Monday, January 28, 2013

Something New: Mission Impossible Style

Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others. –Jonathan Winters

A couple of years back, I made a section of Double Wedding Ring and framed it. It was a wedding gift for a girl in our ward {congregation}, who I didn't know very well at all. Another woman in the ward made the wedding dress and contacted me about making something keepsake-ish with the left-over wedding dress fabric. She had the scoop on the wedding colors and flowers. The planets aligned and the perfect line of fabric in those colors fell right in my lap and it worked out beautifully.

In a few weeks, another girl in our ward is getting married. She comes from a wonderful family and I know this girl a lot better. She was my favorite babysitter, when I could get her. You sometimes had to book two weeks out. When I heard she was getting married, a single thought fluttered around in my head for a few minutes about doing something special for her and then it fluttered on its way.

When I received her invitation in the mail, I started thinking seriously about making something special for her, realizing that I only had a month until the wedding. After all, I went to a lot of trouble for a girl I barely knew, at someone else's suggestion. I wanted to do something equally special for this sweet girl. I decided to recreate the Double Wedding Ring in a frame.

I started asking around about my young friend's wedding colors and flowers and if she was having her dress made. She bought her dress. No problem. I could just use white fabric for the background fabrics. Her flowers are white roses with a bunch of other random flowers. Again, no problem. I can do white roses and random. And her wedding colors are Eggplant and Lilac and Sage and Lime Green. And that's where things got sticky. Purple is the hardest color in the universe to match precisely and my ideas of lime green and sage green don't go together. I wanted to keep this a surprise from the girl and her mother, so there were a few days of debate in my head on what to do about choosing the right colors of fabric. I shopped on-line because it is convenient and I can do it after the Not-So-Little Bugs go to bed. But matching colors on line, especially when you're going in blind, is a crap shoot.

I started by searching "eggplant." I found a pretty Joel Dewberry floral and looked for fabrics to go with it, in shades of dark and light purple in the eggplant and lilac family.

I agonized for ages about which fabrics I'd picked and kept shopping carts open for three days in two on-line stores, taking things out of the carts and putting them back in. It took a week for all the fabric to get here and when it did, I started to worry about the colors all over again. I worried that I'd missed the mark, especially with the lilac I'd chosen. Then there was the fact that some of the fabrics didn't match at all. The dark solid fabric on the far left is more raisin than eggplant. And those polka dots are way too pink. Some of the greens were a little off too.

With no small amount of further internal debate, I decided to see if I could get color swatches without arousing too much suspicion. I called the mother of the bride-to-be and she was most obliging and didn't ask too many questions, presumably because they were right in the middle of dinner when I called. She sent one of her boys over with the swatches, and I was relieved to find that most of what I ordered will work.

I did a little stash diving to flesh out the color ranges {I'll show you later; it was too dark to get good pictures} and threw the new fabrics in the wash.

In the meantime, I've been doodling quilting designs. My pencil sketches kind of remind me of blue prints. When I quilted the first DWR, I did what I knew, which wasn't much; echo quilting ¼" away from all the seams. My quilting skills have improved since then, and I want to do something really special.

I'm pretty sure this needs a little more work. Perhaps just a single half-feather?

And I'm not really sure about this. I love how the curved lines converge in the corners, but I don't like the uneven gap it leaves in the center. Mr. Bug says it looks like a Crusaders' Cross and I can see what he means. He also said it looks too "plaid," but that I can't see, because what I see in my head is solid white fabric, quilted in white, with little crystals in each of the small squares that are created when the lines intersect. If only I could get rid of that gap and still keep the cool corners, but I might just have to quilt this in straight lines. Opinions?

I don't even have an idea of what to quilt in the rings. If you have ideas or have seen something spectacular quilted in a DWR, please point me in that direction.

The wedding is February 16th. That gives me 19 18 days to get this finished. It will probably take a week to get it framed {remind me to call on that tomorrow, so I know for sure}, so that gives me about 9 days to cut, assemble, quilt and mount this little project. It will be cutting it close, but I think that will give the framers enough time to get it back to me so I can get it to the bride before the wedding.

Mr. Bug asked me if it was even possible for me to get this done, knowing that the last week and the first week of the month are my busiest times at work and I often work 40 hours during those weeks. I told him, probably not, but I'm going to try anyway.

A little theme music, please.


Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Elizabeth - your colors are perfect, the previous gift you made just spectacular! Joel is my newest favorite designer (this month.. ha ha ha).

How about circles inside instead of feathers.. ? Circles of Eternity ?

You can do it! So beautiful!

Paulette said...

Love it - love, love, love it just the way you drew it (except maybe, yeah, the half feather instead). I honestly did not notice any gap in the center except when you pointed it out, and to me, I would think of it as paths converging, as they do in a marriage. Leave it alone, I say. It's beautiful. What a wonderful gift this will be. Now just get to it - chop, chop! ;)

PS - Joel Dewberry rocks. I bought some Dewberry prints recently just because.

Vicki said...

Love those colors. For those center square-ish areas, I think you should quilt the outermost double lines like how you drew it here and then fill the center with a squared off feather (if you can do that, I can't yet) or some other curvy design. :)

Joyce Carter said...

Hi. I was reading Richards blog and he mentioned your blog so thought I would drop by. I am working on a DWR quilt right now and where I go to get inspiration is Take the tour and look at all their beautiful quilts. They have a lot of DWR quilts on there. You can click on the photo button and get some closeups of their quilting. It is fabulous!It takes my breath away.

Lane said...

You do love a challenge. I love your fabrics. And, I love the curved quilting lines. You might try drawing in the lines in those gaps on the sides that would complete the converging curves...did that even make sense?...and let them come to points that point toward the center Filling that little bit of space might be just what you're looking for. Good luck! Lane

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the center! That was the first thing my eye pulled into when I got to this post, and I thought how elegant it looked. I wished I'd designed it. I like the idea of feather halves in the melons - so it forms a whole from opposite sides of the ring parts. Did you search online for "feather quilting in double wedding ring," in images? I saw quite a lot of them.