Jan 24, 2015

my 'improv' double wedding ring has a story and a purpose

The top for "My Improv Double Wedding Ring" is pieced. And this quilt has a story and a purpose!
First the story.

Teresa Duryea Wong - double wedding ring work in progress. 2015. Approximately 80 x 70 inches.
I was inspired by Japanese artist Keiko Goke's "My Double Wedding Ring" pictured below. And I wanted to make a quilt in her style. Like hers, mine is all improv --- meaning I did not use a pattern and the pieces were cut freehand. No rulers! I wanted it to look folk art and funky.

Keiko Goke. My Double Wedding Ring, 2008. 
Cotton: 88 x 87 in. (224 x 220 cm.) 
Machine pieced, hand embroidery, machine quilted
All of the fabrics I used were designed by Keiko Goke and made in Japan (with the exception of the wool centers and the border cotton.)  Her fabrics just spoke to me and I love the oddly bright colors and funky prints.

Next step is to add hand embroidery to the quilt top. Of course I could thread paint or embroider it on the machine, but it would not look the same. I'm going for a folk art feel... so I think it'll be kinda fun to take the slow train with this one and add that handmade touch.

And now the purpose.

This quilt will eventually become part of my small trunk show that I intend to take 'on the road' and display during my book tour events later this year and in 2016. I've been invited to speak to a few quilt guilds about my upcoming book: "Japanese Contemporary Quilts & Quilters." Here's a link to a description at Schiffer Books.

Keiko Goke is one of the dozens of talented artists featured in my new book.

Like so many quilt traditions that have influenced one culture or another, the double wedding ring is a pattern originally popular with American quiltmakers. For at least a century, these quilts were made and given as wedding gifts and its believed that sleeping under it would bring the couple good luck. Countless double wedding ring quilts have become treasured antiques and family heirlooms.

But my latest version of a double wedding ring is actually inspired by a Japanese artist who took this traditional pattern and made it her own. And now, I am emulating her style, proving that influence does indeed come full circle.

I actually made a traditional double wedding ring about 10 years ago. Hand quilted! Its one of my favorite traditional quilts, but I recall a great deal of stress about lining up every corner just right... and difficulty piecing all those curves. So, the chance to redo this pattern with a folk art - no rulers and no rules improv style - was a heck of a lot more fun than the first time around!

I just hope my newest wedding ring turns out to be as interesting as the back story!

Linking up with a few places.
Off the Wall Fridays
Freshly Pieced
and a few more to come


  1. Wowsers! I can't believe you're already done with the top. How big is each block? I absolutely love the purple background!! Double wedding ring is one of my all time favorites. I'm about to start on my third one. For my sister's wedding gift (and they're celebrating their 9th anniversary this year, so I need to get this one done!!)

  2. Back when I made traditional quilts I thought about making a DWR, but thought it was too daunting. I love your black and white version and admire that fact that you have made one without using a pattern and that you cut free hand. I love your colors. Be sure to show us the finished product.

  3. I love your improv DWR! How are you going to quilt it

  4. both of your WRQ are awesome. The new improv piece is awesome

  5. I love the way this is coming along. And it's really fun to see it next to one of your older beautiful but more traditional pieces. Will you be posting a list of places you'll be speaking about your book?

  6. Improv is defiantly the way I would want to go with a DWR quilt. How freeing and fun ! The fabric and colors are perfect. Your B&W one is a treasure...many many hours

  7. I love both of your versions of the traditional and improv versions of the DWR. That pattern is on my "one day" list.

  8. I love how bright you quilt top is. I like it even more than your source of inspiration!

  9. This is an immaculate location for a party, wedding, or other special event. Incredible views and classy interior. I have been to a few parties here and they have been really well done. The reception halls in Atlanta were perfect for mingling. The courtyard was beautifully decorated as well.