The 70273 Project

with a side of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Search results: "middling" (page 1 of 4)

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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Quilt #179, a Middling Made by Cindy Cavallo

The 70,273 Project Quilt #179 made by Cindy Cavallo

Dear Jeanne,

My name is Cindy Cavallo. I am a lifetime Reno, Nevada resident. I retired from University of Nevada-Reno in December of 2012, where I was an instructor of Interior Design for 11.5 years. I taught Residential Design, Housing, and Textiles, with Textiles being my first love. I learned of The 70,273 Project from my Quilt Guild – Truckee Meadows Quilters. I’ve been quilting on and off for the last 25 years. I’ve made many quilts, tried many blocks, and left many project unfinished out of lack of importance. I’ve wanted to “quilt with a purpose” for several years now, and The 70,273 Project seemed to speak straight to my heart!

One of the most moving experiences of my life was a trip to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C. I’m honored to be a part of this amazing movement – the remembrance of those whose lives were randomly cut so short. I think of what the world truly lost and imagine if the Steven Hawkings, Helen Kellers, the FDRs and Kim Peeks of the world were taken early – where would the world be today without their gifts?

The 70,273 Project Quilt #179, detail

My Middling (18.5″ x 22″) was made and finished in April of 2017 with fabrics from my stash. In my twenties I traveled to Europe. I collected fabrics and ribbons from France and Belgium, those are included in my quilt. The backing and some ribbon are from my mother’s collection. She passed at the age of 95 in 2015, and working with her things was a sweet reminder of her and learning to sew as a youngster on her old Singer! I wanted to use some traditional techniques (flying geese) and modern advancements of dye cutting fonts to recognize individuals. 33 lives are commemorated in all – each with love and the deepest respect.  

The 70,273 Project Quilt #179, detail

I honor family and friends who suffer from physical and mental diseases and realize they, too, would have most likely received the dreaded XX. Their love and compassion, not to mention individual talents, would have been taken from us. The very thought! Education is the only remedy for such atrocities. I want everyone to remember the past so we don’t repeat this mistake made by calloused individuals. I thank you for taking on the creation, responsibility, and the monumental task of The 70,273 Project. 

Kindest regards,

Cindy

~~~~~~~

Cindy, thank your beautiful Middling and for your touching words. I can’t tell you how many time a day I think what a big empty hole would be in my life were there no Nancy. It’s unfathomable, really. I look forward to our paths crossing in person one day so I can call you Sugar to your face. xo

~~~~~~~

Would you like to make a Middling?
Would you like to make blocks?
Would you like to Piece a top or Quilt a quilt or both? Just let me know.

Quilt 169, a Middling by Margaret Andrews

The 70273 Project Quilt 169, a Middling by Margaret Andrews. 16.5″ x 22.5″. May 2017.

The base material is the fabric that is used for soles of footed pjs. That reminds me of the security we have, but that was denied the 70,273 victims. The lace along the left border is from my bedroom curtains, and represents the security (again), and the comforts of home, for me, and for the perpetrators of the injustices committed against the victims. I also chose these materials, along with the red wool felt for the larger pairs of Xs for the textural interest, thinking of those with visual impairment. Both the columns of red Xs ending in ❌❌ outlined teardrops and the quilting represent the tears of those of us involved in The 70,273 Project, as well as tears of the family members over the loss of their loved ones.

This Middling contains 440 pairs of Xs, representing 440 lives lost in this atrocity.

~~~~~~~

Thank you, Margaret. Your beautiful stitched commemorations are made even more beautiful by your words.

June is Middling Month in The 70273 Project. Join us?

June: Middling Month

The 70273 Project Quilt 52, a Middling made by Margaret Williams, 110 people commemorated

Y’all probably remember that on February 1, 2017, I introduced The 70273 Project Middling Quilts, and now – today, June 1, 2017 – I’m declaring June as Middling Month.

The 70273 Project Quilt 134, a Middling by Maria Conway. This is the Middling in progress. I’ll show you the finished Middling soon.

If you’ve been thinking about making a Middling, this is a good time to get started. If you’ve been meaning to get that Middling finished, this is a good time to get it finished. If you’re looking for a goal to sink your needle into, this is a good time to decide how many Middlings you want to make and thread your needle. Me, I’m going to make at least two in addition to the 3 I’ve already made. (Truth: I’d love to make one a week – and while I have the fantasy life to do it, I’m trying to be more realistic, so I’ll say 2.) (And hope for more.)

The 70273 Project Tribe Member, Piecer, and Quilter Sharlene Jespersen, stands with The 70273 Project Quilt 1 at QuiltCon in Savannah, February 2017.

Now let’s be clear: this does not mean that Middlings are replacing blocks – not at all, far from it, never gonna’ happen. If you want to keep stitching the original blocks, please do. If you want to receive a bundle (or more!) of blocks to piece and quilt – either or both – please let me know. I have a studio filled with blocks just waiting to be pieced and quilted, and they’d love to come spend the summer with you.

The 70273 Project Quilt 44 made by the Can’canettes in Castres, France

Or if you’re vacationing with family or attending camp or retreats with friends, maybe y’all would like to make a group quilt. That’d be awesome.

The 70273 Project Quilt 34, a Long Skinny made by Gisele Therezien in Jersey, Channel Islands UK

The 70273 Project Quilt 125, a Long Skinny made by Margaret Jackson and her family in the UK

And if you’re inclined to make a Long Skinny, by all means do it, Sugar. I’d love to have more Long Skinnies.

Though important, guidelines for Middlings are kept to a minimum, and you can click right this way to read more about them.

Middlings are now my Am Ex – I never leave home without them. Why do I love them so? Oh, just let me count the ways . . .
~ They fit quite nicely in the smallest of bags
~ It’s easy to pull them out and stitch on them even in the smallest, tightest spaces,
~ In this small piece of cloth there’s plenty of room to spread your creative wings
~ You can commemorate as many people as you like.
Are you convinced? (Say Yes.)

I’ll also be profiling some astoundingly moving Middlings here, so be sure to check back often. Whatever you’re stitching, these Middlings will be kindling to your creative fire, I promise you that. They are astonishing and deeply moving.

How many Middlings do you think we can get made in June? If you’re joining in as a June Middler, leave a comment here on the blog; in the Facebook group or on the Facebook page and let us know. And be sure to send photos as you stitch along to whet our appetite and so we can cheer you on.

Stitch on, y’all, and hey, thanks for helping commemorate these special folks.

~~~~~~~

Important things to remember when making Middlings:
~ Middlings are sent to me as finished quilts.
~ The finished size of a Middling 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. The address is on the form.
~ Indicate on the Provenance Form how many people you’ve commemorated (so I don’t have to stop and count).

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A New Way To Make Blocks and Quilts: Middlings

Remember how I’ve always said that I want quilts of all sizes so we can fit into any venue that will have us? Remember how I’ve always said I want our displays to be a feast for the senses?
Remember how I’ve always said I want viewers to feel the full impact when viewing The 70273 Project quilts?

A Middling Quilt for The 70273 Project made by Margaret Williams

Well now, thanks to an idea seed planted by Lynn Krawczyk, I’m opening up a new way to make not just blocks, but quilts for The 70273 Project. It’s a whole new category of quilts called Middlings, and I asked a few elves to stitch up some to give you some ideas.

A Middling Quilt for The 70273 Project Made by Margaret Williams (GA/USA)

Most guidelines remain in place: background is white or slightly off white, pairs of red X’s, no letters, numbers, words, names, or writing of any other sort to distract from the red X’s, but then . . . Middlings. Here’s what you need to know about making Middlings:

~ Middlings are sent to me as finished quilts.

~ The finished size of a Middling is approximately 18″ x 22″ (46cm x 56cm)  (fat quarter size).

~ 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. The mailing address is on the form.

~ You must tell me on the Provenance Form how many people you’ve commemorated so I don’t have to stop and count.

A Middling Quilt for The 70273 Project made by Margaret Williams (GA/USA)

And are you ready for this? You can also commemorate many more people because as long as the red X’s are presented as easily recognizable pairs, you can commemorate as many people as desired in one Middling quilt. In the quilt above, there are 119 pairs of red X’s which means that Margaret made 119 blocks which means that she commemorated 119 people. Yes, that’s right: each pair of red X’s counts as one block. I’m not kidding.

A Middling Quilt for The 70273 Project Made by Margaret Williams (GA/USA)

Guidelines for Middlings:
~ Background fabric must be white or slightly off white (representing the medical records, the only information assessing physicians used to make their life and death decisions).
~ Red X’s must be presented as easily recognizable pairs because each pair of red X’s represents one person.
~ Using easily identifiable pairs of red X’s, you can make shapes, but no letters, names, words to distract from the double X’s.
~ The only number that can be used is “70273”.
~ An amended Provenance Form includes a space for you to tell me how many pairs of red X’s are on your Middling. We’re gonna’ operate on the honor system, and I’m sure you can figure out why.
~ Finished size of Middlings is about 18″ x 22″ (46cm x 56cm).
~ Bindings or facings (finished edges) must be white.
~ Backing fabric must be white (quilting cotton or bleached muslin is okay).
~ Middlings must come to me completely finished and ready to hang.
~ Middlings need a 4″ hanging sleeve attached to the top of the back.
~ There must be an official 70273 project label on the back of the quilt. When you’ve completed your Middling, contact me, and I’ll create the label for you and send it digitally. You’ll simply print and stitch.

Important note: We are still making blocks and piecing them together to make Big Quilts. This does not replace blocks, it simply provides another option for those who are interested.

A few more Middlings in progress to send you looking for your sketch book:

A Middling for The 70273 Project Being Made by Maria Conway (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

A Middling in the making by Gisele Therezien (Channel Islands, UK)

Gisele writes: Prepping my Middlings background from a vintage doily & the edge of an old embroidered sheet donated by Mum which originally was part of her wedding trousseau 59 years ago, also have some vintage red lace which may fit in nicely. So we see that when it comes to stories and layers of meaning, size doesn’t matter.

Over the next several months, I’ll be revealing at least 3 more ways to make quilts for The 70273 Project over the next several months, so be sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out.

Your homework:
Tell others about The 70273 Project.
Subscribe.
Start sketching!

~~~~~~~

UPDATE 2/2/2017:

Good clarification questions, asked and answered:

Q: Is it ok to have cream color in the background?
A: Yes, provided there’s some white and no other colors. Think of the creme/off white as an accent.

Q: Is it ok to have a textured background in cream or white i see that too?
A: Yes.

Q: i see that the middlings are finished with top quilting also
which requires batting. Can we do that too and what thickness of batting?
A: Yes, use batting. Doesn’t matter what kind, though most folks are using the 80/20 mix. You can find a little more about that on the Information for Piecers and Quilters page. Batting can also be a piece of cotton flannel or a piece of muslin.

Q: Also what is the seam allowance for the larger size?
A: Just so long as the finished size is about 18″ x 22″ (46cm x 56cm),  the seam allowance is up to you.

Q: Also i see a heart design out of the x’s which i love. So am i free to make any shape as long as it signifies pairs of x’s On white Or cream?
A: Yes! Isn’t that fun? You can use pairs of red X’s to make shapes, just remember that the red X’s must be stitched in pairs, so be sure to leave space between each pair like Margaret did, and no words, names, or letters. Only the number “70273” can be used.

Q: Can the red x’s just be on whole cloth or do they still need to be pieced?
A: The background of Middlings can be whole cloth or pieced, your preference, it just has to be about 18″ x 22″ (46cm x 56cm) when finished.

Q: How will you catalog these?
A: Each pair of red X’s = one block (so be sure to tell me on the Provenance Form how many pairs are on your Middling) and my database is set up so that one block = one entry. That is, I must enter each block (or in this case paris of red X’s) separately. Here’s how the Middling process will go:

1. You make a middling
2. When finished, you email me this information: the total number of people commemorated; the finished size; when it was completed (month/year); and your name as you want it to appear on the quilt label.
3. I assign a quilt number, design the label and email it back to you.
4. You print and attach the label.
5. You send the Middling to me, with a Provenance Form (even if you’ve already completed one) telling me how many “blocks” (or pairs of red X’s) are on the Middling.
6. I enter each pair as a block (to update the block count and keep my records straight), giving you credit for each one. So you get credit for those “blocks” and for the Middling quilt itself.
Q: Do I need to complete a Provenance Form for each Middling, even if you already have a Provenance Form on file for me because I’ve sent you blocks?
A: Yes. I need a Provenance Form completed, signed, and sent with each Middling. If you send me 3 Middlings, I’ll need a Provenance Form pinned (safety pins, please) to each Middling because I’ve added the space for you to tell me how many blocks, or in this case, pairs of red X’s, are in each Middling. It will help me so much if I don’t have to count every pair of red X’s, so thank you for taking the time to do this.

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Endings

It’s Sunday, 05 November 2017.
Nobody applauds when the announcer declares the 2017 International Quilt Festival over.

Queen Becky gives us a lesson in how to fold the quilts,
how to roll and twist the tissue paper,
and where to place it to prevent creases when the quilts are folded.
She is an excellent teacher from whom I learn an awful lot.

The quilts and all who had a hand in creating them are treated with respect.
A clean sheet is placed between the quilts and the floor,

and everyone who touches the quilts wears clean, white gloves.

Sean and David Rusidill (Caroline’s amazingly polite and fun to be with sons), Judy Jochen,
and Shannon Timberlake join in the take down and store effort.

The Engineer (Andy) takes quilts off the walls, and
Linda Moore and Peggy Thomas (sisters) fold and box quilts as they come down.

Caroline Rudisill checks quilts off the inventory list

as they go into the boxes.

It would not have happened with out Peggy Thomas

and Tari Vickery,
both seen here in The 70273 Project Interactive Booth
where people took home 1000 block kits,
left financial donations, and made Friendship Blocks.

Peggy Thomas and Tari Vickery (The 70273 Project Ambassadors)
– what would I . . . what would The 70273 Project . . . do without them?

Mary Green, Ambassador for The 70273 Project
(seen here in front of her beautiful Middling made with beads)
worked in the Interactive Booth, as did . . .

Cindy Cavallo, Ambassador

Caroline Rudisill, Ambassador

Frances Alford, Ambassador
and folks whose photos must be on somebody else’s phone:
Elaine Smith, Ambassador
Linda Moore, Ambassador
Judy Jochen, Ambassador,
Shannon Timberlake.

Thank you all for making the effort not just to get to the Festival,
but to share your time with The 70273 Project. I am grateful beyond description.

Thank you to Queen Becky, who hung The 70273 Project quilts
in the Special Exhibit, making us look so good . . .

to Rose (she teaches special education) who helped hang quilts in the Interactive Booth . . .

to Becky who, because of health issues, wasn’t able to be at the Festival,
but for months and months before the Festival,  donned her best patience and wit
to guide me through the process,
even taking the time to call me on the phone
with the good news that The 70273 Project had been selected
as a Special Exhibit when she could’ve just sent an email.

to Deann who was on-site, always calm and patient and thorough in her answers and instructions,

to Terri, whose laugh never faded throughout the entire five days

to the people back home who assembled The Go Block Bags
(all 1000 bags were taken!) . . .

 to all y’all who weren’t there in person,
but were most definitely there in spirit – sharing posts,
telling others, sending encouraging, appreciative message, emails, and comments –

and to The Engineer . . .  Andy
the man who has unwaveringly honored
our vision and vow of togetherness
for 44 years now . . .

THANK YOU.

It definitely takes a village, and we have a village made of the  kindest,
most compassionate, smiling, big-hearted people I ever dreamed existed.


All good things must come to an end, and the International Quilt Festival is no exception.
Looking at the photos of empty walls now, I see visual foreshadowing . . .

We get home and take our elder Corgi Phoebe up the mountain on Wednesday,
cooking all her favorite foods and putting them in front of her,
sitting on the floor with her, petting her, talking to her, loving her.
She wants to go outside every 2 minutes or so as though she can’t make up her mind.
She stands over her water bowl as though it’s familiar,
but she’s forgotten what she’s supposed to do with it.

A business trip on Thursday, and on Friday, it’s time to make The Hard Decision.

As we wait on Jeff (our vet, friend, and well, extended family member),
a man comes in and walks right over to Phoebe who would ordinarily
be glad to see him because she has always known that everybody wants to pet her.
This man does want to pet her,
but today Phoebe doesn’t even raise her head
or look up at him.

We are ushered not into the usual exam room,
but into a more spacious room with colorful padded chairs.
There’s even a doggie bed . . . pink.
I know why we are here
– shoot, I’m the one who called Jeff and told him why we wanted to come –
and yet I am unable to let go of the hope,
that Jeff will enter to announce that an IV of fluids
and maybe 2 weeks of antibiotics and our Phoebe will be good as new.

That’s not what happens.

I sit on the floor with Phoebe.
She stands near the door,
and I ask her to move
for fear someone will smack her hard
when they don’t see her standing there.

She makes laps around the room,
walking in circles that take her
in front of the examining table,
in front of Andy,
in front of me,
then back by the examining table.
Around and around and around she goes.
Mindlessly.
Endlessly.

Jeff takes her out to put the catheter in,
and when he brings her back,
she’s content to lay on the bed she’s been avoiding.

We all sit on the floor now.
As Jeff administers the sedative/anti-anxiety drug,
I tell stories that start with “Remember when . . . “.

As Jeff administers the narcotic,
we each lay a hand on Phoebe
and send steady streams of love to her
through our touch.

The precious four-legged soul called Phoebe
who gifted us with her presence
breathes her last breath
to the sound of laughter and love.

From the high of the Special Exhibit at IQF
to the lows of witnessing the life of a member of our family come to a close,
life is a roller coaster, and we have been in the front seat.

Day 2 of the International Quilt Festival

The line is even bigger today, though there’s a Celebration Parade for the Houston Astros right outside our doors in just a few hours. Here are a few of the most amazing people I had the honor to met today. Wish I could had taken photos of every single one of them.

Tari Vickery and Peggy Thomas sure don’t look as tired as I’m sure they are. They’re in charge of The 70273 Project interactive booth where people are making blocks.

Susan Wynne and Elaine Smith came by. Elaine is also helping in the Interactive Booth, where she has one of the Middlings she’s made on display.

Sue Warby from the UK offered to be a 70273 Project Ambassador!

Stephanie Brown Bowen is a hoot and a holler. She’s also an angel who swooped back through the booth later in the day and quietly handed me a bottle of water as I talked to other people about The 70273 Project. Last night, she joined our Facebook Campfire, which I’m means our chats are about to get livelier!

Sheila Bishop and Tori Benz-Hillstrom are friends with our Kitty Sorgen and Kris Phillips (who pieced the quilt we’re standing in front of) and Trish Lehman and so many more members of The 70273 Project Tribe!

I finally got to meet the delightful and talented Nan Ryan live and in person! She lives in a community where my in-laws lived for many years before they died, and she found out about The 70273 Project in an interesting round-about kind of way and jumped right on it. I was going down to meet her a month or so ago, but Hurricane Irma was a party pooper.

Kathleen Kashmire from Eureka, California made blocks in the Interactive Booth.

Lois-Scheiter dropped off a block and a donation (Thank you, Lois!) then happened back through several times to bolster me with her bright smile and blown kisses.

Helen Jordan is a polio survivor from Glasgow, Scotland.

Andra Steemkamp from Nambia stopped by to learn more about The 70273 Project, so maybe we’ll soon have our first blocks from Africa.

Meg Cox was one of the first people I met yesterday, and she is a real dynamo. I enjoyed talking to her as much as I enjoyed looking at her jacket.

Jacqueline Bonner stopped us on the way in to say how powerful she found The 70273 Project Exhibit. Her ex mother-in-law was going to teach her to quilt, but Jacqueline didn’t want to learn then. She got ready to learn, but only after her mother-in-law died. Jacqueline’s grandmother made quilt and clothes by hand.

This is Marie Ange (center) and her friend. Marie Ange is from France and she hopes to meet Chantal Baquin and maybe Katell Renon when she’s there next week.

Christine Treweck owns the Delbrook Quilt Company in New Zealand. Her daughter died at age 5 from disabilities she sustained as a result of an infection she contracted. I so enjoyed meeting her daughter through Christine’s stories – and there were more smiles and chuckles than tears because her daughter’s joy shown right through the stories – like how her daughter would blow kisses and sign “I love you” to the person who performed painful medical procedures on her as she left the room.

Meet Cheryl Johnston and Jan Tarbox.

Anabel  Ebersol made some of the wind chimes that are exquisitely hung just in front of The 70273 Project Special Exhibit. Very appropriate, don’t you think? Kudos to Festival Special Exhibit organizers and planners.

Hilary Jordan, Barbara Tyo, and Melinda Ashby were in the exhibit when I arrived (I got there early, they got there earlier.) Hilary sells Aurafil thread. Just sayin’. Just hopin’.

The Engineer (Andy) is a real trooper, y’all. I am so lucky to have a husband who wholeheartedly supports The 70273 Project in every way imaginable. Yesterday, we fell into a pattern (not by design) where he would tell people the story about The 70273 Project then they would come tell me their stories. It made for an amazing day.

For The 70273 Project to be a Special Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival is an honor, y’all, and I am humbled and fueled by the conversations I have, the love notes that people leave me on our table, by the stories folks share with me. The Engineer and I haven’t left the booth once because every single minute someone is there, and we don’t want to miss a single person. To all y’all who have come by or will come by, to all y’all who are sending good energy from far away, thank you.

~~~~~~~

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.

 

Day 1 of the International Quilt Festival

As we cruise to the front of the massive line (to give us time to get ready to greet our visitors) waiting to gain entry to Day One of the International Quilt Festival, a security guard stops me to say, “I love your project. It is the most meaningful project here for me because my dad was a pilot in World War II and spent years in a German prison camp.”

As we get to our Special Exhibits, in comes a text from our son telling me that he’s thinking of me and loves me along with a text from our daughter saying I’m proud of you and love you. Always a grand way to start a day. 

The next person I see is Day Brightener Kathee Colman, whom you met yesterday when she stopped by with Patricia A. Montgomery. Kathee gives me my start-the-day-off hug and checked by throughout the day to give hugs of support and encouragement and offer to fetch  me water. From here, my day is filled with stories and hugs and smiles and tears from the likes of . . .

Libby Wares and Peggy Conklin from Florida (I met them when I presented
The 70273 Project to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild last July.

Cindy Cavallo (We’re standing in front of her gorgeous Middling that’s hanging in the Special Exhibit.) An active member of The 70273 Project Tribe,
Cindy also spent the day at the project’s interactive booth.

Sharron Evans

Rose

Patty Spiller

Jennifer (daughter), Susan (mother), and Belinda (daughter).
Susan works with people like Nancy who lives in group homes.
Jennifer promises to take The 70273 Project
back to her school’s art design classes.

Jennifer (niece) and Jan (aunt) – my Bathroom Girls, I call them because when I  exited the bathroom, they were waiting on me. “I saw you go in,” Jennifer said, ” and I told Jan, ‘There’s the two red X woman.’ We are captivated by what we’ve read,
and we want to know more about the project.” Of course I told them about it, and true to their word, they stopped by later for a visit with the quilts and me.

And there were the most delightful fifth grade students and teachers who came by to view the quilts and ask projects. They’re from the Pearland, TX Independent School District, and I’m very excited that they want the students to Skype with me later AND they’re going to incorporate The 70273 Project into their curriculum. It’s something they apparently do every year – have the students research something then quilt it. The students were engaged, asked the most thoughtful questions, and showed keen observation skills.
It was a little spot of heaven as I stood there talking to them, remembering
why I so enjoyed teaching fourth graders.
I’m looking forward to hearing from and talking with them more.

Quilting Rock Star Bonnie Bobman came by, and oh the outside-the-box talk we did have.

While Bonnie and I were talking, Quilter Rock Star Pauling Salzman happened by for a chat.

Meet Gilda Hamilton and 2017 IQA Award Winner Pat Connally.

All the while The Engineer and I talk with hundreds and hundreds of people in the Special Exhibit, Peggy Thomas, Cindy Cavallo, and Tari Vickery woman our Interactive Booth in aisle 100, telling more people about the project and inviting them to make Friendship Blocks that Cindy has graciously offered to turn into a Festival 2017 quilt.

Visitors commemorate.

“For the sensitivity and the love
For the memory and the knowledge
For all with two
Whoever was taken and whoever lives”

The lovely Evy Styliara penned these words in Greek in her friendship block.
More tears.

Right next door to the interactive booth, Siege Leland with
the Houston Quilt Guild teaches people how to Quilt and quilt with a purpose.

And that’s not all. Across The Pond, Wendy Daws and members of the Kent Association for the Blind and their guide dogs are making tactile blocks and quilts that will fill Rochester Cathedral come January. Photos sent by Wendy and taken by LadyBird Day.

Peggy, The Engineer, and I close out this magical day with our one meal of the day and stories. Y’all know I’m an optimist if I wear all white and drink chocolate martinis, right?

So many stories to tuck away in my heart. So much heartspeak (my name for tears). So much goodness and wonder and compassion and kindness is happening here, y’all. I didn’t get a photo of Robin Moore, but remind me to tell you that story one day because she is a treasure. And there’s so many more that I didn’t get photos of – just know that you’re now permanently a part of my heart, and I look forward to hearing from you as you become part of The 70273 Project Tribe. This is an amazing experience, y’all. There are no words, except Thank you.

~~~~~~~

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.

The Morning After Preview Day of the International Quilt Festival

I told you I’d post every night –  I lied – that was the promise of a woman who’s a virgin who’s at the International Quilt Festival for the first time. So we’ll shift into Plan B where I post the morning after.

“You’re the two red X woman,” she says. “I want to know how you came up with the idea.” This is how the day started, and this is Jeanne with Queen Becky. She hung our exhibit – she made us look GOOD.

I overhear her say, “I’m Sherri Lipman McCauley, and I’m here to work at the SAQA booth.”
“Hey, Sherri of SAQA,” I said from across the way. “I’m Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, and I’m a member of SAQA, too. Thank you for being here to keep he booth open.”

“OH, you’re the two red X woman,” she rather exclaimed as she spies my name tag.  After that there are hugs and tears and stories. When she was 12 years old, she and her sister babysat for a man who had numbers printed on his wrist.  “Don’t you ever ask him about those number,” her mother admonished them before they went on their first babysitting gig.” Now she knows why.

 

Andy, Peggy Thomas, and I work to set up The 70273 Project Interactive Booth #150. The Engineer prepares the thread caddies we’ll be selling to raise money for the project. Each thread caddie is designed and handmade by the talented wood artist Heather Muse, and a generous 40% of the proceeds benefit The 70273 Project. I’ll be posting an order form as soon as I have a minute. Till then, you can just message me and let me know to hold one for you. And if you have an idea of something we could sell or do as a fundraiser, let me know that, too.

Queen Becky, Rose Williams, and Peggy hang quilts in The 70273 Project Interactive Booth #150. Queen Becky and Rose (who taught special ed) marvel at the different pairs of red X’s in the quilt made by members of Kitty Sorgen’s family.

Positively Peggy Thomas in The 70273 Project Interactive Booth #150.

Booth #150. None of us has ever been to Festival before, and while we may not know what we’re doing and how to best represent The 70273 Project, we know where our hearts are, and we let them guide us.

The equally effervescent Tari Vickery arrives in the afternoon, and soon after, we whisk her away to see the Special Exhibit. Here we see her standing in front of a Middling made by Katell Renon.

Early in the project, Robin Woods sent not just blocks but a handwritten note about potential marketing avenues, and finally we meet in person. What a treat, a delight, a font of helpful information she is!

I meet these two fun, charming women before I had the good and useful idea to snap photos of name tags. If you see yourself here, please let me know your names.

It takes a while before Ricka Neuman and I can talk through the tears.

Meet Beth Conlin and Kendra Carroll, Quilt Angels extraordinare. “We want to get up close to the quilt,” they told me, “and touch it because WE CAN.”
I am so grateful to have them close by.

Oh my goodness the conversation Lynea from Utah, Sharon from Calgary, and I enjoy. Sharon has a long, full career of working with people with all sorts of special needs, and it’s obvious that she loves what she does. I hope that families who get to work with her how lucky they are. When I tell them about Nancy, Lynea (whose mother took the name from a steamy French novel she was reading at the time) walked away, and when she comes back, she has tears streaming down her face. Turns out she, too, has a sister named Nancy who is also 57 years old and who has mental development issues.

Gloria, seen here in the red shirt, looks at the Middling made by Chantal Trouillot, sees the tiny scroll curled up in the upper righthand corner, and says, “That makes me think of the Torah.” So many people see something in these quilts that I’d never considered. I’ll tell you later.

Sandy (white shirt) is married to Bill who, as a result of contracting polio when he was 18 years old, is paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors told him he would never walk again, but he taught himself how. “He walked with a stiff gate, but he walked,” Sandy tells me, “until he fell so many times that he stretched out something.” And not only did Bill walk, he is a true – as in I’m not kidding – rocket scientist. “He’s brilliant,” Lois tells me, “absolutely brilliant.” Sandy made this astonishing quilt that hands in the booth behind and Lois (from Alabama) quilted it.

Sue Harrison, who lives in Durham, Kent, UK, came by and I show her the Middling (top) made by Margaret Jackson, who’s an Ambassador for The 70273 Project in – say it with me – Durham, Kent, UK.

“I sent blocks in, and she wrote me a thank you note,” Bunnie Jordan of Virginia tells her friends. “Yeah, well, I’m a wee little bit behind on my thank you note writing,” I tell them.

When Patricia A. Montgomery and Kathee Colman come by, they tell me they read about The 70273 Project and were determined to see it tonight. “Thank you,” they each said as they hugged me. When I find out that Patricia (left) made the spectacular Civil Rights coats that are on display, I spontaneously hug her and say, “Thank you.”

Michelle was our last visitor on this glorious night. She says that when her friend, Frances Alford, told her about The 70273 Project, she made sure she got over to see it on the first night. Less than a moment after this picture was snapped, tears flowed from our four eyes. I didn’t get your last name, Michelle, so perhaps you and/or Frances will let me know?

Thank you to all who stop by to share your stories and your reactions. It is an emotional night, with many good tears being shed. Tears of joy and gratitude and compassion. I met so many kind, creative people tonight – my heart swells even more.
It is a night I’ll never, ever forget.

Peggy, The Engineer, and I enjoy a pizza and a drink afterwards as we swap stories and bask in the afterglow of a night well spent and much enjoyed.

As we walk back to the hotel, we find ourselves totally caught up in the celebration of the Houston Astros winning the World Series. There was much whooping and hollering and horns honking – even from me (well, not the horn part) – and I wrote baseball off umpteen years ago when the Atlanta Braves players decided multi-million dollar salaries weren’t enough for them and went on strike without giving a nanosecond thought about the people who depend on the considerably smaller amounts of money they make selling hot dogs and beer and cleaning up after games. That wasn’t forgotten, but the celebratory joy was, indeed, infectious.

~~~~~~~

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 Minis

 

A Mini Made by Cindy Cavallo

A Mini made by Kim Monins, Jersey, Channel Islands U.K.

Just in time for #GlobalBlockDay and Blockapalooza, a new way to make quilts: fabric postcards which will be called Mini Quilts or Minis for short. The spark for this idea goes to Jennifer Lario Moya who tucked the cutest mug rug into a batch of blocks, and one thing led to another, and here we are talking about how to make Minis.

A Mini made by Pam Patterson

To keep things creative to make and visually interesting to look at, there are some familiar guidelines/rules and some new guidelines/rules:

  • Minis must be made of fabric.
  • Minis are 6″ x 4″ / 15cm x 19cm – that is 6″/15cm wide x 4″/10cm tall. Think landscape or horizontal orientation.
  • Minis must have 3 layers: a top, stiff middle; backing. Top and backing must be fabric.
  • The top must be of white or slightly off white background.
  • Backing fabric can be whatever you choose, though many of the samples made by veteran postcard makers feature a light colored backing fabric so it can be made to look like a postcard.
  • Include as many pairs of red X’s as you like on the front of the Mini, but they must be presented in pairs, just like in Middlings, and each pair of red X’s will be considered a commemoration.
  • You must tell me on the Provenance Form how many pairs are in each Mini. You may send one Provenance Form with a batch of as many Mini Quilts as you want to create, and each Mini Quilt must have a note attached telling me the number of commemorations (pairs of red X’s) on that particular Mini.
  • Please no words, numbers, names, drawings, or symbols, etc. on the front – only pairs of red X’s.
  • Feel free to write a note or a favorite quote or make a drawing on the back, but say it with me: not on the front.
  • Embellishments (beads, lace, ribbons, textured fabrics etc.) are welcomed.
  • Edges must be finished in red or white.
  • If mailing them as postcards, check with your local post office for mailing regulations. (See notes below for more info.)
  • Even if you mail them in envelopes, please get the Minis hand canceled so that when they’re displayed, viewers can see how far they traveled.
  • Remember that the backs will often be displayed, so don’t write anything (like your address) you don’t want the world to see.

Another Mini made by Pam Patterson

Minis Made by Jennifer Lario Moya

PLANNING COMMITTEE
Thank you and thank you big to these people for teaching me about fabric postcards, making samples, and helping me figure out how to turn them in to Minis for The 70273 Project:
Betty Hedrick
Carolyn Katzoff
Chantal Baquin
Janet Hartje
Jennifer Lario Moya
Kim Monins
LindaMarie Davinroy Smith
Margaret Andrews
Marjorie Holme
Pam Patterson
Suzanne McCarthy

From Pam Patterson

From Pam Patterson

From Kim Monins

From Cindy Cavallo

MAILING

  • Just mailed my postcards. Because they are fabric, the postal service was going to treat them as a parcel and put one of those ugly stickers all across it, even after I specified “hand cancellation”. After I said WAIT! the post lady did not apply the sticker. I explained to her I needed it to really be handcancelled (stamped with a stamper.) Since the post office rules did not allow that, we came up with a plan for her to handcancel the fabric and then mail all three postcards in a mailer. It cost $3 and something cents to mail all three that way. Mission accomplished. ~ Pam Patterson
  • The US post office will mail postcards without envelopes only if they’re thinner than 1/4″. ~ Marjorie Holme
  • I don’t know a lot about the French Post Office, I probably wouldn’t send it  except inside an envelope. ~ Chantal Baquin
  • Fabric postcards are an art form in themselves. postal art. That has gone thru the post in a normal way, with a PO cancelled stamp. ~ Kim Monins
  • If I put my fabric postcards in a clear envelope, my local post office made me put the stamp on the envelop and wouldn’t take time for hand cancelling. ~ Janet Hartje
  • Clear envelopes protect any embellishments like beads etc. I have occasionally mailed in a clear envelope but get thE PO to hand cancel the stamp before sealing it. So it’s ‘legal’ AND looks like it’s made its journey! ~ Kim Monins

A Mini Made by Kitty Sorgen

TECHNIQUE

  • I’ve made a bunch of fabric postcards. As long as it’s less than 1/4″ thick, it mails with regular first class letter postage. I usually use the thick double fusible pellon, like is used for fabric bowls. I fuse plain muslin to the back and draw a traditional postcard back design with half for message and half for address. On the other side I fused my collaged/embroidered/stamped fabric piece. I prefer hand stitching so I usually buttonhole stitched the edges…most people use a machine stitch zigzag over the edge. It’s best to secure any embellishments, like buttons, well. Smaller things can be trapped under a layer of netting or tulle. ~ Marjorie Holme
  • Minis need a tiff middle which can be interfacing, buckram, Pellon or the like. ~ Kim Monins
  • Just as on blocks, red X’s can be painted, embroidered, hand stitched, appliquéd – apply them any way you choose.

I think these Minis will add much visual interest to exhibits, and they will fit into spaces where big quilts won’t. We welcome experienced fabric postcard makers, those who’ve been meaning to make fabric postcards, and those who never thought about it before, but adopt a why-not attitude and dive right in. We welcome Minis and look forward to seeing many of them on social media as you post on 14 October 2017, Global Block Day! If you have anything to add, please leave a comment or email me. And hey, thanks for telling all your friends ’cause I know you’re popular.

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