt! I made mine in the 1980s, hand stitched it all together and like you, guessed at the seam allowance. I used homemade templates and traced and scissor cut many of the pieces while nursing a sprained ankle. My prints were cotton but my background was a poly/cotton blend. I sure have learned a lot since then!

  24. Early in my quilting career I made a DWR in a class in Leavenworth, KS using John Flynn's book and templates. We had homework each week before the next class and I was able to make and hand quilt a twin one. It was fun but I have never made another one!

  25. Wonderful to see your early quilting adventures, Bonnie! I am feeling inspired to do more string piecing! My favorite!

  26. Oh my goodness, Bonnie, that double wedding ring is gorgeous and quite the undertaking at the young age of 25! A 16 patch quilt was all my 25 year old self was able to manage....and I'm more than sure some polyester squares were proudly displayed in my early, young and broke sewing days! Back then I was pulling my fabric thru a machine that my grandma had given me because the feed dogs weren't moving properly. What a nightmare that was and I thought I was so lucky to have that machine to use. I enjoyed this post so much. You were talented from the get-go!! Thanks for sharing!

  27. I have to share my DWR story.
    My cousin got married in the late '80s. Her bridesmaids' dresses were made by a local shop. I got the shop to order me some of the same fabric. I made a 9 ring wall-hanging/baby quilt using that fabric as the whole arcs. She loved it, used it later for her baby girl and then it hung in her daughter's room.
    Fast forward several years. My daughter was in the wedding of her best friend. Her bridesmaid dress resembled a shepherdess dress. (Not at all her style!) After the wedding she reminded me of my cousin's DWR and wondered if I could use her dress to do the same. One afternoon found my daughter and a friend gleefully cutting up their dresses so I had the fabric to make another 9 ring DWR for that bride.

  28. Your DWQ is beautiful, but I have never been tempted to make one. I like straight edges.
    All of your quilts are lovely. I have made many for others but never one for myself. One of theses days, maybe. I have just recently found your blog. Really enjoy it every day.

  29. I also jumped into quiltmaking with both feet and the wedding ring quilt was one of the first couple of quilts I made. I didnt think about the difficulty factor of curves, but i did retty well. I traced the templates from a quilting magazine onto some type of clear platstic and it is one of few full size quilts that I actually hand quilted so it has sentimental value to me. I have to say your colorful scrappy version is much prettier! .

  30. I started my first quilt when I was 11 and embroidered flower baskets on white blocks cut from old sheets. The appliqued flowers were whatever fabric was available, which was cotton, knits, and some felt. I finished it and gave it to my mother and got it back after she died. Its almost 50 years old and as the saying goes, "You've come a long way baby."

  31. Thank you so much for sharing your Double Wedding Ring quilt. I am ten years older than you, but I think I started quilting about the same time you did. I am still looking forward to making a DWR and am not realizing if I don't hurry up and start I will probably never do it! Over the years I have collected two different kinds of DWR templates plus a DWR Accuquilt die. So I have no excuse for not starting. Your blog post was very encouraging.

  32. After looking closely at a double wedding ring quilt at the old age of 35 I said no way ever keeping curved material to lay flat still doesn't work for me. Give me squares triangle crazy angles I'm fine. Curves nope. Bonnie you made a gorgeous quilt. And still do. Being 60 is still young. I'm quite a bit older still having fun quilting when my 40 year old machine doesn't decide to act up.

  33. My grandma made a DWR quilt for me when I was a teenager. She used scraps from my dresses when I was a little girl. She's been gone 50+ yrs now. That quilts lays at the foot of the guest bed in my home. I've never made a DWR quilt myself, but have made many, many others. I started quilting about 25 yrs ago & do some sewing most days. My grandma would be so pleased to know I share her love for quilts & quilting. My quilt is hand quilted & very special to me!

  34. Beautiful. I only started quilting 11 years ago (though you and I are roughly the same age) but have found myself doing a lot of quilt repair. A good friend asked me to repair her parents wedding ring quilt (also made in the mid/late 80s, and ,yes, there is a whole lot of polyester fabric from that time period. It's quite a time-consuming process to applique over all those worn fabrics. Myself, I have never started a quilt that complex.

  35. One time I asked my sister if there was a quilt (pattern) that she really liked and I'd make it for her as she doesn't sew. Of course, she chose the double wedding ring. I told her to choose again!!! LOL.

  36. I started in 1981. . A doll quilt for my daughter was my first quilt. I made it out of gingham squares.
    I did not know to use only cotton. I used a hem gauge to cut 5” squares.
    Then I took a beginning quilting class. Thank goodness it did.

  37. It doesn't make a dent because like me, your friends just keep giving you more!

  38. My first quilt was a DW. My mother was making it for me when she passed away. She only had some small pieces cut & some arcs sewed together. And I had her card board homemade patterns & no instructions. It was 1975 But I was fearless & determined to do it, as it had fabric from some of her dresses & aprons already cut. Curves did not deter me as knew how to sew garments. I had 3 sons & a girl on the way, at that time. I added my patches to it. BUT unfortunately I decided to put it together with green instead of the usual white or off-white. [the rebel in me] It was full-sized, made with fluffy poly batting. AND so ugly. It was hardly ever used. Along about 2004, I decided, like you, re-do it or get rid of it. Well, I couldn't just let go of her old patches, nor the patches from shirts I had sewed my sons. SOOOO, I took it all apart, ripped out my hand quilting & ripped out all the ugly green, replaced some pieces that were woren. So most of the piece arcs were still intact. I used an off-white, added some new pieces & made it a hand quilted oversized queen. Took me 6 months BUT... I love the quilt. I have one son that often looks at it, [usually on the guest bed now] & says I remember my shirt with that fabric. He is 55. I am 76, still working on quilts. Making my 95th quilt. I am electrically sensitive & cannot be around cell towers, cell phones or wifi. I cannot even have a new sewing machine as I cannot tolerate the LED lights or computerization. I only manage to have a computer because my son & my husband made a protective cover for my computer so it does not bother me. So I sew away & have 100 quilts more in my head that I would like to make. My problem? All quilt shops have wifi, I can only get to Hpbby Lobby early in the morning before it is busy. Shopping with wifi & so many cell phones around is difficult for me. I can be sick for a couple of days afterwards. So getting fabric for creating is difficult, I buy some online but matching is impossible. So I only make scrap quilts now & I love seeing your creations. I got your pattern for winter blues but didn't have enough blues to make it so am making it scrappy. I love seeing all the quits on the rail each week. Its like eye candy. Keep on with the lovely creations Bonnie! Some of my favorite sayings..."Don't give up & don't give in." "You don't know unless you try." "If you always do what you always did... You always get what you always got"

  39. Double wedding ring was about #5, fortunately I hand-pieced it so there was never any problem easing the curves. Unfortunately it's in the "toddler" stage of quilt sizes so maybe my granddaughter will finish it. Lol. Polyblend was too prevalent back in the day. My interior designer aunt critiqued my fabric (the woman who did an entire room in lime and raspberry)(nice in small doses)

  40. I LOVE your Double Wedding Ring. I'm so glad you did one; it's on my never-ending list.


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