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2016 I tried to make a DWR for the first time. Oh well...
As soon as I had finished that ring I had bought beautiful fabric for 9 rings but somehow other quilts were more urgent.
Only now, in April 2018, I had time to make the 9-ring-DWR.
First I watched several DWR-videos at youtube - I like Ebony Loves videos best (even though I cut my pieces with the rulers of Marti Michell).
I changed several steps during making the quilt.
So from here you see not the procedure of one of the youtube-cracks but my very own tutorial. I document every step so I can follow my own tutorial the next time!
The DWR has several different pieces:
There is a mellon.
It is surrounded by arcs. There is a short arc (made of 6 small pieces) and a long arc (short arc plus two corner-pieces).
The result is a football.
The last piece is the big center-piece.
For this 9-ring-DWR I planned to construct the arcs by 6 pieces (you can also cut the whole arc from one piece of fabric, like I did 2016).
Now I have to decide in which direction I want to press the seamallowance ( I tried open seams - no).
The short arc will be the bottom piece during sewing, the green melon will be on top. So I want to press in the direction of sewing.
Attaching the melon:
Start right at the corner and lay the right side of the mellon edge on top of the right side edge of the arc.
If necessary, use a pin to mark the center of the mellon (after two footballs I didn't need that marking-pin any more).
Hold the mellon in the left hand and guide it slowly parallel to the edge of the arc, always only for the next inch or so.
The arc is always running against the seamguide, also always only for the next inch.
It works! The very last piece of the mellon is too short to guide it by hand, use tweezer for that.
Press the seamallowance to the outside, the arc.
Arrange the second short arc to that item. In my colour and fabric-choice it had to be mirror-image.
Check again in which direction you want to sew and press your seamallowances: This time the green melon will be the bottom unit and the long arc will be on top - so you know in which direction you have to press.
Sew the two corner-pieces to the short arc - now you have a long arc.
From now on you definitely need pins.
Put the 1. pin in the seam of the long arc (1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric). Put the pin in the bottom-unit (with the melon) in the seam (1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric). Now stab the pin through the layers and secure it.
The 2. pin marks the center of both pieces, the 3. marks the end in the spot at the end like the 1. pin.
It looks kind of messy, because it doesn't lay flat - but that's ok!
Again: align the first two pieces (left photo, it looks messy but it's ok). Then you reach the 1. pin.
Guide the on-top piece (the arc) freely with your left hand until you reach the 2, pin, then freely until the 3. pin. After that pin you will need your tweezers to pull the on-top piece parallel to the the melon.
Press to the outside, the long arc.
In the best case your football will look like the one on the photo - the melon meets the arcs in the corners.
My very first two footballs did NOT look like that. Than I tried the method with the 3 pins and the tweezers - the remaining 22 footballs turned out beautiful.
You need 3 pins to attach the center-piece to the first football.
Watch out: the narrow end of the center-piece has to start 1/4 inch outside the first seam, put the 1. pin there.
The 2. is for the middle, the 3. for the end, like the 1. pin with 1/4 seamallowance.
The third photo shows the sewn unit, it looks already less messy.
Press to the center-piece.
Ther first photo shows the next layout of the units. Fold the big unit on top of the left football.
Now you need 4 pins:
The two corner-pieces match. Use the 1. pin to secure them.
The 2. pin is for the seam between the corner-piece and the arc.
The 3. pin is for the middle, the 4. pin for the narrow end, it has to end 1/4 inch outside the seam like at the step before.
Click on the 4. photo to enlarge it, you can see all 4 pins there.
Joining the rows together follows the same principle.
I pinned only one football ahead. Then I sewed that football and pinned the next.
If you pin every football at the beginning, the fabric-package on your lap looks and feels too chaotic. Ask me how I know.
This step is easy - because you made so many half-rings already. Attaching the remaining footballs to the outside of the top is also easy.
And now? The top was finished and not very big. What am I gonna do with it?
It's too small for a babyquilt. And two years ago I did not buy enough fabric to enlarge it today. And anyway - I don't want to give that quilt away, it's my first DWR!
I can't hang it on the wall - I dont' have that many free walls in the appartment.
Hm. The top will became a wrap-cloth! Does that word exist in english? I'm travelling very often between several living-places and visiting friends and I'm always packing trolleys or backpacks. And very often there is something delicate which has to be wrapped in towels or sweatshirts. So I'm definitely in need of a noble wrap-cloth to save my sweatshirts, don't you think?
Ok, that's settled. The quilt will not get a batting, only a backing.
I used monofilament to quilt every circle and melon in the ditch. But what to do with the center-pieces?
When I took the handquilting class at Esther Miller I bought several stances. One of them had the exact size for the center-piece. But instead of handquilting I did freemotion with the machine. No batting - no handquilting.
Like with every other quilt one has to trim the edges. This can be done without a ruler, just lead the rottary cutter slowly.
And now the real problem began. What to do with the edge of the quilt?
As I understand, there are 3 possibilities:
- a standard binding that follows the outline of the top
- a facing that follows the outline of the top
- applique the top onto a rectangle piece of fabric. Cut the center (behind the DWR) of that fabric away. Use a standard binding for that now-rectangle-shaped top.
I had sorted out this 3. method before quilting - I especially love the curved outline of the DWR. And I suppose you should do the applique-thing before the actual quilting. I did not read that part of the instruction, I don't want to use that method anyway.
I don't want to use the 1. method either - a binding on a un-batted quilt is too thick and bulky.
It will be a facing. A facing by itself is not a problem, I made several already. You find the tutorial here.
But can you do that with a curved edge?
I started by cutting arcs and corner-pieces out of the remaining fabric and sewing them together.
Here's a phantastic tip (I think it was in the booklet that came with the rulers by Marti Michell).
Sew a line on at the edge of the facing, the edge that will be sewn down by hand later. It will be much easier to fold the edge and turn it under the facing if you have that seam. It should be done less than 1/4 inch away from the raw edge. You see that line on the photos.
Then you sew the facing on the top.
Than you have to fold the facing to the back and press it.
And here we are at the problem. It did not go well and wrinkle-free, in spite of a lot of steam in the iron. I made cuts in the V-shapes of the outline, but still, the Vs are not wrinkle-free. Do you know how it looks when people wear shorts in the summer and pull them too much up between the legs and the short is kind of wedged-in? That's the way it looks now at several Vs.
But thanks to that extra seam-line the turning under and sewing the facing by hand was a breeze!