Last stitches completed on history tapestry panel

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The finishing touches are being put on a tapestry project that depicts Mid Canterbury’s history in stitch.
More than 420 hours of fine needlework have gone into the impressive 100cm by 67cm tapestry.
Many of Ashburton Embroiderers’ Guild 35 members have had a hand in the project, with a hard core team of seven or eight tackling some tricky stitching.
Project co-ordinator Roylyn Austin said the group was ‘‘thrilled’’ with the final tapestry and proud of the efforts of everyone associated with it.
The project had taken two and a half years to complete, she said.
The two phrases ‘Vast low plains of stony ground carved up by rivers’ and ‘Hard work grew the thriving towns from mountains to sea’ top and tail the iconic Mid Canterbury imagery featured on the tapestry.
Key images depicted include irrigation channels, the Ashburton clocktower, sport, ploughing and the railway.
Before embarking on the tapestry panel, embroiderers received help with history research, image gathering, sketching and design.
A grant of $5000 was given by the Mid and South Canterbury Trust to fund materials, including the coarse wool weave fabric used, said Mrs Austin.
Embroiderers had rigged up a ‘‘workmate’’ bench to give them more freedom to stitch.
The finished tapestry would be delivered to the association at a national convention in Auckland on July 15, said Mrs Austin.
One hundred and twenty tapestry panels will be completed for the Tapestry Trust of New Zealand project. Each outlines the history of New Zealand from a regional perspective