Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Scottish Diaspora Tapestry: Visit it on This Side of the Pond


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Back in 2015, I ran a short series of articles on a variety of heritage tapestries that can be found around the globe. These are needlework tapestries that depict a story – usually a rather epic tale – from the heritage of the people who stitch it or of the area in which it is stitched.

Heritage tapestries fascinate me! I love the history they tell, the artistry they display, and the whole idea of Community that revolves around them.

For those of you who are new to the concept of heritage tapestries, or who missed the articles last year, you might find this particular book review of The Art of Narrative Embroidery interesting. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of organizing a tapestry in your own community, it’s a great place to start!

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry

One of the most intriguing heritage tapestries of today is the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, which was stitched by people from all around the globe. And right now, the tapestry panels are heading around the globe, which is great news for those of us who can’t make it to the UK to see it.

November 2015 through April 2016 saw the Tapestry Down Under, in Australia and New Zealand. Now, beginning in June through December, the tapestry will be exhibited in North America (specifically, right now, in Canada – there aren’t any dates at the moment for the US).

You can find the list of North American Tour Dates here, on the Scottish Diaspora website. If you happen to be close to any of those Canadian cities, I think it would be well worth the excursion!

More Information & Online Viewing

If you want more information on the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, you’ll find their website extremely thorough. You can even view each of the panels and read its story. While viewing online can never quite replace the up-close, personal experience of face-to-face viewing in real life, sometimes, you just have to take what you can get! And the website presents the tapestry quite well.

More Heritage Tapestries

If you’re interested in reading about other heritage tapestries, here are a few articles that you might enjoy:

The Prestonpans Tapestry
The Ros Tapestry
Embroidered Stories: Heritage Tapestries
Embroidered Stories: World Wars

I willingly admit, I’m a bit of a sucker for good stories from history. If you are, too, I think you’ll enjoy exploring the whole notion of heritage tapestries!

If you get a chance to visit the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry while it’s on this side of the pond, I’d love to hear all about your experience! I doubt I can make it that far north this year, but I’d love to live vicariously through you, so feel free to drop me a line if you get the chance to see the tapestry in person!

Coming Up on Needle ‘n Thread

I don’t want to promise too much right now, as I’m not exactly sure how things are going to pan out over the next three weeks, but I have high hopes! I’ve recently been taking photos of thread and projects and kits and so forth, and I want to tell you all about them. I’ll also have a personal update for you very soon. And I’m working my darnedest on getting Late Harvest finished, so I can move on to several new projects that I’ve got lined up. And – most exciting of all – I’ve been mucking about with a few designs for some Needle ‘n Thread exclusive projects.

I have a lot planned this summer. I hope you’ll stick around for the fun!


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(28) Comments

  1. Hi Mary,
    Sounds like you have a lot of fun in store for us. Cannot wait. Stay well.

    Barbara L. in Texas

  2. Love historical recounting of needlework, any type. Thank you for this posting. I’m looking forward to the others you have planned for us.

  3. I do enjoy seeing historical tapestries. There is one in Astoria in the Flavel Museum. So many tiny people and buildings related to the history of that city. I just don’t know the story behind it. I did manage to get a picture of it after asking and no, I did not use my flash. 🙂

    I have a friend who was going to be involved in a project here in the US. People were going to be sent a part of a large project, stitch their portion and send it back. Then someone was going to stitch all the pieces together into one large scene. I wish I could remember the details now.

    I’m very anxious to hear how things are going with you. I respect your privacy but you’ve touched a lot of stitchers’ lives and many of us think of you as family. Of course we care (and worry) about you. Take care and know you are loved.

  4. All that mucking about on your own designs is very exciting! I will enjoy the anticipation of them

  5. Thanks very much for this reminder, Mary! I saw photos of this exhibition from Australia, and I am looking forward to its visit here.

    Praying for good news at the doctor!

  6. Dear Mary

    The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and the stories behind it is really interesting. It’s great that they are being exhibited all around the world for people to see it up close that would be interesting. Thanks for the information of the exhibition and sharing with us this interesting news. I can’t wait to see all your new projects and designs/exclusive projects they sound really interesting. I hope you are well and you are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  7. G’day Mary,
    The tapestries sure are interesting. The exclusive projects will be great.
    All the best with your stitching and am anxious for your personal update.
    Don’t forget you are a very special lady in so many ways.
    Cheers, Kath x

  8. I’ll definitely stick around! I love what you do and how you write your articles: Profoundly researched, solid handcraft, but always with a twinkle. Gabi (from the other side of the pond)

  9. I checked the schedule because I am in Canada and I see that there is one date in the USA. Maybe it is close enough.
    16th – 31st July
    Vaughn Hall, Montello, Marquette County, Wisconsin
    Host: Montello Historic Preservation Society & Wisconsin Friends of John Muir

  10. Don’t forget The Great Tapestry of Scotland! This, and both the Prestonpans and the Diaspora tapestries were designed by the same man, Andrew Crummy — such a talented chap.

  11. Thanks for the news, Mary. I just checked and the updated schedule now includes one US exhibit:
    16th – 31st July
    Vaughn Hall, Montello, Marquette County, Wisconsin
    Host: Montello Historic Preservation Society & Wisconsin Friends of John Muir

  12. I love these collaborative tapestry projects too. I saw the Quaker history one years ago. I’d love to see the Scottish ones sometime. But mostly I’d like to be part of making one. I think that would be an amazing experience.

  13. Mary,

    I think there are fireworks of excitement going off in my stomach right now!! I’m currently stitching a massive (60cm × 140cm) reproduction Bayaux Tapestry kit. I live in Annapolis Royal across the street from the Heritage Tapestry at Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal NS. AND now one of my bucket list needlework pieces is coming to visit ON MY BIRTHDAY.


  14. “And – most exciting of all – I’ve been mucking about with a few designs for some Needle ‘n Thread exclusive projects.”

    Oh please oh please that French knot tree!! Although it will be I don’t know how long before I can embroider… two and a half more weeks in a cast, and then at least four weeks of rehab…. but no more arthritis pain!!!

  15. Thank you for this article on the heraldry embroidery and tapestry ojects. I read your review of the book and it was marvelous, your review that is. I always enjoy seeing the wonderfully wide range of topics that you write about on your website-blog. . I love how you find ways of showing your readers how embroidery works in so intimately with so many areas of our lives. Thank you for sharing your love of stitchery with us and helping us to spread that love in our own work. And I wish you a full and speedy recovery . Ann

  16. I saw a presentation on the tapestry, at the Ontario Network for Needleworkers at Guelph Ontario. They went over their contribution and got deep into how subject matter choices were made. It is an impressive piece. I am looking forward to seeing it in September when it reaches Toronto.

  17. All sounds very exciting and I look forward to reading your posts. You are an inspiration in many ways. Take care and please, don’t over do it. Warm regards.

  18. I am so sorry I missed this event in Australia, although it is likely it didn’t visit anywhere close to us in any case. I tried very hard to find information on the Parliament House embroidery in Canberra but there seems to be next to nothing on the internet. I have a little bit about it in a book but that seems to be the extent of it. Pity, as it is a fabulous work and deserves more attention. I would urge any of your followers who visit Canberra to include it on their ‘must see’ list.

    Finally, I too would like to honour your privacy but nevertheless wish you well healthwise. Stay well, and continue tantalising us with hints of gorgeous things to come.

  19. I’m crazy about your blog and I always read it religiously. Keep up the good work ,and thank you for always lifting my spirits up with your beautiful creations .
    I was trying to register on ask and share , but couldn’t . Is anything wrong about that page….

    1. HI, Caroline – the Ask & Share is only available for reading at this time, I’m afraid. I’m doing some work on the site, and I’m not sure what the future of that section will be yet. Thanks!

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