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My crazy lockdown life

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My crazy lockdown life
Bulldog spirit cushion designed to reflect the British way of handling lockdown

How’s lockdown going for you? So…initially back in March, did we know what was about to happen? Did we think lockdown would last a few days? A couple of weeks? Did anyone actually envisage that this is how the world would be spinning right now? I can’t help wondering if the psychologists are having a bumper time at the moment. What a unique chance for a global experiment they must be cockahoop with all the opportunities.

Chill Out Sloth bag, we had no choice so this seemed like a good attitude to have

How are you coping? Let me know. At first I really enjoyed the peace, it made me realise how some people drain my mental energy on a daily basis, it was wonderful to step off the bus for a while. The first two weeks were akin to being on holiday; I noticed on week three that people seemed to be a bit lost, similar to when you’ve been on a really great holiday and in the last day or so when you are ready to come home, you’re just waiting. Week three was like that same limbo feeling but of course we weren’t going back to work, were we? So onwards we all went and slowly as the weeks turned into months we were beginning to come to terms with our new normal.

Sylvias Bag named after my beautiful mum, a long tailed tit being one of her favourite birds

What lockdown stages have you passed through? Did you do the Mary Berry phase? The baking aisle in our local supermarket was empty for weeks! They couldn’t keep up with us all and neither could my waistline; I perfected my Grandma’s recipe for ginger biscuits yum yum. I had lost 4 stone entering lockdown however, after the initial euphoria of yomping out for my daily exercise wore off and the baking phase got underway the scales started to creep up, I am gutted at how much I’ve gained it’s up at the 2 stone mark, boo hoo! Then the alcohol phase arrived and as we had nowhere to drive our cars to, it seemed a great opportunity to enjoy a little tipple in the hot spring sunshine. That phase Peters out occasionally and then is reignited oops. So now four months in where are we all? It would be really good to hear your news.

Meal for One panda cushion reminds us there was no going out to party in our isolation

Back in March when we were all wondering if we should go into lockdown or not, in the days before Boris took the decision for us, the manager at Watershed Mill (our base) rang me up one Sunday night and said “I’m just ringing to let you know we are closed.” “Oh” said I, as the manager owns the burglar alarm, “what about me?” He told me he would give me two hours the following day to get what I needed out of the shop. My oh my, where do we begin on that task? Well, begin we did. With the help of my lovely Hazel we took out a random selection of everything, not knowing whether we were choosing rightly wrongly. I found somewhere to stash most of the stuff, not an ideal solution but one I am eternally grateful for and we set about trying to ensure that Quilting Antics would survive whatever was to come.

Home Comforts by Michaela Smith reminding us that there’s no place like home

The Furlough scheme has been a Godsend as it allowed me to pay the girls and keep them safe in the short term. We did think we would work from our homes but the restrictions and the geological distances between us was too great, so with a heavy heart I had no choice but to use the furlough scheme. Sue was the only one who didn’t get Furloughed as we live fairly close to each other, we were able to carry on. We did this by having socially distanced meetings in Sue’s back garden. When I look back to the early days of lockdown it is unbelievable that we achieved what we did. Ironically I think we have done some of our best work during lockdown.

Socially distanced seagulls made us all titter

The business plan said, if we can continue on t’ telly we will get through this. Our first lockdown TV offering was called Bulldog Spirit a nod to the courage needed to get through this peculiar time. We designed six projects all on the theme of battling through the isolation and tried to give it our fun twist. This offering inspired so many people and was so successful that we decided to continue with the theme; this time looking at how our mindset had moved on and though we felt desperate, we had hope.

Always dream bag, inspired by the work of none other than Banksy!

The always dream bag is probably one of the nicest bags we have ever made I love it and I am very proud of this piece of work. We also did the Don’t stick your neck out giraffe as a reminder that although we were finding confidence in the new normal, it was not yet time to take risks.

Don’t stick your neck out, giraffe applique

As the government messages began to allow us to creep carefully out of isolation we came up with a new theme called reunited. sue and I had loads of fun thinking about how this might look for different people and whilst for some it would be a wondrous reunion, as we sat in the garden discussing this two swallows came and landed on the washing line; one turned to the other and began giving it a huge telling off! the on being told off simply turned its back on the first, this made us laugh out loud and so we came up with both versions of reunited

You’re Peckin’ me’ ‘ed!
Little Owl applique on cher Hazel Bag
Bunny Bonkers applique pack used on this lovely pillow

So now as we move into the next phase, we wonder what will it bring and where will it lead. As I look though some of our lockdown projects above, I feel really proud of the work we have done and the inspiration we have given to other people. Do get in touch and let me know what you think of our projects.

Love to you all. Anthea x http://www.quiltingantics.co.uk

Bunny Love 58″ square quilt available as a full kit or block of the month.