Thursday, April 21, 2016

Along the Garden Path: Bleeding Hearts

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 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.


  1. Yesterday I was enjoying the pink bleeding hearts in my garden. They are one of my favorites. The crazy quilt embroidery of the flower is a gem. Enjoy your day Michele.

  2. What beautiful examples of a beautiful flower!! That link was great, I enjoyed reading that post.