Saturday, May 23, 2015

A New Bed!

As you know, the bedroom at Daviot House has undergone many transformations - it has really been a difficult space to get right, a long and narrow room, with little space for a bed.

First, I liked the idea of an alcove bed, but sadly, it was so far at the back that you couldn't see any of the embroidery on the pillows and bed sheets... plus it left a huge area of unused space at the front.

The next incarnation was blue with a single tester bed, but sadly, someone pointed out that it looked very 'French', which I think was meant as a compliment, but not the look I was trying to achieve AT ALL!  It's good to have comments, they put things in perspective.    So I went back to the drawing board and tried to figure out what I wanted, and how it would all fit it.

Then I found this room in Provost Skene's House in Aberdeen. 

 Small, Scottish, white walls, dark antique furniture, and best of all, a four poster bed to adorn with embroidery.  Perfect! So this has been the starting point, and I'm gradually getting closer to completion.

A simple stone fireplace, with the initials of Daviot House's first inhabitants, Alexander and Flora MacGillivray, built exactly 400 years ago.  which reminds me, I must get on with organising a giveaway soon to celebrate!

Crewel work curtains and bed hangings are made from printed material for now, as you know it takes AGES to embroider things!  This way, I can feel that the room is 'public ready' without being stressed out about completing the sewing.

This bed was the best find ever (I think it was originally Irene who used one in her fabulous Tenement) - just the right size to be fairly imposing, as old beds were, but not too big for the space.  And look at all that embroidering potential!  Hangings, pillows, sheets, bed spreads, steps, the list is growing....

The bed is from Ashwood designs, and it is perfectly made.  I will be visiting them again!

Here is the portrait I painted of Flora MacGillivray, dated from about 1614.  I found an orginal painting of the time that had the cherry tree in the background, which I thought was really lovely and unusual.  It also gave me the colour scheme for the room, which is shades of cherry red and dusky pinks, and not, dare I say it BLUE!  Who would think!

Here is the start on the bedclothes - a bolster embroidered with tiny needlepoint and straight stitches, a design I came up with one sunny afternoon.  I have embroidered directly on to the cotton, which must be about 60 count, though I couldn't say exactly,  I will be applying this motif to the bedsheets as well.

So, lots of work in store, but I am very happy with the results so far!



  1. Bellissimo questo cuscino, Jonquil! Anche a me piacciono i mobili in miniatura di Ashwood. :-)

  2. It is really beautiful. I know it can only get better. Looking forward to seeing more. :-)

  3. It is a gorgeous bed, and it does look very Scottish!

  4. Beautiful!! Loving the bedroom.


  5. I agree completely that this is the "look" for that era! The bed is Awesome and will be a masterpiece when you have done all your stitching! The bolster looks just Gorgeous! Yes, it is a great thing when a comment helps point us in the right direction! Sometimes it helps us to realize what it is we are looking for!

  6. What a great read this post was and I'm pleased to be able to help you find the ideal bed - Ashworth items are just excellent for this period. I'm loving all your ideas for this space and really looking forward to following your progress. It's always interesting to see what you've been up to with that needle of yours!

  7. Hi Jonquil! I love it when the room gives you the THUMBS UP! so that you know that you are heading in the right direction. :)) Your love for embroidery will have such an opportunity to showcase your talents on the bed linens and the pattern that you have selected for the bolster is Beautiful!!!! I LOVE the bed frame as well and what a perfect partner for the linens. YOU are on you way!!!! :D


  8. Amazing work and exquisite embroidery!

  9. Hello Jonquil,
    I have to say, you got it just right. The bed is perfect for the room. It is a very handsome piece of furniture. I love the fireplace in the room and I cannot wait to see your amazing embroidery. I am happy you redid items in the room until you got it right. It is perfect!
    Big hug,

  10. Ooh I love this bedroom, and what a bed. It will look divine with your beautiful embroideries.