Anne Kelly: Quarantine Quilt – A Lockdown Project


Quilty Pleasures - International Quilt Art

Anne Kelly: Quarantine Quilt – a Lockdown Project

As told to Ailish Henderson:

Like everyone this year, the end of March felt like ‘falling off a cliff’. I had just returned from some workshops in the West Country and in America with the lovely ‘French General’ in Vermont. Suddenly all of my teaching was postponed, rebooked or moved online. It took a couple of weeks to adjust the bookings and to realise that this was going to be a long lockdown.

I looked for a project that would keep me busy for a few weeks and combined my love of hand and machine stitching. I had a quilt that was disintegrating from my Grandmother and decided to use it as the based for a ‘Quarantine Quilt’.

quarantine quilt
At work on my major quilt project.

I had variety of small pieces that were being used as demonstration samples for the quarantine quilt and set about finishing them by hand and machine. I added some pieces of embroidery from a recent trip to India with Colouricious Holidays and some ribbon to create a ‘tree of life’ motif through the centre of the piece.

Close up of the Tree of Life area.

When I had assembled all the pieces together, I spent several hours arranging and rearranging before pinning and tacking the elements into place.

All areas pinned, arranged, tacked and the sewn into place.

I hand stitched all of the sections onto the background of the quilt and then went around them on the sewing machine to make them extra secure. The finished quarantine quilt was backed with a vintage ‘folk’ patterned fabric from France.

Another close up, showing more folk art style detail.

The quarantine quilt is now hanging in my office and hopefully will make it to an exhibition in France later this year.

Anne Kelly's Quarantine Quilt
Ready and waiting for my next exhibition, hung in my office.

About Anne Kelly

Anne is an award winning textile artist, author and tutor. She trained in Canada and the UK and was the recipient of two successive Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation awards. She exhibits and tutors in her adopted country of the UK and worldwide. Her project work is informed and influenced with narratives exploring the natural world, folk traditions and more recently migration and travel. She is the author of four books for Batsford, the most recent will be published in October 2020 ‘Textile Travels’. Anne writes for magazines and journals and is represented on the UK Crafts Council Directory.

Currently her work can be seen online and hopefully later by appointment at the Candida Stevens Gallery in Chichester in a charity group exhibition ‘Isolated Observations’ to raise funds for Winstons Wish, a child bereavement charity. There are 16 artists who have created artworks during the lockdown.

She is also selling work on her website and donating a portion of sales to her local foodbank.

Anne Kelly links

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