How this Sheffield woman honoured a community's unity during the pandemic in a very unique way
A woman from a Sheffield suburb has demonstrated her creative abilities by stitching together a patchwork quilt celebrating the resilience and togetherness of the community during difficult times.
Amy Chambers, who works as an NHS physiotherapist, wanted a creative project for the community to focus on during lockdown to bring people together whilst staying apart.
With the vision of creating a positive piece of history, Amy encouraged everyone in her community of Crosspool to use their creative skills to stitch, draw, embroider, paint or print stamp on a square of cotton or lightweight material to show how they were feeling during the lockdown.
Amy said: “I started collecting the squares from the very beginning of the first lockdown; I ended collecting them in July/August 2020 and then started the task of sewing them all together and planning and designing the centre panel.
“I wanted the centre panel to represent our community and for people to be able to recognise local images. It features our newly retired crossing warden Eddie, the Crosspool owl, spotted during lockdown that has kept many people entertained, and Colin the cone, who is also a local celebrity.”
After several months of hard work, Amy completed the quilt on April 3 and met with the local councillor, chair and vice-chair of the Crosspool forum, her family and Thom Cocker from Cocker and Carr estate agents to display the quilt in the window of the estate agents.
The finished result was the culmination of a year-long effort by the residents of Crosspool to record and recognise the life we are living under the Covid pandemic.
Several squares on the quilt mark occasions during the lockdown, for example, clap for carers with an interactive sound effect button, the date and time of the first vaccine given, and a photo of captain sir Tom Moore.
The mum of three wants the project to be a focal point to celebrate better times to come and hopes that it serves as a reminder of the difficult times we have gone through, with everyone pulling together to come out on the other side.
Amy added: “The reaction has been incredible. People have thanked me for doing the quilt and seem to have really enjoyed taking part.
"It was lovely to receive letters with peoples squares and to hear about their inspiration for their creativity; missed holidays, activities they have been doing during the lockdown, hope for the future, celebrating the difficult time for our NHS, and true resilience of all key workers during this difficult time."
“A huge thank you to everyone who took part. I think together we have created a beautiful image of what a community can do if they pull together. Thank you for your support, enthusiasm and interest. I really hope you are pleased with the final display.
“Also thank you to local businesses who took part, the chair and vice-chair of the Crosspool forum for all their help and encouragement, Cocker and Carr for agreeing to display the quilt, and my family for putting up with fabric all over the house and building the stand to display it on.”
The Crosspool quilt has been displayed in the window of the Cocker and Carr estate agents on Sandygate Road in Sheffield.