A quilt in the time of Covid 19.
Part of the Whisper to me Alone project.
We are inviting people from across the globe to make embroidery for a new quilt, Here Comes the Sun. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whether you regularly stitch, make art, or haven’t picked up needle and thread since school, everyone’s welcome.
You have three options for what to embroider on your square: a name, a sun or a combination of the name & sun.
- We invite you to choose the name of one person who is bringing sunshine into your life during the Covid 19 pandemic. Maybe they’re a Key Worker, someone you know — a nurse, a carer, a teacher, a bus driver, a doctor or they work in a supermarket. Maybe your grandchild or grandma? You can write their full name, or their initials, or just their first name.
- Now draw an image of the sun on paper. As simple, or as complicated as you like. Struggling for inspiration? We’ve collected a few images that might help on Pinterest. The sun is a symbol of hope, of energy, helping all things grow.
- Have you any blue fabric you can spare? Any shade, patterned or plain. You need a 6inch (15.5cm) square, this will be your background.
- Now try drawing your sun or writing your chosen name onto your fabric, leaving 1/4inch (1.5cm) seam allowance round the edge of the square. You might want to combine the name and the sun on one piece of fabric.
- Embroider your picture. You can use any stitch you like, running stitch, back stitch, French knots, chain, you can use applique, add sequins, have fun. Everyone’s stitching will be different, that’s the joy.
- When you’ve completed your square, (or maybe you have made two?) please post it to us. If you like, you can also include 19 words about the person whose name you have embroidered. Send to:
Here Comes the Sun
PO Box 163
Don’t forget to include your own name and email contact details if you’d like us to let you know when it arrives safely. Please let us know if you would like to remain anonymous when we share your work.
- Once your embroidery has arrived, Lois will stitch it into the quilt.
Ready to join in? or would you like to get updates about this project? then please join our Here Comes the Sun mailing list. By clicking submit, you agree to share your email address with arthur+martha to receive occasional updates from arthur+martha about this project. All contact information will be kept confidential and won’t be shared. Use the unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.
You can also keep in touch with our project via:
Normally arthur+martha projects are planned months, often years in advance. But these are extraordinary times, we must be nimble and act fast.
At some point we will look for support so we can take it on a tour. Perhaps you can think where you would like to see it exhibited when venues open again? A world tour…? We’d welcome your ideas.
Ideally, it would be wonderful if you could send us your embroidery as soon as possible, so we can start putting the quilt together, and sharing your wonderful embroidery contributions. Ideally, we’d love all the work sent to us by the end of September. However we know that guidelines about leaving the house are changing all the time during lock down, sometimes our health or caring responsibilities stop us, so don’t worry if it’s a bit late.
Little darling, the smile’s returning to their faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
and I say It’s all right….
Artist Lois Blackburn of arts organisation arthur+martha, regularly makes art quilts in collaboration with other people. They have been exhibited all over the UK. She’s currently working on a Necklace of Stars, working with isolated, housebound, older people in Derbyshire, in partnership with Derbyshire County Council and poet Philip Davenport. A recent quilt project was the War Widows’ Quilt, made with 105 war widows across Great Britain, with War Widows’ Stories and the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain. The quilt was first exhibited at the Royal Museums Greenwich, and the launch was covered by ITN news. Other quilts have been made with older people in Derbyshire and people who have experienced homelessness in Manchester.