Ruddington’s Framework Knitters’ Museum is inviting any frustrated creatives to support one another by helping to produce a quilt – made up of individual textile ‘responses’ to the unprecedented events and experiences of the 2020 COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
The project is being led by Common Threads, an organisation which supports wellbeing through creativity inspired by historical collections.
Explaining where the idea came from, Museum Manager, Jim Grevatte, says: “Our site has the amazing power to inspire resilience through creativity. It’s the story of our region’s textile industry struggling to make beautiful things in the most difficult of circumstances. We’re really excited to be working with Common Threads on this project and we can’t wait to see what today’s talented people produce as a lasting comment on the challenging times we’re living through currently.”
The quilt will be assembled from interlocking diamond-shaped sections and displayed at the Framework Knitters’ Museum when complete. The chosen shape has a strong significance for the museum, as when Ruddington was at the centre of the 19th century’s knitting industry, it was known as ‘the diamond village’ because the knitters finished their work with a diamond signature. The qualities of strength, beauty and resilience associated with the diamond provide further inspiration for the quilt.
“The new quilt will document these extraordinary times by representing the isolation, the worries, the gardens dug and flowers planted, the extraordinary blue skies, the time we had to listen to the birds, the improvement in air quality, the amazing gestures of friendship, support and bravery, the uncertainty…and the boredom!” says Jim. “Whatever you’re doing, however you’re feeling or whatever you’re hoping for, you can put it into a quilt piece.”
When the current lockdown restrictions are relaxed, there will be physical workshops in the Museum’s Chapel to bring participants together to complete their work and combine the contributions into a finished piece, which will be known as ‘The Resilience Quilt’. It will be displayed in the museum on one of the framework knitter’s beds (top photo) celebrating creativity and resilience in the face of hardship – both historically and in our current situation.
The project has been funded by the BUPA Foundation to support craft and creativity for resilient mental health. The Resilience Quilt project builds on a previous Common Threads initiative called ‘The Recovery Quilt’, which was created with more than 50 participants in response to the theme of recovery and PTSD. You can read more >>HERE<<.
Jim adds: “We’d especially love you to document your reaction to the Resilience Quilt project and the progress you make with your quilt piece on social media – please use the hashtag #resiliencequilt so we can identify your posts!”
To get involved with making Ruddington’s ‘Resilience Quilt’, please visit the museum’s dedicated page at www.frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk/the-resilience-quilt for information and support. You can also find the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest news on the quilt.