Izzy's EPQ: a quilt inspired by nature
We recently interviewed Sixth Former Izzy A. about her experience completing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Her EPQ is entitled “The development of a quilt inspired by nature, showing the social and cultural history."
Why did you choose this topic for your EPQ?
I chose to show the development of a quilt because I had always wanted to develop my textiles skills and to make something really beautiful, that I would keep for hopefully the rest of my life. I love beautiful fabrics and I thought by making an artefact it would make me have more appreciation of the clothes and items I have in my own home, which might make me live a more sustainable life in the future. I also found out about the history of quilts and their really interesting roles in society throughout time.
What makes your EPQ unique and different?
My EPQ was different because I ended up with an outcome which I hadn’t intended from the beginning (i.e. I didn’t make the whole quilt in the end but only did a block and instead made a portfolio all about the history of quilts and fabrics). It was a unique blend of my passion for creativeness, history and sustainability so I thoroughly enjoyed my project. Furthermore, no one else at St Mary’s has ever done an EPQ about quilts (as far as I’m aware!)
What skills have you developed doing the EPQ?
Probably the best skills I developed were skills to do less with research and making and more with skills such as time management, perseverance and organisation. Although I didn’t do textiles at GCSE or A Level it didn’t hold me back from researching how to make the quilt and making a block section of the quilt. This was one of the best skills because it has taught me that we are so lucky to have the access to an amazing resource: the internet, right at our fingertips and if you are dedicated enough you can learn and develop any skill you want.
How could your research, or the skills you have developed during the EPQ, be useful to you later in your life (e.g. at university)? Has the EPQ helped to prepare you for university life?
I would say that I definitely have a passion for learning and although I could have done a more academic EPQ I think I have actually developed more skills doing something creative rather than academic. I think sometimes people think that either you are academic or creative and I would really argue that it isn’t the case. Anyone can learn and develop skills at any age and it is up to us to do this, so for university the EPQ has really made me realise how much I shouldn’t take for granted (especially at university) and that I should expand my brain and learn as much as possible, whilst also doing things that I really enjoy. I would say it’s skills like this, such as time management, creativity and thinking outside the box, that are potentially more vital than actual researching skills, which I had already developed during my A Levels.
Tell me a few interesting facts you’ve learned during your research:
My research took me to many interesting corners but I would say probably the most interesting fact was that in most early civilisations quilts were developed and they all are great examples of history at that time. Relics of quilts have been found throughout the world and throughout time, from the Mughal Empire to the American Civil War.