John Flynn Workshop: Double Wedding Ring Quilt


I’m a quilter who prefers bright fabrics and modern designs, so I wasn’t too excited about making a double wedding ring quilt in civil war fabrics. However I believe that making a double wedding ring quilt is a right of passage, of sorts, for quilters — and I wasn’t going to be the only quilter in history who hadn’t made one. So I signed up for the workshop without my usual enthusiasm, knowing that John Flynn’s classes are all popular and I would learn something.

Surprise! I really, really enjoyed this class. I am in awe at how John applies his engineering skills (who knew that there was actually a use for calculus?) to quilt making and comes up with innovative ways to make classic quilts.

His technique involves sewing together six strips of fabric (their width varies based on the size of the wedding ring — but roughly 2″) and then cutting the sewn fabric into multi-color strips (about 2.5″).

Laser-cut strips of fabric

The next step was to sew a dart into each seam, which creates the curve of the wedding ring. These curved pieces were then sewn onto a melon shaped piece of fabric in the quilt’s background color.

Laser-cut background pieces

Strips are sewn to melon-shaped fabric, and then to square piece of fabric

Next, melon shaped pieces are  attached to the larger piece of background fabric.

This is not a quick process, but it is not difficult. It took me the entire class to make the piece shown above, so I am nowhere near finishing the quilt. As I said in my last post, the laser-cut kits are excellent and save you a lot of time in class. However I’d guess that half the class brought their own fabric. I loved that John told them to cut only two melons and a large background piece — I’ve been to many classes where participants have spent the entire time cutting and never got to sew.

John’s double wedding ring quilts are spectacular. They range from traditional to very modern in design. His binding is exquisite as well. I now understand why this is such a popular class at shows and highly recommend taking this class. Below are three photos of John with his quilts.


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