Patchwork Cot Coverlet

United Kingdom

Date: 1834

Origin: United Kingdom

Dimensions: H 115 x W 87cm

Venue: Gawthorpe Textiles Collection

Patchwork and appliqué cot coverlet made by Nancy Horsfall in 1834.

White linen ground with appliqué motifs including stylised leaves or branches, six pointed stars and a four leaf clover like design in the very centre. Around this is a dog tooth or Vandyke border, then a border of pieced patchwork triangles surrounding lozenges arranged into fours. The patchwork and appliqué is all cut from various printed cottons and chintzes, most are dress fabrics but a few have larger scale patterns indicating they may be furnishing fabric.  Across the top of the central section, embroidered in dark brown cross-stitch, are the words “Welcome sweet babe” along with two small cross stitch flowers and the initials N.H.  Beneath the central section is a poem:

Hush my dear lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard they head
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head

Nancy Horsfall also made a larger bedcover that she completed in 1833, most likely for her wedding. This cot coverlet would therefore probably have been made the following year, perhaps in anticipation of the couple’s first child. The fabrics would have been saved up from scraps left over from making the family’s garments and furnishings for the home and fabrics might also be shared between extended families or circles of friends so that a greater variety of fabrics could be used.

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