Not Quite Church Sewing!

This is an in-between project…
Years ago I was lucky enough to be able to visit Bayeux. I spent hours in the dimly lit former refectory (it was surely more brightly lit when filled with seminarians!) entranced by the artistry of the famous 11th Century Tapestry. Of course it isn’t a tapestry at all but a narrative embroidery, all surviving 68 metres of it.

I have an idea for a sacred art themed narrative embroidery floating around in the back of my head (three guesses!) So when someone asked if I would work up a reproduction panel from the Tapestry for them to have as an art piece in their home, I agreed. After all it does have a Bishop depicted in it…
I purchased one of the kits available from the museum in Bayeux; it’s quite nice, a piece of decent linen screen printed with the design in question and enough 2 ply embroidery wool to work the piece.

A lot of wool…

Of course the entire thing is worked in the famous Bayeux stitch which is a composite of four elements. So for the last while, when I can’t decide what to work on or don’t really have enough time to get into something, I pick this up and plug away.

I haven’t got to the long stitches yet…

The chosen panel depicts a critical scene, no surprise attack is now possible… Vital, a Norman knight is relaying the news that Harold has been spotted. The next panel over shows the Saxon scouts. The picture shows my very helpful reference material (any excuse to buy an art book). It has very good quality images of the entire Tapestry at 50% of the original.

I’ve read quite a lot about the Tapestry but working through this is giving me a whole other perspective. I now have some more concrete ideas for the narrative scenes I’m thinking of. Have you guessed yet? Fourteen of them…
I like the idea of a medieval style and also of panels worked individually rather than running along as one long piece. These individual scenes could either be mounted separately or all together in sequence. I have some rudimentary cartoons worked up. If the concept comes to anything, I’ll post something about it down the road a bit.

Thanks for reading.

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