Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Quilts 44 and 45 Stitched in France

Dear Jeanne,
Not far from Lacaze, where 35 quilts will be displayed for the Project 70273 on June,25th, a group of ladies worked hard to take part in it. Here is their story, enjoy!
Katell

 We are a group of 14 happy quilters, gathering every Tuesday afternoon, some of us for more than 10 years. We used to have the name of our room, called Les Salvages, indeed we rescue sometimes old fabrics! But our new name, les Can’canettes, is a joke with the French name for bobbin (canette) and French cancan. We live near the birth place of the famous painter Toulouse-Lautrec!


We live in a delightful small town called Castres, famous for their houses along the river l’Agout. Last year we made a collective quilt showing this idyllic scene. It is now displayed in the airport Castres-Mazamet.

 We heard about the Project 70273 on Katell’s blog La Ruche des Quilteuses and decided to take part in it. All volunteers decided first to make each 7 blocks, then we were encouraged to make them in two quilts for the exhibition in Lacaze, on June, 25th, 40 minutes away from Castres.

The first one is made of 46 blocks and shows two crosses made of crosses. 8 persons took part in it and one person pieced and quilted it but wishes to remain anonymous. Thank you!

This quilt has Number 44, shows 46 blocks, and measures 1.45 m x 1.38 m.

 The second one is more traditional and shows 56 blocks. Ten persons took part in it and Jo made the top and quilting. It is Number 45 and is 1.12 m x 1.29 m.

 

To sum up our participation, 13 quilters took part in the Project 70273: Yvette DURAND, Carole GIOVANOLLA, Béatrice TAVIRRE, Claudine BIZE, Colette BOUISSET, Dominique MEDARD, Jo DROUET and 6 wish to be anonymous. Our two quilts are here for 102 victims.

 We will be so happy and honored to meet Jeanne HEWELL – CHAMBERS on June 25th in Lacaze! We are very proud to have contributed to this tremendous project.

Jo Drouet

~~~~~~~

Hello Katell, Jo, Yvette, Carole, Beatrice, Claudine, Colette, Dominique, and others! What a fun group you must be – the name of your group makes me chuckle aloud – and how I would love to sit with you stitching on rescued fabric (my favorite). 102 more people are now commemorated thanks to your generous efforts. I am counting down the days till I stand beside you and gaze upon these quilts from your hands and hearts. It will be a fine day, a very fine day. (And it won’t be long now!) Merci beaucoup.

Love,
Jeanne

~~~~~~~

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.

My Performance Evaluation

the performance evaluation I longed for. maybe next time.

My boss (me) calls me in today for my timely performance review and evaluation. It started out on a somewhat positive note, our meeting did . . .

The Boss Me: Well, Sugar, did you have a big time last week with your family at the beach?
The Me Me: I sure did! It was nonstop chaos, and I loved every minute of it. Every single minute. It sure did fly by, though. Would you like to see some photos?
The Boss Me:
 Well, you are so sweet to offer, but I think we have some other things we need to talk about right now.
The Me Me: Okay, shoot.
The Boss Me: First of all, I just want to tell you how excited I still am about The 70273 Project. It has attracted more big-heated, compassionate, caring people than I ever dared dream exist.
The Me Me: Oh my goodness, isn’t that the truth?
The Boss Me: Please don’t interrupt. I get enough of that at home.
The Me Me: Tell me about it. I mean, Yes ma’am.

then things turned rather quickly . . .

The Boss Me: I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear that you’ve been absent far too many days.
The Me Me: I know. Things have been pretty busy since last November, what with company, holidays, illnesses, family needs and issues, Nancy, my computer meltdown, moving our daughter, our family business, travel – hey, I have done some traveling for The 70273 Project – but yeah, you’re right: I’ve been out waaayyy too much. The work is portable, but when I travel, there are people who need or want to see me, and then I get tired and have to go to bed at a reasonable hour like other people because I just can’t pull all-nighters any more and have the brain to put words together to tell about it the next day.
The Boss Me: I’m glad you see it, too. I appreciate that, and I know your life is full – everybody’s is, but we’re talking about you right now.

The Boss Me: You are more weeks behind on your recaps than I can count.
The Me Me: Yes ma’am [because you can never go wrong with good manners]. I would like to point out, though, if I may, that I can’t update the block count when I’m not home to receive the mail, and several weeks ago, my computer had a meltdown, and I lost a lot of project information. I first had to figure out what information was missing (and let me tell you how much fun that was), then I had to set about recreating what was missing.
The Boss Me: And what’s the status of that?
The Me Me: I’m still working on the recreating part. Like most everything I do (or want and need to do), it takes rather large blocks of uninterrupted time . . . something that is nigh near impossible to come by.

The Boss Me: Yes, well, I see that you’re also woefully behind on sending out thank you notes, penning blog posts, creating quilt labels, getting bundles together, completing the web site makeover, and a host of other things. What have you to say about that?
The Me Me: Guilty as charged, and embarrassed more than I can tell you.

The Boss Me: Before I go any further, I’d like to slip on my Enlightened Leader Hat and ask if you’d like to say anything.
The Me Me: Thank you for this opportunity. I, too, am incredibly embarrassed by and weighted down by the unspoken apology of my performance of late. You should see what kind of leader I am on the inside. I’m on time, I’m fun, I’m cheerful and supportive and encouraging. I create automatic responders to emails when I’m going to be out of town; I pen a queue of blog posts that  go out even when I’m not here to mash the publish button; and I never miss a weekly update. I have so many ideas, and I reveal them regularly with complete, easy-to-follow guidelines and instructions. I marvel people with my enthusiasm and attentiveness. My deep gratitude to all who help commemorate to shine through in the way I conduct myself and communicate and lead. On the inside, I am the poster girl for servant leadership. I like that Me the best of all – I want to be her, and I hereby vow to do that.

The Boss Me: I don’t think of anything I can add to that, except to ask when you think you might get started becoming That Kickass Jeanne?
The Me Me: I start tomorrow. Now I have to tell you that it’s unreasonable to think I could promise to be caught up by the end of this week, especially since I fly out on Thursday to celebrate Calder Ray’s first birthday, and I still have all the other responsibilities in the circle called Jeanne’s Life, but I can at least get started tomorrow.

The Boss Me: Okay then. I think our work here is done. I look forward to tomorrow – the first day of becoming That Kickass Jeanne.
The Me Me: Me, too, Sugar. Me, too. Now may I please be excused ’cause That Kickass Jeanne likes to get started on things early, and she has an awful full to do list. (And her bedtime is right around the corner.)

~~~~~~~

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.

Quilt 125: a Long Skinny from Margaret Jackson’s Family

The 70273 Project Quilt 125: 52 lives commemorated. Dimensions: 15 in x 111.75 in / 38 cm x 284 cm

Blocks made by Sharmai and Cheylee

Blocks made by Demi and Alisha

Dear Jeanne,

My son and the children were invited to Sunday Lunch one Sunday in March 2017. This was not an unusual occurrence as they often come for lunch, but on this particular Sunday they found the dining table covered in materials for making blocks for The 70273 Project.

Alisha

They were told, in an age-appropriate way (Alisha was only seven years old at the time) about the project and the plight of the 70,273 people who lost their lives. They all agreed to make as many blocks as they could before lunch was ready. The result was 41 blocks made by my son, Steve, and the children. I added 11 blocks that I had made previously. I then piece and quilted all of the blocks to make Quilt #125.

Three generations of Margaret’s Family

I am so proud of my family, especially my son Steve who lost his wife, Donna, to cancer five years ago. Steve then took on the task of raising not only their two little girls – Alisha, aged 2 and Demi-lea, aged 6 – but also Donna’s four children from her previous relationship.

Donna was only in her thirties when she died; Steve is only in his mid-forties now. Steve has brought these six children through those long, dark days of Donna’s illness and then her death. He is a wonderful father to them all.

The older children are beginning to go out into the world to make their own lives, but they will always have a wonderfully loving home and father to support them when needed.

Love,

Margaret Jackson

~~~

What a lovely and loving family you have, Margaret – I know you are proud of them –  and despite being a Picky Eater of the First Order,  I sure do like what you cooked up for lunch on this particular Sunday in March! What a compassionate man your son, Steve, is – obviously, he was raised Right. Thank y’all for adding another beautiful Long Skinny quilt to The 70273 Project, and thank you for all you’re doing to share The 70273 Project in the UK. Exciting things are percolating across The Pond!

Would you, Dear Reader, like to make a quilt for The 70273 Project? It’s easier than ever, and you have options. You can make a quilt from blocks, you can make a Middling quilt, or you can make  a Long Skinny quilt like Margaret and her family did. You can find the information you need right here. And if you’d like to support The 70273 Project but quilting just isn’t your thing, perhaps you’d like to make a financial contribution by mashing the “Donate” button in the righthand sidebar.

 

 

Blocks and a Story from Annie H

Blocks made by Annie H. who lives in France

Annie H.’s beautiful story in French, then English . . . 

J’ai exercé le métier de préparatrice en pharmacie jusqu’à 55 ans, puis je me suis occupée d’une tante âgée de 93 ans atteinte de la maladie d’Alzheimer, jusqu’à ses 98 ans. Je suis mariée et mère de 3 garçons, grand-mère de 2 petits-enfants. Je suis maintenant à la retraite et j’en profite pour faire toutes ses occupations que je n’avais pas vraiment le temps de pratiquer avant.

Mon hobby de prédilection est le point de croix que je pratique depuis de nombreuses années, mais j’aime aussi beaucoup le crochet, le tricot, la couture, les miniatures au 12ème et… le patchwork. C’est en inscrivant sur le blog de Katell: La Ruche des Quilteuses, que j’ai découvert Le Projet 70273.

J’ai été sensibilisée par ce drame, mais surtout en lisant tous ces témoignages de personnes qui ont des souvenirs personnels de cette époque. Et aussi par toutes celles qui ont dans leurs proches quelqu’un de plus ou moins handicapé, qui aurait été sans aucun doute des victimes de ces monstres.Moi-même, j’ai eu un fort strabisme jusqu’à ce que l’on m’opère à 12 ans, je pense que j’aurais pu avoir droit à mes 2 croix.

Ces blocs représentent pour moi un geste affectueux envers les victimes, et en même temps, la colère à travers les croix rouges pour les “médecins” nazis qui les ont tracées. Ces bourreaux ont les mains ensanglantées, c’est pourquoi l’un de mes blocs comporte une croix faite d’empreintes et l’autre de vernis à ongle rouge symbolisant le sang de la victime. Mes premiers blocs ont laissé place à l’émotion plus qu’au rendement. Les suivants seront plus simples et rapides à faire, pour faire “du nombre”, parce que bien que la mobilisation s’intensifie, il y a encore BEAUCOUP BEAUCOUP à faire pour arriver aux 1100 quilts.

Je suis fière de participer à ce projet, et j’espère qu’à son terme, il fera réfléchir les jeunes générations à ce qu’une minorité d’extrémistes peuvent accomplir en horreurs au nom d’un certain idéal. Ce projet prendra du temps, mais il ne faudra jamais l’abandonner! l’union fait la force, ne l’oublions pas.

Blocks by Annie H., France

And now, in English (with a little help from Google Translate, just so you know) . . . 

I worked as a pharmacy preparer until age 55, and then I took care of a 93-year-old aunt with Alzheimer’s disease, until she was 98 years old. I am married and mother of 3 boys, grandmother of 2 grandchildren. I am now retired and I take the opportunity to do all his work that I did not really have time to practice before.

My favorite hobby is the cross stitch that I have been practicing for many years, but I also love crochet, knitting, sewing, miniatures on the 12th and … patchwork. It is by writing on the blog of Katell: La Ruche des Quilteuses, that I discovered Project 70273.

I was sensitized by this drama, but especially by reading all these testimonies of people who have personal memories of that time. And also by all those who have in their relatives someone more or less handicapped, who would undoubtedly have been the victims of these monsters. Myself, I had a strong strabismus until I was operated at 12 years, I think I could have been entitled to my two crosses.

These blocks represent for me an affectionate gesture towards the victims, and at the same time, anger through the red crosses for the Nazi “doctors” who have traced them. These executioners have their hands bloodied, that’s why one of my blocks has a cross made of prints and the other of red nail varnish symbolizing the blood of the victim. My first blocks have given way to emotion rather than to performance. The next ones will be simpler and quicker to do, to make “of the number”, because although the mobilization intensifies, there is still MUCH MUCH to make to arrive at the 1100 quilts.

I am proud to participate in this project, and I hope that in the end it will make the younger generations reflect on what a minority of extremists can accomplish in horror in the name of a certain ideal. This project will take time, but it should never be abandoned! Union is strength, let us not forget it.

~~~

Thank you, Annie. Your words are every bit as beautiful as your blocks. And you’re right: There is much, much more to do before we’ve commemorated every one of the 70,273 disabled people who were murdered, and we won’t stop stitching until every one of them has been remembered in stitch.

Perhaps you’d like to make blocks, dear readers? Maybe you’d like to request a bundle of blocks for you to piece and quilt? Or maybe you’d like to make your own complete quilt using blocks made by you, your family, your friends. And hey, if you’d like to do something a little different, if you’d like to flex your creative commemorative wings, you can make Middlings or Long Skinnies. (Other ways to make quilts are coming soon, so stay tuned for that.)

Making a Quilt and Registering It with The 70273 Project

Blocks from Australia made by Faye and Elizabeth (Libby) Cook

You’ve made blocks
or maybe your family
or your quilt guild
or your school
or your church
or your club
made blocks.
Would you like to take those blocks and turn them into a quilt for The 70273 Project? You can do that, you know, and the good news is that it’s easier than ever. For a quilt to become an official part of The 70273 Project, it must be registered with me, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, and here’s how you do that:

Once the quilt or even the quilt top is finished, send me the following information:

  • 2 high resolution photos of the full front of the quilt
  • 2-3 high resolution detail photos of the quilt
  • any photos of the blocks and/or quilt being made if you haven’t posted them on social media and tagged me
  • finished dimensions of the quilt
  • month and year the quilt was completed
  • the total number of lives commemorated (blocks) in the quilt
  • the names and country of residence of each person who made blocks used in the quilt
  • the number of blocks each Maker has in the quilt
  • information about dedications if blocks were made in honor or in memory of someone
  • name and country of residence of the person who Pieced the quilt, Quilted the quilt, Finished (binding and hanging sleeve) the quilt
  • a current, working email address of the person who has the quilt in their possession
  • scanned images of all Provenance Forms from people who made blocks for the quilt
  • photos and story bits about the making of the quilt (For example, Where was the quilt made? Was it made at or for a special event? Was any special cloth used in the quilt, such as a tablecloth that belonged to someone special, or baby clothes, or clothing belonging to ancestors)? How did participating in The 70273 Project make people feel? Why did people participate?)

PROVENANCE FORMS

Every one who makes a block that is used in the quilt must complete and sign a Provenance Form. I need scanned copies of every Provenance Form to be sent with the other quilt registration information, and all original Provenance Forms must be mailed to me with the quilt.

QUILT LABELS

Once I receive this information, I will assign the quilt a number, place it in the official 70273 Project database, create and email the quilt label to the person who has the quilt in their possession. That person, or the person of their choosing, will print the quilt label on fabric and hand stitch it to the back of the quilt in the lower left-hand corner. Do not attach the binding over the quilt label. Once the quilt label is attached, please send me a photo of the back of the quilt showing the quilt label.

PROGRESS PHOTOS

Please post photos of quilts in progress in social media, and please be sure to tag me because I keep copies of these photos in each quilt’s registration folder. (See the icons in the upper righthand sidebar for places to find me in social media.) I will not register quilts (which means they will not be an official part of The 70273 Project) I see posted on Facebook unless and until I have received all of the above information.

POSSESSION OF QUILTS

Finished quilts can be mailed to me at the address on the Provenance Form. In the foreseeable future  I will be making arrangements to get all the quilts back to HEARTquarters for taking professional photos and preparing for The Great Gathering and Launch, so any changes in possession of quilts must come through me so that I always know where each quilt is located.

QUILTS THAT ARE ALREADY MADE

If you’ve made a quilt and have not sent me the above required information – if you have not received an official The 70273 Project Quilt Label from me – please send me the information  now, even if you’ve already completed the quilt and attached your own label.

VERY IMPORTANT CLOSING NOTES

  • Now that you’ve read this, do you notice anything? Right! You no longer have to scan and tag each individual block or make the quilt map to show block placement! (You’re welcome.) As long as I have the information requested in this post, we’ll all be just fine.
  • The information on this page applies to any kind of quilts you’re making: Block quilts, Middlings, Long Skinnies, or any of the other ways to make quilts that I’ll be telling you about in the next couple of months.
  • If you are not comfortable enough with technology to take and email photos or to print the label on fabric, promise me you won’t be embarrassed or let that keep you from making a quilt. Simply make your quilt – stitch it full of kindness and compassion – then mail it to me with your Provenance Form, and I’ll take it from there. (The mailing address is on the Provenance Form.)
  • Once your quilt is registered as an official quilt of The 70273 Project, it becomes the property of The 70273 Project, Inc. and will travel the world with the other quilts, fulfilling the three-point purpose of The 70273 Project: commemorating those who died, celebrating those with special needs who live, and educating all who will listen. Thank you for helping me stay organized and have all the information I need on each quilt. For your convenience, I will be adding a copy of this information as a file in the Facebook group. If you have any questions, just holler.  And most especially, thank you for helping commemorate the lives of these 70,273 people.

~~~~~~~

Join us in social media:
Instagram
Facebook group, French
Facebook group, English
Facebook page
Pinterest

Inside Envelope 290: A Quilt Top!

The Engineer and I get out of a meeting early,
so we drop our bags at the hotel and head to Savannah
to visit many of our favorite spots.
First up is what I call The Savannah Hi – do you see it?

Maybe this will help. I call this our Savannah Greeter.

There are the trees. Oh, those trees. They restore my soul.

A surprise rain shower makes amends
by presenting us with a rainbow.

I brought along a new friend
for a photo shoot:  meet The 70273 Project Quilt #138
who arrived with this note attached:

Hi Jeanne,

I am not a quilter, but when I read about your 70,273 project, I knew I wanted to help. I started making blocks of different sizes, and after a while, I put them on the bed to get a visual of what it would look like. Lo and behold, without any adjusting for placement, they came together in a perfect rectangle! I took it as a sign and sewed them together, then added a border. I am forwarding the top for someone, who actually knows what to do next, to finish it. All together, I have commemorated 62 lost lives.

Kathleen K. Carfagno
New Jersey, USA

It was a sign, Kathy, it most definitely was! Thank you for commemorating these 62 lives so beautifully. And what a nice surprise to open an envelope to find an entire quilt top, ready to be finished! So glad and grateful to have you become part of The 70273 Project Tribe.

Now . . .  would any of you dear readers like to raise your hand to finish this or other tops for The 70273 Project? (Oh please say “Yes”!) Or maybe you’d like to piece the tops and quilt them? (Another “Yes”, perhaps?) Whatever your preference, I can set you up! We need to keep making blocks, of course, and it’s time to start turning them into quilts. Let me know if you would like to join the ranks of The 70273 Project Ps and Qs (Piecers and Quilters). And if you’re a member of a quilt guild or have quilty friends, perhaps you’d be so kind as to mention The 70273 Project to them and ask if anybody is interested in helping?

Thank you all for continuing to help commemorate these lives that might otherwise be forgotten. And thank you again, Kathy, for this beautiful quilt top.

~~~~~~~

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.

Quilt #5: Blanchard Valley Center, part 2

MARCH 6, 2017
MONDAY AFTERNOON
Read Part 1 here

Who can forget these faces of students at Blanchard Valley Center on block-making day in 2016?

Some learned to use a sewing machine for the first time

others – like Jordan – is already quite familiar with sewing machines,
using them often to make costumes and clothes for himself and others.

Here we see Jordan in one of his latest creations. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Jordan
because he was out the day I was there, but what fun I had hearing about what he comes up with
and how he’s frequently known to dress teachers in clothes that are more to his liking.

Some drew their two red X’s onto the cloth

others painted

Tanya Weising-Pike, Director of Childrens Services, was one of the first people I heard from after launching The 70273 Project. “I want us to be a part of The 70273 Project,” she wrote. “We will have 100% participation. I’m already gathering supplies to make our blocks.”

And oh what a block making day they did have last year, sending a great big box of blocks that I decided needed to stay together in a quilt made just by hand of the staff and students at Blanchard Valley Center.

The Engineer and Cindy Maag get set up in the gym.

I contacted Tanya earlier this year to ask if The Engineer and I could deliver Quilt #5 to them to be on display for the month of March for Disabilities Awareness Month. Tanya gave my favorite answer: Yes, then introduced me to  Cindy Maag, the Community Relations Manager at Blanchard Valley, who turned a simple quilt delivery into a Very Special Event. It was wonderful, amazing, heartwarming. It was epic.

The suspense builds.

Students and teachers came.
Families came.
Randy Roberts, of The Courier came with his big camera to cover the event for the newspaper.

L to R: Tanya Weising-Pike, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Mayor Lydia Mihalik

Mayor Lydia Mihalik came. (She’s the short one in the beautiful orange jacket.)

Tanya introduced me then called me up to say a few words. Students were running around the gym. Teachers were stepping in front of them to steer them in another direction, but never to make them stop. It was the mild chaos of people being who they are without anybody telling them to be somebody else, and it was wonderful. (Plus I didn’t cough – not even once.)

I told them about The 70273 Project, trying hard not to bust into quiet tears when I looked at the students and imagined how anybody could consider them “useless eaters” or “unworthy of life.” Over and over and over again I said a silent Thank you that we live today where there are places like Blanchard Valley Center and not in 1940 with Aktion T4 constantly lurking and looming.

Quilt #5. Blocks made by students and staff of Blanchard Valley Center. Beautifully, lovingly pieced and quilted  by MJ Kinman.

Finally it was time for what everybody came for: The Big Reveal. I asked (well, actually I told, but since she’s the mayor and since I was raised right, let’s pretend I asked) Lydia and The Engineer to come turn the quilt around. Honestly, I was a little nervous, a little afraid the quilt wouldn’t have the emotional impact the blocks and quilts usually do because this was one quilt in a big gym. I wasted a few minutes of my life that I’ll never get back worrying about that. When the quilt was revealed, there was a moment’s hush as everybody took it all in, the faces registering what was going through their heads, through their hearts. There were tears and smiles in equal measure, and we didn’t rush through this moment, taking time to let it soak in that any one of these students would have received two red X’s at the bottom of their medical records were we to dial back the calendar a few decades.

I fielded some really good questions. Perhaps my Favorite Question of All Time was asked by none other than The Mayor Herself: “What else do you need?” Isn’t that the most fantastic question? After blowing her a kiss, I told them I still need blocks. And people to piece and quilt the blocks. I need people to make quilts from their own blocks or make Middling quilts or Long Skinny quilts. I need people to tell others and encourage them to get involved. I need help getting all the quilts back to HEARTquarters to prepare for The Great Gathering and Launch that’s slowly beginning to take shape in the background. And oh yes, I need financial donations to help cover the growing expenses.

I’m very grateful to Randy Roberts and The Findlay Courier for giving me permission to use this good photo because I was too busy talking to take pictures, something I couldn’t’ve done anyway because I’d already used up every bit of juice in my phone’s battery taking photos all the rest of the day!

Then it was time for people to come up for a closer look at the quilt they made.

Who could forget this photo of her making her block,

and here she is looking for her block in the quilt.

L to R: Cindy Maag, Bobbi Morman, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Tanya Weising-Pike ,and Ali Weising-Pike (who felt good enough to be there, thank goodness, else I wouldn’t’ve gotten to meet her!)

L to R: The Engineer, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Tanya Weising-Pike, and Ali Weising-Pike (They both have blocks in the quilt.)

As the students made their way back to their classes to prepare to go home,
there was nothing left for us to do but take a few more photos,
give and receive a few more hugs,
and turn the truck towards home,
(with another spend-the-night in Kentucky).

The afterglow? Oh it’s still going on, y’all.

~~~~~~~

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.

Quilt #5: Blanchard Valley Center, part 1

If I’ve ever called you “Sugar” to your face, you may have noticed this bracelet adorning my wrist. The symbol is called Sankofa, and it means “go back and retrieve”.  Because my calendar has been consumed with illness and travel, and most importantly because I am now feeling better, I thought we’d spend the next few days looking back and retrieving the stories I didn’t have energy to tell you about till now, beginning with delivering The 70273 Project, Quilt #5 to Blanchard Valley Center in Findlay, Ohio in early March . . .


MARCH 4, 2017
SATURDAY

Boone Tavern and Inn

The doctor assures us we aren’t contagious, though she urges us to stay in bed at least another week – and though, in hindsight, that might’ve been a really good idea, there is no way we will miss seeing our daughter off to Italy on Friday or delivering Quilt #5 to the Blanchard Valley School. So Friday, we peel ourselves off the sofa, grab our barrel full of cough drops, rake the meds into a suitcase and head on down the road. On Saturday, March 4, we sleep as late as coughing will allow then make our way to Berea, Kentucky where we spend the night in the Boone Tavern Inn, one of our favorite places. (Oh, I just thought about this: I bought the sankofa bracelet from some artists in Berea many, many years ago.)

MARCH 5, 2017
SUNDAY

barns: architecture’s workhorses

After a breakfast that includes spoon bread – a staple at Boone’s Tavern – we hit the road again, admiring the countryside and Ohio’s barns, structures I call architecture’s workhorses.

Tanya Weisling-Pyke and her adorable son, Silas

We make it into Findlay, Ohio late afternoon/early evening, where Tanya and Silas meet us for supper. Tanya says Silas acted his age (2) all day, making her a wee little bit nervous about him going to supper with us.

Silas charms Jeanne right off her feet

Now I don’t know what she did with The Daytime Silas and I’m not calling her a liar (I would never), but The Evening Silas I sup with is charming, hospitable, and adorable. Absolutely adorable.

 

MARCH 6, 2017
MONDAY

Tanya Weising-Pike, who’s Director of Childrens Services, kicks the day off by taking The Engineer and me on a tour of Blanchard Valley Center.  Notice anything about the classrooms? Ignore the walkers you see in the second photo, and the children, the teachers, and the classrooms look like any other classroom, any other students, and any other teachers, don’t they? (A note: all photos are taken by me and used with permission.)

This room is set up like a home, and all classes have access to it daily to practice living skills. Which reminds me, how many of y’all think we ought to bring back Home Ec and Shop classes . . . without the dreaded stigma, of course.

Within walking distance is housing for those who can live like Nancy does – independently, but with round-the-clock assistance.

As we walk to the car for the next stop on our tour, we pass the Blanchard Valley Center’s Free Library, painted by Jordan. You’ll hear more about him later.

Next stop is the Kan Du Studio, where local artists – I don’t even know how to say this, y’all. Let’s start over . . . the Kan Du Studio where artists with disabilities work and sell their art right alongside other artists from the community.  Maybe this: The Kan Du Studio where artists with all sorts of different abilities come together to create and sell their art. See what I mean? We need to get to a place where we talk not of abilities and disabilities but of people.

The artists at Kan Du Studio are well-known for stars – for being stars and for making stars.

The local newspaper donated these sheets of metal, and the Kan Du artists turn them into stars that you see everywhere . . .

. . . even in the women’s restroom in the gym.

Oh – and for those of you who sit with me around the The 70273 Project’s digital campfire (a.k.a. the Facebook group) where digital s’mores are served regularly, I want y’all to lookahere what they sell at Kan Du. If you’d like a place around The 70273 Project Campfire, come on over. We’ll make room for you, and I’ll try to steer you to a seat next to somebody who doesn’t tend to hoard their (digital) chocolate or steal yours.

One of the Kan Du artists creates his own world, making towns and everything you’d find in a town, including hamburger joints. He makes the towns by layering piece after piece after piece of paper, gluing the pieces together, and when he’s satisfied, he paints and positions it. He was absent the day we visited . . .  which is the only reason I got a “tour” of his towns cause he kinda’ keeps the proverbial gate around these towns, posting no trespassing signs everywhere by way of snatching pieces away from curious onlookers, and well, trespassers like me.

Tiles at the front door of the Main Street Deli in Findlay, Ohio

The Main Street Deli

Ceiling tiles at the Main Street Deli.

After Kan Du, it’s time for lunch at the Main Street Deli where the owner hires folks who’ve just been released from prison and those who are homeless. Not only do we get some of the best food ever, but the folks who cook it for us and those who serve it to us provide some of the friendliest customer service I’ve had in a long time. There was a good spirit in that little place, and Tanya says that the owner has never been disappointed by the people she hires.

Our stomachs full and our faces smiling, it’s time to head back to campus for the great unveiling of Quilt #5. Come back by tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about it. Click right this way for part 2 of our time with the folks at Blanchard Valley Cnter.

~~~~~~~

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.

Making Blocks in Stephenville, Texas

Now listen: I know y’all are making plans for your weekend, so I want to tell you about this . . . if any of y’all are gonna’ be in the vicinity of Stephenville, Texas (or feel like taking a road trip), get yourselves over to The Stephenville Native & Heirloom Plant Sale where you can do more than shop for plants. Elaine Fields Smith and Pam Patterson will be there, for example, with materials ready to make blocks for The 70273 Project. Children of all ages are welcomed to stop by, and they have a good plan that doesn’t require much time or any stitching: they’re asking people to “fingerprint” the two red X’s . . . and I’m more than pretty sure they’ll have wipes on hand to whisk any lingering red paint right off your fingers.

Many thanks to Elaine and Pam for taking The 70273 Project Campfire to what promises to be an entertaining, informative event.

Feel free to share this post (or the one on my Facebook timeline) and make some people happy who might not have heard about this fun day.

~~~~~~~

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

Inside Envelope #255: Kellye Rose

Blocks made by Kellye Rose

My name is Kellye Rose, and I live in Burnsville, Minnesota. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life. Growing up, I received quilts from a set of “farm wife” aunts who lived in Nebraska and gifted all the nieces and nephews with quilts for major events. I have sewn my whole life (off and on), but only started quilting in 2013. I have since made 31 quilts. I have a Master’s degree in Strategy and Sustainability, and an semi-retired after working in Corporate America (airline industry) for 20 years

Kellye Rose

I am drawn to The 70273 Project for a number of reasons:
~ the commemoration aspect
~ the exposure aspect – to create visibility and awareness that people with mental/physical challenges are valued people, and to REMIND people how this horrible stuff could creep into our world again if we aren’t vigilant.
~ I can envision (somewhat) how amazing these exhibits will look when completed, and I want to be a small part of it.

Thank you for having the idea and for following this path!

Let me know if I can help with piecing.

Kellye Rose

~~~~~~~

Kellye, first of all, 31 quilts in four years is phenomenal! And for the record, you are not a small part of The 70273 Project, you are a big part of it, and I am deeply delighted and grateful. I mailed you three bundles of blocks on my way out of town last Saturday (hopefully they’ve landed), and I can’t wait to see what you do with them. If any of you, Dear Readers, want to volunteer to quilt 1, 2, or all 3 of Kellye’s tops, please let me know. Thank you for being part of The 70273 Project Tribe, Kellye.

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