All of the outline stitching is now finished on the Bateau Bayeux project. It looks good and I’m excited to begin filling with Bayeux stitch!
I think I mentioned that I was saving the faces and hands of the sailors/soldiers for last. The faces I didn’t find so difficult but the hands were a real challenge. The expression on the face of the man in the photo below who’s looking to the back of the boat, seems to be pretty happy with how things are going. His right hand, however, seems quite a mess. When I looked at the photo of the original in David Wilson’s book his hand isn’t well stitched either. it’s badly stitched, however, in a different way. Since the shape of the hand in the photo was odd, my tracing was odd and consequently his hand is odd.
These two guys crack me up! They are look forward in the boat – to where they are going – and neither of them looks too happy. The man with the tiller looks likes he’s doubtful they’ll get to where they’re going! The standing man has another one of the more odd hands in the picture doesn’t he? The horses look much more comfortable about the boat trip across the channel than either of the men!
The figure on the prow of the boat is one of my favorite parts of this scene: he looks proud and his hair seems to be waving in the wind. I wonder what the boat itself must have looked like. The sailor right behind the prow is a bit uncertain about their chances of landing. The sailor behind him looks very French I think – it’s the hat and his moustache!
Here is the entire scene completely outlined. Once all the areas are filled with Bayeux stitch the whole thing will look very different. I’m enjoying looking at it now, in it’s more simple form, before I begin to fill it with stitching.
I’ve left the text until the entire piece is finished. It’s stitched in dark blue thread and the dark blue sometimes leaves a bit of color on the fabric if I rub it so, to keep the ground fresh, I’ll do the text at the very end.
As I’ve been stitching, I’ve been trying to imagine I was one of the original embroiderers. How would I have felt if I’d been an English woman stitching the story of my country being conquered? Would I have talked with the others as I worked? Would there have been enough light to see my work? Would I have imagined the stories of the soldiers as I worked, the way I am imagining those stories today? Would I have wished I was stitching a different scene?
What about you? What would you have been thinking about as you stitched over 1000 years ago?