Christ Church crafters create a quilt of kindness

A creative women’s group at Christ Church in Eaton came together to make a ‘Quilt of Kindness’ to help people reflect on the kindness being displayed during the lockdown. Now that it is finished, members of the group reflect on the highlights of the project as well as what they want to do with it next.

Over lockdown, the “Christ Church Crafters” undertook the creation of “the Quilt of Kindness”.  The seed of this idea was sown in the spring of 2020, then the project blossomed over the summer and now, in the autumn of 2020, the quilt is complete.

Vivien Humber, who heads up the Pastoral Team, is a member of the Christ Church Crafters. As the project began, she set out the aims behind it:

“The Quilt of Kindness will show the positives that are coming out of lockdown,” she said, “kindness, hope, friendship, compassion, community. We want the quilt to include good things that are important to us. 

“We were reminded that people in POW camps had used what they had with wonderful results  – the Changi Quilt is one example (” 

The three Changi quilts were created by women interned by the Japanese in Changi Prison when Singapore fell in 1942 and were designed to relieve boredom and boost morale. Each woman who wanted to make a square was given a piece of plain white cotton (provided from various sources including flour bags and bedsheets) and was asked to put something of herself into the square, together with her signature.

Not only has this enterprise resulted in a wonderful, imaginative and communicative piece of art, it has also provided a creative focus for the many people involved. In her article on the quilt (published in the September and October issues of the Eaton Parishes magazine) one of the quilters, Dr Jane Hattrick, wrote:

“Right from the start the process of creating this quilt began with kindness, providing a supportive, safe and uplifting space, albeit virtual, for those of us who might be living alone or struggling with life under lockdown in various ways, including the impact on our mental health and wellbeing.”

Kathy Ladd and Vivien Humber, who led on this initiative, added,

“In the Spring, some of us in Christ Church Eaton wanted to set up a project bringing people together in a difficult time. Vivien thought of the idea of a Quilt of Kindness. This would enable people  to work on individual squares; showing an act of kindness or something that has been positive and meaningful during a time of isolation. We set up Zoom meetings to chat and make friends while working towards a positive and life affirming goal.

“We hope to exhibit our work (as soon as it is possible to do so) including a photo album of all the individual squares – people have been asked to give us their thoughts about the square (or squares) they have made. This information will be put with the individual square. This has been a true labour of love, bringing people together in spirit  and fellowship for a common goal!”

Pictured here is Leisa Devlin with her quilt square depicting her family’s hopes for the new normal. She had asked her children and grandchildren what qualities they hoped the new normal would have, and these were the words that they suggested: “Dear Lord, Help us make the ‘new normal’ kinder, fairer, calmer, gentler, joyous. Amen.”


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