Elder spearheads project to create "lockdown memory" quilts

A church elder led a community project to make two "lockdown" quilts to encapsulate people's memories of the last 12 months.

Elizabeth Bracher of East Neuk Trinity Church in Fife, co-ordinated a team of 30 people who created 72 brightly coloured squares with concepts that represented how they spent their time and what they missed.

 Elizabeth Bracher
Elizabeth Bracher

The six-inch cotton panels depict a wide range of scenarios such as closed playparks, NHS heroes, gardening, personal protective equipment (PPE), volunteers delivering groceries and Sunday prayers at 7pm,

Sir Captain Tom Moore, who raised millions of pounds for NHS charities, features on a panel as do walking boots, Zoom meetings, public health advice, the coronavirus itself and a woman doing exercises at home.

People of all ages from the villages of Colinsburgh and Kilconquhar were involved in the project.

The youngest was Theo Paul, 7, who drew a Pokemon because he enjoyed watching his favourite characters on TV after he finished his home school lessons.

Lockdown memory quilt
Lockdown memories immortalised.

Miss Bracher collected all the squares and stitched the quilts – which are two metres long in a nod to social distancing rules - together with the help of other volunteers.

The retired nurse, who made 11 panels herself, said she was "flabbergasted" by the interest in the project which saw people using materials they had at home and upcycling them.


Miss Bracher said: "I have an interest in embroidery and textiles and was involved in creating a panel about the founders of the University of St Andrews for the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

"I was thinking one day during the first lockdown about the strange times we were going through and how great it would be to come up with something to bring the community together.

"I was a member of the Colinsburgh Kilconquhar Craft group and told members that I thought it would be good to involve anyone with a creative skill or none.

"The idea was to give people a means of expression during the lockdown, I did not want it to be doom and gloom, it had to be bright.

"People thought it was a good idea and in some ways this project is about celebrating the fact we had to draw back within ourselves, reconnect and look out for each other."

Memory quilt
The project involved people of all ages.

The quilts were completed earlier this month and one will be displayed in a community building in Colinsburgh and the other in the Kilconquhar church building.

Rev Douglas Creighton, minister of East Neuk Trinity Church linked with St Monans, said: "These amazing hangings represent what I believe the church in the East Neuk is working towards being.

"Intergenerational, integrated in community life and a place of hope which shares the love of God in the everyday things whether good or bad.

"As someone who is not particularly creative, I am in awe of how well these hangings visually represent not only personal 2020 memories, but how community and church are intertwined."

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