Quilting during Covid-19

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

Dear Vi,

I wear a lot of hats, as you know, but the one I turn to in times of stress is quilting. I think that’s because quilting is something I can do that doesn’t involve sitting still. I’m a knitter, too, but when I’m feeling anxious, I can’t sit in one place for very long, and knitting – while meditative – requires me to sit in a chair for extended periods of time.

Quilting, on the other hand, lets me be creative in a non-static way as I move between the cutting table, ironing board and sewing machine. Sometimes I put my ironing board in the kitchen so I have to traverse my (admittedly small) house to get to it. I can put music on and bop around while arranging blocks on the design wall. Or I can turn the music off and enjoy the hum of the sewing machine if my mind is too full of news and the dire straits of others.

I’m not saying quilting is exercise…it’s more like the full-body equivalent of jiggling my foot if I were sitting in a chair with my knitting needles. Does that make sense?

And then, there’s something indescribably delicious about creating something that fills the need for both beauty and function. If quilting isn’t a creative outlet that has saved my life, it’s certainly one that has saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

Quilting is like gardening…and like knitting… and like writing. You start out with an empty piece of ground, a blank piece of paper, a skein of wool, a stack of colourful fabrics. And then you create.

There’s a certain feeling you get when you straighten your back after pulling weeds, transplanting seedlings, deadheading flowers…when you cast off the last row and put your needles down…when you step away from the keyboard, breathless after writing the final scene…A feeling of wonder as you pause for a minute and admire the beauty you’ve created.

What’s your creative outlet during this stressful time?

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park
photo by Nita Collins Quilt: Garden Party by Blackbird Designs


  1. What a gorgeous quilt you’re showing us and it’s been too long since I’ve been in touch! Since the weather warmed up, I’ve been digging in the soil. It takes me away from everything. Writing doesn’t quite do it the same way. Maybe because it’s too easy for me to swop between writing, day job, and latest news.

  2. a few for sure. I do like to move around for quilting so I even stand to sew. I have my art journals. And I want to do some handwork but I am having trouble settling. I got out and ordeerd some supplements so maybe rughooking will be the answer. Gorgeous photo of garden party

  3. Quilting is my passion. Right now making masks for different organizations. My friend and I just got another order for 75. We are waiting on our elastic orders to come in. The last batch we made…60….we made using ties and that took quite sometime and lots of fabric as we are working from our stash. Am glad we are able to fill this need in our community. survivor972002@midco.net

  4. You always leave me spellbound by your insight and writings…not to mention talent! I had to take a second look at the picture to see if you had painted a rocky protrusion with those lovely earthy florals…and then I saw the light! Nita huddled in another of her creative pieces! Lovely…Enjoyed the heart felt expression in your writing too…C

I'd love to hear your thoughts!