Stories behind the stitches- World Family of Friends
The Quaker Tapestry Calendar features twelve popular panels with accompanying text for each month’s image. This month on our calendar features World Family of Friends:
From 1654 onwards, Friends travelled extensively over Europe, the West Indies, the eastern seaboard of America, establishing Quaker Meetings. These kept in close touch by “Epistles” and the frequent visits of travelling Friends. On the World Family of Friends panel are recorded “Meetings” and also “Churches” as some groups took on a different form of worship from the silent worship usual in most Quaker communities.
A World Committee for Consultation was set up to foster greater understanding between Quakers of these different traditions, and this led to regular triennial conferences, held in many parts of the world, which cherishes the ideal of “Unity in Diversity”
Designed by Anne Wynn-Wilson, founder of the Quaker Tapestry project. At first using a spiral to represent unity in diversity springing from a central belief (much like The Prism). In this case to express the energy of Friends World organisations and their influence, in spite of comparatively small numbers. Anne had drawn the spirals and then, as so often happened, something unexpected happened to help the concept and design along. In this case it was a tree construction brought by children into the Family gathering in Waterford, Eire. It was filled with birds, insects, animals, vibrant with life and Anne recognised that this was to be the centre of the panel.
The main part of the panel was largely embroidered by Friends in Switzerland, North America and all over Britain, but The World itself was the work of Win Prior, of Hemel Hempstead meeting, who painstakingly embroidered the land masses in thousands of Peking knots, giving a texture upon which to embroider the swirling white clouds.
Along the bottom section we see children from many countries. Anne carried a small notebook with her when she travelled and asked children to draw a picture of themselves with their friend. This serves to remind us that personal friendships and sharing of our common humanity is the way to lasting peace and understanding.
The Quaker Tapestry 2021 Fundraising Calendar, a colourful bookmark of the childrens drawings and photographic prints of World Family of Friends panel are available and make lovely gifts to friends and family, perfect for posting when we cannot travel or be with our loved ones at the moment. Both items, and more, are available to purchase in our museum gift shop, our online shop or by ringing our helpful office team on 01539 722975
Buying lovely things from us directly supports our charitable work.
Your purchase helps us to preserve and exhibit one of the world’s largest community embroideries and in sharing its stories, history and stitches for all to enjoy.