The design team from the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands recently met with community stitchers from around the Lochcarron area, in one of a series of in-person workshops which also included Helmsdale, Ullapool and Inverness. As part of the gathering they were joined by the Lochcarron Weavers with a donation of tartan for use in the tapestry.
The stitcher gatherings are full of creativity and enthusiasm, with lots of learning and friendships being developed. It is an opportunity for the community stitchers to share techniques, meet fellow stitchers and work with the materials, yarns and resources that will be showcased in the 52 panels created for the project.
Kirstie Campbell, Stitch Coordinator for the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands, said:
“The Howard Doris Centre in Lochcarron was the most wonderful place to do a stitcher workshop – it was so welcoming, with an amazing community feel. The energy and enthusiasm each time we deliver these workshops is overwhelming, it is a joy to be part of helping to support this project from beginning to end.”
A special thank you to the Lochcarron Weavers for coming along today with their donation of tartan. It is so special to be able to include donated fabrics in the tapestry, it adds to the uniqueness of the project, allowing the different parts and fabric of the Highlands and Islands to be threaded into the tapestry and its legacy.”
Cllr Isabelle (Biz) Campbell, Member for Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh, said:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed being invited along to the stitcher gatherings in Ullapool and Lochcarron. The community stitchers and their design support went out of their way to make me feel part of the workshops. To my delight, I was even shown how to add my own stitch to a panel being developed. Now I’ll always be a little part of the project.”
Joy Moran, Retail Manager, Lochcarron Weavers, said:
“We welcomed the opportunity to be able to contribute tartan to this vibrant community tapestry project and were delighted to be asked along to meet the participants. We very much look forward to seeing the finished panels from the Lochcarron area and beyond.”
Completed tapestry panels will be exhibited within the newly transformed Inverness Castle when it opens in 2025, as well as within community venues across the Highlands and Islands.
The tapestry is being created as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, a partnership project between The Highland Council and High Life Highland, which is being delivered in collaboration with VisitScotland.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project will encourage visitors to explore and experience all parts of the Highlands and Islands, as well as inspiring them to attend and support festivals and events, visitor attractions and outdoor locations across the area.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF), led by NatureScot and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is part of the Inverness Castle project. The Castle, opening in 2025, will benefit from £30m investment to support its redevelopment from the Scottish and UK Governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a range of other partners.
The Inverness Castle project is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, which is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.