Make a Picnic Basket Cover from a Double Wedding Ring Quilt Patterncomments (9) May 10th, 2012
Double wedding ring quilts are based on an interlocking ring motif and are among the icons of traditional American quilts. Most quilt historians, however, consider the use of the design in quilts as a fairly “recent” occurrence, dating their appearance in this country to the Depression era with published patterns first appearing in 1928. It makes sense that these quilts would be popular during a time of scarcity because they are composed of many small pieces cut from an assortment of fabrics that are not necessarily repeated. In other words, it’s a great example of a truly scrap quilt. But the design is so delicate and requires such precise piecing that it certainly takes the use of scraps to a new level. The circular shapes imply a wedding ring, but renowned 20th-century quilt designer Ruby Short McKim writes in her popular book, 101 Patchwork Patterns (Dover Publications, 1962) about the many individual pieces and says smilingly of the pattern, “such a variegated scheme suggests married life.”
I thought this pattern would be perfect to insert in a project for “wedding” month on CraftStylish. And, since I haven’t attempted it before, I thought it would be a personal challenge. After a second thought, however, I realized that it’s a pretty complex pattern, and I probably wouldn’t be able to offer it as a quilt. It takes a lot of time to sew all those little pieces together! So I came up with a simplified version that can be sewn together quickly and uses only a portion of the design—four arcs that meet at their points to form a nice motif in their own right. It uses only two pattern pieces and is machine-appliquéd to a base. As a mini quilt, it makes a perfect cover for a picnic basket, and it’s just the right size on which to spread out a picnic for two.
What you’ll need to make a 27-inch x 27-inch quilted picnic mat:
- 1 yard of fabric for the backing, borders, and four end blocks
- 3/4 yard of fabric for the base
- 1/4 yard of fabric for the eight arcs
- 1/8 yard of fabric for the remaining four end blocks
- A square of quilt batting slightly larger than 25 inches x 25 inches
To make the mat:
1. Enlarge the pattern below by 300% and cut eight arcs and eight corner squares (four light and four dark).
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
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Find ideas to create the ultimate DIY Wedding and to help plan any showers and parties this spring.