Summer (usually June in the United States) is often a time for weddings. I have long been a fan of Double Wedding Ring quilts because they are often so vibrant with a great deal of white or light background to really set off the rings. There are many ways to make this particular pattern, even some kind of cheater patterns where the majority of the rings are just one fabric instead of several smaller blocks. I thought I would look around the internet for some approaches to this traditional design, while also talking about some of the history.
Are You Ready For Adventure?
The history of the double wedding ring appears to be very old as it relates to its symbolic nature. As long ago as the 15th century it appears as though an engaged couple would each wear a ring and then upon marrying those rings would be intertwined and worn by the bride. It makes me wonder about the connection that might have to Celtic designs which are very ancient. I will look into that on my own at another time. Personally I love the history of traditions and designs!
As for double wedding ring quilts they appeared during the 18th century and truly took hold in the time of the Great Depression due to its beauty and its need for little scraps of fabric which made it doable for many people. It could incorporate old clothing, bedding, or fabric scraps into a beautiful gift for a couple’s wedding. It is also something that people make for milestone wedding anniversaries, which had not occurred to me! One author, from Accuquilt, notes, “Some quilters have even pulled together heirloom scraps of baby clothes and other cherished pieces of fabric add another sentimental element to the anniversary quilts made in this pattern.” I love that idea!
Now let us look at some different double wedding ring quilts where we really see how people can interpret the pattern in so many different themes and colors. In the first one the author from Accuquilt illustrates how “Many quilters have also bucked tradition by using a different, bolder color than white, such as black or blue, for the background. The nontraditional color choice gives the entire quilt a much quirkier vibe.” I think this is such a fun quilt.
Speaking of a more modern look this particular quilt just really amazed me! It has so much depth and vibrancy. It speaks to me of so many things that go far beyond a double wedding ring quilt.
A more traditional take, but focused on a gradual rainbow design, is seen below. It is just lovely. It also shows one of the more common approaches to binding a double wedding ring wherein the circles themselves are the edges of the quilt. I always find these edges playful and unique.
Here is one that is modern but also reminds me of color combinations in the 1960s with a bright cheery look. I adore the polka dots in the rings and the gentle little flowers in the centers of the rings. Such a creative approach to this classic quilt.
Taking a jump back to some modern this next one is truly a wild and modern approach to the quilt pattern. There is so much movement in the layout and it does not immediately say “double wedding ring quilt”! Again, a playful modern take on a classic.
Lastly is a quilt the are calling a Bali double wedding ring quilt and I adore this design. It takes the best of a star quilt and pops it right in the center of the rings’ connected spaces. This is surely one of those quilts that amazes me when it comes to the individual who designed it. Just beautiful! I find it both classic and modern at the same time.
As for my own journey with this quilt pattern I have made a couple. One of those was a quilt for my daughter and son in law upon their wedding. She requested one so I had to make it! She asked for yellow and blue as yellow is her favorite color and her husband’s is blue. I did green where the rings connected. In addition, I bought all the fabrics along my way as I drove out to see her for wedding dress shopping. It was very fun!
I planned to hand quilt it but ran out of time and resorted to machine quilting. I did not do a very good job on the top as there were so many little mistakes! I heavily machine quilted those areas. I also printed up a label that incorporated a message from me as well as one center of the quilt where hand quilting had been done.
As with all my columns I hope that this has inspired you to look at the double wedding ring in a new way, or embark on making this quilt pattern. Like with any quilt pattern, you could make a pillow from one ring, a table runner, or many other smaller objects that utilize this fun, sometimes challenging, design. Quiltdom.com has several free patterns here. Quilting Dailly also has a free pattern here.