There’s so much to discover here at Quaker Tapestry, so here’s the first in a series of blog posts on QT Facts.

Q. Why aren’t all of the 77 panels on display at once? Well there’s some very good reasons…

We’ve never had all 77 panels on display, there are just too many to see at one time! Before 2014 we had one hung above the other, two on a display board. Whilst this showed most of the set it didn’t really work as an exhibition. Like any work of art, the space around the exhibit is as important as the exhibit itself, allowing the work (and the viewer) to breathe. You wouldn’t go into an art gallery and see portraits squashed up together in order to have everything out on display. We felt that the set up just wasn’t doing the Quaker Tapestry any justice, and our visitors were telling us there was too much to see, we decided to show fewer panels at Kendal. Allowing visitors to enjoy the exhibition and absorb more of what is on display.

Requests from venues around the world to host our roadshows started to increase, helping us to share Quaker Tapestry with a whole new audience. The work involved meant we needed to pack up and move around twenty panels several times a year. A big task, even for our dedicated and skilled volunteers, ensuring that each year different panels are shared with many people through roadshow exhibitions.

With this in mind we streamlined what was on display down to around forty panels. This freed up space within the exhibition to bring some of our Quaker stories to life in interactive specialist displays. We were now offering something other than just the Tapestry. Like our display on Quaker Business – Money, Shoes, Chocolate and all that: Highlighting those innovative Quakers in business from the 17th century to the present day. Or The Barrett Friendship Quilt: This 19th Century friendship quilt is a major work of art with connections to the Victorian Art World, William Morris and Queen Victoria herself! Now there is so much more to see than just the Quaker Tapestry.

So you can see less really is more. Interactive specialist displays, touring panels on our roadshows and a high standard of museum display are all thanks to editing down the panel display here in Kendal.

If you visit us here in Kendal all the panels are available to view on our interactive information kiosk, where you can zoom in on details and read about each panel (whilst taking the weight off your feet). Or if you live nearer to our roadshow venues then why not pop along and see which panels will be off on their travels this year.

“I loved creating my embroidered panel. This was by far the most enjoyable art project I have ever completed and I am so pleased with my final piece.”

Mia Beech, year 9 pupil Lisburn School