18th century Floral Bed Cover design

The first time I saw this design I fell in love with it. It comes from a book by Virginia Churchill Bath entitled Embroidery Masterworks:classic patterns and techniques for contemporary application. It’s full of wonderful designs taken directly from the original embroideries, including a color plate of each piece and extensive, detailed historical and stitching information.

This design is the center medallion on a large bed cover from the 18th century.  One quarter of the whole center medallion is worked in each of the four corners of the original. The entire piece has been worked in chain stitch. Although I like chain stitch well enough, an entire piece using only chain stitch didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted to play with stitches and try out combinations I thought would be fun.

I also wanted to be stitching something summery during the early days of summer so I chose brighter and more varied colors. Here you will find the first post about this project. While I loved the design, I didn’t need a bed cover so I decided to use half of the design. I’d not worked anything in a half circle before and I could imagine quite a few interesting ways to finish a piece of embroidery in this shape. (Of course, I haven’t decided on what I’ll do yet!)

Now that I’ve finished, I am so pleased with the variation in stitches, the colors and the different textures of the piece. It’s one where I often would see it out of the corner of my eye, on the stand in the light, and think – Oh! that’s pretty!

I did add one thing that wasn’t part of the original design – tiny lazy daisy stitches on each side of the small tulips in the arched border. I chose to use yellow and pink thread, alternating the colors. I think it really helps pull all the colors of the piece together.

So, without more words, here it the finished project.

Detail of tulips with lazy daisy stitch


The End!


19 thoughts on “18th century Floral Bed Cover design

  1. Bravo Kathy, it looks wonderful. But don’t you just love that yellow daisy at the bottom. Absolute proof that sometimes it’s better to remove and start again.

    • Hi Anita,

      No idea! I’m am just terrible about finishing my embroidery!
      Thank you everybody for such nice compliments! 🙂

      Liebe Grusse,

  2. Love-love-love it! It looks like so much fun to stitch! My favorite (thought it was hard to pick just one) is the yellow bullion and blanket stitch flower. Darling and lovely and all things nice!

  3. Hello Kathy,

    It was so interesting to follow your progress – both the trial and error and the aha moments. The photo of the finished project made me smile as soon as I saw it. So lovely.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! I like your interpretation better than the original. It’s been so instructive watching you go through the creative process. This is a beautiful piece you can be very proud of!

  5. Beautiful work. Lovely variety of stitches and the end result is a more colourful piece than the original. Yes, you should be proud of it.

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