The tapestry makes a most suitable and harmonious decoration for a billiard-room. A frieze, if possible, should be carried round immediately below the ceiling, but if for economic or other reasons this is impracticable, the cover of the billiard-table itself should be embroidered, and may have the design of the full size. This may be applied to the centre after it is worked, the whole being lined in the usual way. The divans may be cushioned with pillows of different shapes and sizes, a bolster being very useful for one, a stool of long shape, with rather high legs and well-stuffed top, being also much appreciated.
A Bayeux Room
In houses which do not boast of a billiard-room, there is generally some sort of snuggery or smoking-room which would lend itself to a similar treatment on a smaller scale.
The curtains of plain serge could have a band of the embroidery running across about a loot from the top. Well-chosen subjects should be selected for this, and the quaint blue-and-green tree placed at each end as a finish, but not in the centre where the curtains meet, as the groups should follow each other in the proper sequence. Cushions of bolster shape, with one or more groups embroidered, might adorn the couches in this room also; and a low stool of ample dimensions is always a useful addition.
Chair-backs in the same style might also be added, and the variety of subjects is so great that it is possible to escape monotony while keeping the whole scheme of decoration faithfully to the tapestry alone.
The embroidery is primitively simple, and always in the strapped-stitch already described, with variations of simple outline-stitch. The arrangement of colours is most erratic, a red horse may have a blue mane, green and yellow fetlocks, and a green tail, all set off with a red outline; and where three stand together as in the screen panel (delivering up the keys of Dinan on the point of a lance), each may be of a different colour - blue, red, and gold, picked out and outlined with contrasting shades. The panel of King Edward sending Harold on an embassy to William makes a very satisfactory screen panel or pillow, and is improved by the arabesque being repeated at the other end. King Edward is dressed in dark green edged with red, the blue, brown, and gold shades mingled in the other figures and surroundings. The scene where William's friends (in a gorgeous red and green boat with a green sail) are telling him what is happening in England can also be used for the same purpose. A small section, such as William giving Harold his arms, can be employed on blotters or footstools, or on tubs for work or waste paper, and for many other purposes which will suggest themselves to the intelligent worker.
The great charm of this embroidery is its simplicity, its harmonious colouring, and its most interesting associations. It also has the merit of never wearing out, for even the modern species of wool, which has to be substituted for the hand-dyed and hand-twisted worsted of olden times, is a really durable and lasting fabric, and the reproductions of the tapestry look even more mellow and pleasing after much wear than when they leave the fingers of the busy worker. Happily, so far, these delightful designs do not appear to have been reproduced in any woven fabrics, but in embroidery faithfully adhering to the traditions of the past.
Designs from Native Workers - Brilliancy of the Colours Employed - Materials Required - How
Designs can be Built Up by the Worker
To many women one of the great charms of Egyptian patchwork lies in the fact that it is a means of utilising all the little odds and ends of coloured linings that accumulate so rapidly in the piece-box, but are too small, as a rule, to be useful. Egyptian patchwork hails, as its name denotes, direct from the East, and can be applied in many directions. The material upon which it is worked is a thick, strong cotton which is not obtainable in this country; so, from the list of materials at hand, heavy unbleached calico, sheeting, and coarse brown bath towelling have been called into service.
A glance at the illustrations shows that the native designs used are quaint and unconventional. The large piece of work, which is done in bath towelling, and is intended either for a bath mat or a splasher to hang on the bath-room wall, shows a strange procession of two men, one leading a goat and the other following behind. What the last figure has in his mouth is a little difficult to decide; it may be meant for some strange musical instrument, or it might even be a gigantic pipe. At any rate, it is of sufficient size for a bird to perch on its stem, and also to hold a small flag one end and a bottle the other.
No doubt it all meant something to the native worker.
To the left of the design are shown two pillars, each supporting a dog, whose front paws rest in space, and in between these two creatures are seen two birds standing on most unconventional resting-places. The whole is worked out in a veritable patchwork of bright colours and black and white. The dogs are in emerald-green, and their posts are scarlet in the centre, with black criss-cross pieces, and light brown diamonds at the side. The birds have yellow heads, with pale blue top-knots, a long brown wing, and bodies of alternate black and white, and black beaks, their stands being worked out in bright blue and black. The queer bottle-shaped piece in the centre is scarlet and black.