Thursday, September 1, 2011

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Do you ever wonder if you inherited your love of quilting through DNA from an ancestor?

Why are some quilters drawn to the light colors in vintage scrap quilts, while others are attracted to the darker shades common in Civil War blocks?

Why do some crave the bright colors of Indonesian batiks, while others love the Appalachian solids with geometric patterns?
It's an interesting concept to ponder.

While I staying in the guest bedroom of my brother's home, I noticed the Double Wedding Ring quilt made by our grandmother somewhere between 1930-1940.

This quilt would fit perfectly with the many scrap quilts I had just photographed from the Exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

I wish my Grandmother were alive so I could ask her about this quilt.

Were the scraps taken from dresses my mother might have worn as a child?

Did I inherit my love of scrap quilts from her?

When my mother passed away, we found the quilt top in an old cedar chest.

It was partially quilted, with no batting, and a muslin backing.

My sister in law sent it to the Amish, who completed the hand quilting.

The purple binding is frayed from age.

The Double Wedding Ring pattern is the most popular in the history of quilts.

First published in 1928 by the Cappers Weekly in Topeka, Kansas, it is said that the DWR brought romance to the Great Depression.

The skill level required is usually advanced.

Women would often start their DWR before they married, and then complete years after the ceremony.

This is the only quilt we have inherited from our grandmother Robyn.

She was known as a good Christian woman, with a compassionate and loving nature, and was often found serving in her community and church.
She walked the streets with a protest sign during the Women's Suffrage movement in the United States, influential in helping women gain the right to vote.

She loved to cook, and was often found with needle in hand.

During WWII she traveled 12 hours on a bus, with a wedding cake on her lap, to be present when my mother married.

She was the kind of woman who supported her children through thick and thin.

I would be honored if some of those qualities could be passed down through DNA, too.


Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

Wonderful wonderful quilt and those scraps could be from a line released right now, couldn't they - modern, traditional, new, old - I love how nothing really changes in quilting!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Thanks for sharing the lovely DWR Quilt with us. I remember the quilt my grandmother made me before she died in 1968; I slept under it and wrapped in it until it literally fell apart in shreds. I can still visualize the tiny pink threads with which it was tied. Great memories.

Julia said...

Beautiful story and quilt lovely that you have the quilt to treasure.
I made a DWQ for our 40th anniversary...I hope my family will treasure it one you do your Grandmother's

Cardygirl said...

Love the quilt & adore the story...thank you!

Abby and Stephanie said...

Quite a treasure. Double Wedding Ring is a favorite pattern of mine. It's on my "one day" list.

Dirt Road Quilter said...

What an absolute treasure! I have often wondered the same, but then my story would debunk the DNA theory. No one in my family ever quilted that I am aware of, but I had this burning desire to quilt. I love how we are now writing down our journey so that future generations will know WHY and how and what we quilt. It'll help answer all those questions we would have asked previous generations.

Ruth said...

How wonderful that the quilt is being cared for. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could talk to our grandmothers now when we are older. I have some applique blocks that mine made - I need to put them together. I think they were made in the 30's or 40's and are made out of feed sacks.

Kathy said...

Hello, it's Kathy from Q. W. and I can vouch for the fact that you did inherit the same wonderful talents and traits as your Grandmother. I've often wondered where my love of all things related to quilting came from and am sure there must be a quilter among my ancestors, too! Thanks for sharing your quilting treasure. Maybe you can inherit it someday??

Gina E. said...

What a great story, and your family is so lucky to have this quilt still with a family member. Your sister-in-law must be a very caring person, to organise the Amish people to finish the quilt. I guess they wouldn't do that for everyone that asked!

em's scrapbag said...

The double wedding ring quilt is quite a treasure. I don't think quilting is the only wonderful quality you inherited from your grandmother. I recognize many of the ones you listed in you.

Mary Grace McNamara said...

What a treasure, and a wonderful family story!


Unknown said...

My name is Robyn. I hope that people will say all the nice things that you said about your Robyn, about me one day. I just finished my first DWR quilt myself. You can see it on my blog. I also entered it in the Riley Blake quilt contest. I was thinking of making it again, my husband said no way.

Lois Evensen said...

What a lovely post. I just love it. I am convinced that my love of needlework came through my mother. Each evening after a day of taking care of us, cooking, cleaning she would settle into her chair with needlework on her lap. I now do the same after a busy day. I am sure it comes through experience and perhaps DNA, too.

The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution gave women the right to vote in 1919, the states ratified it in 1920. In 1920 my mother was ten years old; my father was sixteen.

We've come a long way, baby!

Eileen said...

Thank you for sharing the quilt and story.

Linda said...

Nedra you got a lot of DNA from your grandmother, not only the love of quilting. I wonder if she was also a writer? :)
My own mother, and two sisters do not have the passion for sewing/quilting that I have. I must have gotten DNA from grandmothers, or aunts, certainly not immediate family.

My Sweet Boys said...

That is such a wonderful story, the quilt is amazing. Thank you for sharing such a blessed story.

Browndirtcottage said...

Beautiful Beautiful...this fabulous quilt and your lovely sentiment of
your grandmother!!!!!

amy smart said...

What a fabulous quilt! I love looking at the vintage fabrics - but her story makes it even better. Love it, Nedra!

Cindy said...

Sounds like you are a lot like your grandmother! You are kind, always serving and helping others. And you love to quilt.
I often think about what kind of 'grandmother' I will be remembered as.