Not to be confused with the Rowhouse’s other bed with a cross-stitched cover, I just finished up a bed for the attic bedroom. There’s a long story behind this, so sit tight. (Or scroll to the bottom if you just want to see the end result!)
I really don’t like sewing, and I don’t think dressing beds is something I’m very good at. After I spent a weekend bashing a Cassidy Creations bed and then didn’t like how it looked in the room, I decided to save myself additional angst and splurged on an adorable dressed bed from Hart’s Desire Minis on Etsy.
Sadly, when the bed got here, three of the four posts had broken off in transit.
I was so disappointed. The bed would have looked great in here, especially with the dark green washstand and blanket chest. (Both of those were hand-painted by Bauder Pine, I got them on eBay.) But those spindles are delicate and I don’t think I could have neatly fixed them. The seller refunded my money and asked me to mail it back.
I really liked how the colors looked in the room, so I decided to try to make my own bedding with the same color scheme. I may hate to sew, but I love to cross stitch! I picked out a design from the June Grigg pamphlet More Charted Designs for Miniatures that had three main colors. Before mailing back the broken bed, I picked out DMC colors that complemented the quilt as well as the Bauder Pine furniture.
As luck would have it, I have the exact same bed in my stash. (Actually, I have two of them!) This is a Shenandoah colonial bed. I modified the quilt design to accommodate the bedposts.
Here’s the quilt by itself. I can’t remember what size fabric this is, maybe 32 count? I picked this size because the math worked out so I could center the squares at the bottom between the bedposts, without any of them having to be partial squares.
Normally I finish the edges by leaving the third row unstitched, and then turning under the edge and stitching the third row through the turned-over edge. That wasn’t possible at the bottom due to the spacing (I didn’t have room for three rows), so I kind of haphazardly whip-stitched. It’s a little messy but it works.
The bed, which I bought assembled on eBay, was not well glued and very twisty. Also, the area that holds the mattress seemed very shallow. I added strip wood to the sides and foot to add depth for the mattress and also to attempt to stabilize it. (I also tried adding wood to the bottom to help with stabilization, but those pieces didn’t want to stay put.)
It had been stained golden oak. I liked the dark wood on the original bed so I went over it with walnut. The bedframe was still twisting around so I popped out the triangles in the corners (they weren’t holding it together, anyway) and attempted to reglue everything with bigger pieces of wood underneath to keep it square. (Those aren’t glued in, just wedged in while the glue dried.)
Even after this, it still wasn’t very sturdy, so I cut a piece of plywood to fit the mattress area.
I glued a thin piece of foam on top to make the mattress.
This bed sits on top of an electrical outlet that needs to be hidden by the covers. In the downstairs bedroom I dealt with this by making the cover long enough to reach the floor, but this quilt design prevented that. (It would have ended mid-square.)
The original bed had a dust ruffle, but since the bed is far back in a deep, narrow room, you could barely see it. Rather than pull out the Pretty Pleater (which I have admittedly never used), I decided to make a larger cover to go under the quilt.
To figure out the size for the larger cover, I put the quilt on a piece of graph paper and traced around it.
The foot was the perfect length but the two sides were a bit too long. I cut off about half a row’s worth of paper on each side with the Xacto knife.
Then I laid the paper down on top of my fabric. I’d brought the quilt to Joanns and bought two fat quarters that went well with the colors — red and off-white. I would have liked the red to be more pink, but all the pinky fabrics had patterns that were too large.
I went around the edges, firmly creasing over the edges of the paper.
Next I glued the folded-over edges with tacky glue.
Here’s how it looks on the bed.
Next I cut a piece of the off-white fabric that was slightly wider than the red cover, and about twice as tall as I needed to cover up the top part of the mattress that’s visible above the quilt.
I folded and glued the edges.
My initial thought was to layer this under the red one, also reaching the floor. But it didn’t look realistic.
Instead I wrapped it around the mattress. Now it looks like a fitted sheet. It doesn’t tuck around the top of the mattress at the headboard, but you can’t tell.
Finally I made two pillows out of the same off-white fabric. I really wish I could find a source for accurately scaled half scale pillows — I’d buy a ton of them! These took me about two hours to make. (That includes time wasted on a smaller red pillow that frayed and fell apart when I turned it inside out, but still.)
I sewed the pillows by hand and stuffed them with cut up plastic canvas (made the same way as the ice for the Blackbird Bar). I would have used seed beads, but I only had colored beads and the color was showing through the fabric.
Here’s the bed in the attic bedroom. Once it’s in place you can barely even see the red cover, but I think it gives the bedding a bit of extra bulk. By themselves, cross stitched covers don’t have the cushy soft look of fabric — they tend to look like they would be uncomfortable to sleep under.
In my mind it’s never going to be as nice as the bed that broke, but I think I came up with a decent alternative!
As I’m looking at it now, the quilt isn’t hanging quite how I want it to… I got the edges to hang down by creasing them, so it looks angular rather than like it’s draping naturally. I’m going to try bending it around a dowel to see if that gives it a more natural curve. (Or maybe I’m being too picky!)