The Quaker Tapestry came into being as a result of a chance remark made by an eleven-year-old boy attending the children's class of a small Quaker Meeting in the South West of England in 1981.His teacher, to whom the remark was made, was Anne Wynn-Wilson, an accomplished embroiderer. She had the vision of a number of large tapestry panels telling something of the Quaker story and beliefs.In 1982 she mounted an exhibition of work in progress and her ideas and determination aroused an enthusiastic response from many Friends. Designers came forward, embroidery groups were formed, and training workshops were arranged.
Enthusiasm for the project spread and more than 4,000 men, women and children in 15 countries 'had a hand' in the creation of the Quaker Tapestry.Completed in 1996, the result is 77 panels of narrative ‘crewel’ type embroidery on specially woven wool cloth. With each panel measuring 25" (635mm) by 21" (533mm) it is testament to the passion and shared sense of community of an amazing group of Friends.
A Myriad of Stories
The tapestry tells of Quaker events and insights and is a celebration of the significant contribution these quiet, non-conformists have made to the modern world. Stories from the forefront of the industrial revolution, developments in science and medicine, astronomy, the abolition of slavery, social reform, and ecology are all revealed from within the stunning needlework.
Check out our Stories Behind the Stitches a series of 10 minute talks about some of the Quaker Tapestry panels.
More than half of the 77 panels of the Quaker Tapestry are on display in Kendal. A few will be away at other exhibitions. If you wish to view a particular panel, please check with the Quaker Tapestry office before your visit.