During the cold, gray days of winter in Illinois, my favorite companion is an old blue velvet chair that sits across form me as I read. It is like an elderly member of the family, treasured and admired for its antique poise. One day I pictured my blue chair reading along with me. It was reading the Blue Book on Blue Chairs.
If you would like to see Blue Book on Blue Chairs, it is currently exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in San Jose, CA. The exhibit, Layered and Stitched: 50 Years of Innovative Art, features 50 contemporary quilt artists and shows “the evolution of the art quilt from the earliest pioneers to contemporary artists experimenting with new forms, materials, and digital technologies.” I am fortunate to be one of those artists.
It was my good fortune to happen across the Cluny Museum in Paris last month and discover an amazing exhibit called The Art of Embroidery in the Middle Ages. It was inspiring to see beautiful handwork from their European collection covering the 12th to 16th centuries. The exhibition, housed in the ancient Roman Frigidarium, is sadly now closed.
Too have seen the detail of this extraordinary stitching close was so inspiring. It gives me the chills! Viewing embroidery first hand rather than through books or on the web really brings it to life for me.
And for my fellow stitch appreciators who left comments on my recent blog post, thank you. The name suggestions for my thread dyeing mistake above were a wonder. As in, I wonder why there were so many suggestions related to wine?
I’m not adverse to a good Bordeaux as a wine or as a thread title. Both Annette R and Jeri P suggested Bordeaux as the thread name and each win a size 8 skein of the new Bordeaux colorway. I also promised to give away a skein to a random winner. Congratulations Lea Ann F. you are my lucky winner!
Earlier this month it was my good fortune to travel to France. This gift from my sweet husband fulfilled the number one item on my bucket list: seeing the Bayeux Tapestry.
Photos of the work are not allowed (this is a photo from a book).
The Bayeux Tapestry is hand embroidered on linen with wool thread. It illustrates the story of William the Conqueror, Harold, Earl of Wessex, and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Using the stem stitch and “Bayeux Stitch”, it was embroidered in the 1070’s and measures about 70 meters long and 50 centimeters high.
It is amazing!
I spent a thrilling hour viewing the tapestry. And later attended an evening event in the Bayeux Cathedral. In a vivid light show, moving images of the work were projected on the columns and balustrades of the cathedral while a narrator told the story of William the Conqueror.
Entrance to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum
What a thrill to see this historic piece of artwork first hand! To know that it was preserved for centuries and is a treasured piece of textile work overwhelms me. It reinforces my belief that telling stories through hand work has great value not only to the viewer but to the maker as well.
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