Otago Daily Times
‘Quiltlets’ represent Covid messages
YOU’VE heard of tiny houses, tiny gardens and now tiny quilts.
Ulrike Uslar, of Palmerston North, designed and made a ‘‘quiltlet’’ every day during the Covid19 lockdown and as the country moved through the alert levels.
But all 81 of them were more than just a hobby to cure lockdown boredom.
The quiltlets represented the messages communicated through the Government’s 1pm media briefing each day, as well as the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by many, she said.
Now, Ms Uslar, who has a background in teaching, fine arts and counselling, has been touring them around the country — making a stop in Dunedin earlier in the week.
‘‘I just wanted to communicate something that was worthwhile and, if anything, I want to make people look and think.
‘‘People just see what they want to see and think what they are told to think.’’
The quiltlets were conversation starters, she said.
‘‘They are not always explicit . . . It is an invitation for you to let yourself in as much as you want to and there are always several possibilities of interpretation.’’
She began her first tile on March 21.
It started with a traditional quilt block, but then one of the blocks shifted out of place, representing the sudden need to social distance, she said.
The quiltlets — which each took 24 hours to complete and are 12 inches (30.5cm) by 12 inches in size — depicted everything from a family in their bubble on day 9, to day 56 when the Student Volunteer Army delivered biscuits, groceries and medicine to those in need.
She used a quilting technique called biscuit to reflect that day.
On day 34, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern highlighted the contribution of essential workers, including cleaners.
That inspired Ms Uslar to make a quiltlet using yellow fabric — to represent Covid19 — and a Chux cloth and unused cleaning items from around her house.
She began quilting in 2011 and has incorporated commentary into her work during the past three years.
Her work has represented a range of social and political situations, including the Me Too movement.
She continued her tour yesterday, heading to Christchurch, and will travel to Wellington next month.