The square represents someone indoors or inside. I thought about the theme of openness and I have seen other squares of a quilt in progress. It seemed many expressed the theme of freedom. I began to think about what happens when people are confined, sometimes against their will and if it was possible to experience ‘openness’ in this situation.

The heart is made from felt which I made at a workshop in Cumbria. It was intriguing seeing how individual fibres of different colours meshed together during the wet felting process to become one fabric. Similarly, the events that we have been through and the experiences that we have had shape us and make us who we are today. The smaller hearts are the ripples that we send out into the world, hopefully positive ones.

Open education is accessible to everyone and so can reach those in prison or whose movements are restricted due to their personal circumstances. The blue fabric (made from a table mat) represents a window with bars through which we look out on the world. Maybe we ourselves can’t go out, but our ideas can.

The idea of confinement led me to think about women in the past and present who had voluntarily embraced an enclosed life. For example, convents and enclosed orders of nuns. In some cases, anchoresses chose to leave the world and live in the walls of sacred buildings. They felt enclosed physically  but open spiritually.  Some writings from women who lived these quiet lives have come down through the years. For example, Julian of Norwich whose visions gave the reassuring message that ‘all shall be well’.

So, the message of the square is –  even when we are enclosed, we can keep an open mind and be open to new ideas. We can send our ideas and thoughts out into the world, hopefully to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

All is well

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