Saturday, June 20, 2015

Getting on with the bedding...

I thought I would post my progress on the bedding.  First, a flowery embroidered pillow, very late Stuart, lovely Spring blooms in an urn.  I embroidered using petit point on some lovely antique cotton that I found at a brocante... I also made sheets out of antique handkerchiefs, the valance is made of some amazing needlelace which I just couldn't cut, so I have carefully manipulated the fabric under the mattress.  

I liked the polychrome effect of reds, blues and yellows, and used these colours to start the curtains for the bed.  


I was inspired by the needlepoint slips of the late 16th and early 17th century, and used petit point directly on to the cotton. The white is a little too bright, so I will be bathing the curtain in a solution of weak tea to mellow it slightly.


The cotton fabric has a very small count, though I haven't counted it, as I think I would go cross-eyed!  Let's just say it is small, very small!  Here you can see I have started to intersperse the flowers and fruits with animals.The designs are all my own, and I was inspired by various source, including the uncut slips from Traquair House in Scotland.

There's my thumb for scale, so yes, small.  The thread I am using is some vintage Guttermann silk sewing thread.  I found a box of it years ago, and I don't have a full range of colours.  This is quite useful, as embroidery from that time often had a restricted spectrum, and domestic embroiderers had to make do with what they could find or afford. 

My favourite motif so far is the tiny lemon tree at the top, with both fruit and flowers (the gardener in me is conveniently ignoring this).  This combination is often seen in slips, as they were usually taken from botanical prints, that for reference show the fruits and flowers at the same time.  I think it is quite a pretty effect!

I have had to order new contact lenses recently, so a gentle reminder to everyone working in miniature to take care of your eyes.  My progress is quite slow, as I try not to strain my eyes too much, they are very precious.  But hopefully you won't have to wait too long for the next installment...

As ever, thank you for your kind comments, they are very much appreciated.


  1. You bed is lovely. The embroidery is extraordinarily beautiful. You have done such an amazing job with all of it. I am very impressed!!! ;-))

  2. Love the textures and composition of that first picture. Your embroidery is really, really beautiful. I have great eyesight, but have noticed lately refocusing between distances has been taking a bit longer... think I had better heed your advice.

  3. This is just beautiful! I love your designs and the colours and your tiny, neat stitches. It will look amazing when it's all finished.

  4. Lo que se ve de la cama es espectacular. Tus bordados son impresionantes.

  5. Beautiful! Your skill is remarkable; I can't imagine embroidering such tiny stitches!

  6. Bonjour Jonquil! As usual your embroideries are just beautiful, it's so delicate work :)! It's amazing that you're working so small, and yes, take good care of your eyes! Personally I've noticed it too: not to work for a long time at once at miniatures, because of my eyes! Take care.
    Amicalement, Ilona

  7. Hello jonquil,
    I always leave your blog in awe of your talent. The flowers are magnificent, the animals are incredibly well done, and the lemon tree is fantastic. I have immense respect for your incredible skill. Don't keep us waiting too long ;)
    Big hug,

  8. Your embroidery, Jonquil, is exquisite! The pattern you are creating will be absolutely amazing when done! The tiny bits so far are perfection itself! I also have been unable to make myself cut the lace of beautiful old handkerchiefs... I tuck it in or let it drape! Yes, the eyes are precious... take care... but do keep going!!! I enjoy every single glimpse of your work!!!

  9. Oh, your work is just divine! I love the tiny stitches, but the design takes it even further. Everything so perfect, but there's still so much life in these. Btw, I've seen citrus with both fruit and flowers on, so maybe it can happen in lemons as well. :)

  10. oh my god Jonquil, I am always amazed by your skill in embroidery, not to mention the anormous amount of patience! I think it's amazing what you did here and I love your designs! The lemontree ís great, but I also very much like the strawberries and the pink flower and the squirrel, the butterfly, etc etc :D