Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wedding Ring Tile

Toni brought a quilt by the other day to see if I knew the pattern. At first I was stumped but I did a little digital breakdown of the units.

It's an octagon with strips around it pieced to a plain square

I found it in an obscure section of my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns that I called Multi-Patch, which means there isn't a square block but there is some repetitive design unit.
There are not very many of these designs based on an octagonal grid, but this pattern is one of them. Workbasket Magazine published it in 1941 as Wedding Ring Tile.
It was supposed to be colored in scrappy 30s style but the alternating red strips give it some punch.
I don't know that I've ever seen that pattern made up before.

But I knew where to look and I found one in the marvelous Quilt Index. It was recorded by the Wyoming quilt project, made by Katy Doty in the late 20th century---just like the pattern.

Click here:

I can't give you a pattern and it's not in BlockBase because it's not a block---or anyway not a square block. It's way beyond my drafting skills.

Added on April 4th

Mary Jo has posted some pictures of various patterns on her Picasa site.

Added on April 5th
One reason some of us love quilt patterns so much is the puzzle aspect. We are determined to solve it and figure out the repeat. Sarah from Pacifica has been busy in Electric Quilt, drawing the design as 2 blocks, a square and a rectangle, so there are no set-in seams. Many thanks to Sarah.


  1. I just made a block up similar to this:
    (still need to finish it...)

    I have been playing with Hexagons and odd shapes to show off some BIG toile prints. I worked out a a way to play with that shape, and added a border and bits around.. I like how these fit together... Lovely quilt!

  2. It shows that quilters come up with great ideas and more than once. There have been many quilts that when I look thru my books (which I often do), I find some quilter has done it before. The diversity and ingenuity of quilts is phenomenal. Bonnie

  3. The quilt in your post is an octagon, the quilt from Wyoming is a hexagon - I wonder which was more common? I would think the hexagon, it's easier!

  4. The quilt on Quilt Index doesn't have the squares though and has shared borders. The quilt above looks like it is an octagon within a square block. The small squares are formed where the blocks come together.

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  6. I drew out an example if you would like to see it. I can send it to you in PDF format or post it to my site if you'd rather.

  7. Love that quilt - wonder how effective the design would be without the red. Perhaps a light/dark value...but that continuity of all the red really makes it striking.

    hmmmm I think I'm gong to grab some graph paper right now and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. It is beautiful! I think I may have added one more quilt on my list of things to make someday.

  9. The pattern for both of those quilts is in one of the Aunt Martha quilt books. I bought my copy in the early 1980s and don't know if they are currently available.

  10. The quilt in the quilt index picture is #431 Faithful circle...the quilt with the squares is #445.8 wedding ring tile
    both are beautiful

  11. Great looking quilt. I see the pattern as a kaleidoscope with 4 white half-square triangle corners. Marilyn Doheny used pieced strata in the 90s with her ruler. You could add the little wedges along the edge in place of a strip. I know this makes no sense without an illustration, but I think I can achieve that quilt with her ruler. Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Thanks to all who pointed out the hexagon/octagon difference. Kevin---post the picture and give us a link, please

  13. Dear Barbara,
    I know that you must love what you do or you wouldn't bother, but I wanted to deeply thank you for sharing what you learn with the rest of us.

  14. I am currently EPPing a Faithful Circle quilt. It is my takealong project.

  15. MJinMichigan I have the pattern and yes you can still find Aunt Martha patterns sometimes used on e-bay and also there is a site called "colonialpatterns.com" and I believe that they are located in the state of Missouri. Go on-line and check them out and even e-mail them. I just pulled out my booklets and I am going to check which booklet to find it in. Here it is Booklet Number 3778 on page 7 and the booklet is called Bold and Beautiful Quilts. There are 16 patchwork quilts in each booklet. I have all except for 2 because I have some patterns in other books and I don't care for some others. Check out that company and they are great. I bought them back in the 80's era at a book store. Best of luck to all.

  16. KevinB made a pattern, did he ever send it to you?