Our exhibition has drawn quite a bit of attention and some wonderful feedback!

‘It’s a glorious work of art where the collective skills and vision are both moving and uplifting in their simple truths, humour and beauty of the individual squares. Hugest congratulations to Debra Urbacz & the Bee Creative collective – what a wonderful achievement and a gift to all who have seen it. Thank you xx’ (Claire Sanford)

As I wandered around Highfields today, I started thinking about how the quilt had been something really positive that we could focus on as a group. Whether it was through social media updates or continuing to make the squares, this community project was a shared goal and one many of us had invested in. It was a privilege to both stitch the individual pieces together with Linda, and present our year’s work as an exhibition – we were especially grateful to Canalside for hosting so enthusiastically and their feedback on how it has been received.

With Covid restrictions tightening up again, and advice suggesting that this will continue for the next six months, it is hard not to feel that this situation is becoming endless. I am sure that this will be unsettling a lot of people and anxiety levels will be rising again. Having my own concerns, around returning to work in a school, I think it’s important to look beyond those six months to a time when all this will be a distant memory. I agree that may be much easier to make that statement than it will be to carry it out, however we must try.

Deep in thought and aware of the changing seasons, I considered how the group might stay connected. Nature always inspires, and as I absorbed the sights and scents of outdoors, I was drawn to this collage of handmade clay tiles on the wall of one of the buildings in the centre of the park. Moving closer, I saw that makers had been influenced by the natural world. Stems, leaves and flower shapes had been pressed into the clay and colour applied to highlight the details. A carefully assembled collection of individuals work, it reminded me of our quilt.

It was then I realised that in the same way we captured the four seasons in the squares of our quilt, we could harness the power of spring. In six months time we will be pretty much where we were in the year when all of this unrest and uncertainty started. It’s just possible we may have a chance at some kind of renewal. As I have written before, nature doesn’t stop, like this little bee by Agnes and Cora, it strives to reward us with all it’s beauty and bounty. And so we will continue to create together and keep working towards our common goals.