World’s largest needlepoint uniting Canadians displayed in Kingston

The World’s Largest Needlepoint, Vahid Saadati’s “The Welcome Mat,'' which depicts the word “Welcome” in over 100 different languages, was on display at quilting, fabric and sewing machine store Stitch By Stitch over the weekend.

Saadati immigrated to Canada from Iran in 1987 and says he wanted to give back to his new home and show how Canada is united. The Welcome Mat was assembled 22 years ago by Saadati and 650 volunteers of all ages over a two year period.

“That’s something people love to be part of, to be a proud Canadian, to be proud to show we can work together regardless of age, background or religion,” says Saadati.

Saadati says he has been unable to find a permanent home for the mat.

“I have tried so many times to display at Pearson international, the largest airport in Canada, as people coming to Canada to see the welcoming of Canada, especially seeing something people put time and effort to create,” says Saadati.

The welcome mat was used as the backdrop for his holiness Pope John Paul II’s visit to Toronto for World Youth Day. 

“We were in Downsview Park, this piece was displayed for the whole event. I had several interviews from media with other countries, but unfortunately not one Canadian media came and interviewed,” says Saadati.

Saadati says our leaders should think more about bringing people together:

Audio Player

The mat was also used for former U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Ottawa and has been recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records. The display at Stitch By Stitch was the first time the mat has been displayed since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

 

Listen to the full CFRC interview with Vahid Saadati below: