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Publication Date
07 November 2013
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd
Colour throughout

The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Foreword by Alexander McCall Smith
by Alistair Moffat - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

'[T]he most ambitious attempt to capture the past in needle and thread since the Bayeux Tapestry . . . The result is not just visually stunning but intensely moving and occasionally very funny' – The Times

'This sumptuous book details every single panel in rich detail, giving a real sense of the scale of the project [. . .] perfect as an introduction to this wonderful work of art, or as a reminder for anyone who has seen the exhibition' – National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies

'The beauty of this book lies in the ample space devoted to illustrating each panel of the tapestry, allowing the reader to study the detail in the crafting of each story at their leisure' – Scottish Field

'If you are unable to see the Tapestry in all its glory, this wonderful book will take you through the country’s history from the Ice Age to the present day as told in the stitches of 160 panels' – New Stitches

‘[T]his beautiful book follows the journey taken during the creation of this fascinating project’ – The Lady

'This remarkable teamwork has made Andrew Crummy's artistic vision a reality, and The Great Tapestry of Scotland is now a gift to the nation' – Edinburgh Life

A stunning hardback book illustrated with every panel from The Great Tapestry of Scotland, this tells the history detailed in the panels and puts individual events firmly in context. A beautiful gift for anyone with an interest in embroidery, history or art.

The brainchild of bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, historian Alistair Moffat, and artist Andrew Crummy, the Great Tapestry of Scotland is an outstanding celebration of Scottish history and achievement from the end of the last Ice Age to the 21st century. More than 1,000 volunteer stitchers, led by stitch coordinator Dorie Wilkie, worked for 55,000 hours using 300 miles of wool to create the 160 panels of this extraordinary work of art.

Using a range of embroidery skills and working on Scottish linen, men, women and youngsters from every corner of the country translated Andrew Crummy’s artwork into a colourful, skilful and textural depiction of the history of Scotland and in doing so recorded a remarkable people’s story.

This is the second of two complementary books published by Birlinn to celebrate the launch of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, featuring full-colour photographs of each of the completed panels, accompanied by explanatory material about the history behind each.

The companion paperback book contains photographs of the work in its various stages of completion, along with a selection of the finished panels and Andrew Crummy’s designs. Together, these two volumes tell the story of the biggest community arts project ever to have taken place in Scotland.

Artist Andrew Crummy discusses The Great Tapestry of Scotland:

Andrew Crummy : The Great Tapestry of Scotland from on Vimeo.

Andrew Crummy has worked for New Musical Express, The Observer magazine, Design Week, Creative Review and Time Out magazine. He has developed multiple large-scale, collaborative artworks in public and community settings across the world, and has been involved in a huge range of book publications, multimedia events, festivals and educational programmes.

Alistair Moffat is a former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Director of Programmes at Scottish Television. He now runs the Borders and Lennoxlove book festivals and is currently Rector of St Andrews University. He has written numerous books, including Tuscany, The Faded Map, The Sea Kingdoms, The Borders and The Scots: A Genetic Journey, all of which are published by Birlinn.

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