Todd learned to sew as a young child but it wasn't until later in her art practice that she began to incorporate sewing into her work. While living in St. Catherines at the end of the 1970's and working at Rodman Hall Art Centre as Education Curator, Todd made a series of tiny paintings whose canvas was stitched with thread and string, and then painted. In this context, and while preparing a lecture for a touring exhibition of Ontario historic quilts, it occurred to Todd to make a quilt herself.
Cover/ Undercover was Barbara Todd's first quilt. She began the process by taking self-portraits in all of the clothes she had made for herself over a ten year period. She then made a two-dimensional replica of each in miniature, and in the corresponding fabric. It is these miniatures that are depicted on the quilt's face. On the underside is a life-sized nude silhouette executed in reverse applique. Thus, Cover/Undercover is a self-portrait.
Midway through the making of this work Todd moved to Banff to take part in a visual art residency at the Banff Centre. The quilt was completed there.