Zodiac progress

Firstly, some self pimping. There are spaces left on the workshops at the Weald and downland this weekend- medieval appliqué and medieval beasties.


Also, I’ve dyed a bit more embroidery wool than I really need, so I’ve listed some on my folksy shop


Next, I’ve finally got the twelve signs of the zodiac assembled so that I can get on with the four seasons for the corners. The delay was caused by needing some tablet weave to cover the edges. I wanted a simple pinstripe twill in veg dyed wool. It needed to be at least twelve cards wide, but unfortunately I ran out of the cochineal dyed red, so I ended up with an extra little stripe of yellow down the centre. It was important to use this red rather than something else because this red runs through the embroidery courtesy of some warp ends I was using up for embroidery.


Again, I’ve chosen to see this as a medieval solution to a medieval problem, rather than as a mistake. I actually rather like it.

Sunny boy went in the middle, and I assembled each piece individually around him. I’ll admit I was a bit paranoid and checked the manuscript With each sign to make sure I was getting them in the right order.


I used a linen thread and whip stitched the pieces in place, then worked back up the same seam again, giving a sort of cross stitch effect. It was really useful having a large piece of board to lay things out on, it let me move the whole thing around to change my angle of stitch without disturbing the layout.


All sewn together


Which I thought looked rather spiffy even before I added the tablet weave


I’ve deliberately left a generous amount of cloth around the edge so I can trim it down later. There’s about six feet of the narrow red/yellow tablet weave left, but I think I’ll sell that as I want a wider red band around the edge of the circle. I’ve dyed more red, and I’m thinking I’ll use a wide plain red band and possibly embroider the sign names onto it. I could try weaving the signs in, but measuring tablet weave under tension is an inexact science at best before you factor in sewing it round the edge of a circle, and I think it would be highly unlikely to line up.

It’s just under three feet across so far

~ by opusanglicanum on April 16, 2015.

22 Responses to “Zodiac progress”

  1. Wow, that is fabulous!! Just seeing them all together is stunning. The tablet weave edging works so well too. What sort of size will the corner seasons panels be?

  2. This is absolutely beautiful. I somehow missed the large scale of the project before.

  3. Spiffy indeed! This looks grand. The names around the edge will finish it off nicely.

  4. Wow! As fantastic as ever. I love how this one has come together – they all look absolutely perfect together.

  5. I like the look of it – it’s already very fine and will be stunning when it is finished!

  6. That is impressive! I know you’ve been working on this a good long time. I can’t imagine what you’ll do next!

  7. Simply fantastic? What does it need to?

    • It’s still needs the four seasons in the corners to finish it. There is some text between the seasons, but I can’t find a high enough resolution pic of the ms, so am probably going to leave that

  8. Looks great – looking forward to the female labours….

  9. It looks amazing! I look forward to see the finished piece.

    And I’m sure that you have a large enough numberof readers of your blog that someone could find a good resolution pic of those folios if you really want to include the text.

  10. This is so cool! It looks wonderous.

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