Solid Ground: Covid Gallery Review

In her song Orpheus, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles says, 

I know you miss the world 
The one you knew 
The one where everything made sense 
Because you didn’t know the truth 
That’s how it works
Till the bottom drops out 
And you learn
We’re all just hunters seeking solid ground.


Aren’t we all just looking for that “solid ground?”

The events of 2020 have changed each of us differently. As the world we were accustomed to changed around us, we were forced to adapt in order to find solid footing, to build a place where we felt safe despite the tumult. 

For many of us, quilts provide that safe place to land. We wrap ourselves in them and sleep beneath their comforting warmth. We decorate the walls of our home with others. We gift quilts to loved ones to celebrate, mourn, grieve, or rejoice. And while making quilts, we pour our feelings and emotions into them, knowing that a quilt is a  place strong enough to hold our feelings. 

These are the kinds of quilts we share in our Covid issue. They are the solid ground that makers found in the midst of an unstable world. 

Sunshine & Honey by Erika Echols @letterpresserika

Sunshine & Honey by Erika Echols @letterpresserika

Echols approached her quilt with the mid-century aesthetic in mind. As she selected the fabric prints she said she could ‘feel the warmth of the sunshine as it grew.’ The quilt emits a feeling of honey dripping on a warm, sunny day.  

Another Tuesday in a Global Pandemic by Emma MacLean @emmamakesit

Another Tuesday in a Global Pandemic by Emma MacLean@emmamakesit

In making this quilt, MacLean wanted to capture what life felt like for her during the pandemic. The title references how individual days lost their meaning and everyday started to feel like it was a Tuesday. The white circles on the quilt are quarantine pods. Eighteen stars are scattered throughout the quilt. Each one represents a night that MacLean’s aunt was in the hospital with Covid and on a ventilator. 

Any Which Way by Charles Cameron @feltlikesweets

Any Which Way by Charles Cameron @feltlikesweets

As a challenge, Cameron purchased a scrap bundle of solid fabrics to experiment with improv piecing. Cameron says about the quilt, “Any Which Way is a metaphor for how I am experiencing the Covid pandemic: repeatedly responding to new information, constrained by my own know-how and resources, repositioning perspective, expectations and behaviors to achieve a sense of balance for myself and my loved ones.” We love how this quilt conveys chaos in a contained way. 

Super Spreader by Susan Manson @modernmanson

Super Spreader by Susan Manson @modernmanson

With cases of Covid 19 climbing and super spreader events flooding the news, the meaning of the triangles in this quilt became clear to Manson. She selected various colors and values to suggest movement and transmission of the virus. Solid white fabric was hard to come by during the pandemic as it was sold out of many stores. Manson scrounged together every piece of white fabric she had to have enough to complete the background of the quilt. The density of the quilting represents the anxiety she felt during the height of the pandemic. 

They Died While He Lied by Kelly Spell @kelllyspell

They Died While He Liedby Kelly Spell @kelllyspell

They Died While He Lied was designed on November 4, 2020 as a way for Spell to process her feelings about the election results in the United States. During the two months it took for Spell to make this quilt, more than 77,000 people died of Covid-19 in the United States.They Died While He Lied is a Spell’s witness to the suffering of the dead and those who loved them, to the exhaustion of healthcare workers, and to the spread of misinformation and poor leadership. 

Coffee Break by Hannah Haberkern @verdigrissewing

Coffee Break by Hannah Haberkern @verdigrissewing

We love the neutral earth tones of this quilt, as well as its strong geometric design. If there was one thing we’ve all needed over the last year, it’s been a ‘coffee break.’ 

You can find these Covid quilts and more inCurated Quilts, Issue no. 15: Covid. Purchase your copy today! 

By Brittany Bowen Burton

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