View Full Version : What's a counterpane?

04-21-2008, 04:54 AM
I ran across a pattern for a counterpane blanket that I like and
decided to do some more research on counterpanes but am really
having a hard time finding anything. From the pictures I have seen
I'm guessing the counterpane squares are similar to a quilt squares
in that they make a certain pattern on their own but when paired
with other squares they form a larger pattern. Can anyone point me
to any books or websites that have more information...or just
tell me what is a counterpane?

Libbie :)

04-21-2008, 05:43 AM
It's another word for a quilt I think :)

04-21-2008, 08:44 AM
A counterpane is generally thought of or used in reference to quilts. However, a counterpane is basically a decorative [usually cloth] bedspread cover.

The only book I know of that discusses knitted counterpanes is an OOP (out of print) book by Mary Walker Phillips titled Knitting Counterpanes: Traditional Coverlet Patterns for Contemporary Knitters. If you're lucky your local library might have a copy of the book or will be able to do an interlibrary loan with the book from another library. Sometimes you can find them on eBay; however, sometimes they can be expensive and other times they maybe reasonably priced. Also, you might checkout AbeBooks.com or Alibris but they can also get costly.

04-23-2008, 01:17 PM
A great book BTW. When anyone uses the word counterpane I can't help but think of this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson


04-23-2008, 01:23 PM
Great poem!

04-23-2008, 06:28 PM
My dictionary says, "A coverlet for a bed; bedspread." That is what I always thought. It's another word for bedspread.

04-24-2008, 02:09 AM
Ok, yep, I had figured out that counterpane means blanket. I should
have said knitted counterpanes..oops! :) As far as I can tell my
assumption that they are similar to quilt blocks is correct. I mean,
as far as they way the pattern is developed. I don't have access to
the book unless I can find it online somewhere but I don't want to
buy it just for the sake of curiousity :) Oh well, Thanks for the
replies and the nice poem!

Libbie :)

04-24-2008, 10:01 AM
"counterpane" and "bedspread" can be used interchangeably these days - but a counterpane did origianllly have the block construction - normally a design that could be rotated to form other designs as the blocks fit together.