Monday, March 24, 2008


I've been working on this off and on for the last year, but I've been thinking about making this cushion for almost ten years.

This is the Shell Cushion, designed in 1925 by Vanessa Bell. The original can be found in the Garden Room of the Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, the country retreat of Vanessa and Clive Bell and the gathering spot for their friends, the group of artists and writers known as the "Bloomsbury Group." (This is also the spot where designer Kaffe Fassett did the photo shoot for his most recent book.)

The pattern was reproduced by Melinda Coss in her (now out-of-print) book Bloomsbury Needlepoint. Although the cushion is now faded, Coss was able to take the cushion apart to find the original bold color scheme. I've tried my best to follow that color scheme using Appleton Crewel wool and a 12-mesh canvas. The only detail I omitted was the red criss-cross on the yellow centers of the orange blossoms.

What next, a cushion patterned after William Morris design? The Abstract-Patterned cushion from Charleston? I can't decide.

4 comments:

melinda.coss said...

Hey, Was googling and stumbled on this. You've made a fine job of the cushion but please put the criss crosses in the flowers or I'll set the Bloomsbury police on you.
Melinda Coss

melinda.coss said...

Hey, Was googling and stumbled on this. You've made a fine job of the cushion but please put the criss crosses in the flowers or I'll set the Bloomsbury police on you.
Melinda Coss

melinda.coss said...

Hey, Was googling and stumbled on this. You've made a fine job of the cushion but please put the criss crosses in the flowers or I'll set the Bloomsbury police on you.
Melinda Coss

Anna said...

Oh my! I fear the Bloomsbury police (I hear they arrest you, paint you in vivid colors, and make you read literary novels). I will have to get busy with those criss crosses so they don't come for me!

Thanks Melinda for visiting and for the comment! I'd invite you back soon but it may take me another ten years to finish another cushion so you'll have to be patient.

;)