I had a really special trip out last week to see The Great Tapestry of Scotland. It has been touring around various venues in Scotland for the last couple of years and was being exhibited in a venue close by(ish!).
If you have never heard of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, it is the huge project which was cooked up in 2010 by the well known author Alexander McCall Smith. The story goes that he visited the Prestonpans Tapestry in Edinburgh and on the same day after a discussion with the artist behind the Prestonpans design, and a renowned Scottish writer & historian, the idea of the tapestry was born.
Alexander describes the Tapestry as "a record of our history designed by an artist who's eye has caught the essence of Scotland, and stitched with love by hundreds of people throughout the land".
The tapestry tells the history of Scotland from the beginning of time through to the current day, using 160 panels (most of which measure 1 metre x 1 metre in size), making it the longest tapestry in the world! (143 metres long)
Over 1000 stitchers from various groups around Scotland were involved in it's creation....and the end result is simply BREATHTAKING!
In fact, if I'm honest I felt very moved by the whole experience.....the stunning and sublime stitching, the care and dedication gone into each centimeter of fabric, the story it told, the feeling that the tapestry itself is part of history, the use of an ancient skill to tell the story...I could go on!
It is hard to share the bits I loved most, as there really was so much to take in on every level...a history AND embroidery lesson all in one.
I had to get back in time for the school pick up, so travel time meant I really only had an hour and a half to take it all in. No way near enough time! Needless to say I'll be going back for take 2 (and 3 and 4!).
These photos give a wee taster of what I would recommend anyone to go and see, be you interested in textiles, history, embroidery or art. A truly amazing and emotional experience.
The tapestry took 50,000 sewing hours to complete, using over 300 miles of yarn, which ends the tapestry story perfectly..... enough wool to lay down the entire length of Scotland, from the Northern Isles to the Borders. :)x
You can find out more about The Great Tapestry of Scotland here and get details on where it will be travelling to next: facebook & website