Double Wedding Ring
2 x 4 quilt block
Glenn and Martha Covington love antiques, quilts, and attending auctions. Several years ago, at an auction in Macon, N.C., they purchased a brightly colored Double Wedding Ring quilt made in the 1970’s. They chose this design for their quilt block because they felt its name was appropriate for their jewelry business.
The couple met in Dallas, TX, where Glenn worked as a cartographer for an oil company. The family later moved to Hendersonville, N.C. after Martha’s father died to be close to her mother. Glenn worked as an engineer for Asheville Industries for several years and started a part-time job at a local jewelry store in the evenings and on Saturdays. He later became a goldsmith and worked in Hendersonville, Forest City and Brevard.
When Glenn and Martha decided to open their own store in 2003 they considered many areas before deciding that Landrum was the perfect spot.
Built in 1954, the building in which the Covington & Company Jewelry store resides, originally housed Walden’s Furniture. It was later split into multiple smaller stores and the Covingtons purchased the store that formerly held Market on Main.
Wanting to create the ambience of a neighborhood jewelry store, they display jewelry not only in glass counters, but also on the tops of antique furniture, alongside antique cameras and glassware. Remembering times with his grandmother and quilts that she had made, Glenn also displayed quilts when they first opened the store.
Some historians claim the Double Wedding Ring quilt originated in the 1870’s. One myth puts it even earlier claiming that, since no wedding rings were available during the Civil War, a bride’s grandmother gave up her prized Double Wedding Ring quilt to symbolize the rings.
The design, however, was not documented in any quilt pattern books until the late Twenties when it first appeared in an October issue of Capper's Weekly and then later in the same month in Kansas. The Double Wedding Ring is very similar to some 40 other blocks, such as Pickle Dish, Around the World, Friendship Knot, and the Philadelphia Patch.
Two layers of interlocking rings, known as the wedding rings, are the key to this design. Challenging to create, in the beginning it was made by piecing the rings together from multiple fabric square, then sewing them to a backing fabric. This block was very popular during the Depression, mainly, because it could be made almost entirely out of scraps.
Hung October 2013
Funded by Covington & Company Jewelry and the Mary F. Kessler Fund/Polk County Community Foundation, Tryon, NC