Our work at SPOKE began 30 years ago to create a place where people gather to reflect and remember those lost to the AIDS Pandemic. This mission remains just as urgent today as we face multiple pandemics of Covid-19, racism, and addiction, alongside the continuing scourge of HIV/AIDS, particularly among vulnerable populations.
This year for our Days Without Art/World AIDS Day installation, we invite people to create a fabric sampler, 16″ x 16″ to remember, reconnect and honor someone lost to one or more of these concurrent pandemics; someone who has Touched your life physically, spiritually, or emotionally. You can find out more about this year’s event at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama here.
MAKING A PANEL
You don’t have to be an artist or know how to sew, knit, crochet etc., to create a section for Touched. You can use paint, fine needlework, iron-on transfers, markers, crochet, knitting, or even spray paint on a sheet. You may choose to create a panel privately as a personal memorial or you may choose to follow the traditions of old-fashioned quilting bees by including friends, family, and co-workers. That choice, like virtually everything else involved in making a panel, is completely up to you.
Here are a few easy steps of how to create a panel for “Touched: How We are Touched In Times of Pandemic“
1. Design the panel - Designs can be whatever you like, honoring someone that you’ve lost to HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, or anybody who has Touched you in these difficult times.
2. Choose your materials
It is best to sew things to the panel. A medium-weight, non-stretch fabric such as a cotton duck or poplin works best.
Your design should be square, but the finished, hemmed panel must be 16” by 16” – no more and no less! When you cut your original piece of fabric, leave an extra 1-2 inches on each side for a hem. (If you can’t hem it yourself, no worries, we’ll do it for you.)
3. Create the panel
In constructing your panel you might want to use some of the following techniques:
- Applique: Sew fabric, letters and small mementos onto the background fabric. Do not rely on glue – it won’t last.
- Paint: Brush on textile paint or color-fast dye, or use an indelible ink pen.
- Stencils: Trace your design onto the fabric with a pencil, lift the stencil, then use a brush to apply textile paint or indelible markers.
- Collage: Make sure that whatever materials you add to the panel won’t tear the fabric (avoid glass and sequins for this reason), and be sure to avoid very bulky objects.
- Photos: The best way to include photos or letters is to photocopy them onto iron-on transfers, iron them onto 100% cotton fabric and sew that fabric to the panel.
Finished samplers can be sent to:
840 Summer Street #103
Boston, MA 02127
4. Attend one of our “Quilting Bees” quilting workshops!
If you’re not comfortable working on your own, or you don’t have the proper materials, that’s okay! Come visit our studio space at 840 Summer Street in South Boston, and we’ll be happy to help you create a square for Touched.
Join us for open studio “Quilting Bees”, Beginning Thursday, September 23rd - Friday, November 19th
Tuesdays 6-:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Thursdays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fridays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Register for a quilting open studio here.
Here are some examples of quilt squares to inspire your own designs. We’re so excited to have you participate in our annual Days Without Art installation this year!