On Stitching Through a Time of Uncertainty

Talk of the COVID-19 virus was in the air when six QUOGs (Quilters of Grahamstown) gathered at my home for a workshop on Quarter Square Circles. It was a good distraction, with much chatting, laughing and humming of sewing machines. The only thing that was different from our previous gatherings was a tacit agreement not to give hello hugs. We noted that, as quilters, we wash our hands anyway.

I can’t but help feeling proud of what we produced — and the pieces are all so very different. Here’s photographic proof, snapped a few days after the workshop when we met again and oohed and aahed over our various creations.

Two completed, large quilt tops

Cut from the same cloth, to make two cushion covers

A work in progress that stunned as all — we did not believe she would manage to avoid upside down or sideways Buddhas in her final arrangement. But she did!

Pinned-up blocks in gentle colours, from two quilters who are making baby quilts

Our group has been meeting for a couple of decades of an evening every fortnight for a chat over hand stitching. Every once in a while we offer workshops to one another when we are inspired by a new design and want to share how to make it. I became interested in circles and stitching curves after doing the Improv Double Wedding Ring class with Joy Clark, and made to Diana Vandeyar’s design. After looking at and collecting images of Drunkard’s Path variations and Modern Quilts with circles, I began experimenting. I soon found that when I tried to cut a curve freehand I ended up with a odd squarish shape, so I made a template to guide my eye and stitched up these samples:

Two colours or many colours?

I used these samples as a teaser to lure the QUOGs for a workshop and a day of sewing together. And I am very glad I did, because it took our minds off the fear and uncertainty that then became a reality with the declaration of a state of emergency and the precautionary measures that have now become part of life. I feel as if I am living in a futuristic novel or movie and find that stitching keeps me grounded.

17 thoughts on “On Stitching Through a Time of Uncertainty

    1. Thanks for liking the polka dots. I might call that quilt Bubble Wrap !
      There is an easy way to sew curves
      using the “stack and slash” method. The bigger the blocks and therefore the longer the curve, the easier it is to sew the seam without puckers.
      Keep on stitching

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes I think that even small practical projects can help us feel grounded when fear and uncertainty abounds. And we all need the security of feeling grounded when everything seems to be becoming unmoored. Take care.


      1. Oh thanks Mariss for the kind suggestion – however, I always have a raft of little projects on the go, and usually I obsess about one or the other in turn 🙂 In fact I have started knitting a poncho type of thing, which is not getting much attention though the knitting bag parks next to my chair. Perhaps I do need to pay it more attention in idle moments.
        We are fine, I am mostly concerned about the many others, and the economic consequences that are already effecting so many. We certainly do need to keep strong.
        Keep on stitching!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Been working more on my music projects but soon will be time to switch gears and do some stitchin’ stuff…I really like the colors of the Buddha quilt – plus the fact that they are all ‘face perfect’.


  3. Beautiful work… And I’m glad you were able to get a meetup in before you were all confined to your homes! But I think as long as we have enough craft materials we’ll get through this ok 😊
    Stay safe, Mariss, and happy quilting!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s