15 years

It’s all Jonathan’s fault – he started the Quaker Tapestry in 1981 when he asked why he couldn’t do something more interesting than colouring in.  The grownups soon joined in (the kids were having far too much fun) – and by 1996 the Quaker Tapestry was complete.

77 panels

There were only going to be fifty, but the idea caught on and more and more people got involved!  In the end we used up all the backing material we had left – which is why we stopped at 77…

4,000 people

…aged from 3 years to 93 were involved in designing and creating this amazing celebration of life, people and events across the centuries. Contributions came from 15 countries making this one of the biggest community projects ever! (ok – the Great Wall of China tops it.  And the pyramids. But they were made to do it).

Some people made whole panels, some put in just one stitch.  In the process of making it, we had to invent a completely new stitch – the Quaker stitch.

The Quaker Tapestry covers the industrial revolution, developments in science and medicine, astronomy, the abolition of slavery, social reform, and ecology, not to mention the famous three-wheels-on-my-waggon story of the banker John Backhouse.

And by the way, we’re nothing to do with Quaker Oats, so there’s definitely no porridge!

The Tapestry found a permanent home

In 1994 we found a permanent home for the Quaker Tapestry in Kendal’s historic Quaker Meeting House.  Now a museum, we welcome thousands of visitors each year from all over the world to enjoy our exhibition of embroideries and other displays.

A lively venue for all the community

The Meeting House is a lively building used by the whole community for events, workshops and training sessions and it is still a place of worship for Quakers today.  On site we also have a Gift Shop, a walled garden, The Courtyard Cafe, rooms for hire and a small car park.

“Embroidery was the medium that provided the opportunities for this experiment in education, communication and community experience.”

Anne Wynn-Wilson, founder of the Quaker Tapestry