Mary Ellen Cobb, Tallahatchie Arts Council VISTA member, holds the packet of supplies that people will receive for the community quilting project. 

Memories of the COVID-19 pandemic will be stitched together during a community quilting project sponsored by the Tallahatchie Arts Council and the Union County Heritage Museum.

People are invited to pick up a free packet of materials that includes fabric, needles and an embroidery hoop to make a 12-by-12-inch square that will become part of a larger community quilt.

There are 30 packets available, and they can be picked up at the museum on a first-come first serve basis. Several of the packets have already been distributed.

Once the 30 quilt squares are returned by Oct. 31, they will be put together to make a story quilt that will preserve memories of the pandemic.

People should design their quilt squares in ways that share their unique stories and perspectives on the pandemic, said Jill Smith, director of the Union County Heritage Museum.

“We think that people will respond to it and want to do it,” said Smith. “Everybody’s been excited about it so far.”

It is a way to remember such an “astounding event in our lives,” said Smith, adding that story quilting is an old tradition.

“I’m excited,” she said. “I hope it will be fabulous.”

The finished quilt will tell a story about the pandemic and be put into the Union County Heritage Museum’s collection.

It is a good way to preserve the story of the pandemic and bring in a multitude of perspectives into one body of work.

Smith is really interested to see what kinds of designs people come up with for their squares. She noted that people can incorporate words and designs into their squares to represent their personal experiences with COVID-19.

Smith hopes the quilt can be finished by the end of January so it can be showcased during the 2021 Fiber Arts Festival.

The materials can be picked up during the museum’s regular hours Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It does not cost anything to receive a packet of materials. People just have to put in their “time and talent,” Smith said.

People are also asked to consider embroidering their names and the date into their squares.

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