Memorial quilt project


Many artists contributed to the 'Join Me: Our 2020 Events Memorial Quilt' and the project was coordinated by Thread Thread Wine. It will be displayed at Central Library from 8 March to 1 April 2023 and will then move to Stony Stratford Library.

Background to the project

Introduction by Soraya Tate, founder of Thread Thread Wine

The project was conceived at 6.30pm on Wednesday 16th December 2020. It was dark, raining, and bleak. I was looking at our Christmas tree, all lit up, and I was thinking that people should be seeing this tree; there should be parties and gatherings and a social whirl. I was thinking about the sheer waste of it all. If there is one thing I hate, it is waste.

I was frustrated. I’m a very social animal. I like meeting people, doing things, going to places, seeing my large family.  I love being with the extended circles of my friends. I mourned the thought of all those opportunities going to waste, especially for our children.

They would never be at this stage again. My teenage son was due to leave Scouts in March 2020, and the celebratory ‘last meeting’ events were some of the first to be cancelled; he had just started experiencing proper freedom when the pandemic struck. My stepdaughter was in her final year of primary school and should have been looking forward to celebrations and getting involved in the life of her new secondary school. My 8 year old daughter was recovering from a very hard time settling into her school, but the academic year from January 2020 had gone very well for her, and she was about to consolidate hard experience and new friendships with a school residential trip to Blakeney to see her favourite animals (seals). The residential was cancelled and with it a precious opportunity was lost that would put her recovery back by …who knew how long..? Everything matters at that age, so this cancellation seemed particularly hard.

And then the rest – seaside trips, appointments with consultants which had taken years to obtain, parties, gigs, camping trips we’d spent ages saving for. All the small joys too: the spontaneous cups of tea with friends that drop in, the long-anticipated swimming lessons, wandering to the pub to watch the football – and we were 9 months into a worsening pandemic. Multiply that by every person’s unique experience of the pandemic and you have an awful lot of emotion to express.

I know I have been lucky in comparison to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. All my disappointments were just that – disappointing. But disappointment is one of the hardest emotions to deal with. It takes a toll. Left to fester, it mutates into resentment and anger, affecting those we are locked down with. It makes us want to kick and scream like small children do (and mine did); it makes us want to stamp our feet and shout ‘IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!’. Or maybe that was just me?

I decided to find out, and to do something about this frustration. The Christmas tree lights and warmth would not be wasted. I felt we needed a memorial, dedicated to acknowledging the events and opportunities that we lost in 2020. I couldn’t make an actual stone memorial, but I could make a fabric one, using a traditional form of crafting to express these emotions …a memorial quilt.

  • I would create a square.
  • I would invite others to do the same.
  • I would join them to make a quilt.

And a year from now, I would hold a Christmassy event to show the quilt, and provide a memorial celebration of 2020, where we almost did so much that was good.

This is the project so far; I hope you enjoy viewing it and reading about it. We have 42 submissions (I had wanted 100 but I’m sort of glad we didn’t get there – the quilt is already 3m long). There will be more to Join These throughout 2021. We have made some of the squares into cards for sale, to raise money for the mental health charity MIND. Now, I must book a venue for December and start doing what I do best – planning a party, commemorating the lost events of 2020.

July 2021

Artists who contributed to the quilt

Rachel Bowers


A fabric quilt square with embroidery words saying "and they hugged and they kissed" along with decorations of the Disney castle and a Christmas tree.

All sort of events were missed in 2020. I was meant to take my children to Disney at Easter – cancelled. My husband should have gone skiing – cancelled. We should have seen fireworks for my daughter’s birthday – cancelled. And the one that upset me most – I should have hosted Christmas. My parents and brother, in their Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas, were able to be together but could not join us in Milton Keynes (which was in Tier 4). However, I spent the summer making and selling masks and donating money to Friends of the Earth. I laser-cut ear supports and donated them to Milton Keynes University Hospital, the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, and Stoke Mandeville Hospital. And I spent a lot of lovely time with my children and husband.

‘And they hugged and they kissed’ comes from a children’s book, and represents time with my immediate family, but also time lost with my wider family.

Sam Burke


Quilt square decorated with fabric symbolising people, flowers, seaside, a map of the world and clocks. Text reads: Time, Making Memories, Family Friends, Having Fun.

I so missed spending time with family and friends, making memories and having fun. The clocks represent the time that I missed, and that seemed to disappear during the lockdowns.

Visit Sam's Glass Art website.

Rosie Callaghan


Quilt square made from patterned fabric with an embroidered sun shining down on a mug of coffee.

I wanted to reflect that in some ways the pandemic provided a relief for me from normal life. I am bipolar, and my brain is a chaotic mess. In lockdown I had space and time to sit in the garden, in the sunshine, with a cup of tea, and be me.

Clare Callaghan


Quilt square with painted fabric showing an open window with green fields outside.

Clare Callaghan age 10 (design and ideas) and Amelie Rimer (assistance)

My favourite place to go with my family is the little cottage in the Lake District. The pandemic meant we couldn’t go, and I was very sad. This is the view from the back door. You can see the Screes.

Janet Carey


Quilt square made with fabric and embroidery showing a beach scene and the text: With Sand Between My Toes.

 The Sand Between My Toes

Living in middle England, I would make the journey south several times a year, just to relax on the beach: to listen to the waves as they gently crash on the shore only to retreat again, but moving the pebbles and shells in their wake. And there I am reading my book in my deck chair under my glorious sunshade with my bare feet pushing through the soft sand, so it goes between my toes.

I created this quilt square to depict how much I’ve missed those treasured times during the lockdown of 2020. It is constructed using three base cotton fabrics, to depict the sky, the sea, and the sand. I have then used embroidery thread to create the movement of the waves, the sun and cloud in the sky, etc. I have used various different stitches to create the umbrella, deckchair and raised stumpwork on my pink hat. The words I completed in cross stitch.

Helen Cottrell


Quilt square showing a beach hut scene made from fabric and felt.

I have missed many things during the pandemic but none so much as my beautiful dog, Dylan, who died suddenly in August whilst we were all on holiday together in Norfolk. He loved to sit outside our beach hut and watch the sunset with us, and so this is what my square depicts. I’ve always enjoyed art and crafting as a hobby and had hoped to go to art school after ‘O’ levels, but it didn’t happen. However, after losing Dylan and my job in the first lockdown, I started immersing myself in creating art, inspired mostly by the sea and nature, but with a musical theme running through it. I also miss singing, hence the music!

Visit Helen's Instagram page.

Lyn Dawes


Quilt square with bright fabric circles connected by embroidery. Text reads "A missing year ... fine threads we follow a shared tomorrow" 2020-2021.

My quilt square is made from linen fabric with circles from cotton, leftover from a little quilt I made for a young friend. The circles represent myself (turquoise, labelled L) and linked by thread to my children (labelled D, E and A). Then, my 5 grandchildren organised by age (labelled A, C & S; P & M).

During lockdown we missed many things [but] the year of separation from my family was my only concern. Most especially I felt the loss of grandchild S who I’ve been involved with for every week of her 12 years; it was worse than I care to describe, a kind of grief caused by suddenness and complete severing of contact. In September 2020 she became ill herself and could not communicate.

So, I wanted to portray my family, its links, and some symbols of hope. As a family we have been fortunate in avoiding the virus, S has recovered enough to send messages, and we all seem to be moving towards picking up our relationships and pursuits, don’t we? However, things have consequences and I do think that some things lost over the last year cannot be recovered, both personally and for our society; and the state of the world remains perilous! But my sewn words are definitely meant to be a message of hope, because despite everything, family remains linked in ways that are sometimes impossible to discern but very powerful. I would wish everyone had such links to sustain them.

Visit Lyn's website.

Vicki Eeles


Quilt square with an embroidered Christmas wreath and decorations with the year 2020 stitched onto it.

This was made to celebrate and remember Christmas 2020. Definitely the most missed event(s) of lockdown due to the last-minute cancellation, and my birthday is the 23rd. BUT we had as good a time as we could, and enjoyed celebrating Christmas at home, and looking forward to Christmas 2021.

Jessica Jane Eyre


Quilt square with a house made out of different fabrics showing various items like gravestones, a graduation hat and hearts.

Velvet, ribbon, tweed, felt, acrylic wool strands, lace trim and other fabric cut-offs, glitter glue, acrylic paint, free-motion embroidery, Posca paint pens and fineliner.

During 2020 I missed my Master’s graduation, the opportunity to start my apprenticeship in stonemasonry, a Scandinavian cruise, the funerals of family members and thus the usual grieving process was interrupted. Van Morrison, Crowded House, Alanis Morrisette and T. Rextasy concerts were all postponed. My piece is a very literal take on what I missed and is my very own ‘crowded house’. I spent much of the last year, and into this one, shielding. My house is really all I saw and so all I felt was crammed into this chaotic little building, The chaos includes the music for a marvellous night for a moondance, with the stars up above in your eyes; cruise ship and a port hole to nowhere;  a jagged little pill; a mortar board; a chisel and scroll peeking out from beneath my all seasons tree. The tree which symbolises a whole year’s seasons gone. Hearts and broken hearts of family. Missed some for a bit and some forever. The gravestones of those gone; a daisy for my dog Daisy who was recently put to sleep. The clock with numbers which fly away not meaning anything anymore. The winged mind flying in through the window as I’m sure I lost mine at some points. Baby T. Rex. Waves for travel and my desperation to swim. And an open door because I was always just… right there…

Visit Jessica's Instagram page.

Jackie Ferneyhough


Quilt square with embroidered text saying Friends, Family, Freedom, Music, Touch, Dance and Hugs.

My piece shows the things that I have missed most during lockdown. The sparseness of the piece reflects life during lockdown 2 which seemed emptier than during lockdown 1. As much as I tried, my imagination refused to come up with a way to decorate the square in a meaningful way, and I didn’t want to add further embellishments just to make it pretty. The single flower just happened when I was doodling with the needle and a bit of spare thread, so I felt it needed to be there??

Michael Flack / Soraya Tate


Quilt square made from printed fabric with an image of a band performing.

Michael Flack (photography / design) and Soraya Tate (stitching)

My square utilises a photo I took at a Lovely Eggs gig at the Lexington in London, March 2015. It was taken between songs while Holly told us a funny story from their life on the road. I miss gigs, more than I ever expected to, in fact, but I chose this picture in particular because there is such a warmth to this band, and such a sense of camaraderie and punk-rock-inclusivity at Lovely Eggs shows. The white threads represent all these connections between people.

For me the image captures the sense of an immersive collective experience that was missing for so much of 2020 and 2021, in the shape of gigs, sporting events, theatre, cinema, festivals, carnivals, community events. Online events – everyone looking at the same thing on a screen, but in different surroundings – just don’t cut it.

Seg Giddings


Quilt square with fabric sewn to show a CAFE banner and a cup and saucer of tea.

I’m not much of an alcohol drinker, but love a nice cup of coffee, there is not much nicer than sitting inside or outside a café drinking a good coffee and watching the world drift past. With the pandemic and lockdown I had to give up this simple pleasure.

Jo Gorse


A swirl of fabrics making a pinwheel pattern.

This isn’t something I would normally have done. I don’t consider myself creative. What I missed most in 2020 was the feeling of energy and movement. It wasn’t a specific event that was cancelled, but the constricting feeling of slowness, and days upon days that were confined to the home. With only exercise and essential journeys permitted, it felt like we were chained to our homes. The black background reminded me of blackout stage curtains, and the colours feel night-time-y. A time when excitement and movement would normally be felt for many people at shows, music events, cinema or just meeting friends for a drink. All the frivolous stuff. The stuff I realised energises me, sparks my brain, and makes me feel alive.

My piece is rough and unpolished. Some parts are machined representing the rhythm of normal life, and some parts are cluttered with random hand stitches. The unexpected or unplanned opportunities that were missed.

There are two footstep marks in the middle of the piece. I had planned to visit Twinwood Vintage Music and Dance Festival in 2020 and improve my Lindy-Hop dancing skills.  These feet are there to remind me to keep that promise to myself, to keep dancing and moving with whatever propellant I can find. When I look at the piece I visualise the swooshing skirt that I want to be wearing, in control of the direction of travel, and moving just because I can.

Jo Hall


Quilt square with a golden statue stitched onto a blue background with a heart showing two gold rings and the text "30 years". Other text reads: 22/09 1990 J&D; 23/3/2020 NHS; Sorry Event Cancelled.

The Great Buddha and 30th Wedding Anniversary

My art creation was made up using scraps of different fabrics and spare acrylic paints to memorialise my missed event. My 30th wedding anniversary (Pearl) trip to Thailand was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the making of my square, it reminded me of how I felt at the time and how it didn’t matter because I took the opportunity to organise a 30-30-30 Fitness Challenge resulting in me and hubby raising £200 for the mental health support charity Arthur Ellis, based in Milton Keynes.

Visit the Arthur Ellis Mental Health Support website.



Fabric paint  showing a mermaid swimming in a swimming pool lane. Text reads: "missed my swimming sooooo MUCH" Jo Hall, Covid-19 2020

My square of a mermaid, lane-swimming at my favourite indoor pool, represents how therapeutic swimming is for me. I’m not a regular swimmer but not to be able to go for many months at a time was an activity I really missed out on.

Matt Hall


Quilt square with different media added and painting showing a laptop , speakers, sushi and chopsticks, two pints of beer and an airplane labelled Australia with a big red cross through it.

My square represents all the things I missed out on due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. As a student I’ve really missed going out and seeing my friends, hence the beer glasses and the speakers, as I had also booked a concert in 2020 which we had to listen to over the big speakers instead. My girlfriend and I had planned a big 7-week holiday to Australia for our 5 year anniversary, which was cancelled and cannot be re-booked until 2022, which is represented by the plane and the big red cross going through it as all flights were cancelled. The sushi represents going out for meals which I had greatly missed as I really enjoy experiencing different foods from different cultures and parts of the world. Finally, the laptop Zoom graduation degree represents how I graduated university with a Bachelor’s degree and no celebration with my friends and family - only over Zoom, which was a shame.

Karen Hiser


Quilt square using different materials to show a live band scene by the seaside.

My favourite festival is Rockaway Beach, which takes place every year under the white, peaked dome of Butlin’s in Bognor Regis. Every year except last year. My square celebrates the pure joy of seaside and music, and our Rockaway family.

Visit Karen's Instagram page.

Nikki Ibbotson


Quilt square using different patterned fabric to make a countryside landscape with the sun shining and a ladybird and dog.

My patch represents me and my dog having adventures in our new area. We moved for a fresh start and a different pace of life, but we ended up isolated in a scary time. From my home office window, I can see hills far, far away, and I am looking forward to exploring them when we are able to.

Emma Johnson


Quilt square using fabric and embroidery to make a scene of a globe with a big heart in the centre and people dancing, being together, running and other activities like camping and cycling. There is various text icluding "Dancers don't need wings to fly".

Losses Turned to Gains

The COVID pandemic had a massive impact on me as a business owner, and our family. It was frightening. I had planned a big run for September, but I couldn’t get the treatment I needed for an injury as the NHS services closed, so no run on two counts. A triathlon academy had accepted my son onto their programme. When he couldn’t do any competitions, he didn’t see the point in continuing. My daughter, a dancer, was initially very excited, but she soon became Zoomed-out. It felt like everything came to a stop with no restart button. Then, it began to give us so many positive experiences as a family. Luckily, we live in an area where we could easily go out on night walks and enjoy the strawberry moons. We could camp in the garden and cook foods we’d never normally have time to do. We restarted old hobbies like growing veg, taking photos, painting and sewing. As hard as it has been, we are lucky, no illness and plenty of new, happy memories as our losses turned to gains.

Louise Labelle


Quilt square showing a fabric flower.

My embroidery celebrates some of the good aspects of lockdown and the COVID year. There were things about lockdown that I liked: sunshine, flowers, time at the allotment. Experimenting meditatively. Other positive outcomes were increased awareness of the environment, reduced pollution and less noise. The centre of my flower/sun is also reminiscent of the virus with its ever-present haunting, [overshadowing] everything unconsciously, however hard we tried to distract ourselves.

Erin Taft Lydon


Quilt square with hearts stitched over various stitched words: "adapt food unity family grow hope touch help close friends bubble zoom love cuddles be kind inspire hug walks patience

During lockdown I enjoyed learning new skills. This helped to get me through lots of time at home. One of the Zoom workshops I took part in was with Milton Keynes Arts Centre - using natural dye techniques. So I incorporated these pieces into the heart shapes and used tie-dye for the black square.

Pam McNay


Quilt square designed as a window with curtains and figures peeping out with one watching. Sign says postponed.

Apart from family and friends, what I have missed most is theatre – both watching and performing. I’ve chosen to use the annual Stony Stratford pantomime to signify this as it is local. The figure at the front is the writer and director. Fairy dust is needed for a happy ending and is being thrown by the Dame. If you want to know what the socks are about, you’ll have to come to see the show in June or July!

Rosemary Muston


Quilt square showing a patchwork design of concentric squares using different fabric.

There are many theories surrounding the origins of the log cabin quilt. The red centre is said to represent fire in the hearth, and the surrounding ‘logs’ the walls of home – a place where many, if  not most of us, spent 2020.

Ideally the ‘logs’ should contrast – light fabrics on two sides and dark fabrics on the other sides. I, though, couldn’t bring myself to make the dark side too gloomy, for even in the darkest days of 2020 light was never too far away.


Quilt square with embroidered Japanese symbols and poignant text about good fortune and the 2020 pandemic.

The Japanese symbols I have chosen - Kotobuki and Noshi – mean good fortune. And although these words are perhaps difficult to reconcile with the devastating social impact of 2020, there have been some ‘favourable outcomes’ (aka good fortune) – a willingness to adapt and to re-assess priorities, a heightened community spirit, and a greater awareness of issues around climate change to highlight just a few.

The economic fallout, though, has yet to run its course. And as we continue to count the cost of 2020, calls on the public purse are seemingly endless.

Steve Owen / Louise Labelle


Quilt square using embroidery and fabric paints to make an image of a microphone on a stand.

Steve Owen (drawing) and Louise Labelle (stitching)

When you play in bands you invariably end up in some damp rehearsal room, singing into the studio’s dented, spittle-infused microphone. So, with this in mind I now have mixed feelings and a peculiar sense of dread that I chose the microphone as a thing I missed during Lockdown.

Emma Phillips


Quilt square with a row of houses made out of fabric with a rainbox, sun and heart in the sky. Text on a cloud reads: Community Connection

I based my piece around the most significant event in my life, cancelled due to COVID: Crafting for Change. I realised how much I relied on it to give me social connection… the design was inspired by our last wall display (a nod to the Town Council logo). For the raindrops I used paper from the depiction of Magdalene Tower which had formed part of the display. The rainbow signifies hope in the future and a heart for my love of the town.

Visit Emma's Facebook page.

Jan Radley


Quilt square with different sized and coloured Mickey Mouse symbols and embroidered text: 2020 Cancelled or Postponed events. 1. Concert 2. Weddings 3. Generation Magical Family Holiday

I used calico fabric, appliqued felt, embroidered with stranded threads, embellished with a few beads and sequins.

  1. Concert – we had tickets on our wedding anniversary to go to a Queen with Adam Savage concert at the O2. Now postponed again until 2022 – not on our wedding anniversary, but close.
  2. Weddings – a nephew and niece had weddings booked in 2020. Both were postponed. I think they are both going ahead in 2021 but with reduced numbers.
  3. Generation – a magical family holiday that we had arranged, to Florida with our two sons, their wives and the four grandchildren. We were going to visit Disneyworld, hence the Mickey Mouse shapes representing the ten of us. This was postponed until 2021 and has now been postponed again until 2022.

Amelie Rimer


Quilt square  using print and wool to create a circle filled with text and a square frame of woollen balls and circles.

When I first heard about this project I struggled to think of anything I’d lost to COVID, or anything that I’d missed out on because of it. Due to my own physical health I’d already been living in an almost quarantine-like state for the two years before the first lockdown even began. Nothing really changed for me. But it did for everyone else, and I realise now that that is where I missed out.

At first, I thought the lockdown would force my friends to experience the isolation I’d been drowning in since the decline of my health. And for a couple of weeks it felt like they understood. But then schools opened up again, and they seemingly forgot all about me. We don’t really talk anymore. I’m still in our old school group chat where I can watch them all talk about how shitty online school is and laugh at their teachers not understanding how Zoom works, and complain about how much of a pain uni applications are. I know it’s not their fault, but I just can’t help feeling excluded. Because how could I possibly relate to their problems? Or to their sense of joy and accomplishment when they get an offer from the university of their dreams? It just feels like they’re leaving me behind, and they haven’t even noticed. So, I guess that’s what COVID took from me. My friends, during what was supposed to be our final year of school together before all going off to uni together. Parting ways but still connected. A-levels and getting ready to leave for uni during a global pandemic is a truly unique experience that they’ll all share for the rest of their lives that I’ll never have any hope of catching up on. And that’s more or less what I’ve tried to convey in this quilt square. The divide between me and everyone else around me. The complete and utter isolation I have felt growing inside of me this past year.

Julia Roberts


Quilt square using different printed fabric, lace and crochet to show a garden scene with bunting and two women hugging. Text reads: Hugs.

I realised I missed hugging my friends most of all, more than the holidays and events. The lace over the bright colourful fabric represents the veil which has been drawn over the vibrancy of life. It’s still there, but obscured for the moment.

I think it’s about hope for the future. Putting an arm around a friend. Going shopping together and appreciating the beautiful things in life.

Sue Robinson


Quilt square using fabric and embroidery to show a collection of coffee mugs with tea and coffee.

Tea Break

Group activities bring people together and build a feeling of community (that’s why I am involved in this project!). In 2020, I most missed the art courses I would normally support: Tea Break represents this and the individuals I might meet.

Naomi Rose


Quilt square using printed fabrics to show a group of people dancing and a guitarist in the background.

I think this square is pretty self-explanatory. I don’t usually plan things very much at all so there are no specific events that failed to happen in my 2020. Instead there are only unknowable spontaneous events that may or may not happen and might look something like the picture. None of the people in it are actual real people – they are just ideas of people.

Deb Shann


Quilt square using patterned fabric to make a circle of houses around the embroidered word: LOCKDOWN

I decided to make a patchwork ‘Dresden neighbourhood’ square in rainbow coloured fabrics for this project. I remember making my first rainbow quilt square back in March 2020 (this early example of a lockdown quilt square also features on the header for the Thread Thread Wine Facebook page and website – Soraya). It represented hope for the future and that things would get better. I’ve also spoken to my neighbours more during lockdown than at normal times. The closeness of the houses represents how small and close our neighbourhoods became to us – negatively, because of the lack of freedom, but positively too in the sense of hunkering down and all being involved together.

Paul Stephenson


A square of fabric with various pub signs drawn in fabric paint and a dotted line connecting them.

A couple of times a year, for the last 15 years or so, I’ve ventured on a meandering pub crawl with a group of thirsty accomplices. Each time we choose a different area so we can see some new places, meet some new people, try some new beers and visit ten pubs. None of that really matters though. The important part is that it’s a big day out spent with old friends, and I’ve missed that.

Soraya Tate


A fabric square layered with folds of fabric around snippets of calendars and diary with events all crossed out.

My square represents the blankness of 2020. I used various shades of cream and white fabric taken from scraps including a medical grade facemask, to suggest the fading into blankess of all my numerous plans, hopes and schemes for the year. I incorporated silver tissue fabrics to suggest that for me, not everything about the situation was negative – literally finding the silver lining. It seemed important to use what I already had, reflecting that feeling of being shut in, and unable to stride out into the world to find new fabrics, the ‘right’ colours, etc.

I then added literal memorials to the year, using the pages of my 2020 Filofax which were as hectic as ever until March, and then abruptly stopped. Over time the pages faded to other uses: pages for doodles, crossed-out plans (and sad faces), or simply left blank. I used pieces cut from our family wall planner, when it became evident that it was not needed. These are the most poignant pieces for me because my greatest losses were around events for my young children; opportunities that will never come again. These are the ones which truly tug at my heart even now. I include a section where my partner wrote the word ‘shutdown’ next to a doodle of prison bars – at the time, the word ‘lockdown’ was not in common usage and none of us knew what a proposed shutting down of services would really entail. Finally, I cut out our birthday dates, placing them in a silk pocket with the words ‘take me out’ – a dual meaning to encourage onlookers to physically take them out and remember; and of course, to suggest that we ourselves want to be taken out for fun times.

Visit Soraya's Facebook page.

Alexis Taylor


A simple symbol of a man stepping outside a circle drawn with fabric paint on a square of fabric.

For a year, we have been prohibited from walking and moving. The freedom of leaving our streets became a luxury we took for granted. 56 years ago, the Worboys Committee was formed by the British government to review signage on all British roads. The sign ‘pedestrians prohibited’ - or TSRGDNO 625.1 to give it its proper name - instructs against pedestrians walking freely in prohibited areas.

To me the ‘pedestrians prohibited’ road sign encapsulates the rule of law as applied to leaving home, as we came to see it in 2020/21. As we probably all experienced, the rule was sometimes ignored, sometimes bent, sometimes obeyed. We all took walking and movement for granted until the onset of COVID-19. This image represents a feeling of longing to break the prohibition; an appetite for leaving the COVID bubbles and moving on in the freedom we all once enjoyed without a thought in 2019. This piece is formed of a black and white laser print, printed at home in lockdown, and then transferred to a pillowcase using a toner-transfer method of soaking the print in solvent and burnishing on fabric with a wooden spoon. The reason it was printed on my pillowcase (used through lockdown) was an attempt to represent the act of dreaming of a near future, where moving was no longer inhibited by statutory laws.

Tegan Rendall


A gecko drawing made using fabric paint dots and crosses in the four corners. Text reads: Australia Teg 2020

My square focusses on one big aspect of how COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions affected me. My boyfriend and I had planned a 7-week holiday to Australia to visit my grandparents, who live out there. It would have been a big part of our lives as it would have been the first time my Grampy and my boyfriend would have met. We were really looking forward to it, as they had planned lots for us to do in the 7 weeks we would have been there. Therefore, to represent this, I chose to design and create a bright Aboriginal design to represent Australia. The bright colours surrounding the lizard suggest hope in the future to plan the trip again when international flights and restrictions on flights are lifted.

Lucy Tipler


Quilt square with objects sewn on to represent a microphone, music, a heart, wedding dress, beach towel, hat, fish and starfish. Text reads: Friends Family.

Events missed in 2020: UK seaside weekends away. Music concert. Friend’s wedding. Missed spending time with family and friends. Cancelled singing gigs and open mic nights.

Kate Watters


A fabric square with sequins and embroidery signifying delight. Text reads MOMENTS OF EUPHORIA

I couldn’t think of a specific event I’d missed – not a party /person/ family – but I desperately miss moments of unexpected delight, spontaneity. Materials: what I had to hand. I have used most of my stash making masks for family and a local charity. Black cotton embroidery threads, and a piece of sari I had loved and kept for many years.

Theresa Wedderburn


A fabric square decorated with fabric flowers surrounding a hand print sewn in the middle.

During the lockdown many people reconnected with the natural world, through their allowances of daily exercise and the necessity of leaving the confines of their four walls. Polls suggest that more people than ever are more aware of the climate crisis as a result.

Our family never experienced the lockdown in the same way as most, as we had no choice but to continue to work our flower plots for 7 days a week, to keep our plants going. It involved long hours, and was compounded with extreme weather. This square also represents the work we did with our ‘rainbow posies’ and is a reminder of the 250 keyworkers who were nominated to receive one, and those whose donations kept us going.

Visit Theresa's website.

John Wilkinson


A felt square with bright images showing guitars, music notes, a coronavirus, drumkit and combat robots. Text reads: FEAR OF RAY, KAPOW, THAW.

John Wilkinson (design and execution) and Coleen Wilkinson (ideas)

I’ve been fortunate enough to see many of my family and friends - often at a distance or online – throughout the pandemic. 

The main impact has been the lack of live music, whether as a member of the audience or as a performer, and also the lack of combat robot events – usually there is a lively scene at venues around the country.

The jagged crack through the middle represents the disruption caused by the pandemic, originating from stylised COVID-19 cells in the corners, and was suggested as a graphic element and as a framing device by my wife, Coleen. The two halves show cartoonish representations of my band Fear of Ray, and my robot team’s heavyweight robot Ka-Pow!, rather optimistically depicted defeating an imaginary version of a well-known opponent!

Janet Willoughby


A sunset scene created with fabric and embroidery and the silhouette of a mountain biker in the foreground. Text reads: Missing the Mountains

Missing the Mountains

O yes, and the sea. Depicting the mountains in blue, addressed both aches; the sun kissed backdrop, hearkening to the hope of new days.

I applied acrylic paint with fabric medium to the linen in concentric swirls of yellow and orange. Scraps of clothing and pre-dyed fabric were arranged, and free-motion machine-stitched into place. The fringe happened because I missed the measurement requirements.

The piece didn't go to plan, but I adapted and optimised what I had. Even when I thought the piece was irredeemable, I kept at it. This is pretty much how everyone has addressed this pandemic, with resourceful tenacity and hope.

Emily Yossarian


Fabric bunting sewn across the quilt square with numbers 41, 6, 9 and 40; the letter X, a lightning bolt and the Portuguese flag.

My quilt square depicts several missed events including our birthdays which all took place in lockdown (lockdown birthdays: 6, 9, 40 and 41); and our 10th wedding anniversary (‘X’). There’s a Portugal flag which reflects that we did not travel to Portugal to see my mother in law; and a lightning bolt for a cancelled Harry Potter event.

The background fabric was part of a lockdown craft which I learned – the art of tie-dyeing. The bunting is made from scraps of the patchwork fabric I would sew whilst running a (newly virtual) crafts club for students as part of my job.