The Quaker Tapestry, which is housed in the historic Friend’s Meeting House in Kendal, Cumbria, was inspired by a comment made by an eleven year old boy to his teacher in 1981. His teacher, Anne Wynn-Wilson who was also an accomplished embroiderer, had the vision of a number of large tapestry panels illustrating the Quaker story and beliefs.
She presented her ideas and work in progress at a Quaker Yearly Meeting in 1982. Her ideas excited many Friends and designers came forward, training workshops were set up and embroidery groups were formed. This brought together more than 4000 men, women and children from 15 countries to have a hand in the creation.
The Quaker Tapestry, which is a celebration of 350 years of Quaker insights and experiences, was embroidered in narrative crewel work on 77 panels of specially woven wool fabric. These panels each measured 25 inches wide by 21 inches tall. The Quaker movement was founded by George Fox in 1652 in Swarthmoor Hall, near Kendal.
The Friend’s Meeting House, which is a beautiful Georgian Grade II listed building, was designed in 1816 by George Webster who was also Mayor of Kendal from 1829 to 1830. Apparently the first Quaker Meeting House in Kendal was built in 1688 on this site.
Also on-site is the Quaker Tapestry Gift Shop, which has a number of Quaker and tapestry related items available to purchase. The Tapestry Tearooms, which serves meals approved by the Vegetarian Society, is adjacent to the exhibition. Please visit the official Quaker Tapestry website for further information.