What’s it all about?

We are producing a national collage to celebrate the ways in which people have been using their craft activities to continue to connect, learn and support each other during the different stages of lockdown. This is an opportunity for you and your U3A to be a part of a UK-wide collaboration showcasing the best of the U3A movement.
The collage will be formed of many pictures of squares, individually designed and created by members and U3As across the country. We will bring them all together to form a digital collage, and make them available as a marker of this period, to be used at an event in the future. We will also share your photo and description on our website and social media channels.

Please upload a photo of your square here: https://u3auk.wufoo.com/forms/creative-covid-collaboration-2020/ by 28th February 2021. 

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!

In the best tradition of the U3A movement, we want to encourage you to collaborate with others. This may be in your current interest group, it may be across interest groups (e.g. you may want an art group to design it and a quilting group to make it), it may be with your friends from other U3As. Or it may be a personal contribution where you have learnt something new, or got others to help you design and make your square. You may want to meet virtually to discuss your plans, or use a phone tree or post the square from person to person so that everyone can work on it.

Our dedicated Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/u3acreativecovidcollaboration/) has been set up to give members a chance to collaborate and share ideas so that you can support each other during the creative process. You can also check out Craft U3A at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CraftU3A/ for ideas and opportunity to discuss with others. The Craft U3A Facebook group is run by the U3A Craft Subject Adviser, Kelly Benton, and is not managed by National Office.

What we need from you

A picture of your finished square. We don’t need the original but please hold onto this as at some point we may be able to get them all together in a giant physical layout.

Your squares should be 10 inches by 10 inches. Other than that, you have free reign to use any colours, media or theme you wish.

Suggestions for making your square could include:

  • Knitting
  • Tiling or mosaic
  • Crochet
  • Leatherwork
  • Card
  • Metalwork
  • Quilting
  • Crochet
  • Painting

And many others!

Possible ideas for the theme could include:

  • The main success(es) of your U3A, the area your U3A is in
  • The shape or geography of your region and/or the main historical landmarks
  • Your favourite interest group(s)
  • The initials of your U3A
  • What inspired you to join U3A. 

Your ideas can be as broad and general as you want.

Squares submitted so far
These three squares are examples of the various themes and media that can be submitted:

 Hilary sharp image

Hilary Jones, U3A Vice Chair, who is a patchworker, produced this sample of a square, featuring a dragon from Flintshire, from fabric. Hilary collaborated with other members - the template was from one and design details from another, then Hilary found the fabric and did the sewing.


Chris sharp image

Chris Winner, Trustee for Wales, produced this square depicting the COVID-19 virus. The square was crocheted in the U3A colours with the 3D virus grafted on. Why choose to create a square featuring a COVID-19 virus you ask. The real life, microscopic virus has had a monumental impact on our amazing U3A movement. The enemy we don’t see has been made visible.

Wyn sharp image

Wyn Jones worked on this collaboration of mediums and had some help sewing the wood pieces on the fabric. Wyn runs the Woodworking group in Flintshire U3A so it reflects his connection with U3A



See more submissions here

Upload your square

Please share your square with us by uploading a photo of it to the online form here: https://u3auk.wufoo.com/forms/creative-covid-collaboration-2020/

Please tell us what inspired you in making your piece and how you collaborated to produce it. Let us know the story behind your square and keep a record of how you made it.

Tips on taking a good photo of your square

  • Choose your background carefully e.g. a plain towel, pillowcase etc. Make sure it is flat. Place your square in the middle of your background.
  • Take your picture from above and in a good even light. Use flash if you need to. On a dry, calm day taking it outside can be a good idea just make sure you don’t cast a shadow on the square.
  • Position yourself above the square so the edges of the square are straight.
  • Use a square format on your camera if you can (smartphones are good for this), or we can crop it for you.
  • Get in a close as you can to your square but try not to miss any of the edges.
  • Make sure you focus on the square to avoid a blurry image.
  • Take two or three shots and submit your best one.