Photos For Inspiration

Each thumbnail below links to a file that contains several pictures of the particular inspirational piece. There are six inspirational pieces in total. You will need Adobe Reader to view these files, which you can download for free from here.


Medallion Quilt


A medallion quilt the origins of which sadly remain unknown, dated 1880. Made of heavy wools, possibly suiting, and a cotton stripe, this quilt presents a variety of block designs some of which have been embellished with embroidery. The centre medallion in a 9-patch variation measures about 73 cm. The first border of pieced triangles is 7 cm deep followed by a dramatic, 35-cm border of 4-patch blocks alternating with another 9-patch variation called Puss in the Corner. The borders, often referred to as World Fair, are joined side by side on the ends for a depth of 19 cm and top to bottom on the sides for a depth of 10 cm. The birds of the central medallion and the various flowers in the 4-patch blocks have been created using woollen yarns and suggest the work of at least two different embroiderers.



Made as part of trousseau for a wedding that took place in 1919, this cape is beautiful example of custom design and handwork! Made of fine wool in a soft green it is finished with an elaborate series of hand-embroidered medallions around collar, along the front edges in the corners and down the centre back all joined together with a scrollwork design along the entire edge. All the embroidery is done in silver metallic thread in a couching stitch. The cape is 42 cm deep and measures approximately 250 cm around the bottom edge. The lining is grey silk and attached by hand. The neck is finished with a silver ball-shaped button made of the same metallic thread.

Evening Bag


This evening bag dates to about 1920. Embroidered in oriental-style flowers in shades of blue, turquoise, green, pink and coral on ecru silk in satin and Pekinese stitches, this bag is a vibrant and charming piece of work. The bag is lined in textured coral silk, complete with a small interior pocket. A metal filigree frame with hinges at both ends and in the centre of both sides facilitates access. The handle is a metal chain and the entire piece is finished with a turquoise stone mounted on the centre front of the frame. The finished size is 13 cm across the top, widening to 18 cm at the bottom, with an overall depth of 14 cm.

Picot Cushion


Cushion made around 1960, about the time picot edging was beginning to make a comeback. Thirty (30) rows of picot points have been stitched in over-lapping rows onto a base of sage green fabric, one of the many fabrics used in the construction creation of the triangles. What appears to be lining fabric in at least a dozen colours was used for the triangles, joined together in groupings of three, four or five of a single colour to make up rows of 25 points. The fourth side of the cushion is sewn together by hand.

Evening Dress


An evening dress made in France about 1930. Beautifully constructed in layers of taupe silk organza, with rose taffeta inserts, a lace underlayer in bodice and sleeves, intricate embroidery combined with beadwork, an underskirt of turquoise satin, and a sash of rust-coloured velvet have been combined in a dress of singular beauty. The embroidery combined with beadwork has been done by hand using copper and some gold metallic thread along with turquoise embroidery cotton and minute black beads to delineate the edges. The centre front of the skirt is decorated to suggest paired buttons and buttonholes using the same threads on a rose taffeta base for the buttons.  An interesting perspective on the custom design process is seen in the underskirt which was lengthened by about 15 cm. It is faced with the same fabric with an additional piece of silk ribbon covering the seam.

Wedding Dress


A wedding dress, dated 1912-1914, of cotton lawn with a variety of pin tucks and lace inserts in the bodice, sleeves and the flounce that finishes the skirt. In the upper sleeves alone there are three sets of four pin tucks as well as an additional grouping of six tucks in lower sleeve. Some of the narrower laces have been used singly as well as combined together as two- or three-piece bands. Wider lace has been used alone and in combination with one of the narrow laces to enhance to bodice. Rows of the narrow lace are also combined in a high, boned collar that completes this delicate-looking dress. The back is closed with a row of 17 hooks and eyes. 

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