Sunday, December 11

Quaker Medallion

Last year I wrote a paper about Quaker schoolgirl needlework for my History of Art Education course. My professor mentioned recently how much she enjoyed that particular topic, (perhaps wondering why I didn't expand on it for my thesis) so I decided to make a little medallion for her as a parting gift. All my grades are in and I'll be officially granted my Master's degree in January! Goodbye Academia!

Anyway, back to the medallion.
Medallions like these show up in the samplers from the Ackworth Friends School in England. As 18th-19th century Friends were quite the travelers, these designs spread quickly among Quaker schools from England to America. The ornate medallions may seem to contradict the "plain-ness" expected of Quaker needlework, but their monochrome colors still make them acceptable. They are often seen as half-medallions around the border of a sampler, but the half-medallions are easily adapted into a full circle.
 I generally dislike doing cross-stitch, but it was kind of fun to follow this radial design. I really only used the pattern for the first quarter, and then just copied the quadrants. I used the pdf pattern available on Needleprint, a wonderful resource for Quaker schoolgirl designs. I left out some of the doodads in the pattern and used the remaining negative space for a monogram. With only the botom part filled in it has taken on a slightly heart-shape! I used a slightly variegated red/red-violet DMC thread for some subtle color shift that makes it look a bit older or more handmade, on a tan aida cloth for an antique look. I expect to turn it into a little stuffed ornament- now if only I had a bit of red and white toile for the back- it would be perfect.
This kind of monochrome stitching makes me want to get back into some blackwork....

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