Guest Blogger, Quarantine Quilts

Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus, Part II (Guest Blog Post)

Well the tierneycreates Beastie would tease me that I am just using Guest Bloggers to keep up on new posts but I am very excited to share Wendy Hill’s second guest blog post on the awesome quilt she made during quarantine with the four rambunctious boys next door (aka “The Boys”) ages 2 – 8.

If you are just joining us, see this post for Part I of the story as well for some background on the super talented Wendy Hill: Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus, Part I (Guest Blog Post) .

Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus

Part II: “The Boys” Make 61 Blocks!

My story about two neighbors who band together (during the pandemic lockdown) left off with “The Boys” arranging fabric scraps on printer paper. We agreed to two blocks per day and soon we had a routine. “The Boys” dropped off their fabric arrangements in the morning, and I dropped off their finished blocks before dinner. 

I gave simple instructions: fill a piece of 8 1/2” by 11” paper with fabric scraps. Overlaps of fabric were okay but no gaps.

One day the mother of “The Boys” tucked a note inside the bag:

This is such a fun thing for our family and it’s always a race to the door when they hear your knock.

#1A, Kid Layout#1B, finished block#2A, Kid Layout#2B, finished blockSome arrangements were easy to sew together. I could sew pieces into smaller units, then assemble the units into a block. 

#3A kid layout#3B finished block#4A kid layout#4B finished blockOther arrangements required me to be inventive. Sometimes the seam allowances created gaps, so I had to add fabrics. I added a solid pink to this block. I looked for fabrics that would “go” with fabrics in the arrangement. 

#5A kid layout#5B finished blockOther times I did my best to duplicate the block, always trying to keep the original intent of “The Boys” who arranged the fabrics. 

#6A kid layout#6B finished block#7A kid layout#7B finished block#8A kid layout#8B finished blockI kept adding more scraps of all sorts to their Big Bag of Fabrics.  “The Boys” took time to create just the right assortment of fabrics on their page. 

#9 kid contemplation#10A kid layout#10B more kid layout#10C finished block“The Boys” sampled everything! Just like with “quilters” everywhere, their fabric choices reflected their explorations and mood. I was always excited to see what The Boys would drop off next. 

#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18Then this happened: The Hand Blocks! I surprised “The Boys” with machine appliquéd fabric hands (from outlines of their hands taken by their parents). I embroidered their name and age on each hand. 

“The Boys” filled the page around their hands with their fabric choices, which I sewed into blocks. I received another written note:

These hands were such a fun idea! The kids were amazed you could do that!

#19 Wesley#20 Levi#21 Jacob#22 CalebYou know how it is. One thing leads to another, and now I thought the adults had to have appliquéd and embroidered fabric hand blocks too. I placed the hands on 4 pieced heart blocks leftover from 2018, which somehow seemed perfect!

#23, Mom#24, Dad#25, Wendy#26, DavidThe funny thing is that we became closer while we had to live separately during the lockdown. We helped each other out and we even celebrated birthdays out in the yard. 

Caleb turned 9 years old around the time my husband David turned 64. We shared chocolate almond cake and sang a joyous round of Happy Birthday together! Yes, we kept our physical distance for safety, but we remained socially connected. 

#27, almond chocolate torte

Wendy’s Next Blog Post: Magic! Turning 65 Blocks of All Sizes Into a Quilt Top!

48 thoughts on “Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus, Part II (Guest Blog Post)”

  1. So Lovely. You created memories for the entire family that they will always cherish. Brilliant. And Beautiful. Great brain stimulation for children about color, design, proportion, generosity, kindness, love, individuality., texture and more….. Kudos to you , Tierney. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So Lovely. You created memories for the entire family that they will always cherish. Brilliant. And Beautiful. Great brain stimulation for children about color, design, proportion, generosity, kindness, love, individuality., texture and more….. Kudos to you , Tierney. You’re a truly lovely soul. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. what a great neighbour incentive, especially as the “boys” seem to understand that they had to have the pieces fit on the paper – and I can see that as they went along, they got their colours to match…and adding the hand prints, even more interesting for the “boys”

    when will see what is to become of the blocks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and that is a very good question as I am anxious for you all to see the outcome! If you cannot wait for Wendy’s reveal on a future blog post you might be able to see some advanced images if you check out her Instagram feed – @wendyquilter 🙂 I’ve seen the completed quilt and it is AMAZING 🙂


    2. I have an outline for the blogposts. Part 3 is about how to put The Boys blocks together- they were all different sizes. I did not want to cut off any part of their creations. So I’m including some “how to” so people can use what I did with their own scrappy blocks (or with their own kids collaboration).

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  4. What a variety of blocks, you can clearly see they did not just throw the first pieces of fabric they found together but digged through the bag to find things that were just right!

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    1. Oh yes, that is so true. The parents dumped out the fabrics on a table or sometimes the floor, so the kids could really dig around to get just the right fabrics. Although they did use some of the novelty prints meant for kids, they also used all sorts of other fabrics.

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  5. I can’t tell you enough how much I am enjoying following this adventure! And the blocks are absolutely wonderful! I so wish I had come up with such a creative idea to become connected to neighbors! xx

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    1. This is an idea that should be shared! If you don’t have kids in the neighborhood, this could be done by “snail mail” after providing the family with a big bag of scraps. The kids would be really excited to get mail!

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  6. Wow, this is such an exciting piece to read about and see all the great art work completed by the boys, their families and of course the bright and talented women/quilter who came up with this idea/adventure. You are a blessing to this family and your community during this time Tierney!!!
    Well done !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comments and this is my friend Wendy’s story it’s a guest blog posts I just wanted to clarify that she is the one who is the blessing to the family 🙂


    2. I’m a retired teacher, so I like to say that my “inner teacher” came out. I had no idea in the beginning that the project would take off like it did. I thought they’d make a handful of blocks and be over it. But as it turned out, The Boys were really engaged with playing with fabrics, just like us grown up quilters!

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    1. I could put together a straight forward block in about 20 minutes. But there were some blocks that had me stumped. When The Boys saw their quilt for the first time, the older 3 scrambled to find their “favorite” blocks! Oh my…..

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    1. The third guest blog post will reveal more about the quilt top assembly process. I wanted to keep their blocks intact and use them all. The one extra block I used for the label on the back.

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  7. Love this entire series of posts – it is such a heart-warming story those boys will remember for the rest of their lives.

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    1. I agree. The Boys knew their world changed in the lockdown, but I think as they get older, this time will have extra special meaning for them. I’ve always appreciated quilts from the women (and some men) who came before us, and now I’m not-so-secretly happy that this quilt and our story will go into the future.

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  8. Yes, a simple idea blossomed into something so much bigger than any of us could have imagined. I can’t quite believe it all happened….but it did!

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