Based on an Historical Embroidery Design by Sarah Bland
Download the FREE .PDF Pattern from my Dropbox: Rose Medallion
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This lovely little rose is actually an old project from 2013! On one hand it's hard to believe that it's been so long since I made it, and on the other hand it's something I treasure so much that it sort of feels like it's been a part of my life forever ;)
It all started when I was searching through the wonderful online collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), and came across this Berlin Woolwork pattern that is part of a larger personal project album designed by Sarah Bland (1810-1905):
Image used for non-commercial purposes © Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Isn't it amazing that a design drawn over 100 years ago still looks so vibrant today?!
I was very taken with the rose filling motif, and recharted my own version:
This was actually the first piece of Berlin Woolwork that I've recharted and stitched; the second was the Key and Ribbon I shared last year as part of the Stitch From Stash (SFS) Challenge - it's tiny because it's stitched over 1 on 28 count Evenweave:
As a matter of fact, I actually chose most of the colours for the Key from this project!
I wanted to keep the feel of the original octagonal medallion, and although at first I considered keeping the orange, yellow and turquoise at the corners, I eventually decided to add gold corners in the style of Victorian photo-albums as a frame:
Before Background Fill / After Background Fill
And then I filled in the background with solid white, which finally gave the rose the proper needlework look! Berlin Woolwork was worked with brightly coloured wools that contrasted so strongly we would consider them clashing on needlework canvas, and so the backgrounds were almost always fully stitched with patterns or solids.
So leaving the Aida cloth (14 count white, all cross-stitch with three strands of floss) unstitched made the work look unfinished. With that in mind, I also added a row of white outside the frame, so it would be filled edge-to-edge.
While I was stitching this project, I took lots of photos intending to make a step-by-step tutorial - unfortunately, most of them did not turn out, which is why I decided not to post about it. It wasn't until recently when I was talking to Karen about fine crochet and final-finishing that I remembered how much I loved this rose :)
But after some digging, I was able to find some photos of the process to share!
I made a basic Padded Ornament, just like I did in my Blackwork Snowflake Tutorial:
It was a total accident that I left my opening at the side instead of the top!
But I did something entirely different for the edging, and crocheted into the Aida blocks! I used size 10 South Maid crochet cotton in White and a 1.00 mm (size 10) hook. I worked a row of single crochet all around as a base and then added simple Shell Stitches for the trim and a little hanging loop at the top:
It was fun to work, and was the perfect finishing touch for the rose :) I backed the ornament with a scrap of the beautiful gold velveteen I used in my Floral Heart.
And that's it!! Out of all the many projects that I've made over the years, this sweet simple rose is one of my very favourites, and ever since I finished it, it's been hanging in my living room on a little brass picture frame hook and cheering me up everyday :)
If you stitch up a Berlin Woolwork Rose Medallion of your own, I'd love to see it!
Thanks very much to Karen, for her interest in this project, without which this post would very likely never have been written ;)