Presiding Officer sews the final stitch on the Great Tapestry of Scotland


The final stitch on what will be the longest tapestry in the world when it is complete was sewn by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament today (25 July).

Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, was joined by the artist who designed the Tapestry, Andrew Crummy and stitch co-ordinator Dorie Wilkie to sew the final stitch on the 143 metre long tapestry that will be unveiled in its entirety for the first time at the Scottish Parliament later on this year.

The panel is one of 160 that capture 420 million years in Scotland’s history. One thousand stitchers aged from 4 to 94 have worked on the project which has taken over 50,000 hours to complete.

The Presiding Officer said:

“I had the great privilege of sewing the first stitch of the Great Tapestry last year. Since then hundreds of volunteer stitchers across Scotland have spent many thousands of hours creating this unique artwork.

“I am delighted to be adding the final stitch today and I look forward to seeing all 160 panels exhibited together for the first time in the Parliament later this year.

“This has been a mammoth undertaking and I want to thank all those that have worked so tirelessly to bring this project to life. Their hard work and imagination has resulted in a truly breath-taking piece of art which generations will enjoy for many years to come.”

Alexander McCall Smith comments:

“The creation of this wonderful tapestry has been an experience of sheer joy. Not only has the team of artist and stitchers created a stunning record of Scotland’s history, but the project has brought together hundreds of people in all parts of Scotland in joint artistic endeavour. In the many hours that the stitchers have spent together they have experienced the pleasure of making something permanent and beautiful; they have felt what it is to create art with others; they have found friendship.

“I salute the visionary artist, Andrew Crummy, and his team of hundreds, led by Dorie Wilkie. I salute their magnificent artistry. I salute their generosity. I salute their good humour. This tapestry is their creation, given to the people of Scotland and to those who will come to Scotland to  see it.”


On 21 March 2012, the Presiding Officer stitched the first stitch of the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

The tapestry will be exhibited in the Main Hall of the Scottish Parliament between 3-21 September. Entry to see the Tapestry will be free. Further details will be announced this summer.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is one of the most ambitious community arts projects in the world. The project, developed by Scottish writer Alexander McCall Smith, artist Andrew Crummy and historian Alistair Moffat, brings together one thousand volunteer stitchers from across Scotland to create a record-breaking 143 metre long embroidered tapestry. Beautifully illustrating the history of Scotland, from a land locked in ice and carved by glaciers, to the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the panels depict Scotland’s fascinating history, science, culture, industry and politics over the centuries.

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