Sign Your Name on the War Widows’ Quilt

This exercise is part of the War Widows’ Quilt, which celebrate the lives and stories of war widows in word and stitch. The idea is to commemorate you. Your names will join those of many other war widows from across the country, creating a stitched memorial made by many hands. 

If you are a war widow, or a relative who would like to commemorate a war widow, and you would like to participate in this or our other exercises for the War Widows’ Quilt, please read this information sheet first, so you know exactly what the project is about, who we are, and what will happen to your contribution.

You can also download the exercise instructions as a PDF file here.


1. If you would like to use your own fabrics and thread, please proceed straight to Step 3. Your fabric should measure 15cm x 12.5cm (incl. seams); this size is based on vintage blue air mail envelopes.

2. If you would like us to send you a selection of materials, all you need to do is get in touch with our artist, Lois Blackburn (arthur+martha), via email at and discuss your preferences. Lois will then post you the fabric, thread, and pens. From the materials you have been sent, choose a background fabric from the selection provided. Perhaps the tartan fabric means something to you? Or the camouflage, or navy blue?

3. With a fabric pens or chalk, write your name on your chosen piece of fabric. You can choose whether you use your full name, your first name, or just your initials. If you like, you can add your date of birth. If you are comfortable doing so, you can also write the name of your late husband, his date of birth and/ or death, and/ or your wedding date.

4. Choose a colour of thread that takes your fancy. Make yourself a cup of tea, and have a go at stitching the words. You can use any embroidery stitch you like (running stitch, back stitch, chain stitch, etc.). Everyone’s stitching will look different – that’s the joy. Every piece will be different, but they will all have a common theme.

5. Complete the forms provided and send them back to us alongside your embroidery. Lois will then be able to add your work to the quilt.

Any questions? Simply contact Lois by email at

The War Widows’ Quilt is part of the War Widows’ Stories project.

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