Hmmmmmm. A medieval embroidery that tells a story ... whose drawing
style is easy to copy ... worked in a fairly easy stitch ... in inexpensive
A number of thoughtful needleworkers have gazed at the Bayeux Tapestry
over the years and uttered those fateful words that begin great adventures
and large needlework projects: “Hey — I think I could do
Hangings after the model of the Bayeux Tapestry remain a popular way
for a group of interested historical needleworkers to commemorate their
own or their group’s history. People of a wide variety of skill
levels can participate — all that’s needed is organizers,
materials and an artist sufficiently skillful to draw the panels. Two
groups in the West Kingdom are currently working on such projects.
The Darkwood Tapestry
(reported by Isela di Bari)
In October 2004 Eric Bjornsson and I discussed the idea of creating a gift
to the Barony in celebration of Darkwood’s upcoming 20th
birthday in 2007. We decided on an embroidered wallhanging in
the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, and within a week, Eric enlisted
the services of artisan Raymond von dem Lowengrab and needlework
master Catherine Lorraine of Stonegate Manor. Within two months,
20 panels were claimed by embroiderers.
Although the original tapestry measures 230 feet long, we decided
the Darkwood Tapestry would be a more manageable 29 feet. By March
2005, Raymond had drafted the first four panels. Using David Wilson’s
book on the Bayeux Tapestry, Catherine and I decided to limit
the color palette to 7 colors to enhance uniformity. We are using
Italian twill fabric, #22 chenille needles, stretcher bars and
Appleton Crewel wool thread. Several workshops have been held
to familiarize embroiderers with the stitches and materials.
A portion of the map panel of the Darkwood
Tapestry, showing the border, part of the main panel, and the
beginnings of the embroidery
Each panel depicts an important event in Darkwood’s 20-year history.
For example, one panel features Baron Sebastian petitioning Their
Majesties to make Darkwood a barony; another features Baron Wilhelm
commanding the construction of the Darkwood Castle. A third will
feature our current Baron Erich & Baroness Liesel presiding
over court. The Latin text has been composed by Lord Raymond and
translated by Lady Adriana Tacita.
The Darkwood Tapestry will be presented to the Baron and Baroness
at the White Shield feast in 2007. When completed, it is our dream
that this embroidery will live on to remind future generations
of their Barony’s illustrious history.
Baron Wilhelm and the castle
The Oertha Tapestry
(reported by Morgana yr Oerfa)
A handful of years ago, Varakreivitär
Kareina Talventytär thought it would be nice to have an Oerthan
tapestry based upon the Bayeaux Tapestry. Before too long there
was a tapestry with edgings drawn on. The borders, similar to
those on the Bayeaux, are comprised of a series of slanted bars
in various colors. Between them are motifs from the devices of
the Princes and Princesses of Oertha. In the center panels it
is planned to have drawings of the first tourney: a fight, a court
Kareina took it everywhere she went in Oertha. She researched
the stitches, pre- pared a handout, and taught several classes
so people could work on the tapestry as they had time at events
and activities. When she left for parts south, including An Tir,
West, and now Lochac, the tapestry found a new home in the Barony
of Winter's Gate. Now Magdalena Ochastka has physical custody
of the tapestry, and like Kareina, Magda carries it to all events
and activities, armed with handouts and threads and books, for
people to stitch.
Detail of a fox, from the Oertha Tapestry
Kareina started the stitching in cotton embroidery thread, because
that is what she had. However, Magda studied the original further, and
discovered it was executed in wool. So it has been decided that we will
continue the Oertha Tapestry in Medici tapestry wool. It was also decided
to leave in the original work in cotton floss, as it forms part of the
learning history of the project.
When finished it is hoped it will become a part of the principality
regalia, displayed at Coronet Tournaments.