Embroidery in the time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an inspiration for this piece of embroidery made by Marcella Pedersen.

The Cut Knife-area embroidery artist completed an embroidery art design that commemorates the year of COVID-19 - but one in particular that focused on the positive aspects, which included people coming together.

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Pedersen writes the following about her latest work:

COVID-19 Virus was the inspiration to stitch this piece to use up thread on hand and fill in lockdown time. When you live 2 ½ hours away from possible supplies, you collect what you can at garage sales, seminars, and online.  So I had accumulated quite a stash and the lockdown provided opportunity to use up the stash.   

In developing this design I was looking for a circular hardanger piece.  I found two samples from Ruth Hanke and Jeannette Sorensen, so adapted Jeannette’s to suit the size of fabric I had on hand. 

In designing this piece I looked for samples of what the COVID-19 Virus looked like.  Then I went to some graft paper to design a COVID-19 in hardanger stitching.  From there I went to stitching the center COVID-19.  With the four corners of the Covid19, I decided to make this piece of art a memorial of Covid 19.  So decided to fill the corner blocks with symbols of what we were experiencing:  Masks, Hand sanitizer, washing hands and physical distancing.  Even the fill-in stitches I wanted to make them spikey looking.

After the center was completed, I was trying to decide to put circular cutwork around the COVID center or to stitch four more COVID-19’s and then implement the cutwork around the outside.  The latter was chosen.   From there, I stitched the outside cutwork.  As I stitched the four corner COVIDs, I wondered what to put in the little squares.  In looking for the initial symbols, I found a few more, but not 16 of them.  There have been both positive and negative aspects of COVID-19, but I decided I would like to focus on the positives.

In designing some embroidery art re COVID-19, I asked for help on FB, looking for 16 positive words or symbols as a result of Covid 19.  With all the suggestions (52 of them), they seemed to fall into 4 categories:  Benefits, Necessities, What Helped, What Changed or Needs to Change.  Some words were hard to decide which category to put them into and some lists ended up longer than others so I had to compromise.  Some words became symbols eg. Love, Prayer, Serenity.

Benefits:  Family, Prayer, Together, Reunited, Reflection, Time, Nature, Serenity.

Necessities:  Toilet Paper, Yeast/Flour, Shelter, Love, Clean Air, Community, Resilience, Essentials, Safety, Locally, Biodiversity, Relationships, Optimism.

What Helped:  CERB, Zoom, Kindness, Music, Slowness, Tolerance, Solidarity, Generosity and Collection Action, Exercise, Reading, Selflessness, Commitments. Innovation, Flowers, Dormancy, Incubation, Blueness of Sky.

What Changed:  Priorities, Back to Basics, Silence, Women’s Work Invaluable, Thankfulness, New Beginnings, Relief, Recover, Reconnection, Simple Times,

What Needs to Change:  Sustainability, Guaranteed Annual Income, Reset, Reimagine.

Covid 19 (1):  Love, Nature, Time, Serenity

Covid 19 (2):  Prayer, Music, CERB, Zoom

Covid 19 (3):  Change, Reunited, Clean Air, Shelter.

Covid 19 (4):  Exercise, Water, Bread, Toilet Paper.

These were the people that came forward with suggestions:  Janet Atamanenko, Betty Brown, Lisa Chemerika, Elizabeth Cline, Judy Del Frari, Chris DeRoo, Pat DeRoo, Tina DeRoo, Danielle Fletcher, David Fletcher, Lia Rianna Storey-Gamble, Leah Garven, Pearl Marie Gervais, Dixie Green, Jody Hazelwood, Cathy Holtslander, Gladys Ironchild, Lorie Paziuk, Martha Robbins, Lois Ross, Jacqueline Roy,  Sheree Beattie Sentes, Maureen Sonntag, Andrea Stewart, Carol Storie, Connie White Tabbert, Rachelle Ternier, Nicole White, Joanne Rivers-Wing.

When farmers are able to reduce their emissions, increase biodiversity, and improve the health of their local environment, it's everyone who benefits, including farmers. By intensifying green incentives, the post-COVID-19 recovery plan will create new jobs in agriculture, ensure capital farmers during a period of slender profit margins, and make our food supply more resilient to climate change.

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