The Great Tapestry of Scotland Elevates Embroidery to Art

The Great Tapestry of Scotland
The Great Tapestry of Scotland
I so admire Alexander McCall Smith, author of the beloved No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I admire his gently-drawn characters and his love affair with Botswana, which he so expertly conveys to his readers. I admire his warmth and wit, and his prodigious work ethic (check out the number of books he turns out every year!). And now I must add to my list his generous spirit and community involvement.

I just learned that Mr. McCall Smith, together with historian Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy, were the driving force behind The Great Tapestry of Scotland. The Great Tapestry is a 143-metre work consisting of 160 panels depicting events from Scotland’s fascinating past, from pre-historic times to current day. The work was completed by more than 1000 amateur embroiderers from all over the country. Each panel took over 700 hours to complete.

The Great Tapestry was recently put on view at the Scottish Parliament. Mr. McCall Smith said “What we are seeing with its unveiling … is the revealing to the world of a treasure of astonishing beauty and interest.”

I enjoy stitching and am drawn to all forms of the craft – needlepoint, cross-stitch, crewel – you name it. I’ve acquired beautiful pieces over the years and enjoy them in my home. I’m so delighted to see this endeavor elevated from craft to art form in this way. I’ve added seeing The Great Tapestry of Scotland to my bucket list. And Mr. McCall Smith’s star shines even brighter for his sponsorship of this grand project.