I am so excited! My tremendously talented friend Wendy Hill has agreed to do a series of guest blog posts about a wonderful quilt project she’s been working on with children in her neighborhood during the quarantine/”COVID-times”. Over the past several months, she’s shared with me updates on this amazing project and I invited her to share with my tierneycreates blog readers. I hope the story of this project makes you smile as much as it made me smile.
Wendy Hill is a fiber artist and teacher who has written several art quilting books to include most recently Creative Quilt Challenges, cowritten with Pat Pease. She has a website Wendy Hill Quilt Artist and you can follow her current work and musings on Instagram @wendyquilter.
Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus
Part I: Once Upon A Time
This is the story of two neighbors who banded together when the state government ordered a lock down because of the first Global Pandemic in over 100 years.
The big wide world was suddenly narrowed down to one house each for the four young boys next door and for us, a retired couple.
We live on a quiet cul-de-sac of a street, in a woodsy area, and now our respective worlds are turned upside down.
“The Boys”, ages 2-8 years, explored the area around their house after finishing ‘school’.
With no fences and the houses close together, “The Boys” inevitably spilled over into our yard.
One day, it seemed, to them, a good idea to fill our birdbaths with dirt and make mud. “The Boys” cleaned up the mess and later dropped off an apology.
“Can you ever forgive us?” the note read.
There was nothing to forgive! “The Boys” were going stir crazy.
I sent an invitation to participate in “An Exchange”. I started with a drawing of a mouse, which looked a lot like a rat, and invited “The Boys” to add to the drawing. This drawing, plus two others, went back & forth until we had finished artworks.
Life during the pandemic meant one day blending into to the next, without much definition. But now, we waited to hear the patter of footsteps followed by the chime of the doorbell.
Likewise, I could hear “The Boys” squeal with delight when I rang their doorbell. It was exciting to open the door and see what The Boys left on the porch.
One day, I sent over a note which read “I have a bit of a crazy idea….”. I sent over a Big Bag of Fabric Scraps with instructions to fill up blank 8 1/2” by 11” pages with fabric pieces. Overlaps of fabric were okay but no gaps. I explained I’d sew the fabrics together to make “quilt blocks”.
If “The Boys” had fun, we could keep it up until we had enough to make something.
The mom replied “This sounds like a great idea!” and we were off.
The Boys had fun playing with color & texture, and they enjoyed seeing their fabric arrangements get transformed into blocks. As the number of blocks grew, they played with layouts on their floor. We agreed to make enough blocks for a quilt.
We were all building new pandemic memories and they would have a cuddly family quilt. Win-Win-Win!