Bedknobs & Broomsticks: Bayeux Tapestry-style title art embroidery

Tommy

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In light of Angela Lansbury’s passing, I thought I’d share this homage to the Bayeux Tapestry-style Bedknobs and Broomsticks title art that I recently commissioned:

bedknobs embroidery - straight on.JPG


This started a few months ago when I stumbled across a story about Mia Hansson, an embroiderer in England who after six years is currently 55% of the way towards single-handedly replicating at full-scale all 224 feet of the Bayeux Tapestry (technically an embroidery rather than a true tapestry):

Note that the reporter makes a slight misstatement – she'll actually be the first woman but third person to achieve this, as a pair of Canadian men (the second of whom died just a few years ago) are understood to have independently created their own replicas between ~1985 and 1996, one of them briefly featuring in 2014’s The Monuments Men. [Other replicas have also been made either partially, at reduced scale, by groups, or in different mediums.] Still, a mindboggling goal and already at this stage an astonishing feat.

Since the Bedknobs title sequence was obviously based on the Bayeux but accomplished by illustrator David Jonas in what appears to be ink and watercolor, I’ve long thought that it would be incredible to see it translated back into embroidery, yet there seems to be no sign of anyone having done so. Figuring that Mia Hansson’s project makes her arguably the most experienced Bayeux embroiderer alive, I inquired about a small commission, and she enthusiastically accepted!

Bedknobs reference screenshots.jpg


Once I’d mocked up the scene by photoshopping enchanted armor elements from two shots and border elements from a third, Mia scaled and drew outlines onto the fabric in pencil (4 hours), then embroidered the outlines and chain mail (13 hours), and finally embroidered the fill (15 hours). She even kindly fulfilled my request for all seven colors that she’s using on the Bayeux to be incorporated: red, yellow, dark blue, light blue, dark blue-green, dark green, and light green (intended to represent her best approximation of how the colors would have looked new).

bedknobs embroidery - angles.jpg


Dimensions of the design are 16 inches by 13.5 inches.

If anyone’s interested, you can follow Mia’s continued progress here (FYI she’s originally from Sweden, so posts are occasionally in Swedish):
 
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TapestryMia

New Member
Thank you so much for showing my work. It was such a fun piece to embroider, although it came with some challenges regarding how to translate the artwork into embroidery. A needle doesn't necessarily speak the same language as a pen. Tommy was a great client and together we came to an agreement of the best way forward. I'm really happy to see this piece being used as a tribute to the great and sadly late Angela Lansbury.
 

joberg

Legendary Member
Thank you so much for showing my work. It was such a fun piece to embroider, although it came with some challenges regarding how to translate the artwork into embroidery. A needle doesn't necessarily speak the same language as a pen. Tommy was a great client and together we came to an agreement of the best way forward. I'm really happy to see this piece being used as a tribute to the great and sadly late Angela Lansbury.
Fantastic workmanship Mia(y)(y):cool::cool::notworthy::notworthy::notworthy::notworthy: I cannot imagine the amount of dedication it takes to tackle this type of work!
I whish you well into your long journey; I'm sure the results will be amazing, no less:love:
 

Tommy

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you so much for showing my work. It was such a fun piece to embroider, although it came with some challenges regarding how to translate the artwork into embroidery. A needle doesn't necessarily speak the same language as a pen.
Ha - great to see you join, Mia! Perhaps some others on here will have ideas for you...

Yes, a surprising amount of decision-making and problem-solving went into this. As a layperson, I started off imagining that it was more-or-less just a matter of highly-skilled copying, but between the fixed width of the yarn, differing color palette, mechanics of the authentic stitches, and visual effects of depth (especially with regards to shadow in side-lighting), it's a trickier translation than one might easily assume.

Thanks again!
 

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