New year, New ideas and old and my Aurifil Artisan information for this month.

I’m going to share my life project.
It’s my Mount Everest, and I’ve been working through the process of the re-creation of the Bayeux Tapestry as a quilt for almost 16 years.

Research, I have every book I can find that was written about the Bayeux Tapestry and a vast library of information on William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. I’m writing a book on the subject myself.


I’ve spent weeks filming in France and Britain with my son a documentary maker. We’ve interviewed people in both countries, and I’ve walked the route taken by the soldiers from the Ocean to the battlefield in Hastings. You can find more information at

First came the pattern. I had to draw 80 metres of illustration, which is the same size as the original tapestry. I drew it on velum to reverse the design to create the applique using fusible web.

Then came the applique. I would get up at 4.00 am each day and work until 7.00 am, then take a short time for breakfast and back out into the studio until 10.00. That way, I could concentrate on purely working in the zone.
All of the details will be in my book; however, there is a wealth of information on my Bayeux blog, with the link above.

Applique drawn in reverse on fusible web.
Part of the first 9 foot sample I completed.
This is one of my pencil sketches for the book. It’s the door of Bosham Church which still remains today and it was featured in the original tapestry.

This is a small quilt made from the design of Bosham Church featured on the Tapestry but given a modern touch.

I’m using Aurifil 50 weight thread and a size 60/8 sharp’ needle. I try to match it precisely to the fabric in the applique piece, but each piece is illustrated before I applique and then over the thread when it’s sewn down. I’m using a very fine blanket stitch, and to be honest; you can barely see it. I find the range of colours in Aurifil to work very well with my chosen fabrics.

The Bayeux threads are permanently on the desk.

The first illustration, many times I have to draw my own patterned fabric.
This is 1/16th of an inch stitch.
The fingers are so tiny, I use a small zig zag stitch.

There you go, my Magnum Opus.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. glendajean says:

    It’s been a fascinating journey with you Pam and I still gasp in awe after so many years when I see it again and again. Where have those years flown by too. Love the door of that Church. Thank you so much for sharing this journey over the last few years. When we were been campers around Europe with the boys 30 years ago I found so many tiny churches tucked away at the back of castles and I would walk in quietly and wonder how many 100’s of years other people had done the same. I always noticed the doors, entrance and the door handles, one I loved was in brass in the shape of a fish! Look forward to your book been published. Cheers Glenda

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Glendajean, I’m so pleased you have been able to join me on this journey. How lucky am I to have such wonderful support.

  2. Hellen says:

    You are totally amazing Pam!!!
    I am mesmerized by your work ethic and your dedication to perfection. However my question is simple – I have been searching for the ideal way to keep my bobbins with my thread and you have found just what I need. Please could you tell me where you purchased those little plastic bits that fit so perfectly into the Aurifil reels?

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Helen, I found them online when I was in the US. I think they come from

      1. Hellen says:

        Thank you Pam. I have found them and ordered some.

      2. Pam Holland says:

        Great, they are very handy.

  3. Pam Vanderzalm says:

    Congratulations Pam, what a wonderful feat and a true legacy to leave behind for many generations. My mind boggles at the amount of work you have completed over many years. You are a true artisan with great attention to detail. I have never known of any other artist with your special talents.
    Keep up your wonderful work.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you, for your wonderful comments Pam. Yes, it has been a lot of work, sometimes frustrating, but also very rewarding.

  4. I am struggling to find words … what a remarkable, inspiring work and what a formidable task you set yourself. I salute you

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you so much Mariss.

    2. Pam Holland says:

      Thank. you so much Mariss

  5. Ann Shibut, Richmond VA USA says:

    Pam, I love all your work and have been fascinated with this monumental project of yours. You are doing an amazing job. Today I began reading a Christmas gift book, “Threads of Life:A History of the World through the Eye of a Needle,” by Clare Hunter who lives in Scotland. The very first chapter is a lengthy discussion of the Tapestry. You likely know more about it than the author does, but you might find it of interest. The book is copyrighter 2019 by Abrams Press.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Ann, thank you, I have that book too. It’s very interesting.

  6. Carol says:

    Pam, your work is a testament to the human spirit. Forgive the sacrilege, but I think I may enjoy your Bayeaux more when it’s done— I love the vibrant colors!

    Is your intention that you will produce a book of photographs from your work when you have the whole tapestry replicated? Are you finished or what percentage complete are you?

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Hello Carol. Yes, that’s the idea and I’m writing my history of the journey.
      3/4 finished.

Leave a Reply to Ann Shibut, Richmond VA USACancel reply