March 27, 2014

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry - Portuguese Panels

Olá! Two weeks ago I introduced you to the Scottish Diaspora Panel and promised to show the panels that were sent to Portugal.

George Sandeman's panel
We received two panels designed and drawn onto linen, a colored pattern and wool thread. We should choose our own stitches to bring the design to life. Both designs represent the Porto Wine industry. There is a third panel, depicting Sir John Drummond (John of Scotland, Joao Escorcio) in Madeira in the 15th Century, but it is being stitched in Scotland.

The panels are very different from each other, which happened to be a great way of creating different experiences around them.

Port Wine families' panel

There is a panel representing George Sandeman that was sent to the North, the region of Porto wine. The panel has a much more intricate and detailed pattern. The North of Portugal is the region where we find most of Portuguese embroidery traditions...

So we decided to have it embroidered there, in the North, in a more traditional way, using the stitches more common in our regional embroideries.

Méri Almeida from the blog agulhas da méri became responsible for this panel, coordinating a team of volunteers that have been gathering on a daily basis...

Lovely details including the mustache using velvet stitch from Guimarães embroidery
Méri was the best choice I could have ever made... She knows all the details of our traditional stitches, she loves to use embroidery technique at a high level, and puts her heart into each stitch. The photos showing the team working tell us that this is the spirit being lived there... 

The hair is growing day by day with incredible "canutilho"stitches (bullion knots), the soul of Guimarães embroidery

In the North we have the panel of the technique and rigor... But the door is always open and whoever wants to help or see the panel will be welcome.

The grapes are finished and the first vine leaf is almost done...

The other panel represents many of the Scottish families related to Porto wine industry and the design is simpler, not giving opportunity for using many different stitches.

Using "ponto frouxo" or Castelo Branco Stitch to fill the wine barrel

And the simplicity of the design was used with mastery by Sofia, from the blog Tayari, a borboleta serrana. Instead of a very technical panel, in Lisbon, we have one in which many participate.

A group of volunteers, in Lisbon, stitching the outlines using stem stitch.
For several days Sofia received volunteers in a public space in Lisbon, where they gathered to embroider all the outlines in stem stitch. In a weekend she traveled to Sintra in order to work with another group of volunteers, including a Scottish lady. She was in an Embroidery School, where a teacher of the Castelo Branco embroidery began filling the wine barrel at the centre. And she managed to take the panel to a public school where a group of 10 year old students experienced the joy of embroidering for the first time... Next weekend the panel will travel to a rural region of Portugal and there some very skilled embroiderers will also be able to participate.

The panel at the school, where students learned history, geography and embroidery technique

Sofia is coordinating all these different volunteers and at the same time ensuring the quality of the stitching. The stitches that have been chosen are giving the panel such a textured touch... That's not an easy job and Sofia is coordinating it always with gentle words and a smile on her face...

One of the four corners of the Port families' panel. 

This is an incredible experience for all of us... A truly feeling of celebration inspires all the volunteer embroiderers, regardless of their age and experience... We are celebrating our "global village" in this journey between Portugal and Scotland on the tip of a needle! 

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