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Quarantine Quilt

I finished nine blocks of my Quarantine Quilt and decided that was a good point to stop and sew them together. I made two types of blocks: some with similar size circles as a design element on medium or light backgrounds and others that were more free form shapes on darker blue backgrounds. I alternated the two block styles in a basic nine patch.

The blocks are (left to right and top to bottom):

  1. Handwashing - one of the first strong public heath messages for combating spread. I had a great atomic style mod print that looks like coronavirus for the background. It was a little busy, so I added a white circle so there was good contrast. For the foreground elements I used printed swirl fabrics in shades of brown to represent all skin tones. I quilted the soap bubbles using a variegated thread that shades from white to dark blue. I hand stitched the water coming from the faucet with perle cotton.

  2. Toilet Paper - This item definitely dominated the discussions on scarcity and hoarding. People decided that they it was very important to them to be able to continue to wipe with something soft. I used a white print that looked like a toilet paper pattern and also quilted swirls. For the background, I used another print that reminded me of coronavirus that was a darker blue, but similar color scheme.

  3. Worried Mask Emoji - I combined the worried and mask emoji to convey the concern and distress many of us are feeling. The use of emoji references our reliance on digital communication.

  4. Hand Sanitizer - I placed this block directly under the hand washing block because I made them at the same time and they are linked in purpose.

  5. Covid-19 Diagram - This was the first block I made when this was all very new. I used three different models of this coronavirus as the basis of my design. Standard applique and felt shapes form the exterior. I found a yarn that looked similar to the visualizations of the RNA strand in the middle, so I applied fabric stiffener and let it harden into a coil. I arranged it in the center and stitched it to the block in a few key places to hold it in place.

  6. Flattening the Curve - We were bombarded by this image of how Covid-19 cases would overwhelm the medical system if we did nothing to mitigate the spread. I have a few prints that looks like graph paper because that is how I roll. So I picked out a light and dark that would work with the developing color scheme. I used bright red yarn and stitching to highlight the point of hospital overwhelm. For the area under the curves on the graph, I had a print in three colorways that also made me think of cheesy visualizations of data, so that was clearly my choice.

  7. Black Lives Matter - The killing of George Floyd in June had far reaching impact and importance in highlighting the need for racial justice. My husband is a black man around the same age and this was a very emotional time for me. I used a bold black swirl print for the fist on a white circle. I chose a background with shades of brown from cream to dark brown and shapes that evoke flame.

  8. Money Question Mark - The financial impact of this crisis is still unknown. So many people have lost their source of income. I was laid off after spring break instead of coming back to my promotion to program manager. Whole industries are decimated. My husband is a touring musician whose entire calendar was cancelled. It is a huge source of stress for many, many people who were already financially shaky and for many people who thought they were financially stable and feeling this for the first time.

  9. Covid-19 - The model of the grey sphere and red protein spikes became the default visualization of Covid-19. I went with a print that is a mix of black, brown and grey. I quilted a spiral emanating from the center.

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