A quilt project launched by Purcellville resident Diane Canney during the pandemic is now being exhibited in the Loudoun County Government Center building through September 3.

The Hope quilts began last August as a way to spread hope and awareness and to create a lasting memory that would serve as a tribute to people working on the front lines and to honor people who have died from the virus, Canney said.

She designed a quilt that spelled out the word HOPE, comprising 10-by-10- inch panels painted by artists who have depicted portraits, scenes or other inspiration from their experiences with the pandemic.

The quilt squares were made by artists, quilters, children and members of the community.

Since last fall, the Hope quilts have been displayed in several locations, including in Washington, D.C. and the Loudoun Arts Film Festival in Middleburg.

Canney — who, along with her husband, Mike, owns Sunset Hills Vineyards in Purcellville and 50 West Vineyards in Middleburg — said she would like to see the quilting process continue and to have more people participate.

She designed quilt kits, which for $15 contain everything that is needed to paint and design a panel, including a self-addressed stamped envelope to return it to her by mail. Anyone who would like to participate can place an order online at hopequilt.org. The panels will be included in quilts on display around the country, she said.

As an extension of this project, Canney has created a nonprofit, Together We Will Heal, which she hopes to use as the basis for launching portrait displays in public spaces and hospitals telling the stories of people affected by COVID-19.

“Each portrait will have a QR code which will link to their story. I hope we will learn from this experience that we know is going to happen again,” she said.

Sponsored by the Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee, the exhibit of Hope Quilts will be on view in Gallery One in the Loudoun County Government Center lobby, One Harrison Street SE, Leesburg from July 6 through September 3, 2021. The building is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit hopequilt.org.

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