The motif of two interlocking rings can be traced as far back as fourth century Rome. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the interlocking gimmal ring was popular in Europe. One ring was worn by the man and the other by the woman during the engagement. At the wedding ceremony, the two rings were fitted together and worn thereafter by the wife. This design is thought to have been brought to America by German settlers in Pennsylvania in the 17th century and is seen on coverlets, pottery and other decorative arts of the colonial period. Early quilt versions were known as Friendship Knot, Endless Chain and Pickle Dish.
The Double Wedding Ring pattern was first published in 1928. The pattern became extremely popular during the 1930s and 1940s. Prior to the 20th century, quilters appliqued the pieces onto solid fabric. But early 20th century quilters made the switch to piecing the entire quilt top. This quilt is not for the faint of heart nor the novice.
I’d like to make one of these for each of my daughters upon the occasion of their marriage. But as one elderly quilter—maybe the forerunner of Velma Jones from Carolina Reckoning—told me once, I should have started the quilts before my own marriage if I wanted to finish them in time for my daughters’ weddings.
For more behind-the-scene photos, including quilts, visit http://pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/carolina-reckoning/.