Silk Mini Quilt for a Solemn Time

Between sewing masks, trying to reach my students, and doing a lot of cooking together with my self-isolated family, it seemed like a good idea to submit another Curated Quilts Mini. “Spring Blossoms” uses my stash of silks in the ‘subtracted’ palette of silver, graphite, and soft pink. It is stitched and hand quilted with #50 silk thread I got from Red Rock Threads last year for the Yoshiko Jinzenji quilt I will try to finish quilting during this home isolation. I got this photo in the backyard today right before a thunderstorm darkened the sky.

I’m already prepared for rejection on this one, but it felt really good to dive into a hand quilting project to calm my nerves over the past two weeks of what could become many weeks of being sheltered. I used some of the silks last week to make masks for myself and family members when we go out grocery shopping even before there was a national call for PPE and medical support for mask making.  I remind you that while cotton and silk are obviously less effective than N95 masks for protecting one from COVID19 infection, they can also protect others from any infection you may be carrying (even though not 100%, although there are some sources suggesting 50% effectiveness) and as I selected a source for this post, I found WIRED has just published an article similar to my earliest sentiments.  If you want to see my ridiculous youtube video or get a copy of the pdf pattern I made for my students, send me an email, its based on a rectangle so wastes less fabric, and a healthcare worker has reported good fit with it.

I’m worried about my students, my community, my city, and my state as we enter this growing crisis. I am even more alarmed by the divided and confounding response to this crisis on a national level. Part of the therapeutic process of making this mini quilt has helped my process what has happened in New York, Florida, and Louisiana as our president failed to take advised and appropriate actions. This is criminal. I realize this is a contentious sentiment and obviously I have no desire to argue it with anyone who sees my voice of grief for lives needlessly lost as an opportunity to fight or attack others. This week, my grief and anger are fueled by the understanding that the president acts by blaming, insulting and condemning people rather than showing compassion, contrition, or concern, and it makes my role as a teacher harder.  I am grateful that I taught many of my students to sew last semester as we made a beautiful baby quilt for a volunteer, the patchwork almost entirely hand-sewn by students in 3 of my classes, with several students stitching the binding around a table almost like a quilting bee.

I am thankful that after finishing and gifting this quilt, we started another set for another baby on the way, this one may be born behind an unknown backdrop of quarantines and unavailable hospital staff. I worry about what will become of a country that is collectively entertained by watching cruelty and disaster on television but is unable to act to support neighbors, community members and strangers during a pandemic and the immediate financial crisis impacting so many families.  I think about the importance of connection, of supporting each other and making for others as I sew the next baby quilt, thankful that I am securely home, with my family, and a sewing machine, despite isolation.

3 thoughts on “Silk Mini Quilt for a Solemn Time

  1. I love the glow of the silk fabric in Spring Blossoms. Thanks for the mask info–I keep reading all the different opinions/studies/analyses. I’d begun to think that even if masks are effective only to keep me from infecting others, with not knowing who is and who isn’t a carrier, should I consider myself inected and act accordingly? And yes, I also wish for a more unified response to care for the whole community.

  2. I love your silk mini. The texture of the silk and your hand quilting looks like good therapy for this sad time in our history. Making and wearing masks are such good ways to show respect for our community and keep our families and neighbors safe.

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