Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Bridal Wreath Applique Quilt


Quilt by Wanda Buell Ross 
Nebraska Quilt Project & the Quilt Index

A popular late-20th century design, a wreath with a central heart design
and four hearts in the corners.

Ruth Willett, Michigan Project

The Quilt Index has a few of these, all stitched after 1949 when the pattern was first published by Marguerite Ickis in her book The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting

Marguerite lived in New York City after graduating from Columbia University.
She worked for the W.P.A. and wrote a couple of books on crafts and quilts.

Bridal Wreath
After looking at a lot of applique blocks with hearts in the corners for our Ladies' Aid New York Sampler last year we can guess that Marguerite found this quilt in New York. It does seem to be one-of-a-kind if one assumes it was made before 1930.

Rebecca Schnekenburger's Ladies' Aid Sampler with hearts linking the album blocks.
See the pattern links for twelve of the blocks here:

It's too bad we don't have a color picture of the quilt Ickis patterned.
Hard to say how old it is.

The Wyoming project pictured two.

These were probably made in the 1960-1990 period after Dover re-published her book and sold quite a few copies. Most quilters seem to have drawn their own variation from the photo in the book. It's good beginner applique with simple shapes. You'd get darn good at leaves and hearts by the time you finished a dozen blocks.

If they used her pattern drawing they would have placed the interior hearts on the
north/south axis of the block instead of the diagonal shown in the old quilt.

The pattern also appeared in a magazine, but I don't have a source.

I thought we could use a better pattern based more on the original quilt.

Print this out on 8-1/2" x 11" paper. Note the inch square for sizing.
Marguerite's wreath circle is quite narrow. You might want to make it a 3/8" finished bias strip.

She called the design Bridal Wreath. We have no idea where her information came from (aside from her imagination---a common reporting method at the time).
Read more about Marguerite Ickis at these posts:
She spent her later years in Dennis, Massachusetts:

From the unknown magazine

And I believe she was the first inductee into the Quilters' Hall of Fame:


  1. the magazine entry was either mccall's or lady's circle...i remember seeing it and loving it then, still do...thanks for the interesting info!

  2. Timeless pattern. It made beautiful quilts!

  3. Interestingly, a friend of mine made me a mini quilt out of just one block. I had no idea the history behind it or even the name. Thank you.

  4. Loved reading this entry. I was one of the many who purchased the re-issued version of her book when the resurgence of interest in quilting preceded the Bicentennial.