Wisbech mum Mia Hanson has turned her hobby into a real labour of love meticulously recreating the famous Bayeux Tapestry - all 69 metres of it.
The 43-year-old started the project last year and anticipates it will take her almost a decade to complete.
She explained: “I was looking for a project but I didn’t want something I could finish too quickly. I have always done a lot of sewing and I have completed smaller tapestries in the past and I just came up with the idea of doing a replica of the Bayeux tapestry.
“I want it to be as close to the original as possible. A friend bought me a book with the pictures of the complete tapestry and I’m using that to draw my own templates.
“I am using seven colours - which is all that were in the original which dates back to some where around 1080/82. I started it in July last year and so far I have completed a metre and a half,” said Mia, who is a full time carer for her son who has cerebral palsy.
The tapestry is around 75cms wide including the borders on both edges and Mia is using a heavy duty linen - the original was made on finer material but Mia wants to make sure her work stands the test of time.
“The original is much finer and it has had to be repaired a lot over the years. If I’m going to spend 10 years doing something I want to make sure it lasts,” she said.
Mia, whose partner Eddie Herman is fully supporting her enterprise, has teamed up with local historian David Maile who has a project of his own to raise awareness of local hero Hereward the Wake and has been taking her tapestry along to events with him.
“He wanted something from the same period that would add to what he is doing and so the tapestry works really well. We have already been together to an event at Crowland Abbey and we will be doing more in the future,” said Mia, who is Swedish and is a fourth generation needleworker.
“I learnt to sew as a young child when my nan taught me to cross stitch. I am the fourth generation to do needlework - it is just in my blood,” added Mia, who admits she will probably go into mourning when the tapestry is eventually finished.
“I don’t know what I will do when it’s finished - perhaps someone will ask me to do a Bayeux tapestry for them and I can do it all again,” she said.