figuring it out as I go

It occurred to me last night while I was out with some friends how much I tend to be “one of the boys.” Well, actually, it occurred to me in about the first grade. So let’s just say I was, once again, smacked in the face with that tendency last night. And, no, I’m not about to delve into gender roles in social situations or embark on a feminist rant. Just to prove it, the picture below is what this post is actually about:

Last night, the ladies at the table were oohing and ahhing over new shoes and bragging about new purchases. The men of the table and I were checking our smartphones. Let me take a moment to say that I do in fact, as stated above, consider the ladies of the table to be my friends. I am in no way critiquing their conversation topic. I am simply pointing out, that on that topic, like so many others, I tend to align more with the dudes. What “so many others,” you ask? Well, that’s the point I’ve been trying to get to…

OK, so maybe I am going to delve into gender stereotypes a bit — not to analyze so much as appropriate. Y’know that thing about men not reading directions? Oh, yeah, I (a woman) do that — stereotypes be damned! Last week, I decided I could “figure out” how to make a mitered border for a pillow. (More on that misadventure at the bottom of this post. The companion pillow has yet to be completed.) Today, though, I read multiple sets of directions. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how the pattern writers (I’m using this free pattern) wanted me to go from this:

To this:

First row! by Erika Ray, on Flickr

Seriously. No clue. This is how the pattern explained it: “Sew rows, alternating arc units and pieced squares.” I was instructed to refer to the following diagram:

from free McCall's Double Wedding Ring pattern

Oh! I see — wait, no. I waffled back and forth among various “well maybe if I…” trains of thought before exasperation set in. I explored the interwebs, trying to figure out just how to piece this. I found nothing. Does this surprise anyone else? The most frustrating thing is that — as the above picture from Erika Ray’s Flickr stream proves — I knew it could be done! If you have any idea how to do it, please let me know. It’s kind of driving me crazy.

As you may have inferred from the above picture, I decided to go with a different tack. Jennifer Paganelli and Freespirit have their own free Double Wedding Ring pattern (pdf here). I actually almost used this pattern, but decided against it because I wanted more fabrics in my “rings.” Where this pattern wins, for me at least, is in the assembly instructions. I made my arcs into units that contain squares at either end (half solid yellow, half this lovely stripey rainbow-y print that I picked up from a LQS), and I plan to piece them somewhat in this manner:

assembly instructions from Freespirit pattern

Looking at this, I foresee myself running into trouble when it comes to piecing the rows together. Any advice you could give or resource you could point me to is appreciated more than I could possibly say. Until then, I’m going to keep doing what I’ve figured out so far.

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2 thoughts on “figuring it out as I go

  1. Think of it just like a Y-seam. The curves on a Double Wedding Ring are so gentle that they practically feed themselves through your sewing machine – just pin the heck out of it. Now, because you’re treating this like a Y-seam. you should mark the intersection point and sew right up to it. I then take a couple back stitches to lock the seam, pull my pins and start the next section, the next half of the ‘Y’.

    But that instruction really only applies to adding the rows together. I’m actually working on a set of instructions for my DWR quilt-along, and those should be ready to go live in a couple of days. I can drop you a line when they’re up on my blog.

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