4 Weeks in Lockdown

Posted by on 24 March 2020 | 4 Comments

As our country goes into lockdown, it seems a scary time ahead. It sure is a weird feeling but I feel fortunate to have family close by, plenty of crafts to keep me occupied, an online business to help others keep occupied, fiber internet to keep connected, and food in the pantry.

I think this is a great time to join together through the internet and that's why I thought I'd change my weekly blog post. For a couple of reasons, 1: somehow these first few days there is a lot of planning or organizing to prepare for lockdown so concentration on regular activities is somewhat diluted, and 2: I thought it might be a great idea to create a journal for the coming weeks. By working on a journal I hope to express some feelings, some techniques, our status and anything else I might feel appropriate to include during our next 4 weeks - or longer perhaps!

At this point, I really have no idea where it will take me but perhaps you will join me with suggestions or even in making your own journal. Feel free to leave comments below or if you prefer, I could make a discussion forum at AcademyofQuilting.com for us to share ideas and/or work together. I'm open for ideas.

This journal journey needs to start somewhere right? Of course, a foundation is the base of any creation and the most important thing to start with. Maybe an unfinished block could be used or simply a piece of fabric. Creating a new block with a space to write is another way to express ourselves. 

signature block

signature block - room to write

For me, I'll start with a plain piece of calico as a base to work on. This plain-woven textile will be great for adding things such as stamps or crayons or even to write on. My journal will be based around quilt art and I hope to use many different materials and techniques to create a series of small artworks. Later I might incorporate these as a book or quilt.

I've cut up a number of page-size pieces of calico. I'm not sure if I'll make one creation per week or per day or other day - I'll play that by ear. I do hope to add something to represent each day or each challenge I come across through this journey.

calico pages

Calico pages

I gathered containers I had with all sorts of different materials I thought I might use - actually, I'd thought of adding a date stamp to my background so while I was hunting it down, I pulled out these items that I felt might be helpful.

3 possible things to use

possible things to use

I did find my stamp and proceeded to stamp March 2020 over my calico... I've always wanted to use a date stamp but never really did! I've added a piece of fused stabilizer to the back to make this easier and it will help with stitching too if I decide not to add batting.

date stamps

Dates stamped on background

My plan today was to present my next Christmas block in my block-a-thon.... sorry about that, but the March block will be here before the end of March. I just found today that I was easily distracted and found it very difficult to concentrate on creating the detailed block I'd designed. I feel I'm not the only one with this feeling of uncertainly. It is definitely a time to organize and prepare. With this in mind, I used some of my scrap pieces from the block-a-thon to add to my background - you'll recognize the fabrics, and the half-square triangle which represents the piecing. 

scraps from christmas block

scraps from my Christmas blocks

scrap blocks

Scrap half square blocks on background

Right now, family is important and in our household, we have 6 adults and 2 children thus the reason I've added pieces to represent the numbers. I didn't trim them but rather added as-is.

I decided not to use fusible but rather stitches to hold them in place. Wondering what color thread to use, I looked outside to my overcast day and my wondering stopped as I knew to use grey to represent the weather.

scrap pieces stitched

Free motion used to attached scraps

A couple more elements I wanted to add included some facts....

Covid-19 cases for today 24 March 2020 totals 155 - written by hand using a fabric pen


155 cases in NZ to date

I used telephone and email stamps (in the photo above) as this will be our no-contact methods of correspondence - would you believe, I had more phone calls today than I usually have in a month it would seem!

and lastly, I stitched a candle because today is my daughter's birthday. 


A candle to represent my
daughter's birthday

Here's how day 1 looks.


Day 1

I may add more over the next day or so, or I may start a new "page". I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Will you join me?

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  • Hi Ruth, I have a pattern and have been working! It is very interesting to use a quilt block to really verbally express yourself. This is new to me using a quilt block to do this. I have all kinds of journals but this is helping me more. I now have three blocks done in one week. Thank you for the idea.

    Posted by Virginia Keim , 30/03/2020 10:44am (11 months ago)

  • Great idea

    Posted by Susan, 24/03/2020 1:21pm (11 months ago)

  • Ruth, I really like this idea. Stay safe.

    Posted by Patty Low, 24/03/2020 9:35am (12 months ago)

  • I keep a bullet journal and was trying unsuccessfully to capture facts. What a good idea to capture feelings with a quilt journal! Thank you.

    Posted by Virginia Keim , 24/03/2020 8:10am (12 months ago)

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