The 70273 Project

with a side of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Quilt 55

a quilt with a white background covered with pairs of red X's

Photo Description: Quilt 55, a quilt with a white background covered with pairs of red X’s. Photo by Margaret Andrews.

Meet Quilt 55 of The 70273 Project. This beauty – measuring 60″ x 68″ or 152cm x 173cm – is made entirely (blocks, piecing, quilting, finishing) by The 70273 Project Ambassador, Margaret Andrews who hails from Missouri in the United States. Completed in January 2017, 121 lives are commemorated in this quilt.

closeup photo of a quilt - white background covered with pairs of red X's

Photo description: closeup of Quilt 55, white background covered with pairs of red X’s. Photo by Margaret Andrews.

Writes Margaret of this quilt . . . The 70273 Project grabbed my heart and pulled me in when I first became aware of it in late summer 2016. I have one precious grandchild, and he has been diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome, a rare disorder present from birth. I firmly believe that he, along with very other person I’ve met who has been labeled “handicapped” or “disabled” (lis Shawn and Janice and Jonathan and Josh and Dale) have added to the beauty of my life.

In working on this quilt representing 121 lives extinguished, I have had the opportunity to share the story of The 70273 Project with many people. I will continue to gather blocks (and Provenance Forms), piece, quilt, and finish quilts, and recruit others to join us until all 70,273 lives are commemorated.

closeup photo of a white quilt covered with pairs of red X's

Photo description: closeup photo of Quilt 55, white background covered with pairs of red X’s. Photo by Margaret Andrews.

Being a woman of her word, Margaret has made many quilts, recruited many stitchers to help commemorate, and is always sending me information about places to exhibit quilts. Thank you, Margaret, for your heartfelt contributions to The 70273 Project and all we stand for. Wishing your grandson the best. I know he’s a treasure in your life and the lives of all he touches.

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The Dean of Rochester Cathedral on The 70273 Project

Take a few minutes to see what Dean Phil has to say about The 70273 Project.

As time permits, I’m adding videos to The 70273 Project You Tube Channel. Nine or 12 more subscribers and I’ll be able to get us our own customized URL for our channel, so if you would be so kind as to go subscribe and to encourage friends and family to subscribe, I’d be ever so grateful.

While you’re there, stroll around the channel to have a look at the videos there, and be sure to visit again often because I’m constantly adding videos.

Thank you, Dean Phil, for having The 70273 Project in your beautiful cathedral, and thank you, Lucy Horner, for all you did to get the quilts there and for making sure I saw this lovely video. There’s so much more to come, so subscribe to the blog and subscribe to the occasional newsletter so you’ll be in the know.

Happy Second Birthday To The 70273 Project!

bags and boxes full of mail to be opened

photo description: boxes and bags filled with mail to be opened

Happy birthday to us . . .

Two years ago today, I launched The 70273 Project, ten days after the big, fat, crazy idea came to call and before I had time to think myself out of it. It has changed my life in the most astonishingly wonderful ways:
I have friends – good friends – all over the world.
I am seeing part of the world I never dreamed I’d walk on and breathe in.
I never have to look for something to do.
I could go on, but y’all want to know how many people we have commemorated, so on we go. Here’s what I’ve checked in since last time:

a bag filled with large envelopes of mail

photo description: a bag filled with large envelopes of mail

Happy birthday to us . . . 

BLOCKS
Pat Loveland (US)
Erin Bross (US)
Becca Brackett (US)
Paula Golden (US)
Judy Munford (England)
Anonymous
Suzanne Elswick (US)
Diane Dresdner (US) – She’s made 700 blocks to date and is creating a Middling next!
Maria Conway (Argentina)
Sara Foster (US)
Linda Crews Carter (US)
Sarah Arrington (England)
Amanda Jane Ogden (Durham, U.K.)
Sonja Koons (US)
Lea Ann Ferring (US)
Alamo Heritage Quilt Guild (US)
Members of the Sewing Servants Ministry in Escondido, CA (US)*

a box filled with large envelopes

photo description: a box filled with envelopes

Happy birthday 70273 Project,

QUILTS
Quilt 306, Pieced and Quilted by Diane Lewis
Quilt 307, Pieced and Quilted by Diane Lewis
Quilt 529 (a top) made by Australian Stitchers**
Quilt 530 (a Long, Skinny) made by Lois Sullivan (US)

*Members of the Sewing Servants Ministry:
Ann Drake
Mary Barker
Elias Espinoza
Lupe Cox
Rosa Maria Mendoza
Beatrice Eaton
Linda DeSaverio
Marlene English
Mahbanoo Iradipanah
Beritna Cazarez
R. K. (beautiful handwriting, but I just can’t make out the name)

** Australian Quilters
Musse Harper
Kerry Rochford
Anonymous
Alicia White
Alison McFadden
Lynn King
Rose Cooney
Rebecca Nguyen
Phoebe Adams
Marcia Cameron
Bonnie Niu
Janet Hay
Joanna Stanek
Victoria Cameron
Charis Harper
Cubekal Jasper
Christine Rose B Esmenda

QUILT TOPS
Quilt 409, Pieced by Sandy Panagos
Quilt 410, Pieced by Sandy Pangs
Quilt 392, Pieced by Edna Jamandre
Quilt 393, Pieced by Edna Jamandre

This means I have 4 quilt tops ready to be quilted! If you’re interested, leave a comment, email me, or find me on Facebook or Instagram and let me know.

an envelope, a postcard, a drawstring bag, and a ceramic heart

photo description: an envelope, a postcard, a drawstring bag, and a handmade ceramic heart

a magazine and quilt labels from The International Festival of Quilts

photo description: a magazine and quilt labels from the International Festival of Quilts

Happy birthday, to us.

OTHER GOODIES
~ Pam Arena is at it again – doing something creative and fun. This time she’s started making hearts of clay and leaving them for strangers to find, and she sent me one to leave as a surprise for some attentive passerby.
~ Labels for all the quilts that were in the Special Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival. Last year (or was it the year before?) the Truckee Meadows Quilt Guild in Nevada asked if they could attach one of their quilt show labels on the back of the quilt that hung as part of their show. I thought it was such a good idea, I vowed to make a label for every quilt show every quilt has or will be in. Thank you,  Good People at Quilts, Inc.. You’ve saved me a lot of time!

As of today, we have commemorated 33,491 people, y’all.

And this doesn’t include those commemorated at Durham Cathedral, Rochester Cathedral, or the Jersey Museum. Way back when, I counted some of the blocks and quilts from Durham and Jersey, then I realized it’s easier to count once the quilt are finished and on exhibit, so I have to go back through my records to figure out which ones were counted so I don’t count them twice. I’ll do that next week, so look forward to a new update soon.

Any day now, I’m going to have all the photos from Durham Cathedral, Rochester Cathedral, and Jersey Museum titled and organized so I can share them in blog posts. And I’ll be sharing info about some digital adventures you won’t want to miss, so subscribe to the blog and to The 70273 Project newsletter,.

Thank you for pouring your kind, compassionate, respectful hearts into this project and into the world. I can feel the difference it makes, can you? Happy birthday to us.

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SHELF-ISH PURSUITS: Roasting January’s book

January, wherever did you go?  To say it’s flown is an understatement for our household as we hurtle toward not one, but two graduations in May.  Our daughter makes the jump from middle schooler to high school while our son shakes the dust of high school off his boots and makes for technical school and, eventually, he hopes, the U.S. Navy.   People keep asking me if I’ve started crying yet and I can’t quite figure out why.  Isn’t that the whole point…to raise them up so they can fly?  But just in case I’ll start stocking up on Kleenex and the makings of a few of my favorite cocktails.  A girl’s gotta have priorities, amiright?!

Family is what’s at the heart of January’s book selection, The Accidental Book Club.  Reading the dust jacket, I thought I’d found just the book to launch The 70273 Project’s book club!  What title could be more apropos to a disparate group of folks gathered together to share in a common interest?  Perfect!  And absolutely no pressure to choose something we’ll all love.  None whatsoever.

Somehow I’d pictured Jean as a blue-haired, cookie baking, bridge playing, novel devouring widow who’d assembled a support system from a coterie of friends and acquaintances all of whom, interestingly enough, shared similar hobbies and had hair colored in various garish hues (think the mother from Bewitched), to keep herself occupied and her mind off the fact that she felt adrift and rudderless.  Please don’t ask me why.

What I found, for the most part, was a cast of characters I basically hated on sight.  Or word.  Whatever.  Can you see why I’m not a fan of movies based on books?  Leave me my illusions (delusions) of how the characters look, thanks very much.

A little background first.  My Dad’s parents lived only about 35 miles from us.  Granmommie was a homemaker; and after serving in the armed forces, my Granddad worked as a brick mason.  They were both quiet people who knew family history all the way back to when Noah set forth in the Ark (I’m kidding, but just barely).  I spent weeks with them during summer vacation and never got bored.  There was land, animals, and floor to ceiling bookshelves with glass-fronted doors custom built by my Granddad to hold the hundreds of books he and my grandmother read and re-read.  I remember them reading Webster’s dictionary for fun.  Then again, I read an entire set of encyclopedias for kicks.  My Mom’s parents, who lived in Arizona, both served in the military.  My Nana was a go-getter who was in her element when surrounded by a house full of people.  She loved card games, Rummikub, and Nicholas Sparks (gag).  My Papa ventured wherever she directed, made fairly regular trips to the hardware store (Jeff’s Pub), or hid out in his corner of the breakfast nook with a cigarette in one hand and the fingers of his other tracing the words down and across the pages of the local paper.

Back to the book.

Jean was unlike either of my grandmothers or any grandmother I’ve ever encountered.  From the get-go I found her stiff, chilly and utterly unlikable.  I have similar feelings about that vile shredded carrot and raisin salad a now-closed eating establishment from my childhood used to offer. This book was going to be as pleasurable as a trip to the dentist.  I never understood what attracted Jean’s friends to her and vice versa.  They all seemed like fairly well-rounded, lovely women.  Go figure.

Then there was The Dysfunctional Duo, Laura and Curt.  Some people were born to have kids.  Others do well with their pet rock collection.  What a wretched pair.  And their daughter, Bailey.  Bless her heart, how unutterably miserable she was…and with good cause.  I guess if she’d been a block of granite, she might’ve been A-ok.

SPOILERS-SPOILERS-SPOILERS!!  SKIP THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED THE BOOK YET.

My first “what is wrong with this woman” thought came when Jean spied her granddaughter huddled in the loft.  Why didn’t she say something?  Do something?  How difficult would it have been to make even a small gesture of concern?  But, no, there was nothing.  I certainly didn’t feel like she did it to maintain Bailey’s privacy.

And what about Laura’s drinking?  Granted, my kids aren’t grown, but I’d like to think if they had a habit that could kill them or someone else I’d have the chutzpah to say “um, ya gotta problem there, Bobby Ray”.  Yes, her daughter was a grown woman, but still…

As miserable as Bailey was, I couldn’t help rooting for her to make life as unpleasant as humanly possible for every adult that came her way.  Any attention was better than none.  Three cheers, a high five, and a gold star for stashing the pot in Granny Jean’s vase!!

Well, enough of my kvetching.  What’d y’all think?  Did you love it, hate it, not finish it?  Are you ready to string me up by my thumbs and use me for a piñata for picking such a stinker…or do I get a crown with a smashing princess cut diamond?  For the record, I prefer emeralds.

Inquiring minds want to know!

~Stephanie


 

One last note:

February’s book is The Seamstress by Sara Tuvel Bernstein.

Please remember if you’re using Amazon Smile to designate The 70273 Project as your charity of choice and they will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Join in or skip this month and pick it back up in March.

Feel free to PM me with title suggestions.  I don’t know if this heading up the book club is a 12 month gig or mine until I cry “uncle”, but I’ll try to incorporate someone’s book suggestions here and there throughout.

I’ll post an EVENT when we’ll do a pulse check on where everyone’s at with February’s book.

And last, even if you haven’t finished January’s book, you can still comment on the posts.

Happy reading!!

 

Quilts at Durham Cathedral

a quilt made of pairs of red x's sewn onto a white background hands in Durham Cathedral

Today, January 27, is Holocaust Remembrance Day
– a day chosen because it marks the anniversary
of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white background fabric are displayed in Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background are draped over pews in Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background are on display at Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white background fabric are on display at Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

At Durham Cathedral,
it is being observed with a display of quilts
of The 70273 Project.
You saw some of them yesterday.

Thank you, Margaret Jackson, for the photos.

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

A Holocaust Remembrance Day service was held,
and throughout the day,
students and adults stopped
to commemorate others
by making blocks.

a woman wearing a shirt identifying her as "police" stands to the left of a man wearing a badge

This Durham police officer and Constable
vow to organize an effort to encourage
Young Cadets to make blocks and quilts.

“Our hope for being a compassionate, caring world
lies with the children.”

~ Tari Vickery

Thank you, Tari Vickery, for these words and these photos.

And thank you Coxhoe Quilters for continuing
to commemorate the 70,273 people we honor
and for all the work you do with children.

Margaret Jackson created The 70273 Project Teacher’s Information Booklet.
Feel free to download and use, along with any other
information on the Resources for Educators page.

Find more about the efforts of Coxhoe Quilters:
here
here
here

This is What Compassion Looks Like

pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

woman holds a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

2 women hold a small quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white and beige background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a background of white and beige

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

at Durham Cathedral

hallway lined with quilts

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white backgrounds

wall filled with quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched onto white background fabric

pairs of red X's stitched to a white background fabric

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white background fabric

a small quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white background fabric hanging on a wall

a wall filled with quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

a wall filled with quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white background fabric

at the Jersey Heritage Museum in the Channel Islands

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white fabric hanging from the ceiling

small quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background fabric

a small quilt made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white fabric

small quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white background fabric

a quilt made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white fabric

huge pairs of red X's stitched to an expanse of white fabric hanging in front of the cathedral in Rochester

quilts hanging from arches in the Rochester Cathedral

a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

a quilt made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn to white background fabric hang in the cathedral

in Rochester Cathedral

There will be many, many more stories and people and photos to come
on the blog and in the newsletter.

SHELF-ISH PURSUITS: Where’s she going with this?

It’s my weekend off and I am up by 3 am thanks, in part, to a wee dachshund’s wee bladder.  We aren’t even going to talk about the Fireball I consumed last night.  No headache, but plenty of sound sleep and snoring (if you believe a dainty dame such as myself actually snores).

Today’s forecast calls for a high in the mid-60s, a welcome change from the cold and wind we’ve experienced over the last several days.  We even had cold temperatures over Christmas which hasn’t happened since I was about eight years old.  A long time ago, indeed.

Today I wanted to touch on something I’ve been getting messaged about.  I assume (yes, I know that’s bad…) that if one person asks, others may feel similarly but haven’t spoken up.

Book selections.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I bet, considering the diversity of our group, that we have very eclectic tastes in reading material.  As I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for cozy mysteries, CJ Box, and the WWII genre (fiction or nonfiction).  I also like romance novels.  Not Fifty Shades, but tawdry to say the least.  I had two coworkers who referred to them as “loin-burners” or “he cupped her breast novels”.  I can’t help it; I’m a sucka for luv!  Point being, we all like what we like and reading something outside of our usual fare can be difficult, if not at times, impossible.  I get that.  If you plunked down anything by Dickens, I’d tell you to take a long walk off a short pier. Yuck.  Same with Hemingway and Ayn Rand.

So why is Stephanie picking *these* books?!

As I said about The Accidental Book Club, we aren’t an accident, but we are a club.  Each of the women are different, have different trials, different coping mechanisms.  That’s us!  Can you see us there?  Can you see people in your life, yourself even, in this story?  Are you Jean?  Was your mom Laura?  Was your dad harried and distant?  Is your child like Bailey?  What do these people make you feel?  With the exception of Bailey, who is still a child, albeit a teenager, I dislike them all and it’s making for difficult reading.  I could quit, but I’m soldiering on!

Some have mentioned they’d prefer all nonfiction, T4 or Holocaust centered; those tomes focused on the disabled; something of a more meaty subject.  I get it.  But there’s only so much I can take before I have to fall back to a no-brainer, quick read.

February’s book, The Seamstress, is meatier and I’m sure it’ll be difficult to digest in spots.  I encourage you, if something in there is simply too much to take, to skip a few pages.  But I picked this one because of the feistiness of the author, her willingness to stand up and say “this isn’t right”.  Now, how willing are you?  If you heard about it or saw it with your own eyes, what would you do?  Would you be shamed into silence; stunned by embarrassment, your face flushing bright red; or would you, like Sara Tuvel Bernstein, say “hell, no!”?  Can we even know until it happens to us?  And isn’t that a scary thought?

I am, with Jeanne’s permission and approval, considering posting articles related to T4 to The Campfire page.  More bite-sized than king-sized, so we aren’t overwhelmed and left wrung out.  Thoughts?

I also intend to continue to flip-flop from lighter to weightier topics, but there will always be some connection from the current book to the what-wases and what-ifs of the WWII era.  Please be on the lookout for those.

As for the discussion of January’s book, I’ll post it as an event probably for next weekend.  I’d like everyone to have a chance to delve into it since I know some of you just got your copy.

I hope all of this makes sense.  If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, please PM me and I’ll get back with ASAP!

Carry on, book dragons!

~Stephanie

 

Quilts Hung at Rochester Cathedral

 

Thank you, Wendy Daws, for this video and to Lucy Horner, 70273 Project Ambassador, and to all those who helped make this magnificence happen.

The quilts will hang in Rochester Cathedral till March 12, 2018.
The Engineer and I will be there on 1/24. If you’re in the vicinity or can get there, I sure would like to meet you. Let me know you’re interested, and I’ll let you know the particulars including what time.

Subscribe to The 70273 Project YouTube channel.

Banners Herald Quilts of The 70273 Project at Rochester Cathedral

While The Engineer and I made our way to Iceland yesterday, this was happening at Rochester Cathedral . .  .

a large table is covered with red and white checked table cloths and on top of the tablecloth is an expanse of white fabric

Photo Description: a large table, covered with red and white checked tablecloths. On top of the tablecloth is an expanse of white fabric, waiting.

a jumble of red X's

Photo Description: A jumble of red X’s with the occasional quilt block (white background with pairs of red X’s)

people bent over stitching red X's onto the white fabric

Photo description: People stitch the red X’s onto the white fabric

women stitching red X's onto white fabric

Photo Description: Women stitch red X’s onto the white fabric

women stitching more red X's onto white cloth background

Photo description: Women stitch red X’s onto the white background

women stitch red X's onto white background cloth

Photo Description: Women stitch red X’s onto the white cloth background

a large red x is stitched onto the white cloth background

Photo Description: One red X is stitched onto the white cloth background. (One down, one to go)

two red X's are stitched onto the white cloth background

Photo Description: Two large red X’s are stitched onto the white background

Two red X's are stitched onto a large white cloth background as women look on

Photo Description: Two red X’s are stitched onto a large white cloth background as women look on

Before:

Rochester Cathedral

Photo Description: Rochester Cathedral as it appeared in the morning

After:

Rochester Cathedral with banners hanging

Photo Description: Banners hanging at Rochester Cathedral

five smiling women who appeared in other photos as they were stitching the red X's to the expansive piece of white fabric

Photo description: Five smiling women who appeared in other photos as they stitched the red X’s to the expanse of white cloth

Artist Wendy Daws (wearing glasses) with her Band of Merry Banner Makers. 

These banners and the quilts will hang in Rochester Cathedral through 3/12/2018. The Engineer and I will be at Rochester Cathedral on 1/24 to see these magnificent banners and the quilts they portend, and I look forward to having an opportunity to thank (and hug) those who commemorated those we honor with such dedication and astonishing beauty. If you want to come put your neck in front of me to be hugged, let me know and I’ll get back to you with the exact time to meet up.

Thank you, Lucy Horner and Wendy Daws for these photos
. . . and so, so, so much more.

~~~~~~~

There’s much more magnificent commemorating to come,
so subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a single thing.
And feel free to share this post as you will.

Upcoming Exhibit in Jersey, Channel Islands

A stone building with a sculpture of a man pulling a chain

From Monday, January 8, 2018 to Saturday, January 27, 2018
this building – TheJersey Heritage Museum
will be filled with quilts made by residents
of Jersey, Channel Islands, U.K.

70273 Project Ambassadors Kim Monins and  Gisele Therezien
have worked tirelessly for more than a year,
hosting block drives, piecing tops,
quilting and finishing quilts.

Gisele and her son, Ed and Kim and her husband, Steve spent all day Sunday, 1/8/2018 hanging the quilts.

and creating information centers to enhance
the experience for visitors.

Go visit if you can.
Treat yourself to what promises to be some amazingly beautiful quilts

and some gorgeous spots of Earth.

Thank you, Kim and Gisele, for all the time, energy, and expertise
you’ve invested in these commemorations
and for taking and sharing such beautiful photos.
I’ll be profiling each individual quilt in future blog posts,
so you might want to subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing.

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