September 22, 2011

What's in a Name? Single Wedding Ring or Crown of Thorns

*edited 9/23

An apology to everyone that I offended with this post.  I'm not going to remove it because, darn it, I worked hard on it and I think it has a lot of interesting information.

I was trying to be witty in pointing out my ignorance.  My veiled sarcasm has gotten me into trouble once again.

I felt really stupid yesterday when I realized that I might have been calling the block by the incorrect name.  I really appreciated the other the other name being shared with me. I was a bit embarrassed to think I'd been calling the block by the wrong name and that people, the three that read the blog besides the "others" that check in to see what kind of trouble I'm causing but will never admit it, would think I thought I had come up with something new and original like the Wedding Ring block but was too stupid or arrogant to know that I hadn't.

As originally written......

alittlebitcrafty pointed out that my Single Wedding Ring block is also known as the Crown of Thorns block.  Who knew?!  I came across the Wedding Ring block months ago in a couple of magazines and then through a Google search when I was thinking about the Double Wedding Ring block and a quilt of them for a Bella and Edward wedding quilt.  I took the block, a block in the public domain, and designed a quilt using it.  Nope, not original at all....  I set it with some triangles and added a border with a treasured quilter's technique, Built-in-Borders, to add some pizzazz and there you go!

I'm not much of a quilt historian.  I flirted with reproduction fabrics and blocks, Civil War and 1930s, years ago.  I've never done much research into the history of quilts and their blocks, which is a shame because I have a love for History (racking up as many credits in that major as Criminal Justice in college).  Quilting has been more about playing at what I love, fabric and skill, rather than learning.  I know what I like without putting much thought into the wealth of history that is its foundation.

How do quilt blocks get their names?  Do blocks have more than one name?  (They do!)  Could a block named one thing today have a different name in 50 years?
Quilt historian Barbara Brackman says that although many modern quilters believe that familiar traditional blocks were "born" with the names by which we now know them, since the widespread naming and publishing of quilt patterns did not start until the 1890s, we have no way of knowing whether the names we give these blocks today are what they were called 150 years ago. (

Debate has peaked about quilt block names in the search for answers about quilts and the Underground Railroad.  I won't join the debate, but only reference a discussion that pertains to the name of the Wedding Ring/Crown of Thorns block.  (See the link above and scroll through the article.)  I've also discovered that the block is known by another name, Georgetown Circle.

Quilt blocks came by their names for many reasons, including religious and political bases.  (For more about how blocks can get their names:  Chapter 8, pg 508 and on of The Quilter's Catalog.)

The great thing, or bad, about this great name debate is that I think I should have been more creative with the coloring or fabric selections for my blocks.  The Crown of Thorns block typically features two fabrics:  one for the crown and another for the thorns.  Maybe I should have gone that route?

I will finish what I started....the Single Wedding Ring block!  That's the block name I'm going with because, after all, I'm making a wedding quilt.  And, since I've made five blocks, with the original scheme of one single fabric and a background fabric because I'm too far along with the project to change my mind no matter how much I'd like to.

Thank you!


  1. each block looks like a faceted jewel to me - and i like the two colors ... hey, word ver is listyper - i don't usually type my list, though, so it must not be about ME!

  2. i know you're not talking to me, i found the post very interesting and not in the least bit offensive ... sigh ... some peoples' children, lemmetellya...


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