Sally-Anne Cole made this charming miniature double
wedding-ring picture. Applique and bias strips form the
rings with no curved piecing
3⁄4 x 42in strip of baby blue fabric for the four patches
3⁄4 x 42in strip of pale pink fabric for the four patches
10 x 12in of background cream fabric; allow extra if you want to stretch it over the backing board
One fat quarter of pale blue fabric for the rings
One fat quarter of medium blue fabric for the rings
1⁄2in bias bar
8 x 10in sticky mounting board
Picture frame with an aperture 8 x 10in
10 x 12in (25 x 30cm) framed
Where to buy
Sticky mounting board is available at art and craft shops, picture frames are available in many high street stores, all other materials are available from good quilt shops
Cut 1in bias strips from both blue ring fabrics. Fold in half, WS together, and sew a 1⁄4in seam down the length to form a tube.
Insert a bias bar into the tube and rotate the fabric so that the seam is on the flat face of the bar. Press the fabric as the bar is removed.
Note: The bar can get very hot; if you find this is a problem, use a scrap of fabric as an 'oven glove'. (Figure 1)
Figure 1: Making the bias tubes
Trace the pattern shown onto your cream background fabric using either a light box or a window. Mark the pattern using a sharp pencil (the pencil line is the centre of each ring and will not be seen).
With the raw edges of the seam towards the outside edge of each circle, start with the darker fabrics and pin the bias strips in place. Tack them through the middle to secure.
The bias strips must start and end under an intersection so that no raw edges are showing when the work is complete. Appliqué down the rings on both the inside and outside edges using small stitches and a matching thread. Remove the tacking stitches.
Figure 2: Sewing the four patches
Join the strips of fabric lengthwise and press the seam open, which will allow the 'patch' to lie as flat as possible. If you are using shorter pieces of fabric, sew pairs of fabric together as above.
Sub cut the strips into 3⁄4in units across the strip. Turning one pair, join pairs together to form four patches. Press the seam open as before to make the back as flat as possible. (Figure 2)
Fold the bottom to the middle, the top to the middle and then both sides to the middle. Press well; you may find that a tacking stitch helps as well. You now have a 1⁄2in four patch with no raw edges showing.
Put the four patches over the junctions of the rings, using a tacking stitch to hold them in place. Appliqué the four patches down and remove all the tacking stitches.
Press the work from the WS, placing a fluffy towel on the ironing board to give the rings something to nestle into, and to prevent them from becoming flat and therefore losing their 3D affect. Trim your work to 8 x 10in (or the size chosen), positioning the wedding rings in the middle. Attach the completed work to the sticky board and frame. If you are not using sticky board you can lace the sides and then the top and bottom of the work over some mount board to stretch the piece before placing it in a frame.
Keep an eye out in the charity shops for interesting frames to use in this way. You can always use fewer wedding rings so that your work will fit into a smaller frame.
This project was inspired by a project in Small Scale Quilt Making: Precision, Proportion and Detail by Sally Collins (published by C&T Publishing but now out of print). Sallys current book Borders, Bindings & Edges: The Art of Finishing Your Quilt (ISBN 1-57120-233-1), also published by C&T Publishing, should be available from all good quilting bookshops.
Figure 3: Ring Pattern
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 15 Number 9 - September 2005