Valentine’s Day: when our thoughts turn to love, chocolate, flowers, and quilts. Before we get to the quilt part, a little background on St. Valentine.
There is more than one early saint called Valentine, but the popular story about this particular St. Valentine is that he performed marriages in secret for Roman soldiers who had been forbidden to marry by the Emperor. In the 14th century, when the ideal of courtly love was born (during the same period that Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales), St. Valentine’s day became associated with romantic love. And it grew ever more popular from there, especially when the Victorians grabbed onto it with both hands, establishing it as the Big Deal that it is today.
What does this have to do with quilting, you ask? Well, first comes love, then comes marriage, and giving the bride and groom a quilt as a wedding gift is still popular, even though it might not be the necessity it was years ago. The double wedding ring quilt is what we all think of as the perfect pattern for newlyweds. (The double wedding ring quilt pictured at the top comes from the collection of The National Museum of American History. Made in 1930, by an unknown quilter; ID 1986.1029.01. You may view the record here.)
No matter what the pattern is, we say that if you make a quilt for a young couple starting off life together, you are carrying on a fine tradition.
Wishing you hearts, joy, and happy stitching!
For more interesting facts about Double Wedding Ring quilts, please visit the following sites:
At Womenfolk.com, an article on the Double Wedding Ring: Quilt Patterns Through Time.
A post on the Double Wedding Ring at Quilting in America.
An article on quilts for weddings at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum