Since I did, in fact, manage to finish the traycloth I found half-begun, which I believe was designed for the late Queen’s Coronation in 1953, within her reign (if only by a few weeks), I thought I should do something in stitchery to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III.
Nothing of the quality of those beautiful screens, or any of the other stitching (I can’t have been the only person muttering, “I want to hear more about the embroidery!”), but something simple, embroidery in the hand, like this traycloth, a return to my stitching roots.
I’ve not really had the time, or the ideas, frankly (too much else cluttering up the “designs” part of my head!) to develop anything of my own, but since the Palace had gone to the trouble of creating a rather charming Coronation logo, making use of the heraldic flowers of the United Kingdom to bring together the nations, and the King’s well-known love for the natural world, I decided to take elements from that, and put them together into a traycloth or runner.
The crown is in the centre of one short side, and I’ll put His Majesty’s cipher at the other end.
The long sides are going to be decorated with more elements from the Coronation logo. It’s all very simple stitchery, but it has been an excellent companion to the Coronation itself, and to Patrick Grant’s wonderful documentary about Kashket’s, Hainsworth’s, and the other companies involved in making elements for the Coronation.
That documentary made me positively homesick for my postgraduate days, visiting spinning mills in Lancashire and Yorkshire, surrounded by the smell of wool, and the passion and dedication of the people working in the mills. It’s an odd thing, but I’ve never met a cynic in the textile industry. People who are anxious about the future, yes, concerned about loss of skills, yes. But none of them pretend not to care, and if you show any interest, their eyes light up, and soon you are engulfed in a great flood of enthusiasm, knowledge and ideas.
Yes, I know what people say about dour Yorkshiremen. That wasn’t my experience of them, not at all!