“The topmost covering of a bed, often functioning as a blanket; a coverlet”
I added a new word to my vocabulary last week: Counterpane.
Mother said while her day sitter was getting bedsheets from a drawer, she pulled out an item, which she calls “counterPIN,” that mother made more than sixty years ago.
It is simply a white topsheet onto which a large design is stamped in the center and four corners. The designs are then embrodiered with brightly colored floss.
Mother said she remembered both her mother and grandmother making them, and she herself made one shortly after she was married.
Traditionally, it functions as a bedspread during hot summer months, something to dress up a bed but without much weight.
Seeing it on her bed brings to mind hot summer days when there was no air conditioning, when windows were thrown open to bring into the house whatever breeze existed on those sultry Southern days. The colorful handwork reminiscent of flowers cut from the garden and brought inside to adorn tables.
Her bed now sports the counterpane. When I asked if in all these years if she’d ever used it she said no.
Surely, at 93 years old, it was high time she uses this beautiful heirloom to adorn her bed in lieu of it lingering in the bottom drawer of bedsheets.
I'm very glad it was "found" and I was able to learn the "history" of counterpanes in general, and this one in particular.
Are you familiar with the word counterpane?