Making a quarantine quilt…
“We invite people to read deeper into the experiences of others that they may not immediately believe they relate to…”
Quarantine Quilt is a patchwork of stories from across the UK and the world that tells of experiences, challenges and small but important joys during Covid 2020 and lock downs. This art project was created by individuals through isolation, connected via the internet. Quarantine Quilt joined their stories together to create a snapshot of the Covid19 time in patchwork.
The project offered participants a mindful practice during lockdown; it gave them an outlet to tell their personal story and to share their feelings, fears and hopes while building new relationships as people heard from and listened to each other’s realities.
The quilt speaks of many walks of life – from stories of LGBTQ+ communities; the story of key workers and those making PPE for them; support for the BLM resurgence; and documentation of grief and loneliness.
Quarantine Quilt believe that understanding is the bedrock of compassion and community building, and through this ongoing project we aim to encourage people’s skills to successfully tell their stories and be heard through the medium of textile practice. We intend to focus on gathering and sharing the stories and lived experiences of groups whose struggles were highlighted in our original quilt. Simultaneously we invite people to read deeper into the experiences of others that they may not immediately believe they relate to.
RECORDING HISTORY TO REIMAGINE A BETTER FUTURE
Through this work we have memorialised stories traditionally untold and unheard. Through preservation, exhibition and discussion we can amplify these stories and affect change.
We believe the quilt demonstrates how craft is a tool for mindfulness and well being, as well as a tool of active documentation. We have been able to run this project through lockdown because of technology; social media facilitated the participation. It merged heritage craft with modern application, as we used instagram to reach a large audience. We are interested in how we can use technology to amplify the project and continue community building. We are open to ideas, and to meeting new people and fresh approaches.
“Quarantine allowed me to realize the importance of having a platform to express myself creatively and how so many of us, women especially from developing countries, with a colonial past and a patriarchal society lack it. We learn to adapt and accommodate, and we learn to accept and not question. This was also a time when I could not access the physicality of a garment factory, which made me yearn for creative interactions with fashion makers-creators.
For this purpose I collaborated with Anita Ji, a garment factory worker specialized in quality inspection, to make art that expresses her own ideas through textile craft. To make this quilt we re-used waste from textile crafts indigenous to India, I collected from various craft trips across the country. These quilt patches also represent the elevated craftsmanship of India, uniqueness of narrative it provides, the solidarity of people who design these products.”
“This patch was created to express my solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Solidarity does not mean it is all blissful and happiness, it is where we all need to listen, unlearn and be openly reminded of the systematic racism we have all ashamedly normalised. As a non-black POC and a light skinned E&SE asian womxn, I need to constantly acknowledge my privileges and do everything I can to fight the fight against racism in my career and daily life. There is no need to “one up” ways we are all fighting ways we are all fighting against racism, as long as you are continually, actively doing something about it, you are in the fight for a better future.”
“I decided to start making and selling tiger themed masks to my fans with the idea that every mask purchased, one would go free to a key worker in my community. Some of them haven’t been provided with any kind of protection in their job. One has gone to a brain surgeon in the ICU, another to my mate who works in Waitrose, another to my postman. I’ve been in isolation since before the lockdown because I am immunocompromised so this was a way I could contribute to my community while making use of the little online one our music has created. It started off with some fabric that I’d used for a backdrop for one of my shows and when that ran out I bought this amazing tiger print. I’ve now bought the last remaining ream i could find in the UK because I’ve had so many requests and orders! I used a remnant to make this Tiger King/Queen themed patch because it’s a mad phenomenon that everyone will remember having watched in quarantine.”
“I can only manage relatively simple things at the moment but it’s lovely to feel connected to collective projects and I tried to show this with the line of stitches flowing through the figures, light and growing stars; backing is vintage from my mum who is the background to everything I make”
“I’ve recently been fascinated with the word “whatever”. Though perhaps most commonly associated with pubescent laziness, or bad attitude, I think the word hints at the beginning of a sentence. “Whatever happens, we’re just human. Whatever you’re trying to tell me, I won’t listen. What ever…”
“Reaching out to each other without the physical touch during these socially distancing times. The lace in this patch is taken from old knickers I was throwing away – waste not want not 👙”
“During these strange times, I’ve really taken to growing and caring for plants at home. My windows are packed with succulents, herbs and my most ambitious addition: a propagated pineapple top! Every morning I’m eager to check up on my plant babies, it gives me purpose and is therapeutic beyond measure. My little indoor garden has been a wonderful haven for me.”
More posts of interest
Making During A Pandemic
Go back to the home page to explore more projects, maker’s stories and first steps into craft…
Instagram: Quarantine Quilt
Follow for more updates on the project and where the quilt will be next exhibited…