I work four evenings a week as a rapid response nurse which has the potential to be stressful dealing with both life and death in the community. I have always found sewing or indeed any craft relaxing so spending all my free time embroidering was no hardship. We received pictures of the tapestry with suggestions of what they wanted highlighted and the colours that are represented in the film, which is just as well as few of us had any idea.
When we started a new emblem or character we would call out to see if anyone had completed the same on a different part so we could stitch with the same shade and stitch for continuity.
Each day as I left home my husband would say not again and how long will you be. My answer was always the same whenever I feel I am finished. My work colleagues had this notion I was making something for Donald trumps visit but as it was a secret no one could be told.
I didn't embroider all of the dragons but quite a lot and this was my favourite fellow above. I also got to like using the gold threads even though they frayed easily.
I got to meet many new like minded ladies and have a notion that lace making may also be something for the future. Valerie and Joanne were excellent coordinators who appeared to live in the gallery, in fact I am not sure there is any evidence to the contrary. There was a stressful period when season six was on its way but hadn't arrived. We googled carriers and made many phone calls knowing those in England did not understand that in N.ireland all stands still around the 12th of July…apart from the embroiderers of course.Rather than waste time we took to sewing the Velcro on the finished pieces in preparation for the final hanging. We finished at1650hrs on the Saturday which was the deadline with each part wrapped in tissue, packed and labelled.
Brenda and I got the job of rolling the six seasons up museum style to tansport to the Ulster museum for display
We all had a fantastic time working together to produce this embroidered tapestry. Although we had suggestions on colour and the items to be highlighted we had space to be creative with various stitches to bring out the best in the tapestry. It wasn't always easy though as some parts of the tapestry were more loosely woven than others and we had to be careful not to distort the excellent work done by the weavers. We had to communicate well as a team to ensure repeated emblems or characters were depicted in the same way as they would be on film. We used various colours in six stranded cotton embroidery floss as well as metallic threads some of which were twelve stranded. The team were from many backgrounds with specific interests in embroidery, patchwork and lace making. With series seven till to be televised we were not finished and looked forward to working again on the remaining tapestry. This time not in secret but in full view of the public and not under the same pressure.