In the old days, if this beaked doctor came to see you, you were probably in pretty bad shape. Plague doctors are often pictured in outfits similar to this one. Apparently the mask held a, much needed, scented substance. The combination of the flowery background and the black thread makes this image, stitched by Amy (Drop Dead Quirky on Flickr) even more eerie. Amy makes heaps of inspiring stuff so do check out her other embroidery work here and stitched tweets here.
update: many thanks to Jen who pointed me in the direction of another take on the Plague Doctor, stitched by Sewphie!