Due to students working from home, the planned Visual Arts’ fashion/textiles project due to start earlier this term proved difficult to undertake as not all students would be able to access a sewing machine. So, what to do from home to engage in the textile process?

We thought about how students could still engage in a project at home. Each student was asked to create a small handsewn piece, which has now been joined together. This collaborative piece celebrates our return to school. Hence the concept of the COVID quilt was born.

Inspiration was taken from contemporary textile artist Lauren di Cioccio and her embroidery pieces inspired by the media. Students were each sent a pack with a small piece of fabric, needles, threads and some inspirational images.

The task was to create a hand-sewn piece from some aspect of the impact of COVID-19 for them on a personal level.

What the girls bought back to school was amazing. Each piece told its own story. The resulting COVID quilt provokes a very emotional response for the viewer, with its delicate tactile qualities, fragility and personal messages. Even the staff contributed to the quilt, which is now proudly hanging in the Mercy Gallery.

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