Australian Quaker Narrative Embroidery Project

The Australian Quaker Narrative Embroidery/Friends in Stitches project (formerly known as the Australian Quaker Tapestry) is an Australian community development and outreach programme. The project was conceived in 2005 when Verley Kelliher, a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), visited the Quaker Tapestry Centre in Kendal, UK.

In 2007 the project committee brought Bridget Guest, Exhibition Director of the Quaker Tapestry Centre, to Australia to hold workshops both in Sydney and at Woodford, New South Wales, where she demonstrated the recently developed Quaker stitch and the techniques used at Kendal to create narrative embroidery. ​

Following on from the initial workshops, Australian amateur embroiderers from every state and territory have created a number of panels showing Australian Quaker history. As the Australian project was inspired by the British Quaker Tapestry project, the layout, panel sizes, stitches, and embroidery materials used are similar to the Quaker tapestry in Kendal, but there is no restriction on the colours of the woollen crewel embroidery threads that are used, and Australian wool has been hand woven into an unique background material, which is used for each panel. ​

The panels depict Quaker history in Australia since 1770, with the arrival of the first Quaker, Sydney Parkinson, a botanical artist with Captain Cook’s expedition, until the present day. The intent of the project is to have forty panels. As of 2015 ten panels have been completed, while seventeen more are in progress. At the present time the panels are not on public display, but interested individuals can contact the Friends in Stitches Committee to find out more information or view progress. All of the panels are mounted on archival board using Velcro and brought together once a year to be displayed at the Australian Yearly Meeting, a general meeting for all Australian Quakers, which is held each year in a different state.

For further information please contact the Friends in Stitches committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the Religious Society of Friends’ Australian website, (retrieved 4 June 2016).


  • 'The Australian Quaker Tapestry Adventure April 2007, Group Embroidery Workshops'. This pamphlet, with photographs, is available to download for free here.
  • DAVIES, Cathy (2011) 'Sydney Parkinson 1745-1771', Friends in Stitches; The Newsletter of the Australian Narrative Embroidery, Issue 1, p. 3.
  • LOVE, Frances (2006) 'Quaker Tapestry Project', Blue Mountains Local Meeting Newsletter (March 2006), pp. 2-3.


Last modified on Thursday, 27 April 2017 19:38
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