The bleeding hearts are blooming in my garden, a sure sign of spring! Perhaps this quilter was as enthused about this flower as I am:
I don't think that her rendering came from an embroidery transfer--at least I've never found a similar pattern. I've searched through my Victorian embroidery transfer catalogs and haven't been able to find one transfer available featuring this flower. I believe the white bleeding hearts were once considered a symbol of purity and innocence.
Carrie Hall and Rose Kretsinger wrote The Romance of The Patchwork Quilt in America in 1935 and had a bleeding heart rendition that was pieced:
In the twentieth century, McKim had a rendition too. This quilter did hers in the pink variety:
The pink/red variety often depicted passionate love. Sharon and Bill from RicRack.com have a great handkerchief on their website (here) that depicts that aspect, note the bleeding hearts around the couple:
Finally, I grew up hearing and reading all sorts of legends that explained origins of flowers and nature. I still find tales of this sort enchanting, so I thought I would share a link to the "Legend of the Bleeding Heart". By the way, I've read this story set in a variety of cultures, but this post is prettiest because it shows the parts of the flower. You can find it HERE.