In Part 5 of our series on wedding ring quilts, today we're bringing you some pretty designs that have a lovely "retro" or vintage look. Travel back in time with us as we take a nostalgic look at yesteryear's patterns which can be lovingly re-created with today's fabrics.
Jeweled Wedding Ring, approx 90 x 90", by Robyn Tischner at Bolo Heads
In Robyn Tischner's Jeweled Wedding Ring quilt, above, you can see a multitude of carefully appliqued dots which look like miniature jewels on the rings. The Jeweled Wedding Ring design was originally published in the 1930's and re-created in 2008 by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine (read on for details). Robyn was inspired to make her brilliant quilt for a 2011 Riley Blake Designs contest with fabric by Lori Holt. She enlisted the help of her daughters in carefully starching the circular dots gathered onto round templates and drying them in the oven before appliqueing them onto the bright red rings set against a pure white background.
Close up, Jeweled Wedding Ring by Robyn Tischner at Bolo Heads
As shown above, there is as much applique work as there is patchwork on this jeweled wedding ring design. Robyn states that there are 525 circular "jewels", with 25 basting stitches and 30 applique stitches apiece. Also, there are 64 center "petals" with about 63 stitches each. Without counting the binding, there is a total of 32,907 hand stitches. Robyn's creation is an impressive example of quilt workmanship, and a beautiful heirloom. She says: "The craziest thing about this whole process is I want to do it again. This time a Christmas version." You can read the story at Robyn's fun site, Bolo Heads, and see a feature article about this quilt at Quilt Story.
Jeweled Wedding Ring pattern by Karen Earlywine and Kay Connor, from: Link to the 30's: Making the Quilts we Didn't Inherit (Martingale)
Here's the Jeweled Wedding Ring pattern, done in bubble-gum pink, as shown on the cover of the 2008 book: Link to the '30s: Making the Quilts We Didn't Inherit. This is one of nine authentic 1930s patterns in the book, which was written by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine. Karen says: "I think readers enjoy being able to make the quilts that may once
have been in their families but were worn out or discarded during a time
when quilts were not valued as they are now." For a contemporary look to this design, you also could use single tone watercolor batiks in warm shades of orange or yellow, with batik fabric "jewel" dots in emerald green, sapphire blue, or amethyst purple.
Rings n' Things, 60.5 x 60.5", by Karen Earlywine and Kay Connors, from: Link to the 30's: Making the Quilts we Didn't Inherit (Martingale)
re-creation of an old 1930's quilt which was found tattered and faded by Karen Earlywine and Kay Connors. Templates to construct the rings are included in the e-pattern and book by Martingale.
Vintage Block and Ring Quilt, photo by Amy Hodge at Amy a la Mode
Amy Hodge posted some wonderful photos of this vintage quilt, which she spotted in a thrift shop; in fact, this is the best example we've seen of this design. The original pattern by Nancy Page was published in an article called "Block and Ring Quilt is Effective". Thanks to Google, you can read the May, 1933 article online in the Spokane Daily Chronicle Newspaper; scroll about halfway down the page to read Nancy's instructions for the quilt by Mrs. Maurer of Doylestown, Ohio.
In Amy's close-up photo you also can see the elegant and
effective curved outline quilting pattern which highlights the circular
motif of the rings. This cheerful, stash-busting quilt would be a wonderful way to
use relatively small pieces of fabric. For more photos, see the post at Amy a la Mode. Also, for many inspiring vintage and modern quilts, please check out Amy's Family Quilts, My Quilts and Quilts For Sale galleries.
Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of Robyn Tischner, Amy Hodge and Martingale.