One down, a gazillion or so to go…
First filler pattern for the labours. I’ve kept the palette very simple and just used the same orange and blue as I used for the borders of the main panels, plus white and dark brown, as I don’t want the fillers to compete with the main event. Looks very seventies, somehow, I’m sure my mum had a flowery cushion cover in that colourway when I was a kid.
The pattern is based on a c13th floor tile from an English abbey (I forget which one but if anyone’s desperate I’ll look it up), but it’s quite similar to the filler in the life of St Martin antependium held by the Cluny museum in Paris, which is a sister piece to the Reykjahlid antependium – filler patterns do tend to be much of a muchness.
I’ve been working this freehand – starting with the flower and working out, using the length of my left hand index finger to judge the length of each fleur – but I measured it before I began and this should be a nice fit. As I was measuring out filler 2 this morning I pondered upon whether much of the wonkiness in medieval embroidery is down to needlewomen working freehand, specially since many of them were probably just as shortsighted as me (because this project is done at work much of it has been done sans specs), because it’s only human to go a bit skewiff now and then, but when the pattern is simple and repeated it makes no sense to spend hours marking it out