Isolation {a finish}


Have you ever felt left out, or just on the outside of a group or even cast out? I assume most people at one time or another have felt like that. I have at various times, more than once. This quilt was originally designed based on that feeling of being on the “outs” from a group.


I started the design with an idea of a group people being represented by 10 lines; 9 black (representing the group), 1 red (representing me or the person who was feeling left out). The other big decision I made was on the placement of the red line. Originally, I had the red line to the right but still in alignment with the group of black lines.


In the end, I moved the red line down 50% and decided to emphasize the mis alignment.


The piecing was relatively simple. I did stitch the Width of Fabric (WOF) black and white strips together before I cut them to size to make it easier and more precise. I used Robert Kaufman Kona cottons for the piece; White, Black and Ruby.

Backing is Moda Fabrics Chicken Wire print. I choose this as it fit the theme of being in prisoned or cordoned off.


Since COVID-19 isolation, I have been looking at this unfinished quilt top, and it speaks to me now of self-quarantine and the distance from our friends and family. As a person with Asthma, considered to be in a riskier group (if I catch COVID-19 my symptoms may be more severe), I am realizing I might be here in quarantine for a couple more months.


These feelings of being into quarantined introduced the idea of ripples and how things effect other elements. I decided to show this effect by using overlapping circular designs around the two groups. The top negative space is then finished with vertical lines and the bottom with horizontal lines, again showing different forces with the direction. All the quilting is 1/2″ lines.


Finishing this quilt did lift a weight off my shoulders, I did not know needed to be lifted. It was great being able to express yourself through art. The feedback from the community and how people have related has been so wonderful. Thank you all.


Name : Isolation
 Original Design
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons White, Black, and Ruby
Backing: Moda Fabrics, Chicken wire
Binding: Carolyn Friedlander, Carkai
34 x 41 in.
Quilted: 1/2″ Circular & Straight line quilting using Aurifil #2021


11 thoughts on “Isolation {a finish}

  1. Margaret Ells

    Thank you sharing your thinking as you worked through this design. I’ve wondered about how the virus is affecting my design thinking and appreciate the time you took explaining yours. Love your quilt!

    1. mlwilkie Post author

      Thank you. I am definitely using as more mediative vs. trying to complete deadlines etc. Its actually been fun looking at my WiPs and picking up some of those during this time

  2. knitnkwilt

    Perfect as a quarantine quilt! I plan a coronavirus quilt to mark this time, but I don’t have a complete idea yet. Lots of mental quilting to go.

    1. mlwilkie Post author

      Thank you. I have another one that I am working on that was not quarantine related but is very poignant for the current time. Quilting is definitely helping my balance, for sure.

  3. Vicki in MN

    I’d say you interpreted both instances perfectly in this quilt. Yep been there done that with feeling left out of a local group. Thank goodness for good online friends!

  4. Patty

    Well done. We have all felt like that more than once and the concept comes through in your design.

  5. Anne

    Wow, this is a perfect interpretation of feeling left out. and the quilting was such a brilliant choice and not only do I see ripples, I also see the “circle of influence” “circle of friends” and all those other circle metaphors for groups and belonging.

    I’m glad you finished this and that it’s lifted a weight off your shoulders. I’m also realizing that I miss chatting with you!

  6. Pingback: Mid-year check-in | Factotum of Arts

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