WINCHESTER — Nov. 12 will be the last day visitors to Handley Library may see the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry now on display on the first floor.
The tapestry — which depicts notable buildings in the northern Shenandoah Valley including Handley Library, Belle Grove Plantation, George Washington’s Office, Wayside Inn and the Hexagon House — is going on tour.
The tapestry began with a book, “Defend the Valley” by Margaretta Bolton Colt, which tells the stories of two Winchester families during the Civil War. Colt later commissioned a primitive art work from artist Page Huff Dillon to visualize the people, places, and landscape of her written work. Inspired by this piece of art, members of Winchester’s Multicultural Collage Club began a project to recreate the picture through embroidery.
The project took more than four years to complete and involved partnerships with the Winchester Chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America, the Handley Regional Library, the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society and other organizations. The nearly 1,400 stitcher included people who had years of experience as embroiderers and some who had none at all.
From Nov. 13 to Nov. 20, the tapestry will be exhibited at Stonegates in Wilmington, Del., where Colt will deliver a program on Nov. 16.
The tapestry will also be featured at the Woodlawn Needlework Show in Alexandriain the Spring. The tapestry will return to Winchester for displays at Orchard Ridge and Shenandaoh University. See the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry’s Facebook page to see its touring schedule.