Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Great Tapestry of Scotland - my last stitch!

Yes, our panel for The Great Tapestry of Scotland is very nearly finished! We are just filling in our individual boxes around the outside. If you have missed any of my regular updates on this amazing project you can read more here and here and also here.
I have just completed my last turn and stitched my last stitch. But more on that in a bit. Let's have a look at some panel close-ups first.
Here is the gorgeous dog/wolf stitched by Susan, along with the man's loincloth that I completed on my last turn. It is dark and difficult to see, but it includes bits of fur trim, very much as I did with the woman's skirt on the opposite side.
Look at those fish! Liz and Katherine have down an amazing job, and I think there is still some metallic thread going on soon to complete them.
You can also see a bit of a close up of the polar bear here too. After A LOT of debate we decided to keep him very sparse and simple with large seed stitches in white. The idea is that he is a bit of a 'ghost bear'. This period depicts us coming out of the ice age, so the polar bear (who could even be described as having his back to us) is receding towards the arctic and becoming ever more ghostly and indistinct as he goes. At least that's our story and we're sticking to it!
I've shown you one of the men's hair previously but the other one is finished now, Morag did the red-head and Katherine the brunette. I just love the effect they got using a twisted chain stitch.
We have each got a box to fill in with whatever we want. The only proviso is that it must have been around in our panel period, 8500BC. Joan L has 2 boxes to fill and she has finished both. That cute red squirrel above is one of hers, I just love his furry tail! Joan H created that very complex looking pine cone in the corner and Gill is working on that delicate reindeer moss (still to be finished).
 Susan has stitched this beautiful Spurry with tiny delicate flowers on top.
Liz is still working on those lovely raspberries, meanwhile Joan L's 2nd box is that beautiful birch catkin. And what have I been doing? A mountain hare of course!
I have been working on this little fella solidly for the last 2 days and I feel like I've actually given birth to a mountain hare, never mind stitched it! It was hard work and quite stressful, mainly because I just didn't have the right sort of mid browns so had to create a suitable shade through speckling lots of colours. This has meant that he is quite 'heavy' (wool-wise) but as he is so small I hope it will be ok.
And now I am very relieved, not only because I think he is ok, but mainly because he is finished!
The boxes in the bottom 2 corners are for our  group 'tag'. Marg has been working on these, the first one has all our initials in different colours - isn't that cool?! The other side is going to be a local landmark and I will wait till it is finished to reveal more.
The panel will now travel to the other members so that everyone can fill in their boxes and do a few last minutes finishes. The deadline for handing the panels in is June 23rd and we are planning on taking every last minute and handing it in on that day. We will all get a last minute chance to see the panel when it is totally completed and take photos. I will share these with you after that, and then the next time I will see this is when it is mounted and exhibited with all the other panels at the Scottish Parliament in September!
Meanwhile I would like to leave you with this video of a short film about the panel made by some journalism students at Napier University. You might just recognise one of the interviewees!


  1. That is such a beautiful piece, love how it turned out.


  2. You ladies should be very, very proud....you have done such a fantastic job with your section. I sure wish we could see it.

    BTW....looking good on the video!:)

  3. Beautiful tapestry. I love everything about it!

  4. I am blown away by the beautiful work you have all done. Sometimes living here in the US, I am amazed when I think of other areas of the world that have such long cultural histories.

  5. It's fantastic - I could look at it all day! I hope that when it's on its 'world wide tour' it has a stop in the North-East of England so I can see the whole thing!

  6. Wow! You should all be so proud of your beautiful work!

  7. It's spectacular and I love the hare!

  8. It's become such an amazing piece of work and the stitches used to create the effects of fur or scales are so effective! I would like to stroke the animals just from seeing the photos :-)

    Lovely to see you in the youtube film too Jo. It's a great work and I have enjoyed seeing it grow!

  9. how daunting to work on such an amazing piece, it looks amazing

  10. It looks fab (love that you have the excuse for the polar bear already lol) and the hare is great :o)

  11. Every time you show this I am in awe of the stitching. It is so beautiful and the colours used to create each creature, plant, etc are so perfectly chosen and blended. It is a work of art!!

  12. Wow!!! Its amazing Jo! Well done all of you

  13. It all looks so wonderful -- I really appreciate you taking the time to show us details!