New weekend project
The big antependium frame is far too large to cart about, so I always have something else to do for the weekends I’m at Gareth’s – apart from anything else it makes a change and stops me getting bored.
About this time last year I started an applique hanging to fit above the king’s bed when we do Richard I, but things came up and it got thrown in a box. The idea was to make an interpretation of the dream of king Henry – the dream of the three estates.
I promise I will get a scan of the original picture, but it goes something like this. Henry was considering going against his counsel, but when he slept he firstly dreamed that the peasants stood above him threatening him with thier billhooks and hoes. He woke, pondered, slept again, this time dreaming that the knights threatened him with thier weapons. Again he woke, pondered, slept again, only to dream that the bishops threatened him with the points of thier croziers. Waking, he realised that even a divinely appointed monarch cannot rule without the consent of the people.
I love the story – it sums up the relationship of the English monarchy and the people, and I love the idea of it hanging above the king’s bed as a reminder.
This is as far as it got before being stowed away. The background fabric is a silk fleur de lys brocade, to be honest I would rather have used something else, as this is the same background fabric I used for the kingly virtues hangings (the ladies that can be seen in the textiles gallery on the side bar) but I didn’t have anything else that really worked for a night sky. The silk is tacked to a thick linen backing – I would never advise using silk for this kind of work without backing it with something, it just doesn’t have enough body.
The applique is done with various bits of leftovers (I never throw anything out) including wool melton, wool twill, wool plaid, and silk watered taffeta and cord for the king, as well as some linen tape and silk threads.
I got it this far at the weekend. Its almost but not quite finished, it needs pearls on the kings crown (I love the fact he sleeps in his crown!) which I forgot to take with me at the weekend, and I think maybe some of the detailing on the bed needs bringing out with gold thread.
Quite a lot will get trimmed off from below the bed when it gets assembled.
And this is as far as I got with the second panel. I’ve used the reverse side of the background silk to create contrast, and I’ve done the same with the grey silk brocade I used for the knight’s mail. It’s very useful, that grey silk brocade, I bought about five metres of it to make a dress (which I haven’t yet made) but I keep using it in applique as it makes such wonderful chainmail.
I’ve been working on this without drafting a pattern first (I did a full scale drawing for the kingly virtues) as this is quite small and intricate, so I find it easier to cut by eye, tack the bit I want to sew, then cut the next. The only bit I did a paper template for was the king’s crown, as I didn’t want to take any riska with the gilded kid.
Also this weekend, I made battenburg