“The apple does not fall far from the tree.” So goes the saying. Todmorden U3A Craft Club have produced a tapestry of a tree to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of our U3A. In this case, The Tree of Knowledge. Each “apple” represents a group or amalgam of similar groups and incorporates thirty-five out of the thirty-seven groups existing at the time the project was conceived.

Many materials and techniques were employed in the making. Ceramics, textiles, felt-making, macramé, collage, quilting, appliqué, embroidery, beading, tassel-making, paint, and quilling.

Each apple took around fifty hours in the making and the planning by the design group took six months. Each group member had a “blind” pick of which group they would create an “apple” for.

John Andrae has framed the tapestry in locally reclaimed oak. John is son-in-law of the late John McNair, who originally conceived of a U3A Todmorden and was a founder member and driving force in the early days.

One member had it on her dining room table for a number of weeks, raised on tins of baked beans and she had to devise ways of keeping the cat out.

The group were constrained by the apple shape and overall size – 4’ x 3’ 6”. It needed trial and error in terms of design and which materials would achieve the concept for each apple. Much of the work was done outside of the group meetings so it didn’t take over the group activities. Many biscuits were consumed.

Almost all of cost was borne by the group. The plan is to display the tapestry at the April General Meeting. At the time of writing a permanent home for the tapestry is still being sought.