Tapestry of Spirit presents the ambitious and inclusive social project to create a cross-stitched representation of the Torah. This installation features texts from the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy, along with selections for the Scriptures and the Qur’an. It includes the first five books of the Bible, reflecting on the theme of creation.
It is an immersive installation that has been collectively created by almost 1500 volunteers of many faiths, under the artistic leadership of Temma Gentles (Toronto). Visitors will journey through nearly 1000 panels in three languages (Hebrew, Greek and Arabic) including illuminations and embellishments by stitchers from 28 countries who have interpreted these ancient narratives into contemplative, often highly personal expressions.
Volunteer Barbara Feldman’s cross-stitch —After Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and develops a strategy to save Egypt from future starvation, the king honours him with splendid robes (Genesis 41: 49-52).
The Torah stitchers live world wide. Upon volunteering, they received a package with fabric, thread and chart. It was necessary to follow the directions exactly so that the design was centred and there was adequate fabric for alignment with other panels and for assembly. The stitcher was able to add small extras to the panel if there was space. As you can see from the first photo, there are many embellishments to the text. I picked two out of hundreds to show you. The tapestry is full of birds, animals, flowers and designs as you can see in the first photo.
You can read more about The Torah: Stitch by Stitch Project by going to
The Tapestry is currently on display in the Textile Museum Toronto.
It has been open since June but closes on November 17, 2019.