Covid-19 Creativity – Bear Witness Stitch

Here is a contribution from Adrienne Hodges in the series on creative expression in the midst of our historic Pandemic. This quilt bears witness into the future. For all those who struggle and are afraid.

Detail of a quilt.

I’ve recently taken up needle and thread to embroider a quilt that I made many years ago. It started as an evening pastime and a bit of an exploration in simple stitchery. Over the past three weeks, this practice has taken on a significance that I hadn’t envisaged at the start. Aside from being an effective calmer of the mind, I have begun to choose imagery of a rather topical nature – the representation of the virus we constantly see on our TV screens should we decide to switch it on and watch the news.

There are over twenty of these little roundels scattered across the whole. There have been several stages to each one and it has taken quite a few hours. I told my daughter about my latest addition and her take on it was that I had slightly lost hold of my senses. That isn’t how I see it. I feel helped by absorbing these little bugs into my work. The slow and gentle process of forming them has eased some of my fears and anxieties. The instinctual reaction of turning away has dissipated as I have stitched. I feel glad about that.

If my quilt survives as these items do, years into the future, it will bear witness to these extraordinary and difficult times. Oh, and just to balance things out I have scattered ribbon rainbows throughout the design too. There’s always hope……..

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