Tapestry Panel Handover – July 2013

Our panel for the Great Tapestry of Scotland has now left Dundee.  With a little tear in the eyes, I handed our panel over to Susie from HQ.  We met in Arbroath along with stitchers from two other now completed panels.  Once they get taken to The Hub in Dalkeith, Dorie, Susie and the others begin to work their magic on the panels to get them ready for exhibition in September.  This involves stretching and goodness knows what else, including the liberal application of vodka.  Much prefer to drink the stuff myself, but no accounting for taste. Anyway good luck to the team at the Hub.  Once all the panels are fully stretched and backed they will be on display at the Scottish Parliament from 3-21 September.  I will miss the first two weeks as we will be away in Switzerland, but will manage to get through to Edinburgh before it all comes down.  Here is what the panel looks like before all the stretching.

P1040658Stitching the panel was quite an undertaking for all of us.  I certainly had never done anything like this before and working with linen was a whole new experience.  Great to have done it though.  Altogether I spent just under 120 hours with needle and thread in hand, spread over six weeks in all.  In addition there were countless hours researching Victorian Dundee to find images that we could use for the outside sections.  All worth it in the end.  My thanks to the others in our group who all contributed with sterling work to get the panel finished in time.  I have also been interviewed over the phone about my involvement in the project.  A journalist, Susan Mansfield has been commissioned to write a book about the project and the stitchers involved.  I guess I was chosen as I have a blog, this was how she contacted me, and no doubt because I am one of only 20 male stitchers out of around 1,000 stitchers altogether.  The interview only lasted under 20 minutes and nothing of great importance was revealed.  Anyway I now await with interest to see if my name features in this book.

Now that the tapestry project is over it is back to my usual embroidery work.  Last week I finished another Bargello composition, the one in greens and gold.  Miracle of miracles it did fit into the mount and frame that I had earmarked for this piece.  It consists of just two bargello patterns, which is a bit unusual for me, but I quite like the way it has turned out.  Here it is, framed and all.


For my current project I am back to roses, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Japanese formalism.   A rose with a silver stem in a sliver rectangle takes up about one third of the fabric, while the rest is made up of two triangles.  These are stitched in a very simple bargello pattern using four shades of blue violet.  I intend to stitch three of these panels, each one slightly different and put the three in a three aperture frame.  Here is the first panel.  Happy stitching to one and all.



2 thoughts on “Tapestry Panel Handover – July 2013

  1. What a fantastic achievement for you and all involved. Is there a permanent home planned for the finished work? It would be wonderful to see the whole piece ‘in the flesh’.

    I love the way the green and gold piece has worked out – that quirky bargello style really appeals to me – I get a feeling of contour lines or field ploughing from it – superb.

    • Thank you Anny for your kind comments. At the moment there is no permanent home for the tapestry. The first chance to see it all will be at the Scottish Parliament between 3-21 September. After that who knows? Hopefully it will tour round Scotland and perhaps England. We just have to wait and see.

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