Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Recap: Weeks 70 to 78 (June 12 – August 13, 2017)

Quilt #44 made by the Can’canettes in France

So much water has gone under the bridge since I posted last . . . where to start?

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
~ Prepared and submitted a proposal to be a  Special Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX in November
~ Began a complete web site makeover for The 70273 Project, but what with family issues and commitments and that pesky thing known as the paying job, it is coming along at the speed of cold molasses
~ Applied for an Interactive Booth at the International Quilt Festival (more about this soon)
~ Began dividing up my work into Areas of Responsibilities, streamlining and documenting my systems, and recruiting people to take over leadership of various Areas of Responsibilities. More about that soon, too.
~ Created labels for umpteen quilts

The Temple in Lacaze, Fance

ACCOLADES
~ We were juried in to be a Special Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival. I’ll need help, so be watching for sign-up sheets.
~ At the end of the day of the exhibit, the Mayor of Lacaze informed me of his intention to have a permanent shield created that will become a permanent part of the Temple declaring that The 70273 Project exhibited here.

Judy Jochen at the second Peachtree City Library Block Drive on 8/5/2017

EXHIBITS AND TRAVEL
There has been much travel in the past 8 weeks:
~ June 17 found me in Georgia at the Peachtree City Library for their first block drive. It was a rousing success. Big thanks to Peggy Thomas for being there to help plan and present to Jill Prouty, Library Administrator and Rebecca Watts, Circulation Supervisor for embracing and supporting The 70273 Project.
~
The Engineer and I  were in France for in France from June 20 to June 27  for the first major European exhibit of The 70273 Project in Lacaze.
~ We visited Nancy June 29 to July 6.
~ On July 5 I was delighted and honored to tell members of the dynamic group known as the  Orlando Modern Quilt Guild (of which I am now a proud dues-paying member, I want you to know) about The 70273 Project.
~ The first Work Day for The 70273 Project at the Peachtree City Library on July 25, and again I thank Peggy Thomas for handling all things sewing-related; Wendy Darling for handling all things non-sewing related; Jill Prouty for letting us use a room; Laurel Alford for coming with her sewing machine to make and attach and amend hanging sleeves then taking some home to work on; Patti Atchley for coming and sewing on labels and taking quilts home to sew on more labels; Leslie Wade for bringing food when she came to help; Joan Veslmid, Mike Ray, and Sherry Stone Blackmon of Keller Williams Realty for showing up to help and learn more; Kelly Blackmon, Adele Klingshirn, Kim Mashburn for helping bundle blocks; and of course to The Engineer for schlepping things to and fro, fro and to. Everybody who came said they left knowing a lot more about The 70273 Project than they did when they arrived . . . which  means, well, there’s something fun coming up in the near future.
~ Peggy Thomas taped and posted the first FB Live for The 70273 Project  at the work day, two of them, actually!
~ The second Peachtree City Library block drive was held on August 5, and again, it was a rousing success. Many people who came and made blocks at the first block drive came back, and many new people came to sew blocks. Peggy Thomas was on hand again, as was Jan Ward from the first block drive and Patti Atchley (from the first work day) to make blocks and help.
~ All around these dates, we’ve been entertaining company or out of town finishing up our daughter’s move, helping her with a yard sale, readying a house to sell, and babysitting in Denver.

Quilt #225 made by Beatrice Dockter (This quilt is so soft, I wanted to sleep under it.)

QUILTS
Just today, I gave out Quilt #226! I don’t have all of them in my hands, but I have many in my hands and more arriving every day. Though it’s possibly an incomplete list, due to the fact that checking in blocks and quilts requires me to be home to fetch them from the post office, thank you to these good people for sending me quilts. If you don’t see your name here, don’t panic. It could very well mean that I simply haven’t had time to open your package and check your quilt in yet.
Esther Muh
Sylvie Corrager
Australian Quilt Association
Jan Stone
Elaine Fields Smith and Amy Castillo (I received 3 quilts from Elaine!)
Members of the Truckee Meadows Quilt Guild
Beatrice Dockter
Margaret Andrews (2 quilts, actually!)
Jane McCarthy
Peggy Thomas
Nan Ryan
Maria Conway
Debra Woods
Members of the Thimbleberry Lovers online quilting group
Kris Phillips and Debra Woods
Sharlene Jespersen
Sarah Lauzon
Alejandrina Pattin

Bundles ready to go

BUNDLES
Thank you to these good people for offering to Piece, Quilt, or both bundles of blocks:
Patti Lapinsky (3 bundles)
Cindy Cavallo (2 bundles)
Michelle Freedman (1 bundle)
Margaret Williams (5 bundles)
Debra Jorbert and Karol Evans (1 bundle)
Mary Sorensen (1 bundle)
Zonetta Glenn and Debra Jolbert (1 bundle)
Laura Brained (1 bundle)
Alejandrina Pattin (1 bundle)

Incoming Week 77

BLOCKS
Thank you to these good people for sending blocks (though the same caveat applies: if you don’t see your name, it could be that I haven’t been home long enough to check your blocks in):
Deborah L. J. MacKinnon (USA)
Suzy Jubin (Switzerland)
Layette Martin (France)
Chantal Sogno (France)
Christine Prades (France)
Marie-Claude Paris (Netherlands)
Nadine Gaudin (France)
Janette Resano (France)
Dominique Bernot (France)
Annie Rimbault (France)
Nicole Dufour (France)
Yolanda Dray (France)
Anonymous
Martine Priarli (France)
Marie Claire Vagnati (France)
Laetitia Brugere (France)
Dominique Deutsch (France)
Danielle Fayet (France)
Claire Schwartz (France)
Christianne Humbert (France)
Chloe Grice (France)
Cecile Dennis (France)
Kellye Rose (USA)
Judy Pirtle (USA)
Susan Getchell (USA)
Alida Palmisano (USA)
Mary Robak (USA)
Kathryn Wagner (Canada)
Emma Suleiman (USA)
Catherine Rozenknop (France)
M. Bonnot (France)
Christine Guillermer (France)
Marie-Jose Perin (France)
Alejandrina Pattin (USA)

BLOCK COUNT
Our current block count is: 19306!
Scroll to the bottom of the screen to see the graph and watch our cylinder as it fills.
And just think: there are still more quilts and blocks to be mailed, checked in and/or fetched from the post office! Give yourselves a hand and please accept my deepest gratitude that you’ve chosen to spent your time and talent commemorating these people who didn’t deserve to die because they are different.

The Quilts at Lacaze Speak Quietly

Andy – The Engineer – created this video minutes after the doors opened. The only sound was the exquisitely appropriate music Cecile Milhau chose for the occasion.  Watch it when you can shut the door on the world for about 2 minutes. Let them speak to you, let them sing you a lullaby. Feel it.

Lacaze, Here We Come

Sunday morning
25 juin 2017
8:30 a.m.

Katell picks us up at our hotel in Albi, France and off we go to Lacaze with Katell behind the wheel and Kristine navigating.

The air is cool

the sun is shining

and the scenery is exquisite.

About an hour later, we round the curve

and we are at Lacaze, greeted with our country’s flag


and a sign to let us and others who will come later
know we are at the right place.



There are tears
at this first hint of the hospitality to come.

~~~~~~~

I will be writing the only way I can right now: in blurts, snippets, and bits – we’ll call them postcards, why don’t we –  that won’t necessarily be presented in chronological order, but as they rise to the surface of my heart. Which means you’ll receive these postcards all out of order, just as if I put a stamp on them and sent them through the postal service. That is how I will tell you about the first major European exhibit in Lacaze, France.

Now if you’d like to know more about The 70273 Project and help commemorate these people who deserved to live, here are some links you might be interested in:
~ making blocks
~ registering quilts
~ making middlings

And if you’d like to read the other postcards from this magical trip, here’s a road map for you:
Under Two Flags

Paris, Day One

Paris Day Two

Toulouse

Paris Again

More Kindness in Paris

“I drive you from airport. It is not much. This is how I contribute to this projet magnifique.”

They speak to each other in rapid-fire French. I can’t even pick out an “une” or a “du” or a “oui” – Chantal Baquin and the landlord to the flat we rent in Paris – so I give up trying and just stand there smiling, nodding when they look at me, hoping that’s appropriate. Suddenly the landlord’s face registers something – what? Surprise? Shock? She rubs each arm with the hand on the other arm and continues looking at me. Her eyes fill with tears. Chantal tells us that she’s just told the landlord why we are in France – for the Lacaze exhibit of The 70273 Project – and the landlord says she gets goosebumps and is very grateful for what we are doing.

They resume talking, and this time the landlord says she is so moved, she is doing something she’s never, ever done before: she insists that she will pick us up at the airport in Orly when we fly back to Paris after the exhibit. We thank her, never thinking about how we will be on our own – no Chantal with us to read and speak for us – trying to find her. We are blissfully stupid about this.

On Monday, the day after the exhibit, we arrive at the airport in Orly a few minutes late, fetch our bags, and head to the 10-minute parking lot – something we know to do because the thoughtful landlord called Chantal the night before and gave her instructions, except she didn’t mention where we find this 10-minute parking lot, and of course we didn’t think to ask till this very minute. I count aloud to ten in French – the only way I know to remember the word for the number ten – then scan signs in search of the word. Not seeing it anywhere, I do the only thing I know to do: I stand in the middle of the sidewalk and turn around and around with my mouth open while my face registers worry. Sure enough, before I complete the second turn, a man stops to ask if he can help us. He’s speaking in French, but I’m sure that’s what he asked. Yes, I’m very sure.

“Dix,” I say to him and hold up 10 fingers because I don’t trust my French, being only 4% fluent according to Duo Lingo.

Through hand gestures, he indicates we must re-enter the airport, walk to the other end, exit the airport, and walk around to the left where we will (eventually) find the 10-minute parking. “Merci beaucoup,” I tell him, and when he smiles, I do a little hop, so excited I am that he understood me.

At least, that’s the way I chose to interpret his smile. It could be my accent. I’m told I  have one.

Though I feel no panic like I think I should, I have no idea what we will do if Madame Landlord has already come and gone – which surely she has because it’s been more than 10 minutes after we asked Chantal to tell her we would be there. We are outside again on the other side of the terminal. I see the word “dix”, and I’m not sure if I’m happier that my French was correct or that we are finally in the right place. I stay with the bags and send Andy to find a car . . . oh no. We have no idea what kind or color car Mme. Landlord drives. There’s nothing to do but move forward, so I stay with the suitcases and tell Andy to go look for the landlord’s face. He is about 20 steps away, when she pulls up to the curb, leaps from her car, and runs towards us. She is sorry she is late and made us wait. I assure her we just got there ourselves. At least that’s what I meant to say. What actually came out of my mouth could be something totally different.

She had water and cups bearing a mid-century plaid. So thoughtful. Such hospitality.

She has a big bottle of water for us in the car, with the cutest paper cups (bearing my favorite mid-century plaid) I’ve ever seen. I am so touched by her hospitality, I surreptitiously save the cup.

She opens the sunroof so we can see better, and I have to tell you it is the most fabulous sunroof I’ve ever seen.

The Paris sky isn’t bad either.

She tells us of things we are passing, giving us a personalized tour. When she gets to The Bee Hotel, she is concerned that we didn’t understand about the bees that were raised on a floor of the hotel, so what does she do? She dials Chantal to ask for the words in English. Yes, she’s that thoughtful.

pairs of X’s everywhere

We get back to the flat, and Madame Landlord insists on helping us get our luggage into the flat. Once that’s done, we thank her again, to which she puts her hand up and tells us through tears, that she is quite moved by The 70273 Project, and picking us up at the airport will be her small contribution to this projet magnifique.

~~~~~~~

Because:
~ we had only one night between arriving home from France and flying to Florida to visit Nancy,
~ we had no internet in Florida,
~ we got home from Florida and left to come to Georgia where we have been working long hours every day,
~ I am still overwhelmed with thoughts, memories, and emotions from the trip to France,
~ there is so much to tell,
~ I am still processing it all
~ and receiving photos,
I will be writing the only way I can right now: in blurts, snippets, and bits – we’ll call them postcards, why don’t we –  that won’t be presented in chronological order, but as they rise to the surface of my heart. Which means you’ll receive these postcards all out of order, just as if I put a stamp on them and sent them through the postal service. That is how I will tell you about the first major European exhibit in Lacaze, France.

Now if you’d like to know more about The 70273 Project and help commemorate these people who deserved to live, here are some links you might be interested in:
~ making blocks
~ registering quilts
~ making middlings

Day Three in France: Toulouse

23 June 2017
Friday

You know when you are greeted with . . .

Tari Vickery and Katell Renon


a carousel

a statue listening intently to a bird,

and a dog so tired from playing that he went to sleep with the ball in his mouth.
(That, or the area is known for its dog-on-dog crime.)
it’s gonna be a day filled with fun and love.
And it is.
It really, really is.

Perhaps it’s because we’re two sleeps away
from The 70273 Project Exhibit at Lacaze, France,
that I spy pairs of X’s throughout Toulouse.

 

(I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Toulouse blue!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glass panels

at the Orly airport

and light through my upside down glass
that made me think of Nancy’s drawings.

There is a sewing shop

the courthouse where Katell and Patrick were wed,

bicycles that made me smile

shades of blue that come with history and story
(I don’t know why the photo is wonky.
Just turn your head or your computer screen
cause I’ve wrestled with it long enough.
I need to go to bed!)

 

and real windows and painted windows on the same home
that make me think how some people behave.

And hearts. Oh my goodness, there are hearts everywhere in Toulouse.

on the sidewalk

and  in patches of moss.

There are hearts that, if you look at them one way,
might resemble roosters

There are teapot hearts that short and stout,
with feet and handles of love
and spew love out into the world through their spout.

And as we head to the parking lot, I spy this tote bag.

Then we close out the day
at the beautiful, comfortable, welcoming home
of Katell and Patrick Renon.
I am one lucky, grateful woman.
Oh yes, yes I am.

I’m also a woman who’s a day behind with posts
because the days are full here
and when night comes, I fall asleep before I hit the bed.
There will be more photos of Paris and Toulouse on
Instagram if you’re interested,
and I promise to do my best to catch up tomorrow,
even though tomorrow is a Very Big Day, you know.

Day Two in France: Paris

Day Two is a day of stories, friendship, quilts, and pairs of X’s . . .

This morning, dear Chantal showed up at our rented flat with the first Friendship Block for The 70273 Project. What is a friendship block, you ask? Well, it’s something I’d planned to wait to tell you about till July 1, but looks like I need to go ahead and tell you now since I’ve got and spilled the beans early.

We’re borrowing a page from the history books and creating Friendship Quilts to raise funds for The 70273 Project. You take a red marker and write your name, using your first name as one of the lines in the red X and your last name as the second line that crosses the first line in the red X. For the other red X, you can write the name of the person you dedicate your block to – maybe an ancestor, a friend, a family member, a student – or maybe you do like Chantal did and make a collaborative friendship block. Ask a friend or loved one or even me to use their name to make the second red X. Then you send the block with a financial donation that will be much appreciated and well used, I promise. If you live in the US, you will also receive a receipt for your income tax report. So that, my friends, is what a Friendship Block is. Friendship blocks will be used only in Friendship quilts, too, by the way, and they will be counted as commemorative blocks.

Our first stop was heaven. Or, as some of you might call it, a fabric shop. But not just any fabric shop. This is the fabric store little girl Chantal visited with her mother, and every time they went, young Chantal secretly wished that this would be the day her mother bought fabric to make a dress just for Chantal instead of another hand-me-down dress she would get when her sister outgrew it.

When I heard that, I knew what I wanted – nay, I knew what I just had to do: buy the fabric for Calder Ray’s sleeping quilt. And I did. Found some beautiful soft fabric in the blue that he loves. And what’s in Chantal’s bag, you might ask? Well, she bought herself some lovely fabric . . . to make herself a dress.

I love everything about this shop . . . the quilted floors,

The doll-size mannequins wearing the most smashing outfits. Chantal says she remembers them being here when she was a little girl coming with a special wish.

Though we took our time looking around, it was eventually time to leave, and let me tell youThe Engineer was sad to leave, too . . . because the store was air conditioned.

We visited the Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement, where Chantal was gracious enough to find shady inclines instead of full sun steps.

There are quilts everywhere in that church . . . at the door, I spy borders.

On the floor, I spy quilts..

On the altar, I spy a quilt.

On the floor, I spy a colorful quilt of stained glass reflections appliquéd onto the floor “blocks”.

In the ancient stained glass, I see a 9-block with much color and intrigue surrounding it.

I fall head-over-heels in love with these modern quilts . . . I mean windows . . . and Chantal and I take a seat in front of them and talk about not just the windows, but Nancy and The 70273 Project and quilting techniques.

In the ceiling, I find two X’s, and I imagine they are red.

And on our exit, I get another view of Paris.

On the nearby multi-function place, I see more X’s that, if you squint your eyes just right, can be red.

In the area where artist have long set up stalls, I spy a blue, white, and red 9-patch.

We enjoy a French pancake breakfast for a late lunch. It was delicious, and there was a heart in my sweet pancake. A heart. That’s what this trip has been filled with.

I wish y’all would look at the bottom of the chairs, something I didn’t see till just now . . . two more X’s.

it was cooler today, in part because of the spectacular clouds, in part because of the constant breeze, and in part because Chantal went out of her way to find shade for us to walk in. And it was another lovely day spent with the darling Chantal who gives us time from her busy schedule. I am so very grateful for that and for all she does to commemorate the 70,273.

Three more sleeps till the first major European exhibit for The 70273 Project. How will I manage to sleep with all the anticipation and excitement? Pfffft. I can sleep on the flight home.

It’s Wednesday So It Must Be Paris!

A pictorial diary of our first day in Paris . . .

The Engineer and The Artist, on the plane!

finally what i dream about: hours and hours of uninterrupted stitching time!

i love this view of Earth

and this one

Though it began in a very stressful adventurous manner, we arrive in Paris on time and even better, so did our luggage!

a heart on the bathroom floor in the Paris airport portends how this trip will unfold and long be remembered

Dear Chantal Baquin meets us at the airport and will spend our time in Paris with us. We are so very lucky to have her!

Chantal’s friend Peter came to drive us from the airport, giving us a tour of the city of Paris on our way. We are lucky to have him, too! Our trip starts with much friendship.

love the chairs in the Paris airport

After leaving the airport, we see . . .

traffic!

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe detail

The Eiffel Tower from afar

The Eiffel Tower up close (It’s much bigger up close!)

The obelisk Napoleon brought from Egypt as a souvenir

A fetching tile mural

Moulin Rouge

The Louvre

The Louvre, old and new

a wall that on the left makes me think of a quilt

Notre Dame

a garden (with an available bench!) near Notre Dame where we rested and watched wedding photos being taken

statues

the siene river

 

It is HOT here in Paris. I glisten all day long. Scroll back up to see my hair at the beginning of the day, now see what it looks like at the end of the day. This, my friends, is the mark of a full and well-enjoyed day!

Under Two Flags

Napkins stitched by French women during World War I

When Germany entered northern France early in World War I, they showed no mercy. The countryside was devastated, and women struggled to survive while the men were off fighting in the war. One way French women put food on the table is through  their stitchery – detailed cross-stitch depictions of soldiers, flags, coats of arms, and other representations of the main Allied forces – that was sold in America through the Society for Employment of Women in France, with all the proceeds going back to the French women and their families.

Excerpts from a June 1916 letter from Mercy Richards Essig (Mrs. Norman Sturgis Essig), 1700 Locust Street, Philadelphia that accompanied some of these items paint a vivid picture of the women’s lives and their efforts at survival: “The women sit inside their houses under fire constantly, and embroider. When a shell is heard on its way they duck into the cellars until it bursts, and then come out again at once. The cellars are all marked—that is[,] the safe ones, with signs pointing to them and telling their capacity. The women who embroider are those whose men—sons, husbands, and fathers are at the front or wounded or killed . . .”

And that’s not all . . .

In 1914, Anne Morgan (daughter of John Pierpoint Morgan) spent a week visiting the Marne battlefields in France, and what she was so horrified by what she saw that she created the Committee for Devastated France (CARD) with offices in New York and chapters across the U.S., all dedicated to raising money to provide relief work in France. Activities of CARD were documented in the weekly bulletin called Under Two Flags. CARD offices were located in Château de Blérancourt that was later restored by Anne Morgan and turned into a museum dedicated to the friendship and cooperation between the France and the United States.

Today, The Engineer and I take a seat in the big chair in the sky and make our way to France where we will enjoy a current-day continuation of the rich, long-standing tradition of French and American women working together in friendship and caring. I can’t wait to call many women I already consider friend Sugar to their face and hug them in real – not digital – hugs. We will laugh together, and no doubt shed a few tears together as we attend the first major European exhibit of The 70273 Project in Lacaze, France on Sunday, June 25, 2017. You can read more about the exhibit and what hundreds of French volunteers did to commemorate another day when the United States and France worked together on the blog of my friend Katell Renon, who has worked tirelessly to coordinate the making and collection of the 55 quilts that will be included in the exhibit. Many have worked with great dedication to make this exhibit happen, and I will introduce you to them throughout the week, I am deeply honored and grateful like you wouldn’t believe to the women of France and to the Association France Patchwork for their dynamism, for their obvious deep feelings about the commemorations we undertake, and for the hospitality and kindness they have already extended. These women don’t dwell in the past, but they don’t forget it either, knowing that forgetting is the first paver in the road to allowing history to repeat itself – something that will not happen on our watch.

I’ve been brushing up on my French, and today I learned how to say “Pinch me”, something I expect I’ll be saying a lot to make sure this is really happening.

I’ll be posting from France here on the blog, on Facebook here and here and here, and on Instagram. I will also be taking lots of photos and gathering lots of stories that I will assemble in a catalogue of the exhibit when I get back to the States – a catalogue that will be available for sale to raise money to ship the quilts to their next destination and ultimately . . . eventually . . .  here to Heartquarters for photographing for the book and preparation for The Great Gathering and Launch.

~~~~~~~

Places to find more information about the rich tradition of French and American women working together:

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/women-in-wwi/introduction

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/women-in-wwi/french-stitchery

https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/american-women-rebuilding-france

Many thanks to the Smithsonian Institute, to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and these people for allowing me to use these images and for doing and sharing the research provided on their web site.

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Week 69: June 9-15, 2017 Recap

Week 69 – up and down the road we went. One night atop the mountain, then it was right back down. Highlights of the week include . . .

EVENTS:
On Saturday, 6/17/17, Peggy Thomas and I held a block drive at the Peachtree City Library in Peachtree City, GA. When Library Administrator Jill Prouty stopped by our booth at Fayette Woman Live last March to hear about The 70273 Project and make a block, she immediately invited us to hold a block drive as part of their summer theme, Build a Better World. We immediately said Yes.

Many blocks were made on Saturday – including blocks from people visiting Peachtree City from China, India, and Australia! Peggy and I proposed to Rebecca Watts, Circulation Supervisor, that they collect blocks throughout the summer and make a Peachtree City Library Quilt in the fall. Rebecca not only agreed, she asked if she could display some Middlings on the ends of the shelves. Guess what I said! Peggy is creating go bags of materials to make blocks, so when you stop by the library to grab your bag or turn in your blocks, take a minute to look at Middlings 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, and 52 made by Margaret Williams (Tucker, GA USA) and Middling #134 made by Maria Conway (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

BLOG POSTS WRITTEN:
Annie Labruyere paid a heartwarming visit to the vocational school Armand Malaise in Charleville-Mezieres, France, and she wrote about it in Episode 1 and Episode 2

Wendy Reed’s involvement in The 70273 Project has grown since she first heard about it. Here’s the latest.

Katell Renon (what would I do without her?) writes about another example of how French and Americans work together with creativity and dedication to ensure that history is not forgotten.

And in case you missed it, Katell writes of the upcoming-won’t-be-long-now First Major European Exhibit of The 70273 Project in Lacaze, France that she and many others have worked tirelessly to bring into being.

DONATIONS RECEIVED:
Frances Holliday Alford – Thank you!

The 70273 Project Quilt 141, made by Debra Woods

BLOCKS & QUILTS RECEIVED:
Quilt 134: Maria Conway: (Argentina) 202 commemorations
Quilt 141: Debra Woods (USA)  (31 commemorations)
Suzy Jubin (Switzerland)
Layette Martin (France)
Chantal Sogno (France)
Christine Prades (France)
Marie-Claude Paris (Netherlands)
Nadine Gaudin (France)
Janette Resano (France)
Dominique Bernot (France)
Annie Rimbault (France)
Nicole Dufour (France)
Yolanda Dray (France)
Martine Priarli (France)
Marie Claire Vagnati (France)
Laetitia Brugere (France)
Dominique Deutsch (France)
Danielle Fayet (France)
Claire Schwartz (France)
Christianne Humbert (France)
Chloe Grice (France)
Cecile Dennis (France)
Anonymous

Which brings our block count to: 18,078! 

Thank y’all for continuing to commemorate, and remember: June is Middling Month (though you can make a Middling any time, of course), so maybe you want to kick the summer off (depending on what part of the world you call Home) by stretching your creative wings.

On we grow as on we sew!

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Quilt #187, a Middling made by Laurie Dunn

The 70273 Project Quilt #187, a Middling made by Laurie Dunn

Laurie writes . . .

“What is a middling?”  I asked. “made from fat quarter size fabric.” (Really–those little bundles tied up at the fabric store unfold?)   A small quilt. Someone shared a picture.  I was getting it. Remember I am not a quilter.  

Quilt #187, a Middling by Laurie Dunn

I cut fabric the required size plus a half inch. I grabbed my embroidery hoop and the spool of red sewing thread I had been using and began to stitch pairs of X’s. Always in pairs. I absent-mindedly follow the curve of the hoop. When it got awkward, I moved the hoop. Continued and removed the hoop. Hmmmm. Looks like a heart, sort of. So I tried to continue the heart idea. XX of various stitches, various sizes. My January project.

I took my thread and my hoop to visit my 91 year old Dad. “Are you going to finish it by Valentine’s Day?” he asked as I was still working on it after his February 3rd birthday. A new deadline.

Jeanne asked me how it felt to make a Middling. I started with trepidation. I am not a quilter. This is taking a lot of time if it is not right. I set it aside, picked it up, took it to work when I watched the grandkids.

Quilt #187, a Middling made by Laurie Dunn

One of the Monthly Mixer challenges was “a picture of the smallest pair of XX you can find.” That somehow gave me the freedom to make very small XX pairs. And that led me to thinking of small individuals – how young were the lives we are remembering. Some of the individuals I work with are adults but are of very small stature for their age. Some of my pairs were prickly, some stout. My pairs marched and meandered . . . is that how “our” individuals entered the gas chambers?

Quilt #187, a Middling by Laurie Dunn

When I got my decidedly wonky heart shape finished, I counted 200 pairs. Then I added 14 more larger ones from fabric – just because that is how many fit. I cut the back and the filling (an old felted waterbed pad – my mother-in-law always used old blankets for batting in her quilts.) I stitched around the edges – pillow case style – a term I learned form fellow participants in The 70273 Project. My plan had been to machine stitch between the rows of pairs of X’s. Around the inside of the heart I went. Then the inside of the inside row. I could not do more, the rows seemed too close together. I sent a picture to Chloe Grice asking if she thought it was “right”. She said to post it, so I did, and y’all (another term I’m learning from this group!), y’all hit “like”. No one said to add more quilting.

Laurie Dunn and Quilt #187, a Middling

Took it to show my dad. He got a big grin. Later on that evening, he suddenly said, “Don’t do any more quilting.” I have always tried to obey my dad.

I keep looking at it, moving it from place to place. I still need to put a sleeve on the back. It is very much like a baby blanket, like a baby I’m not ready to send into the world quite yet.

~~~~~~~

Laurie, your Middling and your words are tender and quite touching. I am moved by the fact that as you say, you are not a quilter, and yet you feel so deeply about the people you work with and the people we commemorate that you simply cut the fabric, thread the needle, and start. You may  have been working on it since January, but you’ll finish it in June, which as you know, is Middling Month! Please hug your dad for me next time you see him, and tell him what I always ask you to tell him: that I thank him for his service and for the daughter who is now my friend.

Would you like to make a Middling? Here are the important things to remember:
~ Middlings are sent to me as finished quilts.
~ finished size is approximately 18″ x 22″ (46cm x 56cm) .
~ The base must be white or slightly off white.
~ The binding is white.
~ Creativity is allowed in that you can create shapes but please, no words, letters, or numbers other than “70273” – and that one number can only be used on Middlings. Individual blocks can have only two red X’s.
~ The two red X’s must be presented as obvious pairs, not as an endless string of red X’s because each pair represents a person commemorated, and that’s what we’re about.
~ The Provenance Form must be completed, signed, and sent as usual – one for each person who helped create the quilt.
~ You must tell me on the Provenance Form how many people you’ve commemorated so I don’t have to stop and count.

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