Double Wedding Rings come in a variety of styles.
The center block is “Pickle Dish”, a variation of the Double Wedding Ring design.
In this week’s blog post, we’ll explore the Double Wedding Ring, one of the most beautiful quilt blocks, but seemingly one of the most difficult to make! In this week’s accompanying lesson, we’ll show you how to create your own Double Wedding Ring block with Quilt-Pro. You’ll also learn how to set this block up for paper-piecing.
What is the origin of this block?
As you might imagine from the name, Double Wedding Ring conjures images of love and romance and indeed, it is a favorite quilt design to give to the newlywed couple. However, this design of interlocking circles actually has a very old origin, for archeologists have found this design on ancient roman glassware.
Pincushion Pattern: a design related to the Double Wedding Ring
The modern Double Wedding Pattern was first published in the late 1920’s and was particulary popular during the depression era. Related patterns, such as the Pincushion pattern were popular in the 19th century. Regardless of the name or style, nearly all quilters agree that it is very difficult to piece!
Tips for piecing
Despite it’s beauty, beginning quilters are often warned off from the Double Wedding Ring pattern: so many small curved patches, and all that curved piecing! However, there is an easier way: you can paper-piece the Fan (or ring) portions of the block and then applique them to a background fabric square.
Double Wedding Rings to Download
We’ve included 4 Double Wedding Ring blocks and 3 Pickle Dish Blocks (a variation of the Double Wedding Ring for you to download.) Each block has a accompanying paper-piece pattern. for you to download and print. When you have finished the paper-piecing, just fold in the seam allowance and appliqué it directly onto the background fabric. Yes, it’s a shortcut, but one that can easily save your sanity!
You can download the blocks here.
Drawing your own Double Wedding Ring
Learn how to draw this Double Wedding Ring
We all love the Double Wedding Ring Pattern, but it seems so difficult! Did you know that you can actually draw your own Double Wedding Ring blocks with Quilt-Pro? It’s easier than you think. The secret is to change the drawing grid half-way through making the block. In this lesson, we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step and show you how to use the circular grid, how to use the rotary cutter and how to split and join patches.
Let’s start by setting up the Circular Grid
The circular grid is one of Quilt-Pro’s specialty grids. It’s a circular grid with wheels and spokes. You line up shapes with the wheels and spokes (Also called rings and radials.) It’s also ideal for making Dresden plates and Mariner’s compass patterns.
We’ll use the circular grid to draw the curved portion of the “fan” in the Double Wedding Ring. Later, we’ll switch to the standard grid to finish the block.
Let’s set up the circular grid to the following:
12 Rings (wheels)
72 Radials (spokes)
Overall size is 6 inches
You can add more rings or add more space between the rings to make your grid larger if you like. Don’t worry too much about the overall size now: you can always change it later.
Since our “fan” has only 6 pieces in it, why so many spokes? The large number of spokes will help you get a smoother curve. The more grid spokes, the smoother the curve.
Set the circular grid to these parameters
Now that we have the circular grid on the design wall, let’s start drawing the fan part of the block.
This is the finished “fan” part of the Double Wedding Ring
We’ll start by drawing two “guide” circles to establish the inner and outer edges of the fan. These circles are to guide you only and they will not be part of the finished design.
Draw a circle as large as you want the inner edge of the fan to be. Once you have drawn the circle, open the Options menu and select “Null Brush” and then draw a circle to mark the outer edge of the fan. (As with the inner circle, set this circle to null brush.) Hint: I drew my inner ring out 7 rings wide and outer ring 10 rings wide.)
Circular Grid with two guide circles: ready to start drawing the fan
Now that we have the two guide circles in place, we are going to draw a fan shape in the upper right quarter of the circle.
Use the polygon tool and start in the top spoke of the circle where the spoke meets the outer guide circle. Make sure “Snap to Grid” is on. Using the spokes as guides, carefully draw the fan shape with the polygon tool. When you are done with the outer edge, bring the polygon tool in and draw the inner edge of the fan.
Circular Grid with “fan” shape
As you can see, we have a solid “fan” shape. Now, we’ll need to divide this fan into equal sections to continue the pattern. This is where the rotary cutter tool comes in. You’ll use the rotary cutter tool to “cut” the solid fan into 6 individual patches. Here’s how.
- Select the rotary cutter tool.
- Mark off 3 spokes from the top spoke and use the rotary cutter to “cut” along the 3rd spoke. You’ll know if you’ve made a successful cut if you see a line in the fan.
- Repeat step #2 for the rest of the patches, be sure to mark off 3 spokes each time so that each patch is even.
- Once all the cuts are made, paint the patches as you wish.
- Delete the two guide circles.
Double Wedding Ring fan divided into 6 equal sections
Hints for using the rotary cutter
- You can always “heal” a cut by pressing CTRL +Z (Undo in the Edit menu).
- If you’re not sure if your cuts will be even, you can practice by drawing lines with the line tool. Once you’re happy with the spacing, you can then “cut” along the lines you’ve drawn.
Watch this video to see how to draw a fan on the circular grid and how to cut it using the Rotary cutter tool.
Changing the Grid to finish the block
Now we are ready to change the grid from circular to the standard solid grid. To do this, right click anywhere on the design wall and choose Screen Settings. Change the grid type to solid and set the grid to 0.25 (1/4”) inch spacing.
The fan should line up exactly with the grid, if it doesn’t, just select all the patches and move them.
Double Wedding Ring fan on the solid grid
Copying the Patches to make the other side of the block
The next step will be to copy and place the other side of the fan:
- Select all the patches and duplicate them (CTRL +D, or “duplicate” in the Edit Menu.)
- Flip the duplicate patches vertically and then horizontally.
- Place the duplicates so that they line up with the original patches as shown.
Double Wedding Ring: two fans—just need squares to finish!
The next step will be to draw squares at both ends of the Double Wedding Ring.
Select the square tool and draw a square at both ends of the fan as shown.
Watch this video to see how to switch to the solid grid, duplicate the fans and draw the squares.
Double Wedding Ring: Finished block (except for background templates!)
Finishing the Block
If you want to appliqué the patches to a background, you are almost done with this block. To make a complete block, duplicate all the patches, make 4 copies and flip them to arrange them as shown.
Double Wedding Ring: 4 units
Advanced Techniques: Paper-Piecing and background templates
Foundation-Piecing a Double Wedding Ring
You can easily paper-piece portions of the double wedding ring. Here’s how:
- Make the block the finished size that you want.
- Select one of the fans (with squares attached) and copy the patches to a new file.
- Open the Foundation Wizard and number the patches. (Color the patches in the Print Grays tab if desired.)
- Close the foundation wizard. Your block is now ready for paper-piecing.
Double Wedding Ring Fan—ready for foundation piecing
- To print the paper-piecing pattern, open the Print Center (CTRL + P, or Print Center from the File Menu) and select Print Foundation.
- Do not change the size of the foundation pattern (You already set the size of the finished block).
- Print as many copies as you need.
To print the other side of the Double Wedding fan pattern, repeat steps 1 through 3, but don’t select the end squares.
You can save each fan as a separate block file for future use.
Templates for background pieces
If you prefer to hand-piece the Double Wedding Ring with templates for the background pieces, you can easily make templates that will perfectly fit the patches you’ve already made. First, we’ll make a template for the inner “melon” shape.
Here’s where you’ll learn about the split and join functions.
- Select all the patches and duplicate them. Set the duplicate patches aside.
- Select all the patches and select “Split” in the Effects Menu. The Split command breaks down all the patches into lines and points. You can now select the individual lines that form the melon.
- Using the marquis select, draw a box around the melon to select it and duplicate it.
- You’ll have a few stray extra lines. Select them and delete them.
- Select the melon and choose “Join” from the Effects menu. Quilt-Pro will join all the lines together to make a solid “melon” shape. The shape will be painted with the current color.
- Select and move the melon to the center of the fan you set aside. Should be a perfect fit!
- Don’t Delete the split fan—you’ll still need it.
The patches in the fan on the left have all their patches “split”. In the center is the outline of the center melon. Join the lines together to make a solid shape and move to the center of the fan on the right.
What about the outer corners?
- We’ll use the same technique to make a template for the outer corner. Marquis select all the lines that form the outer curve. You’ll pick up extra lines. Delete these so that you have just the outer curve. (Should look like a quarter circle)
- Draw a horizontal line with the line tool to the top right corner of the “square” surrounding the curve as shown. Draw a vertical line.
- Select all and choose “Join” from the Effects Menu.
- Move the new shape to the upper right corner of the block.
- Duplicate the shape and flip the duplicate horizontally and vertically. Move the duplicate to the lower left of the block.
- You now have individual templates for each shape in the block.
- You can now delete the lines in the “split” patches.
The patches in the fan on the left have all their patches “split”. In the center is the piece for the block corner. Join the lines together to make a solid shape and move to the corners of the fan on the right.
The only step left is to duplicate the block 4 times and arrange the 4 repeats to make a complete Double Wedding Ring Block.
Completed Double Wedding Ring Block