Friday, September 4, 2015

Ferns and Berries

Red Applique from Ferns and Berries c. 1840 Antique Quilt
A 150 years ago, when making an applique quilt you would not have many thread options readily available.

White was the norm.
Bright turkey red, rich green fabrics - white thread.

Would you do that today?

Three Full Size Block and Two Full Size 
Border Sizes in the pattern

The antique Ferns and Berries quilt in our collection (c.1840)  is completely hand sewn - in white thread.

Kelly Anns Quilting has kitted up this fantastic quilt.  Three block and Two Borders Sizes
Tel: 540-341-8890
This is what they wrote on Facebook:
This past summer when Dawn from Collector with a Needle was here with her collection of quilts she introduced many of you to Ferns and Berries. We chatted about kitting up the 58" square quilt and talked about how perfect it would be for Christmas. We are now offering the kits, pre-order, for $74.99. The kit will include all the fabric for the front and binding. If you don't have the pattern we can also order that and it is $21.99. Doreen did an amazing job on the sample block...pop in to order your kit today.
Phone number  Tel: 540-341-8890

Reproduction by Doreen - Aunt Reen's Place

Doreen's (Aunt Reen's Place) sample block is great!  It is on display in Kelly Ann's.

The prolific quilter that she is - she has two sizes of Ferns and Berries in the works!  She is planning to incorporate the quilt in her holiday decorating.


She appliqued her berry stems.  Some of the antique versions of this quilt embroider the stems.  The original in our collection has applique stems.

Greens From the c. 1840s Original

Selecting greens is an interesting decision when reproducing antique applique.
The greens of this era were not always a stable dye.  This photo shows a portion of the appliqué and the binding.  Where the binding is worn away, a hint of the original green (still a bit faded) remains.  There is no one 'right' green!
Note the use of white thread on the green fabric.

A Portion of the Hand Quilting in the Antique Ferns & Berries

The pattern for this pattern includes every line of the detailed hand quilting from the original - in multiple sizes.  You can quilt yours just like the original.

The quilting motifs can be used for hand or machine quiting.  So much detail - so many options!

Happy Stitching - -  with any color thread you love!


  1. Such a gorgeous applique quilt!! It would be very challenging to applique with white thread all colors of fabric - it would train you to take tiny stitches I think. I love that you include the quilting lines with your patterns :0)

  2. Fascinating. And we fuss and stew about getting things to match just so. I am there with the worst of them. If I did applique, I don't know that I could use white thread, even to reproduce an original made that way. I am way too OCD, I know!!

  3. I doubt I would use the white thread today on the darker colors, but I don't mind it at all in these quilts. It adds such a vintage flair.:)

  4. It's a beautiful quilt. I love red and green quilts :) Doreen's block is amazing...I can understand why people would embroider versus trying to make such tiny stems!

  5. I really love this beautiful pattern!
    The block sample I made was 15", so it was nice and big to work on.
    Best part, the pattern comes with FULL size block and quilting designs so no need to enlarge them - just trace & start sewing!

  6. I llike using one thread and really like the look of seeing those stitches a bit. Weird I know! Not sure I would choose white but I do understand and love that that what was on hand was used. I think that today's quilters get too caught up in perfection!

  7. If all you have is white thread then that is what you use! We are so fortunate to have lovely fine threads in different colours and it makes us stitchers look good too:)
    I love Doreen's block and think this is the perfect Christmas quilt! I agree with Janet - so good that you include the quilting lines.

  8. Another beautiful quilt and authentic pattern. I'm not sure what green I would use, but I don't think I could use the white thread on all the pieces. Of course, if that's all I had, that's what I'd have to use. But I'm glad I don't. :0)

  9. Oh my gosh, this quilt is just gorgeous! Too bad I'm not into all the work of applique these days cause I could see myself doing this one. Love it!

  10. So many of today's quilts are artistically perfect and we admire and respect them. But the quilts of long ago draw us in with open arms - we can hear the quiltmaker asking us to sit a spell. White thread on turkey red or a point nipped off to fit - this is why we love them. The berries on this green and red quilt are wonderful - love this pattern!!

  11. I like using only one thread. My favorite is YLI hand-quilting thread - brown. Less thread .... more fabric!

  12. My 1852 Chester Criswell quilt is appliqued entirely with white thread - except for one block which is sewn with black! The maker must have been desperate that day! Love this pattern, it does look inviting.

  13. What a wonderful and amazing quilt!!

  14. Just feeling really thankful for all the shades of thread available my stitches would not be as charming as those in the white thread! LOL The quilt is a thing of beauty for sure.


Thanks for your comments!