Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

If You Think Our Hands Are Full . . .



Other places to gather around The 70273 Project water cooler:

Shop with Amazon Smile and support The 70273 Project.

Subscribe to the blog (where all information is shared).

Join the English-speaking Facebook group – our e-campfire – where you can talk to other members of The 70273 Project Tribe.

Join the French-speaking Facebook group – our other e-campfire – where you can chat with other members of The 70273 Project Tribe.

Like the Facebook page where you can check in for frequent updates.

Get folks to help celebrate your birthday by making blocks and/or donating bucks.

Follow the pinterest board for visual information.

Post using #the70273project on Instagram. (Please tag me, too, @whollyjeanne, so I don’t miss anything.)

Tell your friends what you want for your birthday.

And if you haven’t yet made some blocks, perhaps you’d like to put some cloth in your hands and join us.

Or maybe you’d like to gather friends and family, colleagues or students, club or guild members, etc. together and make a group quilt.

Inside Envelope 215: A Story from Rosalie Roberts

Block 6230 Made by Rosalie Roberts 9.5″ x 12.5″

Dear Jeanne,

As I watched the World Series this year, I was really enjoying the challenge of the two teams that had not been to the Series for so long and how the teams had struggled and worked so hard against big odds again to get to that stage. As I have loved the World Series since I was young, I watched each game and most of the pre-game broadcasts to learn more bits of info that I would love to have in my not-so-important storage bin in the back of my brain. Sports is a big addiction for me.

One story caught my attention. One thing you might remember: I have sent in a few blocks in memory of my Aunt Ila Rae Yost. She was born with Spina Bifida. She had a growth in the middle of her back about 3 inches across and one inch thick. It was at her waist level. She was able to walk but with a limp and did not progress in school very well. It was at a time when they did not allow “such people” to go to school. So Grandpa hired a school teacher that lived with them. Eventually, when my grandparents got older, she was put in a school in Idaho and then later into a nursing home in Utah.

In this story relating to the Series . . . the second baseman, Javier Baez for the Chicago Cubs’ sister Noely Baez was eleven months younger than he. She was born with Spina Bifida. They were very good friends growing up, and he took good care of her and played with her a lot. In her case, she was paralyzed from there waist down and was in a wheelchair most of her life. A very beautiful young girl. They looked fun together and with their Mom and Dad. Noel was 21 years old when she died in April 2015. I would like to send this block in her memory. This was very touching to me and close to my heart as I grew up with this. My Aunt Ila Rae was 10 years older than I. We were friends and playmates for a long time and then I outgrew her development level but never my love and concern for her.



Thank you for introducing us to Aunt Ila Rae Yost. Sounds like you were lucky to have her in your life, and vice versa.  ~ Jeanne

Here’s the short link, all ready to copy and paste should you want to share this post:

Week 52 (2/6-12/2017) Recap

And here we are, 52 weeks . . . one year . . . after we started. What a year it has been and what a week it’s been. Without any planning or cajoling on my part, our week 52, my friends, turns out to be the grandmother of all weeks. That’s the way the entire project has gone since I first mashed the “publish” button on 2/14/2016 – an amazing series of astonishments. I’m still feeling behind (only because I am behind!), and we just roll along, keeping The 70273 Project free of stress and angst. Let’s tune into my journal and see what happened in week 52 of The 70273 Project . . .

One morning I walked and breakfasted with Peggy Thomas, who delivered blocks made by her sisters and herself.

Front row, L to R: Robyn Donaldson and moi. Back row, L to R: Lori Banks and Carol Lunsford

On 2/7, I gave a presentation about The 70273 Project to the Mu Chapter ofKappa Kappa Lambda State Kappa Kappa Iota in Fayetteville, GA. They were such a delightful group, and the members, along with one of the young guests, asked such thoughtful and pertinent questions, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

On 2/8, after weeks of needlessly frustrating dealings with doctors’ office staffs, we finally got The Engineer in to let an orthopedic specialist in North Carolina have a look at his finger. Yep, it’s broken. Nope, there’s really nothing they can do.

Theresa and Paddington of itv do some stitching, too

On 2/10, Gisele Therezien was interviewed on itv about The 70273 Project, and the show hosts, Theresa and Paddington, even stitched up a block to commemorate.

Stitching up blocks in the Channel Islands, UK

On 2/11, there was another successful, well-attended stitch-in at St Peter’s Parish Hall in Jersey, Channel Islands UK organised by Kim Monins and Gisele Therezien . People of all ages came by to commemorate.

Carrie Cooper did an excellent interview on BBC Radio with Gisele about the project.  (Note: Once you’ve opened the link, slide on over to about 1:11:07 for to hear the interview.)

Les Amis and their blocks!

Kim Monins paid several visits to Les Amis in Saint Saviour, Jersey and enjoyed making blocks with her new friends. The motto of Les Amis is “Disability does not mean inability.” You know I love that, and I’m sure hoping that Kim will take me to visit Les Amis one day.

On our way out of town to catch a flight to spend time with Calder Ray, we stopped by the post office to mail these bundles::
Quilt 56 to Jackie Batman
Quilt  57 to Margaret Williams
Quilt 58 Margaret Williams
Quilt 59 Margaret Williams
Quilt 60: Margaret Williams
Quilt 61:Denniele Bohannen and Becky Collis
Quilt 62: Kellye Rose
Quilt 63: Kellye Rose
Quilt 64: Kellye Rose
Quilt 65: Kellye Rose
Quilt 66: Margaret Andrews
Quilt 67: Margaret Andrews
Quilt 68: Margaret Andrews
Quilt 69: Angie Abella
Quilt 70: Kris Phillips
More bundles and/or pieced tops will soon be winging their way to Kris Phillips, Kellye Rose, Sandy Martin, Debra Steinmann, and Georgeanne Hawley. And just so you know, there are more bundles where those came from, so if you’re willing to Piece and/or Quilt, please let me know and I’ll hook you right up.

I received word from Brenda Wartalski that Quilt #54 is nearing completion, so I’ll soon be sharing photos and info about that.

When I met Margaret Williams for lunch, she hand delivered the most captivating Middlings:

Quilt 47, Middling 1: 119 pairs of red X’s. Made by Margaret Williams. 17.75” x 21.5” (45.09 cm x 54.6 cm)

Quilt 48, Middling 2: 109 pairs of red X’s. Made by Margaret Williams.        22”  x 18” (56 cm x 46 cm)

Quilt 49, Middling 3: 83 pairs of red X’s. Made by Margaret Williams.          21” x 17” (53 cm x 43 cm)

Quilt 50, Middling 4: 59 pairs of red X’s. Made by Margaret Williams.       21.5” x 17.75” (65 cm x 45 cm)

Quilt 51, Middling 5: 74 pairs of red X’s. Made by Margaret Williams.           21” x 17.75” (53 cm x 45 cm)

Quilt 52, Middling 6: 110 pairs of red X’s. Made by Margaret Williams.        21” x 17” (53 cm x 43 cm)

And remember: for the Middlings, each pair of red X’s (as long as they’re presented as distinct pairs) counts as a block, these pairs will be added into this week’s block count.


Peggy Thomas (GA/USA)
Pat McGregor (MN/USA)
Linda Moore (TX/USA)
Laurie Nash Johnson (GA/USA)
Tonia Ronas Uram (NE/USA)
Barbara Wise (VA/USA)
Carol Soliday (IL/USS)
Diane Dresdner (VA/USA)
Brigitte Gudaer (Belgium)
Nyriam Nexnier (Belgium)
Marianne McCurrach (Belgkum)
Anne Visartoa Bocarne (Belgium)
Martens (Belgium)
Suzanne Baeken (Belgium)
Cooreman Francoise (Belgium)
Dominique Collet (Belgium)
Marie-Louise Hanique=Huylebroeck (Belgium)
Singlele Majo (Belgium)
Scailquin Sylviane (Belgium)
Debongnie harie-France (Belgium)
Quilt 47, Middling 1
Quilt 48, Middling 2
Quilt 49, Middling 3
Quilt 50, Middling 4
Quilt 51, Middling 5
Quilt 52, Middling 6
which brings out official block count to – are you ready for this –8431! Yes,  really. We’ve commemorated eight thousand four hundred and thirty-one people.

Thank y’all from the epicenter of my swelling heart for joining my Big, Fat, Crazy Idea called The 70273 Project, for embracing it with such tenderness and such tenacity. Thank you for being willing to use your needles to pierce the veil allowing consciousness and awareness. I am so very, very honored to stand seam to seam with y’all.

Week 51 (1/30-2/5/2017) Recap

Quilt #22. Blocks made by the middle school students of Catherine Smychych at Snowy Range Academy. Piecing, Quilting, and Finished by Catherine Smychych.

There was all kind of good news in Week 51 . . .

You guessed it – The Engineer and I were out of town on family business, but we did manage to get in three days atop our mountain in western NC.

My mother, class of 1945, was elected to the Fayette County High School Hall of Fame. I am so proud of her.

Good news from our Chantal Baquin: If you are going to l’ Aiguille en Fête ” in Paris, this week end, please stop at FRANCE PATCHWORK ‘ s booth and drop off your blocks ! Thank you very warmly, Catherine Bonte and France Patchwork to be our ” mailbox”.

There’s a new way to make quilts in town: Middlings were introduced. (And let me tell you, the response has been nothing short of phenomenal! If you haven’t started yours yet, I have to ask: What are you waiting for?)

Our monthly mixer for February was released, and this month – thanks to the efforts of Nancy Carroll – there’s a French version, too. If you’re fluent in English and another language and would be willing to translate the monthly prompts, please let me know. (Remember to tag me and use #the70273projectmonthlymixer when posting your photos.)

Quilt #55 assigned to Margaret Andrews!

Quilt #22 from Catherine Symchych and her middle school students at Snowy Range Academy landed in my arms, and she is a real beaut. Catherine and I took photos, and I’ll share those with you real soon. At one point, Catherine thought they were finished with the quilt, but her students weren’t satisfied, so they sat down to make more blocks, winding up with a total of 129 blocks! Thank you Catherine and Middle Schoolers!

Other blocks received were from:
Diane Dresdner (VA/USA)
Pat McGregor (MN/USA)
Linda Moore TX/USA:
Catherine Symchych
Betty Czerwinski (NJ/USA)
Carol Esch (NJ/USA)
Cheryl Kopeck (NC/USA)
Danny Wood (NY/USA)
Joan Katz (CT/USA)
Kellye Rose (MN/USA)
blocks in Quilt 22
bringing our block total to . . . 7652! Isn’t that wonderful? Y’all keep sewing, and we’ll keep growing.

Come on back around in a few hours for our final block count update of the day as we celebrate our first anniversary, giving us the current total of how many blocks have been made in our first year. I’ll be here waiting for you.

Other posts today you might want to take a look at:
Let’s Celebrate
Week 48
Week 49
Week 50

And here’s a short link you can copy and paste here ‘n there as you’d like to share this post:

Week 50 (1/23-29/2017) Recap

Blocks were made in Harrisonville, MO!

Week 50 found The Engineer and me on the road again, back down in GA tending to family business, but that didn’t keep us away from The 70273 Project. Have project, will travel, y’all. Here are a few highlights of week 50 . . .

I developed a new, revised, streamlined quilt reporting system for those working on blocks and turning them into  quilts. I’ll tell you all about it in a blog post real soon (and correct the affected blog posts) in case you’d like to make a group quilt.

L to R: The Engineer, Danny Tate, Bobby Tate

My mother went all-out and hosted a Hewell Family Block-Making Party and Dinner. There was much laughing, stitching, and eating. I’m gonna’ get y’all her recipe for Apple Dumplings. You’re gonna’ love me for that.

Making blocks in Harrisonville, Missouri!

On January 25, 2017,  Denniele Bohannon of Louanna Quilt Design hosted a block-making stitch-in in Harrisonville, Missouri, and there were enough blocks made for Lori East to make two quilts. Thank you, Denniele, Lori, and Missouri! Y’all stay tuned for an illustrated recap about that day soon.

January 27 was not only the 44th anniversary of the day I met The Engineer, it was Holocaust Remembrance Day around the world, and Christine Fitzgerald, Margaret Jackson, Mary Tucker, and other members of The Coxhoe Quilters were out in force, sharing news of The 70273 Project and providing people with information and materials for making blocks. Christine Fitzgerald wrote a poignant piece about some of the children who stopped by Durham Cathedral to hear of The 70273 Project and make blocks.

These creatively generous people sent blocks:
Margaret Williams (GA/USA)
Leni Fleming (CA/USA)
Andy (NC/USA)
Ada (GA/USA)
Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: (NC/USA)
Alison Chambers (GA/USA)
Robin Hewell (GA/USA)
Jerry Hewell (GA/USA)
Robert Hewell Tate (GA/USA)
Ashley Sherman (GA/USA)
C. D. Tate (GA/USA)
Mary Hewell Tate (GA/USA)
bringing our new block count to . . . 7383! Isn’t this wonderful, y’all? I’m so ticked and grateful.

Now remember to check back in about 3 hours for the next updated block count as we celebrate the first anniversary of The 70273 Project. I’ll see you then.

In the meantime, maybe you want to bring yourself up to speed by going:
here for the Let’s Celebrate Our First Year Anniversary Post
then here for week 48
then here for week 49

Week 49 (1/16-22/2017) Recap

The Engineer and The Artist enjoy some pretty spectacular trees . . .

. . . and some inviting doors in Savannah, GA

While The Engineer and I were in Georgia, things continued with The 70273 Project all around the world. Here are a  few highlights of week 49  . . .

The Provenance Form was tweaked and uploaded it throughout the site when I was alerted to a broken link.

I proofed, formatted, and returned the good Teacher’s Packet created by Margaret Jackson. I’ll tell you more about it and make it available to you in an upcoming blog post. Not today, though.

I submitted an article to two magazines: one in Europe and one in the US. Cross your fingers.

In preparation for creating quilt labels, The Engineer and I took photos of quilts received.

Liberate, the Channel Islands’ equality and diversity charity, published a blog post about The 70273 Project. Thank you for your support and encouragement, Liberate!

The Mail Bag, Week 49

Katell Renon presented Quilt 30 from the Ladies in Ariège France, Pieced and Quilted by Kristine from Colomiers, to The 70273 Project.

Margaret Jackson presented Quilt 33 made by members ofThe Coxhoe Quilters – Ann Hewitt, Margaret Jackson, Dawn Kirk Walton, Karen Mitchell, Norma Corner, Christine Fitzgerald, Patricia Harvey, Lesley Shell, Janice Tilbury, and four Anonymous Makers.

A trip to the post office found blocks from these Makers:
Kellye Rose (MN/USA)
Elsie Jane Phillips (QLD/AUS)
and if you add those to the blocks in Quilt 30 and Quilt 33, you’ll see that our block count total rises to . . . 7341!

And we’re not done yet, y’all. Check back in 2-3 hours for the next update and watch that block count grow as we celebrate our first year anniversary here at The 70273 Project.

It’s a multiple post day here at The 70273 Project HEARTquarters, so you might want to start here and follow the post crumbs:
Let’s Celebrate
Then go here for week 48
Week 50


Here’s the short link to make it easier for you to share this post:

Week 48 (1/9-15/2017) Recap

Block 7000 made by Diane Dresdner, 3.5″x 6.5″ = 9 cm x 16.5 cm

Week 48 was a full week that found many people making blocks while I was out of town moving our daughter. I did, however, still manage to get a few things done for and with The 70273 Project . . .

I made a presentation to my cousin’s Methodist Women’s group in Thomaston, Georgia, and I received invitations to do several other presentations in the near future. I’ll tell you more later.

I created two versions of a one-sheet handout for use at exhibits, programs, etc. that explains a little more about The 70273 Project.

I amended information on making quilts information, and updated links, and developed a new block tagging system that goes yet a little bit faster.

Wings of The 70273 (a small piece I made especially for the SAQA Trunk Show made from parts of a toddler boy’s shirt and a toddler girl’s party dress)) was received and sent on tour for three years.

For the first time, The Engineer came out of the post office with the mail in one of those big ole’ sturdy this-is-gonna’-take-two-hands-and-you-better-return-this-to-the-post-office-or-else boxes! Filling the box were blocks from:

Rosalie Roberts (ID/USA)
Kath O’Donnell (Camperdown AUS)
Hannah Holloway and her mom, Laura Wolverton: (IN/USA)
Isabella Holloway and her mom, Laura Wolverton: (IN/USA)
Laura Wolverton: (IN/USA)
Pat LaPierre (ME/USA)
Elender Ballard Akin (GA/USA)
Sharleen Jesperson (FL/USA)
Katie Smith (GA/USA))
Anonymous (GA/USA)
Frances Watson (GA/USA))
Emily Davison (GA/USA)
Gene Johnson (GA/USA)
Anonymous (GA/USA)
Becky Watts (GA/USA)
Glenda Stevens (GA/USA)
Anonymous (GA/USA)
Anonymous (GA/USA)
Anonymous (GA/USA)
Diane Dresdner (VA/USA)
Linda Smith (AZ/USA)
Linda Smith & Tari Vickery (AZ and CA/USA)

bringing out total block count to . . . 7084! Congratulations, y’all. One tenth of the people we commemorate have been, well, commemorated.


Check back in a couple of hours for the next updated block count update on this, our first anniversary.
And if you lose your way, here are links to today’s other posts:
And here are the other posts on  today’s catch-up marathon:
Week 49
Week 50
Here’s a short link to use when sharing this post:

Happy One Year Anniversary

Enjoy a digital cupcake while you read.

One year ago today, I launched The 70273 Project, and thanks to you, it’s been a wonderful, glorious, magnificent year, and I have a few ideas of how we can celebrate . . .

~ Make a block or start a Middling today and post photos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on your blog (using #the70273project and tagging me so I don’t miss it), and when you’re ready to send it to me, be sure to note “One Year Special Edition” on the Provenance Form because special quilts will be made and special exhibits will be staged.

~ Make a donation to help cover shipping materials shipping and postage costs, office supplies, and a host of other necessities by mashing the “donate” button in the sidebar or by writing a check made payable to The 70273 Project, Inc and mailing it to me at POB 994 / Cashiers, NC / 28717.

~ Make it known. Tell people about The 70273 Project. Share posts on Facebook. Post photos in social media. Participate in The 70273 Project Monthly Mixers. Invite people to join the English-speaking Facebook Campfire group. or The French-speaking Facebook group. In fact, what say we get 70,273 people to like The 70273 Project Facebook page and 70,273 photos on Instagram using #the70273project?

Today I’ll be posting here on the blog throughout the day, each post bearing highlights of the past 5 weeks, each a stepping leading us up to the official current block count. (Hint: buckle up!)

If you’re already part of The 70273 Project tribe, thank you.
If you’re not, join us today and help commemorate 70,273 special people.

I’ll see you in about 3 hours with the first update.


Copy and paste the short link to share this post:
And here are the other posts on  today’s catch-up marathon:
Week 48
Week 49
Week 50

Story Time: Block #3771

Block #3771 Made by Margaret Williams

These X’s are made from the seams of a sweatshirt worn by my best friend’s father. He died a few years ago, and I was making a quilt for her mama from his clothing. Mr. Evans was a huge World War II history buff, and he would’ve loved this project.

Do your blocks have a story? Please share.



A Letter from Christine Fitzgerald: Learning from Children

Coxhoe Quilters’ stall for The 70273 Project at Durham Cathedral. Photo by Chrissy Fitzgerald

Dear Jeanne,

As you know, Coxhoe quilt group worked with schoolchildren on Friday 27th January, Holocaust Memorial day, as part of a series of workshops. Three sessions later in the morning and we had a huge pile of blocks made. I must admit I was a little apprehensive about how it would go, and wondered if it was too big an ask to invite the pupils to sew blocks, rather than simply draw with fabric pens, which would have been quicker and easier.

Photo by Chrissy Fitzgerald

How wrong I was. The pupils listened to the excellent talk given by the museum’s fantastic, helpful education team and then when invited to start sewing, simply picked up the materials without hesitation and got stuck in willingly. Seeing the look of concentration on their faces – it was obvious that most of them were unfamiliar with basic techniques – brought a huge lump to my throat,and as another member of our quilt group mentioned, “goosebumps”. The stitches were huge, knots and the technique of threading needles were struggled with, and those who stitched with the squares in their laps were in imminent danger of stitching their clothing along with the blocks.

The material puckered, and I mentioned afterwards to the group that we could “straighten it out”. No, the answer came – leave it as it is: it is their work and we can work the feature into the quilting and piecing afterwards. How right they were; short of securing anything about to fall off, the quality of the work has a beauty to it beyond the finest workmanship.

It was a lesson to me in a number of ways: setting out to help teach on the day, I ended up learning more than I taught from these children. The way they willingly assisted, even though it was clearly out of their comfort zone: the persistance and diligence as they sended the scale and importance of what they were doing: and the value of standing back – except when asked to assist – and allowing the pupils to explore and create without “jumping in” the whole time and correcting. The unique visual impact that was the result of their creations, and is waiting to come together as quilts, is something the group is very excited and honoured to participate in.

The effort put in by everyone on the day to make this a success was overwhelming, and I feel honoured to be working with so many good, lovely, generous people.

As I contemplated the day’s victory over my control freak tendancies, I had a random memory from childhood: running up to my (Irish) mother and auntie, with two knitting needles stuck into what I now realise was just a huge tangle of wool. “LOOK!” I bellowed, “I’m KNITTING!”. My mother and auntie paused in their gossiping session and calmly regarded my, um, attempts. Auntie Pauline switched on her trademark full-beam twinkly smile and delivered her verdict.

Good girl yerself, she said.

I hope to make blocks with many other people this year, and will be taking a hint from that memory; the blocks will be their own creations, and I will help, but will be embracing the full spectrum of the beauty of creative work from all, and simply enjoying the moment.

With very best wishes from the UK,



Dear Chrissy,

The best teachers learn from their students. Thank you for sharing this day with us and for all you and the other Coxhoe Quilters are doing there. May we all be willing to let our child self come out to play more often.

Thank you,



Children of all ages are cordially invited to help commemorate these 70,273 souls by  making blocks and participating in The 70273 Project.

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