Sunday 21 March 2010

Blooming Stitching in Leeds

Those of you who have travelled to the UK for the Ackworth seminars will be familiar with Leeds, an important textile town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. I am just sad now that I did not create an opportunity for you to meet up with members from the Leeds Embroiderers' Guild or to see their Millenium Tapestry in Leeds City Library. But here you can see some excerpts from the astonishing 16 panels which compose the tapestry, a community embroidery conceived by Kate Russell to celebrate the life and times of this West Yorkshire city at the millennium. Abbey House Museum was also not on the Ackworth itinerary, though those of you visited separately will have seen the ancient Cistercian Kirkstall Abbey nearby - but without the daffodils - which is depicted in stitching here by Maureen Hinds.

This panel shown here in its entirety is entitled Local Faces capturing together many well known Leeds people, past and present. You may be able to spot TE Lawrence (of Arabia); Scary Spice of the Spice Girls; Diana Rigg of the Avengers; playwright Alan Bennett; Fiery Fred Truman - a former English cricket captain and in-law to Raquel Welch; and at the front in sun-glasses Sir Jimmy Savile who once danced with my Auntie Doris and who has raised much needed funds by running charity marathons. My daughter, Lucy, an intensive care nurse for newborns, follows in his footsteps and will be running again soon. I wonder if you might be able to spare £2 to sponsor her. Please see the little box on the right side-panel. To see all the Leeds Millenium Tapestry panels, click here. To visit their blog and link to other UK Millenium stitched tapestries click here. Have you stitched your home town? If you have, it would be lovely to hear from you.

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