Starting the journey


For the love of textiles….and midwives

We are midwifery educators and researchers in the UK, Jenny Hall and Lindsay Hobbs. In addition we have a love of textiles and crafting and collaborated on the Knitted Midwife project. Jenny also made a quilt as part of her EdD studies, which sits now at http://www.midwiferyquilt.co.uk/ We are here to bring you a 9 month plan to produce something to celebrate the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020.

Way back in 2019 The World Health Assembly designated 2020 to be the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife (YONM), Florence Nightingale’s Bicentenniel year. The purpose was to:


celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.


No-one could have predicted what this year would then bring for the healthcare workforce across the globe. We write this in a lock-down situation as a viral pandemic rages across many countries. Our nursing, midwifery and medical colleagues have had to rise to an enormous challenge and we salute each and everyone.

The idea for this project came earlier in the year, due to Jenny’s involvement in the creation of a virtual quilt for the Femedtech Quilt of Care and Justice in Open Education but lack of time made it difficult to put it into action. She had been considering how she could commemorate the YONM through textiles. Conversations between us demonstrated that this was an idea that others may want to play with.

So what’s the idea?

The plan is for the final 9 months of the year (9 months- get it?) to create a patchwork square for each month giving a block of 9 squares. At the end these can then be made into a cushion cover or wall hanging that you can keep as your celebration of the year.

Each square would represent a reflection from that month of the meaning to you of midwifery. This could be from your own practice or observations of what you are seeing.

In addition, we would encourage you to write down why you have done this square, what are the meanings behind it, why did you choose the fabric, colours etc. (An example of the sort of thing is the square Jenny made for the Femedtech quilt . We will also add ours in the blog when they are done.)


  1. Decide on your fabric for the square. Something that is not too flimsy is recommended, though you can back with lining to make it stronger.
  2. Cut a square of 7 inches for each side- this means at the end there will be half an inch all the way round for seams
  3. You do not have to add anything onto this square if you don’t wish- sometimes the fabric says enough- or you can decorate how ever you wish. You can draw, stitch, knit, stick on, decorate with buttons, whatever you feel comfortable with. It is your celebration, do as you feel able and comfortable.
  4. Take some time to write why you created this particular square- this could be in a handwritten journal or on a computer
  5. Keep these squares and your writing safe and later on we will suggest ways you can create something with these.

We will share things on this site periodically but also via twitter #midwifepatchwork2020 and other Social media.

Wishing you a time of contemplation and strength as we go through this challenging time together.

Jenny and Lindsay

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