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The Quilters Version of Social Distancing

Beginning in March 2020, quilters (and everyone else in the United States) were asked to social distance to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. What exactly does social distancing look like for quilters?  

Social distancing


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posting on July 22, 2020, “Social distancing is the practice of increasing the space between individuals and decreasing the frequency of contact to reduce the risk of spreading a disease (ideally to maintain at least 6 feet between all individuals, even those who are asymptomatic). Social distancing strategies can be applied on an individual level (e.g., avoiding physical contact), a group level (e.g., canceling group activities where individuals will be in close contact), and an operational level (e.g., rearranging chairs in the dining hall to increase distance between them).”

Quilters have been extremely creative in determining how far social distancing is when it comes to sewing:

Is could be two yardsticks

Social Distancing
The Voice of Road, Randy Graves,social distancing by yardstick

Or 11 Olfa rotary cutters lying end to end…

It could also be 7 average sized quilt books laid end to end…

Did you know that a bobbin is ¾” or that a number 11 appliqué needle is 1 1/8’ long? How many bobbins or needles would it take to reach the recommended 6 feet of social distancing?

social distancing

Quilting by Social Distancing

Many of our Road to California fans have reported that their quilt guilds have continued their meeting schedules by holding them on Zoom. Is yours one of them?

In March, The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts launched a collaborative art project meant to encourage artists staying at home to keep creating. This open call invited participants from throughout the world to submit a 12 x 12-inch quilt block documenting their individual and collective experiences of quarantine and keeping their social distancing. By mid-June, the museum had received over 300 very diverse blocks from artists throughout Wisconsin, as well as many other states, and as far away as the Netherlands and Israel. The museum began stitching them together and will be presenting a special exhibit, The Quarantine Quilt, beginning August 7th and running through November 15th.

The Quilter’s Guild of North Dakota was “grieving over the loss of our 2020 quilt show,” so they offered to their members to do their own version of the Wisconsin Museum quilt challenge, using the same rules. They hope to have their quilts ready to display for 2021 Metro Quilt Expo.

Quilt block by Colleen Anderson

Stevii Graves, Road’s director of classes, recently had a birthday. To celebrate, she came up with the perfect social distancing idea: “quilting outside on a beautiful day with beautiful friends.” Stevii reported that several “neighbors stopped by to say hello and to see why three women were sitting and laughing in the driveway! Life is good…. especially since cake was also involved!”

social distancing

Quilters have certainly proved that even during a pandemic, they can still be resourceful and creative while social distancing.

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