Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Week 31 in Review (9/12-9/18 2016)


Another week of goodness at The 70273 Project Heartquarters . . .

Folks continue to pull up a log around The 70273 Project campfire (a.k.a. Facebook group). Some speak English (277 sit around that digital campfire), others speak French (76 sit around that e-campfire), and some (like moi, for example), have s’mores in both digital campfires. Others (currently 757 of them), who must be on diets and thus stay away from s’mores, stop by and “like” our Facebook page. If you haven’t already, won’t you please join one or both of our Facebook groups (you can thank me later cause you’ve never met a more big-hearted, fun, caring group of people) and/or like our Facebook page? And hey, while you’re at it, how ’bout telling all your friends and family and ask them to do the same. Not only will you have a big time in the groups, but we need a big ole’ headcount to demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for potential grants and sponsorships.

As of this week, I’ve heard from people in 87 different countries.

And a drum roll, please . . .
Katell Renon, Chloe Grice, and I have been feverishly working behind the scenes the past several weeks to make something very special happen: Le Projet 70273 en Occitaine! The enthusiasm and dedication of these women and so many others who I’ll be introducing to you as we go along is beyond heartwarming. I’ll be writing a blog post about the exhibit this week, and just wait till you see where it’s going to be held. (Today will be my 7th French lesson, by the way, and according to my “teacher”, I’m now 3% fluent . . . which is a long way to go by next June, but I’ll get as close as I can and hope that the good people of Occitaine will find a way to enjoy my Franglais.) (With a Southern accent, of course.)


Thanks to these who sent blocks to me:
my daughter Alison’s college class (GA, USA)
Kathy Shaw (AL, USA)
Nathalie Toulouse (Quebec, Canada)
Christina Aiton (FL, USA)
Bronca Martine (France)
Margaret Williams (GA, USA)
Catherine Wycliff (IL, USA)
Jill Hagererer (IN, USA)
Debbie Buckner (AZ, USA)
and these who sent blocks to Chloe Grice:
Chloe Grice (France)
Chantal Legein-Kierkhofs (France)
Nicole Dufour (France)
Claire Schwartz (France)

our block count is now 4073!

For all the ways you are involved in The 70273 Project, thank youthank you thank you.


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.
Follow the pinterest board for visual information.
Post using #the70273project on Instagram.
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 together and make a group quilt.

Inside Envelope #35: Eleanor Macmillan


I’ve been quilting since 1983. Mostly traditional quilting, till the last few years; and now, I find myself enjoying the art side of quilting, as well as painting. I’ve taught quilting for many years.


We’ve moved several times over the years, and quilting always proved a huge part in assimilating into our new communities. We winter in Florida, and I’m in a quilt guild and group here, as well as here in Canada. I also belong to the Canadian Quilters Association and  the American Quilters Association.


I’m married to a wonderful supportive husband, Jim, and we have four grown children. One of our children lives in Europe, so we visit there often. On one visit, we went to Prague and visited the Jewish Cemetery. The memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was chilling as were the stories we heard in Budapest.


I’m proud to send three simple blocks. Two were fused and one painted. I believe this is a wonderful tribute and great challenge anyone could and should do. Thank you for leading it.

Eleanor Macmillan


It’s wonderful to meet you, Eleanor. Thank you for being a part of The 70273 Project.

You can find Eleanor on Facebook and on Pinterest.


Other places to find The 70273 Project:
Facebook group, French
Facebook group, English
Facebook page

Week 30 in Review (9/5-9/11 2016)


Why yes, I am late . . . again  . . .


because I was out of town . . . again. This time visiting my cousin, Mary and her husband, Danny, and being treated to four days of trekking down memory lane and playing games and, of course, making blocks. We did two days of back road trips – aren’t they The Most Fun?! – seeing various parts left standing of the old textile mills and hearing the most wonderful stories about life in mill towns and villages. I’ll do a post about that later, but for now, let’s see what’s been happening in The 70273 Project.

I got back to around 3000 emails and over 500 Facebook posts, messages, and comments – isn’t that WONDERFUL?  Such gusto and enthusiasm for The 70273 Project! Blocks are being made. Quilts are being requested. Exhibit venues are being suggested. It’s all good. Real good. Now if you’re one who emailed me or communicated somehow on Facebook and you haven’t yet heard back from me, please don’t interpret my slow response as disinterest because nothing could be further from the truth.  I’ll get to you, I promise. This week finds me on deadline for two articles and a quilt that I’m selling to raise funds for The 70273 Project, so my correspondence time is rather limited, but I’ll get caught up, and in the meantime, Thank you for being such an enthusiastic and involved member of The 70273 Project Brigade.

Thanks to one app and one online program, I am learning and relearning French. (According to the app that sends me an alarm every night at 10 o’clock reminding me that it’s time for my French lesson, I am now 2% fluent in French. Ha.)

We have now been visited by people in 86 different countries. Yes, really.

And thanks to:
Dorothy Gibson  (Kansas, USA)
Greta Wells (Vermont, USA)
Sarah (United Kingdom)
Jan Stone (Missouri, USA)
Christine Escots (France)
Suzanne McCarthy, (Michigan, USA)
Mary Hewell Tate (Georgia, USA)
Danny Tate (Georgia, USA)
The Engineer (Andy Chambers, North Carolina, USA),
our block count is now . . . a cool 3803! Remember that Kitty Sorgen has set our next incremental goal at 5,000 blocks in my hands by 12/31/2016, so stitch on, y’all!

And always, always, always Thank you for all you do to commemorate those who died, celebrate those who live, and educate all who will listen. It’s what we are about here at The 70273 Project.

Berlin Memorial Dedicated to Victims of Aktion T4

BerlinMemorialTo AktionT4Victims

Dedicated in September 2014, this transparent 79 ft (24m) blue-tinted glass wall outside the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall is a memorial to Nazi’s first victims: people – men, women, boys and girls – with disabilities. Before this memorial, Tiergartenstrasse 4, headquarters for Aktion T4 from which physicians systematically murdered patients deemed “unworthy of life”, was marked with only a small plaque.

I might never have known of this memorial had my friend Annabel Barber not posted notice of it on my Facebook timeline today, so thank you, Annabel. As you know, through The 70273 Project, we commemorate the 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people who were murdered under Aktion T4, but various articles on this two-year old memorial cite numbers as high as 200,000 to 300,000.  Why the discrepancy, friends ask me throughout today via messages and emails.

The official lifespan of Aktion T4 is January 1940 to August 1941 (though Hitler backdated the official paperwork to 9/1/1939 to make it look like it was a war-related effort), and in those 20 months, murders of 70,273 disabled people were documented. Even though the T4 program officially and publicly ended and closed up shop in August 1941, murders of disabled people continued till the end of World War II, with many estimating the death count for people with disabilities as high as 200,000 to 300,000. We are commemorating the 70,273 murders that have been documented during the 18-month tenure of the T4 program, not the estimates of how many might have been murdered, though we do most certainly hold all who were murdered under the warped mentality of the German Nazis – gypsies, gays, Jewish people, and people with disabilities – in our hearts, our compassion permeating every stitch of every block in every quilt.

Any number – 70,273; 200,000; 300,000 . . . even 1 – is unfathomable and unacceptable.

In her remarks at the dedication of this memorial, German culture minister Monika Grutters said, “Every human life is worth living. The T4 memorial confronts us today with the harrowing Nazi ideology of presuming life can be measured by ‘usefulness.'”

Through The 70273 Project, we:
~ commemorate the 70,273 who were murdered between January 1940 and August 1941,
~ raise awareness and cherish people with special needs who live among us today,
~ honor and memorialize loved ones who most certainly would’ve received two red X’s were T4 in effect today,
~ educate ourselves and others to make sure that such anatroccity as Aktion T4 never happens again. Ever.

Whether you’re making blocks, piecing quilt tops, quilting quilts, making financial donations, offering to become a sponsor, searching for venues where the quilts can be exhibited, telling others about the project, creating sheets of identifying numbers for me to attach to blocks, organizing a group quilt, sharing posts on Facebook and links to blog posts, and/or raising your hand to help in any other way (see form below), thank you for being part of The 70273 Project cause one thing’s for sure: it wouldn’t happen without you.



You can find The 70273 Project here:
Facebook group, English 
Facebook group, French 
Facebook page


Weeks 28 & 29 in Review (8/22-9/4/2016)


While I was in another state with my 3-month old grandson in my arms, y’all were stitching and typing and reading and talking up a storm. What is happening in The 70273 Project over the past two weeks is so incredibly exciting. I now hear from 84 different countries and continents, and great, exciting plans are being made for blocks, quilts, workshops, exhibits, and other happenings in Europe. There is so much, you might expect more frequent blog posts over the coming few weeks.



On Saturday, 8/27/2016, my daughter-in-law and grandson took me to meet one of our most prolific block makers, Carolyn Katzoff for lunch. Yes, I really did get to call Carolyn “Sugar” to her face! It was so much fun, you just wouldn’t believe. Thank you, Marnie and Calder Ray, for taking me to meet Carolyn. And Carolyn, thank you for taking the time and for all the goodness you bring to The 70273 Project. Oh, and get this: while Carolyn was looking at the quilt I made for my son, Kipp, (you should see the quilts she is making for her granddaughter, Aero, and her daughters-in-law – oh, she has such an eye for colors!) a waiter came through, asked about the quilt, and told us that his wife has just started quilting. So what did I do? What any of you would’ve done: I told him about The 70273 Project, wrote the information down for him, and made him pinky swear to give it to his wife. You just never know when you’re gonna’ run into somebody who might join us.

After auditioning several apps and software programs, I have downloaded an app that will help me learn to speak in French without (too much) embarrassing myself.

Chloe Grice created a sister Facebook group in French for those who are more comfortable speaking, writing, and reading French. Go here to join the English-speaking group . . . here to like the English-speaking Facebook page . . . and here to join the French Facebook group

Quilt 3, Pieced and Quilted by Margaret Williams arrived. I’ll be showing and telling you more about that real soon. In the meantime, you can learn more about Margaret here and here.


And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: The Block Count. Thanks to delightfully decorated envelopes from:
Marti Anderson
Mary Callen
Janat Hillary
Carol Reed
Cameron Tobias
Cecile Denis
Kitty Sorgen
Jillian Urbach
Lucy Urbach
Jill Urbach
Sandra Urbach
Dan Sorgen
Andrew Urbach
Teddy Pruett
Deidre McConathy
MJ Kinman
Deena Sanders
Carolyn Katzoff
Rosalie Roberts
Monica McCarthy
Christina Cromwell
Margaret Wiliams
who sent in a whopping total of 589 blocks, I now have in my possession 3756 blocks! That’s a mere 1244 blocks shy of our next incremental goal set by Kitty Sorgen, our resident coxswain of 5,000 blocks by 12/31/2016. What say we meet that goal long before the end of the year?

We are now on Day 4 of The First The 70273 Project Adventure: Let’s Collaborate. You, Dear Makers, each have 26 more days (postmarked by 9/30/2016) to make and send me up to 50 blocks in the choice of your size (along with your completed Provenance Form, of course. Your blocks will have only one X on them, and I will make the second X. See? You and me, we collaborate. So get your fabric, thread, and needles going and let’s make lots and lots of beautiful blocks together.

Thank you all for everything you are doing to commemorate the 70273 disabled people who died, celebrate those with special needs who live among us today, and educate ourselves and others as a way to make sure such an atrocity as Aktion T4 never happens again. Ever.


And remember, there are more places to find and share The 70273 Project in addition to the ones linked to in the post:
Instagram (be sure to use #the70273project)

Why I Catalogue Every Single Block

Block 1600 made by a student who attends the day program with Nancy

Block 1600
made by a student who attends the day program
with Nancy

You mean to tell me that you’re cataloguing every? single? block? you ask.

Yep, that’s right. I catalogue every single block that is created for The 70273 Project. Everything you put on the Provenance Form and lots, lots more goes into the catalogue entry for each and every block. Even though it would be easier if I didn’t. Even though I would have more time if I didn’t. Even though my dropbox wouldn’t be bulging and costing me extra money if I didn’t. To do all the things I’m about to tell you about (and more that I’ll tell you about as we go along), I need the information on the Provenance Form along with the dimensions and a photo or scanned image of each and every block.  With other countries stepping forward with blocks (Bonjour, France! Hello, New Zealand! Welcome, Morocco and Belgium! Greetings, Canada! Glad you’re here, Columbia! G’day, Australia. How do, United Kingdom! Welcome, y’all. We’re all glad you’re here.) it gets more and more costly to mail blocks to me then to Piecers then to Quilters and back to me. So we’re  busy setting up Gatherers in these continents and countries and asking that Makers and/or Gatherers (whichever they decide or whoever might happen along and volunteer) help me out by emailing scanned images of photos of each block along with the dimensions, so I can add them to our block count and assign them block numbers, which the Gatherers will attach to each block just like I do here. From there, blocks will go to Piecers and Quilters per usual and the Provenance Forms will come back to me with the finished quilts.

So why bother?, you ask. Why can’t you just count them then send them on to be pieced into tops and made into quilts? I’m glad you asked. I’ll tell you . . .

In terms of “right now”, cataloguing each block individually gives me a current block count, which I share with you, dear readers, every Sunday in the Week in Review post. We always know where we stand and are assured that we’re moving forward. (There hasn’t been a single week in the past 6 months that I haven’t received new blocks for The 70273 Project. Thank y’all for that.)




If I didn’t catalogue the blocks, how could I tell you, for example, that Debra Baker Steinmann made these evocative blocks from her mother’s old linens. Writes Debra, “She fought depression for much of her life and would be pleased where these are headed.”

Yes, I keep more than just contact information and block numbers, I keep stories, too. I promise to  tell you about my collecting and filing system one day cause I know there are other systems lovers out there, and besides that, you might very well know something I don’t know that could make my cataloguing life easier.


I also refer back to the information – especially the scanned image and sizing information – when checking, double checking, triple checking information before bundles of blocks head out to our Piecers. (Hold that thought. I’ll tell you more about the bundling process soon.) (Maybe tomorrow, depending on what Calder Ray wants to do.) (He’s my 3 month old grandson. Wait. I forgot to say “adorable.” He’s my adorable 3-month old grandson.  I’m babysitting him this week and next, and as you might imagine, he’s clearly the director of this show, and he may not want to write another blog post tomorrow. We’ll see.)

Soon enough, I’m gonna’ get around to penning some technique posts showing you how different people are making those two red X’s. Photos of and information about the blocks will come in mighty handy for that (and mean that I don’t have to re-create them all by myself.)

It’s also handy to keep track of how many different people have participated in The 70273 Project, how many countries and continents are represented, how many families, schools, organizations are taking part. Information like that is not only interesting and inspiring for us, but sponsors find it interesting, too, and MJ Kinman and I are working on applying for some grants and sponsorships to defray the costs of The 70273 Project. Stay tuned (not tomorrow or next week, even, but soon) for a list of expenses. Postage, you know about, but there are many other expenses you may not have thought of. So if you can think of anybody who might like to be a sponsor or where we might apply for a grant, please let me know.

And the label for each quilt is a sketch of the quilt top showing the block placement and each block’s number, along with a legend giving the name of the Piecer, the Quilter, and each Maker with the identifying block number.

But that’s not all . . .

Down the road,  this information is gonna’ come in mighty handy to do the things that are on My List, things I think you’re gonna’ really enjoy and be proud of – things I can’t tell you about right now because I need to lay a little bit more foundation for them and besides, I don’t want to tell you everything at once. I like to surprise you every now and then. I can, however, tell you this:  part of my vision is to have an online database where y’all, as  members of The 70273 Project Tribe (and even folks who aren’t part of The 70273 Project Tribe, but we’re talking about y’all right now) can come to find your name, your block numbers, which quilts your blocks are in, and from there, where in the world those quilts are  on any given day.

Why on earth do such a tedious, time-consuming thing, you ask? (My goodness, you’re just full of questions today!)

Because it is my deepest, most fervent hope that The 70273 Project is important enough to you, Dear Makers, Piecers, Quilters, Donors, and Sponsors, that years – maybe even decades – from now, you’ll want to take your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren or nieces and nephews to see these quilts. With my whole body, I imagine you standing there, looking, looking, looking to find the block you made with your own two hands and how proud you feel and how proud your family feels knowing that you had a part in commemorating these 70,273 people, in making sure they aren’t forgotten, of doing your part to make sure such an atrocity as the T4 program never, ever happens again. To the deepest part of my bones, I imagine your quiet satisfaction knowing that you, with a piece of cloth and your own two hands, stand shoulder to shoulder with people from all around the world to take a stand against discrimination against disabilities and those who are different.


And those, my friends, are just a few of the reasons I ask for all sorts of information, photos, sizes and catalogue each and every block.  Have more questions? Just holler . . .
Subscribe to the blog (where all information is shared).
Join the Facebook group, our e-campfire, where you can talk to other members of The 70273 Project Tribe.
Like the Facebook page where you can check in for frequent updates.
Follow the pinterest board for visual information.
Post using #the70273project on Instagram.
And if you haven’t yet made some blocks, perhaps you’d like to put some cloth in your hands and join us.

Inside Envelope 64: Bev Haring

Block1198BevHaring3.5x6.5.300dpi copyBlock 1198 made by Bev Haring

I’m Bev Haring, and I’m a fiber artist. Fifteen years ago I retired from the corporate world, and now I spend much of my time making art.

Block1199BevHaring3.5x6.5.300dpi copyBlock 1199 made by Bev Haring

I was introduced to this project by Margaret Blank. She and I came to know each other because we were both serving as Representatives in our respective regions (her’s in Quebec, Canada; mine for CO/UT/WY) for Studio Art Quilts Associates.

During our conversations online, I learned of her project Mark on the Body which deals with her late husband’s Type I Diabetes. She was looking for people to make a little square for part of her project, and I volunteered because there were some similarities between the Type I Diabetes her husband had and the Type II Diabetes my husband has.

When Margaret posted about The 70273 Project, I immediately knew I needed to make some blocks.

Block1200BevHaring3.5x6.5.300dpi copyBlock 1200 made by Bev Haring

Along with my husband’s diabetes, which would have made him one of the 70,273, he had polio as a child and as a result has one leg that has no calf muscle – another reason he would have been one of them. And without him, there would be 3 adult children, 3 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren that simply did not exist.

Block1201BevHaring3.5x6.5.300dpi copyBlock 1201 made by Bev Haring

There are some other interesting coincidences along the way for me – my daughter’s degree is in history and her major focus was Europe in the WWII era. She spent many weekends during her college years meeting with and talking to survivors of the Holocaust. During that time I helped her create a piece of fiber art that was donated to Hillel at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Block1202BevHaring3.5x6.5.300dpi copyBlock 1202 made by Bev Haring

Much of my adult life I have felt a connection to this time and the people that suffered through it. Interestingly, during the time I was working on these blocks, I sent my DNA off to be tested and discovered that I do have a real Jewish connection.


Wow, Bev. That’s interesting that you’ve long felt a special connection to this time period and now find that you have some Jewish ancestry. Many “coincidences” here with your life, your daughter, and The 70273 Project. Thank you for giving your time to be a SAQA  Rep and to making blocks for The 70273 Project. I’m honored and delighted to have you be part of this.

If you’re reading this and would like to join in, here are some stepping stones (links) that might help you find your way:

Specific block information
The Facebook Group
The Facebook Page
The Pinterest Board
A subscription form to blog posts

An Adventure for September 2016: Let’s Collaborate

Block1332NancyChambersJHC6.5x9.5 copyA collaboration block
made by Nancy Chambers and Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Beginning September 2016, I’ll be releasing themes (most will be revealed 10-14 days prior to the starting line) for The 70273 Project – challenges,  as quilters call them (at least here in the States) – Adventures, we’re gonna’ call them. Because we’re spread all over the world, most adventures will spread out over 2 months. Some will be 3. Some might run the course of a single month. You just never know.

To kick things off, I thought we’d do some collaborating.

You – anybody who wants to participate (and you need never have made a block for The 70273 Project before now. This can be how you become part of The 70273 Project.) – and me.

We’ll create a block together. The quilt label will reflect both names, and these blocks will go into their own quilt(s).

September 1 – September 30, 2016. As in you can start making the starter blocks on 9/1/2016, and all blocks being sent to me must be postmarked by 9/30/2016.

Me, I have until the first anniversary (2/14/2017) to finish the collaborations because I’m optimistic and  hoping for an enthusiastically overwhelming response from y’all.

You are the Originator.
I am the Collaborator.
As the Originator, you cut out a base in the size of your choice, lay down one red X in the technique of your choice, complete and sign a Provenance Form, then mail the form and the block base(s) to me. I lay down the second red X in the technique of my choice, and we have ourselves a block for The 70273 Project and a collaboration. A partnership. A duet. And most importantly: another person commemorated.

Each Originator can send me up to 50 blocks.
For those of you who commit to make a certain number of blocks by our next incremental milestone of 12/31/2016 set by Kitty Sorgen, you get 1/2 credit for each block you send as an Originator. Soon enough I’ll be calling for commitments in the Facebook group.

And there you have it – our first Adventure in The 70273 Project. Questions? Ask me here in the comments, send me an email (see envelope icon in upper right-hand sidebar), send me a message on Facebook, post in the Facebook group, post on the Facebook page.

Keep me busy, y’all.



I told you about the Facebook group and page, here are other places of interest for happenings in The 70273 Project:
to the blog so you don’t miss anything. (There’s a lot going on and a lot coming up, let me tell you.)
Follow the Pinterest board.

Week 27 in Review (8/15-8/21 2016)


Week 27 of The 70273 Project seemed to be – without any direction from me and definitely not by design – the week of spreading the word . . .

Many people shared or wrote Facebook posts about The 70273 Project:
Ann Grasso
Pam Patterson
Charles Clifford Brooks
Kimberly Brock
Chloe Grice
Laurie Dunn
to name a few. (If I missed you, please let me know. Sometimes folks forget to tag me or think they’ve tagged me, but it doesn’t take.) (Then there’s the distinct possibility that I forgot to make a note, too.)

Barbara Schaffer wrote a blog post about The 70273 Project. So did Cecile,, who lives over in France. Cecile has already made her block and dropped it off in the post, and I received Barbara’s blocks this past week.

Jackson County, NC (where I live)  is creating a new Directory of Artists, and I got us listed in it. I figure it can’t hurt, might help.

Nancy Fenstermacher invited me to drop off a post on her Facebook page, Bakers at Red Lion. Thank you, Nancy!

I know you’re busy making blocks and piecing and quilting and I thank you big for that. And if you’re on Facebook, might you please take a minute periodically to post about The 70273 Project and tag either the group or the page? Or maybe you’ll share a blog post or a post somebody else made on Facebook. Perhaps you’d like to write a post about The 70273 Project or have me write one for you and become your guest blogger, just let me know. However you get the word out, thank you. This is a grass roots effort, that’s for sure, and the way it grows is with everybody telling somebody else.

Thanks to the generosity of folks like Linda Smith, Michelle Banton, Frances Holliday Alford, Phyllis Hendricks, and MariAnn Stephanelli, I was able to pay the submission fees for The 70273 Project: Quilt 1 to be in two upcoming quilt shows: one in Asheville, NC (9/30-10/2), and the Smoky Mountain Splendor quilt show in Franklin, NC (9/22-24). We live close enough that I can deliver and pick up the quilt, so no postage was required. Plus I’ll admit to being a little bit nervous about letting these go. It’s like children going off to college – thrilled and at the same time scared to death to let them go.

Our Monday Morsel was contributed by our Julie Weller . . .
A Good Fight
I once watched a movie on the last years of Martin Luther King Jr’s life not was an excellent movie that taught me a lot. The best “take away” I had was a quote by one of MLK’s close advisors. It was: “If you see a gods fight, get in it.”
I absolutely love this quote because it reminds us that some causes are worth taking a risk to fight for the desired outcome. See somebody getting bullied? Join the fight. See somebody getting abused? A kind word and HELP can make all the difference.
Thank you, Julie, for giving us something so positive and good to take us through the week, for reminding us of why we’re gathered here around The 70273 Project campfire. If you’re willing to provide a Monday Morsel – can be a quote, a photo, a short story, a positive thought, whatever – message or email me.


Friday was Bundling Day in The Dissenter’s Chapel & Snug.  Because it’s only the third time I’ve done this, it’s still quite time-consuming – lots of checking, double checking, triple checking, logging in, and stuff, but the good (or at least encouraging) news is that I think I’ve come up with a system that will streamline things, making it more efficient.


Bundles of blocks for Quilts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 went out on Saturday morning. Quilt 6 bundles will light on the front steps of Fran Saperstein. Bundles for Quilts 7 and 8 are  destined for Kitty Sorgen. Quilt 9 bundles are winging their way to Becky Lewis, while blocks for Quilt 10 should be landing in MJ Kinman’s mailbox any time now. A bundle of blocks for Quilt 11 is headed straight to Janet Hartje. All are scheduled to arrive today. Our quilt inventory grows and grows – thank y’all for that. If any of you would like to raise your hand to join the P’s and Q’s (Piecers and Quilters), please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with MJ Kinman, our P’s and Q’s Coordinator and she’ll get you all scheduled up.)


Thanks to Barbara Schaffer and Millie Long (who even included a present for Nancy), our block count is now – wait for it – 3167! I’m not kidding – I have 3167 blocks in my studio – so you know what that means: we need a new goal! Kitty Sorgen, our 70273 project coxswain, set us a goal of 3,000 blocks by 9/5/2016, and y’all met it early! Congratulations. And thank you.

Kitty’s new goal? 5,000 blocks by 12/31/2016. Can we do it? Of course we can. As Kitty says, we’ll close out this year with a BANG.

Be sure to come back tomorrow, y’all, cause I have something to tell you. I’m calling it an Adventure, and you . . . well, just come back tomorrow, okay?

If you’ll allow me a personal note . . . this edition of the Week in Review is a day late because this happened:

Yep, I’m in Denver on my first (well, technically my second, but this is my first solo) babysitting gig. Meet Calder Ray, y’all. I’m spending all week with this bunch of awesomeness, folks, popping in and out as I can, so please keep stitching and posting and emailing . . . just expect delays in my response time. (And if there are any typos in this post, it’s his fault.) Thanks for understanding . . . and for being part of The 70273 Project.

Calder Ray’s Standing Invitation


The clock ticks loudly. Time to make that quilt for my soon-to-be born grandchild. I have no idea what I want it to look like – something that doesn’t alarm me cause I usually start with only the vaguest notion of what I want to do. Even on the rare occasion when I do have a detailed, clear idea, it seldom turns out the way I envisioned, creativity being what it is and all. Not knowing the gender or room color, I gather my supplies, selecting colors that tickles my eyes and cloth that satisfies my touch. I trust my Bones.


Ideas and images come to call as I go along. I cut scraps into ovals and send them out to my elves, asking them to get signatures for me. And when the pieces come back, I decide I have to – I just have to – stitch over the autographs to make them more visible, more lasting.


I stitch wherever I am – in the car, on the sofa, in the studio. Sometimes I stitch in the darkness of a hospital room.


and at my niece’s house. (Which reminds me: I need to order them some more bubble juice.)

My 2 year old great nephew is gracious enough to model a monkey for me, something to fill that unexpected bare spot. Once it is stitched, he seems a little under-enthusiastic about my monkey (which indicates his bend towards the more literal-brained side of the family). (Which is all of them except Nancy.) (Though a couple of them seem to be melting a little bit as they go along.)

BirdAndNest1 copy


I stitch the bird and the nest and the flock of birds while at my son’s house. Because all I could hear on the inside was a short tape of things my father-in-law said when I showed him the sketches I made on my first day of drawing class, I decide to cut freehand instead of drawing on the fabric and cutting on the lines. I feel like a proud kindergartner when I show my son the impromptu birds and nest.  I’m not sure he noticed the heart-shaped eggs. They were a last-minute addition. Of course.

(Note: See that autograph just to the right of the top bird on the left in the picture above? That’s Nancy’s signature. And the one to the right of it? That’s my 2-year old great-nephew’s siggie.)


I stitch the trunk (which was originally hanging down below the quilt) and the branches while at my daughter’s house. Oh those branches. What a fit they give all of us – Alison, The Engineer, and me. I lay down fabric for each branch to indicate the different branches of the family tree. But it is too chaotic – too much visual clutter. The three of us grow quite cranky. Nobody knows what to do. Finally, in a Hail Mary foot stomp kind of move, I find enough of the same fabric, fold it over and over again, lay it down on the already-attached branches, and voila! My eyes calm and purr. Each branch now sports a different base and the same top cover. The same, but different. Together, but separate. I like that. And the trunk? It is far too distracting hanging down, so I snip it off and hem it up.


At The Very Last Minute, I add an impromptu gathering of our cats and dogs, sitting in a surprise flower bed. Then I add the invitation . . . When becoming gets too hard, go to the Forest. Maybe this is one time I should’ve printed my words on paper and stitched through the paper cause then I might’ve had room to say “family” forest. Hopefully everybody – and most especially You Know Who – gets the idea.


Finally this happens


and this (oh those Chambers men)

and 3 months later, when they come for a visit here atop the mountain,
this happens while Calder Ray lays on a pallet of 3 quilts made by my grandmother,
his great great grandmother. First we sing our first duet . . .

. . . then one sings and the other dances.
In this neck of the woods, we call that a Hootenanny.
(And um, about that singing. It’s fairly obvious to everybody
that Alison does not get her talent from me.)



And now the quilt  – Calder Ray’s Standing Invitation – hangs in his room.
Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
(Note the wall color – ha!)
Everybody calls him Calder, but I’m Southern,
and we like double names, so I call him Calder Ray.


And on top of the shelves under the quilt is this blue elephant. I bought it before he was born cause I knew – I just knew – he was gonna’ be a boy. Because so many different colors of dirt and rocks lie between Calder Ray and me, I keep Mr. Blue Elephant filled to the brim with handwritten bedtime notes from me. When he’s old enough to appreciate it, his parents are supposed to pull one out every night when he’s tucked into bed and read it to him. Eventually he’ll be able to read them himself, of course, and I already know things I want to write him when he’s off at college or heading down The aisle. You know I do.

I also have an inkling of another quilt I want to make him. Well, 12 or 15 quilts, actually. One to wrap up in when he is sick. One to wrap up in when he needs fortification. One to lay on for nap time. A quilt to sleep under on Christmas Eve, another for Valentine’s Day (also my birthday, so that one will have to be special), his birthday quilt, a New Year’s quilt, a First Day of School quilt, and a big, anytime/anywhere quilt that will remind him of the special sauce I’ve already begun whispering to him every chance I get:

You are kind.
You are funny.
You are smart.
You are creative.

This quilt I can already see.

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