Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bayeux Tapestry

We are staying in Bayeux which is well known for the Bayeux Tapestry. It is one of the oldest tapestries still around. It was made in the 11th century and depicts the story of William the Conqueror. It is 70m long and is really amazing. Here are some bad iphone photos.

Can you see the fallen soldiers on the bottom border who were dismembered and stripped after the battle. The artists were very specific about the detail work. 

My favorite was the horses. They were so realistic!

The whole tapestry was done in two stitches. Stem stitch and the Bayeux stitch. Stem stitch was used for all the straight lines and outlines just like normal embroidery. The spaces were filled in with the Bayeux stitch. It is a special crewel work stitch from that part of France. 

After the tapestry my mom and I took an embroidery class (or broderie as the french call it) from a local woman. We learned both stem stitch and the Bayeux stitch. I hate to admit it but until that lesson I really could not learn stem stitch for the life of me!!! 

My mom may have had a little bit harder of a time with the lesson than I did. 

The Bayeux stitch is just long straight line stitches to fill the space then you use perpendicular stitches to hold them down. It goes really fast once you get the hang of it. 

I have always been intimidated by crewel work until now. I bought a kit at the shop to work on at home.

I think it will look so cute in a kitchen with a little wooden frame!

The Bayeux Broderie shop has a great website in both French and English. They sell kits and individual supplies. If you are looking for amazing linen definitely check out her site. 

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