Tapestry Panel Almost Done

Our panel for the Great Tapestry of Scotland – Juteopolis – is finally nearing completion.  Dundee’s Victorian heritage will come to life, well at least as a piece of stitching.  Four of the additional sections around the main body are completed and all the others are underway.  Margaret, who now has the panel to work with, has only a few adjustments to make to the section showing the beach area by the river Tay, with Broughty Ferry castle in the distance.  Here is how it looks just now.

IMG_0013Once this has been completed, she can turn her attention to the Dundee skyline which will form the top of our panel and then her daughter can stitch our logo – 3J.  I meanwhile have been busily stitching away over the past week.  These additional sections have proved to be harder and more complicated work than the main body of the panel.  The images we selected to illustrate Victorian Dundee have turned out to be rather difficult to transfer to the quite small spaces available to us.  Still, Andrew has done a grand job in outlining the images and it is always good to have a challenge to overcome.  I am now working on three of the remaining sections.  The Royal Victoria Arch, built to commemorate a visit to Dundee by Queen Victoria was a grandiose and elaborate triple arch.  I say was, as it is no longer with us, having been demolished in the 1960s.  I am though, old enough to remember the thing and quite impressive it was too.  It was such an important symbol of Victorian Dundee that we just had to include it in our panel.  However it has been very difficult to stitch the darn thing.  As a formal arch it was of course a lovely symmetrical building.  And getting this balance was tremendously hard work, which involved as much unpicking as stitching.  Not to mention a few choice words of anglo-saxon origin.  Once the outline was stitched in more or less symmetry the rest of the work was more straightforward, though still very time consuming.  The whole thing is almost complete as you can see here.

P1040554Just a couple of details to add.  The tiny circle near the top is to be a clock face and I have to try and add a couple of lines to represent three o’clock or something similar.  Somewhat more challenging will be the rectangle below.  This housed a sculpture of a lion and a unicorn.  Not at all sure how this can be done.  Creative cap needs to be donned!  The other section that has taken up most of my time last week was the Albert Institute, now rechristened the McManus Galleries, but at the time one of the earliest buildings erected in honour of Prince Albert.  Again the outline of what is a rather complex building proved most difficult to get right.  The façade has had to be severely simplified, but I hope that it still looks a bit like the grand old building.  I have completed the roof, the door and the surrounding area.  Here is the work so far.


What is left is the stone work, and here lies yet another little problem.  Photos of the stonework show that it was built with sandstone, as was the Royal Arch, but in this case a lot of the work was done with a light reddish sandstone in with a yellowish sandstone.  Our stash of threads does not contain a colour remotely like the one I need, so I have called for help from Dorie and Co.  The third and final section for me to complete is a berryfield for jam making.  The fruit will be strawberries but so far I have only managed to finish off the basket for collecting the fruit.

P1040555So, we are slowly but surely nearing completion of the whole panel and barring any unforeseen disaster, we will have it all stitched before the deadly deadline.






3 thoughts on “Tapestry Panel Almost Done

  1. Dear Alister,
    I’ve been commissioned to write the text for a book about the Great Tapestry of Scotland and I’d be really interested to talk to you about your work on it. Can you email me on wordsmansfield@yahoo.com? Thanks so much.
    Susan Mansfield

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