Of all the old quilt pieces you can find on ebay or in thrift stores, Double Wedding Ring arcs and pieces seem to be the most abundant. It was a very popular pattern in the 30′s and 40′s and, because it is challenging to piece, many quilters seem to have ended up with unfinished DWRs.
Because I have lots more vintage pieces than I need for my DWR quilt, I was looking for another pattern that would accommodate the particular shape of my pieces. Contemporary and factory-made DWR quilts usually have fewer squarish pieces in the arc — older quilts generally have thicker arcs with narrower pieces (like mine).
The pattern I settled on is Ferris Wheel — from an old Aunt Martha’s booklet entitled “Quilt Designs — Old Favorites and New” (the pattern is scanned below). As I’ve said before, I love these old books which just contain templates and minimal instructions. I had to reduce the pattern to 85% of the original to fit my pieces, but it’s still going to be a nice-sized quilt. I think I am going to quilt spokes in the middle of the block, but I never make a decision about the quilting design until the top is done.
Update: The Ferris Wheel Quilt top is finished — you can see it here.