Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"She sits and makes pink roses with her thread And wonders what to do, her heart astir, What road to take, where roads branch close ahead ..." ~ Embroidery, Margaret Widdemer (1884-1978)
Ayrshire whitework, or Ayrshire work (from the southwest Scotland), is a form of embroidery in fine muslin, decorated with fine lace filling stitches using a very fine thread with the main design in satin stitch and beading stitch. Ayrshire work has its origins in the Dresden work and tambour embroidery of the eighteenth century. This form of whitework became popular in the early nineteenth century when the fashion for simple muslin dresses became popular and remained popular until the 1860's.
July 30th is World Embroidery Day! An excerpt from the Embroidery Manifesto states:
”We want to acknowledge embroidery as an act of free creativity, which can lead to free, creative thoughts and ideas. We want to tie our embroidery threads from the privileged northern hemisphere together with stiches that are sewn by embroidering sisters and brothers all over the world."
A French knot is knotted stitch in which the yarn is knotted around itself.
One of the best known embroideries created to chronicle a historic event is the Bayeux tapestry (first documented in the 15th century) which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings.
Inspired by the Bayeux tapestry, "The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry 1745" is a large modern embroidery created in Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland, and illustrates the events before, during and after the Battle of Prestonpans on 21 September 1745 where Bonnie Prince Charlie triumphed over the Hanoverian Army led by Sir John Cope.
Like the Bayeux Tapestry, this tapestry is actually an embroidered cloth, rather than a woven tapestry. More than two hundred embroiderers created the work over a two-year period; more than half these reside in Scotland along the route that Bonnie Prince Charlie marched to his Victory. Other embroiderers with family links come from as far as the US, Australia and New Zealand.
The complete community artwork measures 104 metres and consists of 103 panels!
For more on this extraordinary work of embroidery art, click the thistle embroidery.