Sunday, 21 January 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 50: Bayeux Stitch

Welcome to a new History lesson at Sunday Stitch School.

Japan is famous for its 'manga', comics and cartoons.

The idea of telling a story mainly with pictures is not new. It has always been a way to let everyone, regardless of age or literacy skills, take part. For example, murial paintings on church walls were used to tell stories from the Bible.
Today, at international airports and other places where people of different languages and alphabets gather, we are shown where to go and what to do with illustrations or signs.

This is a stitch school so let's look at embroidered 'manga'. There are some very famous embroidered panels, e.g. the Quaker Tapestry at Kendal - it's a feast of stitches.

Today, though, our history lesson is about the Bayeux Tapestry. You can read about it here, and further reading can be found here.

In the French town of Bayeux, Chantal James runs a shop where you can buy kits of parts of the tapestry, or join workshops.

Here is a video where she shows you how to do the stitch.
This link shows drawings of how the stitch is made.

The other day I was given an embroidered phone cover made by my friend Jacquie Harvey, BEM.
Although originally an expert quilter she has recently done a lot of embroidery work in the Bayeux style. However, she works the laid stitches in a slightly different way, using Bemmy Stitch, so we will look at this technique, too, and where and how to mix the stitches.

The French name is of course: point de Bayeux

So, finally, here are my stitch instructions for the traditional Bayeux Stitch:
 Stitch the outline in Stem, Outline or Du Vos Stitch using wool

Fill in the design with surface  Satin Stitch.

 Take a Straight stitch across the design, (it should be the same green, I've used a contrasting colour for clarity)

Couch it down with small stitches

Bemmy Stitch:
When you have a curved design, the Bemmy Stitch is better.
First do the outline as before

Fill in the design with shortish straight stitches, making sure you take just a tiny nibble of the fabric and follow the curve.

 Cover the lines of naked fabric with the same wool yarn and couch it down.

With a thicker yarn and neater, tighter stitches, you get better coverage, but there you are!

1) Fill in the remaining leaf, and if you wish, add a flower.
2) Embroider a more 'Bayeux-ish' design.
3) Add the stitch to your Sunday Stitch Reference Chart

If you feel like reading a lot more about Bayeux Tapestry, live in or will visit the UK, may I share a link with you that I found on Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread? Apparently the Bayeux Tapestries are going to cross the Channel! Check it out here.

There is a copy of the Bayeux Tapestry in Reading (that is a town in the UK).
Check it out here.
Thanks, Elizabeth, for the information.


jacaranda said...

Great reading post. Love the Quaker Tapestry. I visited the Bayeux Broderie, a beautiful shop, wish I had known, I could have bought you a little something. The Bayeux Tapestries were very interesting, laid out in a circle with the pieces in one complete length. Worth the visit.

Pamela said...

What a nice gift! I haven't tried these stitches.

Queeniepatch said...

Illustrated books and stories help you understand so much more. When the illustrations are done in embroidery you get that soft warm feeling as well. Thank you for your kindness, but one day I hope to go to see the tapestry in person, and maybe then I can get a little something.

Queeniepatch said...

They are quick, so when filling in large areas it is a good choice. Wool gives much better coverage than other types of less fuzzy thread.

Rachel said...

I'm not sure that the Bayeux Tapestry is really strong enough to travel. It's a lovely idea to offer it on loan, and I would love to see it visiting the BM, but I don't know whether President Macron asked the conservator in charge before making his offer!

Rachel said...

I do wonder whether President Macron asked the conservator in charge whether the Bayeux Tapestry was fit to travel. It's astonishing it still exists at all, when you consider that apparently during the Revolution it was used to cover goods carts!

Janie said...

I agree, the embroidered phone cover is a nice gift and beautiful too!
Thanks for the explanation and tutorial
Embroidery is a way of telling a story isn't it?

Elizabeth's quarters said...

Did you know there is a copy of the Bayeaux tapestry in the British Library reading room? Due to Victorian prudishness though, the naked figures have their modesty protected with trousers, but that's a whole other story! Thanks for the tutorial, I'll definitely be trying this stitch out.

Elizabeth's quarters said...

Correction! I meant the museum of Reading, not the BL!

Elizabeth's quarters said...

Correction! I meant the museum of Reading, not the BL!

Queeniepatch said...

I am also wondering if it should travel... I think it is easier for people to go to see the tapestry than for the tapestry to go to see people.

Queeniepatch said...

I wonder if M&M (Macron&May) know anything about embroidery and antique textile. Maybe they should let experts in those fields make the decision....

Queeniepatch said...

Oh, yes, there is so much you can tell with stitches, and colourful pieces of fabric too, as you well know.

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you for the information!
This is the link if other readers want to see:

Queeniepatch said...

First I thought you ment a museum about books and reading, then of course I understood it is the town called Reading. I've been to Reading, but must have missed the museum and its tapestry copy.
Thanks for keeping me updated!

Annet said...

That's a very interesting stitch with a clever variation!

Linda Calverley said...

Well this has given me a reminder, I have a sample of this stitch so I should find it and put it in the book I'm making. I can remember I enjoyed doing the stitch.

Susan Hook said...

A very good demonstration of the stitch. The Bayeux tapestry has been in the news this week, France has agreed to bring the tapestry to England.

Queeniepatch said...

I enjoy it too, especially as it is best worked in lovely wool!

Queeniepatch said...

It will be interesting to see the outcome of this exchange, which museum will be able to show it and how many people will flock to see it.

Queeniepatch said...

It is especially good for filling in curves.

carorose said...

Thanks for that great demonstration of the stitch. Friend Pam Holland is in the process of replicating the complete tapestry as a quilt. Part of it was displayed at the Museum of Houston alongside the Magna Carta.

Queeniepatch said...

Is she doing it in the 'drawpliqé' style? I booked a workshop with her in Yokohama many years ago, but it was cancelled unfortunately.

FlashinScissors said...

Great post Queenie!
Nice to know what is happening!
Lovely gift from your friend.
Interesting stitch variation.
I was able to visit the Kendal tapestry when it was in London last year, it was fascinating!
Barbara xx

Queeniepatch said...

Lucky you!
I have only seen the Quaker Tapestry in post card form, but have been told they are a delight in stitches and a fascinating read, too, about Quaker history.

crazyQstitcher said...

I've attempted, today, to try the Bayeau stitch. I will do another as I used Aida cloth -wrong spacing- and my work is so so.
I also completed the Detached Up/Down Buttonhole and Colonial knots.

Queeniepatch said...

Yes, Aida is not the right cloth. Also the very best result is had when the thread is wool.
Good to hear you are trying the SSS stitches, but do them at your own speed. No need to rush anything.