Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Search results: "middling" (page 1 of 3)

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) .

~ 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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Blocks Being Made Around the World

More block drives, y’all . . .

Susan Luff sends photos from today’s Block Drive and Workshop for The 70273 Project organised by Edina Geering and held in Culverstone Community Centre in Meopham. “An amazing amount of love has gone into making all these blocks – it was a pleasure to be able to help,” writes Susan. “It was also quite chilling and surreal as I was sewing today to imagine that I was sewing someone’s life.”

 

 

 

L to R: Susan and Edina

Our Edina fell and dislocated her toe, leaving her foot a colorful array of bruises. She will be at The Great British Sewing Bee tomorrow as scheduled, but she needs help, so if you’re going, please consider volunteering your time for at least a little while.

The amazing, dynamic Lucy Horner sends these photos from The Great British Sewing Bee today where more blocks were made and pledged:

 

 

Three Generations of Women Stitching Blocks for The 70273 Project

And over in Franklinton, Louisiana, Mary Teresa Green held a workshop for the Queen Bees Guild and sends these photos and words:

“Today I hosted a 70273 Block Making Party at one of my quilt guilds, The Queen Bees of Franklinton, LA,” Mary writes. “The members had a great time and took a lot of white squares and red fabric to make blocks. In Franklinton, Louisiana. One member who wasn’t able to make it to the meeting even texted me photos of two blocks she made ahead of time.  Everyone was very moved and motivated. The members will continue to make blocks and bring hand them in to me to send to you.  The Queen Bees  have two steadfast rules: leave your bad attitude at the door and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Those rules make for a laid back group that is amazingly productive.”

 

 

 

 

 

So many people being commemorated with reverence and beauty. Please keep making blocks, Middlings, Long Skinnies, and block quilts, encouraging your friends and family to join in, and send me photos and stories. I’ve got some important news coming out over the next few days, so be sure you either subscribe to the blog or check back here frequently so you’re always in the know.

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About Those Two Red X’s

Block #1, made by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

They’re such a little thing,
a simple design, folks say,
and yet they’re incredibly hard to make.

When I sat to stitch the first block,
I had no trouble cutting out the base
or threading the needle.
I had no trouble cleaning toilets
or cleaning out the dishwasher
or going to the grocery store.
But I had much trouble
stitching two red X’s.
The fact that they represented
a life
did not escape my heart,
my brain,
or my hands.
Continue reading

Highlights and Recap: August 14, 2017 to September 17, 2017

Here are highlights of the weeks that were:

Week 79, August 14-20, 2017
Two people mentioned corporate matching programs and began investigating. Do you know of a corporation that offers grants or have matching funds programs? Let me know because there are expenses . . . especially shipping.

Week 80, August 21-27, 2017
Uta Lenk, The 70273 Project Ambassador from Germany and her son, Jan came to spend a few days with us. There was basketball, fast food, Sliding Rock, boat rides, antique stores, and, of course, stitching blocks. We had so much fun and can’t wait for them to come back.

I shipped three big boxes of quilts to Houston for our Special Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival. They arrived on the same day as Harvey. Yeah, really. More about that in a blog post coming to you soon.

Daughter Alison had emergency surgery.

Week 81, August 28-September 3, 2017
A week filled with mother-as-nurse duties with 70273 duties and responsibilities and infrastructure projects in between. I delivered another suitcase filled with quilts to Laurel Alford who graciously agreed to sew labels and hanging sleeves on.

A magnificent weekend across The Pond at Hever Castle where blocks were made and people were commemorated.

I am honored to be invited to spend Saturday morning, 9/2 with the Dixie Wing Angel Squad, telling them about The 70273 Project. They’ve decided to make enough blocks to make their own quilt, something I consider a Very Good Idea.

Week 81, September 4-10, 2017
Michelle Freedman (@stitchwellandprosper on Instagram) hosted a Block Drive at Modern Domestic on 9/4. People made blocks and watched Quilt #219 being quilted on the long arm.

Quilt 219

Bethany Sharpton and Chris Petersen from WXII 12 News came and interviewed me about The 70273 Project. Bethany also treated me to a solo-exhibit-of-her-quilts-for-one.

Week 83: September 4-10, 2017
Hurricane (Tropical Storm by the time she reached us) irma came; the power went, remaining out from Monday night till Friday morning.

The 70273 Project received a financial donation from Frances Holliday Alford, who makes a monthly donation. Thank you, Frances! You have supported The 70273 Project in every way imaginable. it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Over and around all of these highlights, much work was going on – most of which I’ll tell you about in blog posts coming soon. Blocks were bundled, so let me know if you’d like to And quilts were registered and added to the official block count. Would you like to make your own quilt and register it with The 70273 Project? Or turn a bundle of blocks into a quilt? Perhaps you’d like to make a Middling for The 70273 Project? And remember that we still and always accept blocks, so get those needles threaded and go forth to stitch more commemorations.

And that’s not all: I still have many, many, many blocks and entire quilts waiting to be checked in and counted. This week, I spent my time checking in these complete, finished quilts (and I only mention the block makers because we’re counting the blocks. Full information will be included when I profile each quilt in its own blog post)

Quilt 14, a Middling by yours truly
Quilt 15, another Middling by moi
Quilt 58 (the extra blocks made by Margaret Williams to complete the top)
Quilt 59 (extra blocks created by Margaret Williams to complete the top)
Quilt 65 (blocks made by Sandy martin to complete the top)
Quilt 71 (blocks made by Brighter Skies, Elizabeth Budgeon, Savvy Christophides, Jane Coulter, Joyce duncan, Chrissie Fitzgerald, Margaret Grieves, Helen Grindley, Margaret Jackson, C. Knight, Shirley Gliver, V. Pearson, Linda Smalley, Ellen Smith, and Mary Turner)
Quilt 73 (blocks made by Mary Turner, Margaret Jackson, and others)
Quilt 105 (blocks made by Alexandrian Pattin to complete the top)
Quilt 111 (made by Cathrine Symchych)
Quilt 127 (from Nouvelle Aquitaine – blocks made by Nicole John, Magali Sallard, Francoise Sebilleau, Francoise Frontenaud, Francoise Lelionnais, Adrienne, maryLou Renault, and Annie Sellier)
Quilt 128 (from Nouvelle Aquitaine with blocks made by Nanette Andersen, C. Andersen, Town Andersen, Marie Alice Wilke, Nome Wilke, Raphael Wilke, Charlotte Wilke, Camille Wilke, Lunette Arrive, Micheline Monvoisin, Jacqueline Guichard, Taffathe Saldani, Francoise Lelionnais, Francoise Fresneau, Marie-Jeanne Pannier, and Nicole Brard)
Quilt 141 (blocks made by Makers from Belgium and members of Du Club de Leognan France)
Quilt 145 (a Middling by Cathy Busson)
Quilt 149 (blocks made by Eva Jackson)
Quilt 152 (a Middling made by Chantal Trouillot)
Quilt 153 (blocks by Christine Richter (Germany), Pia Magnusson (Sweden), Annette Lenk (Germany), and Hannah (Germany))
Quilt 156 (blocks by Anne Vignals and Anonymous Makers)
Quilt 159 (a Middling made by Danielle Birello)
Quilt 177 (a Middling made by Deirdre McConathy)
Quilt 178 (blocks made by Members of Club Aussillion – Danielle Albert, Genevieve Bacque, Sylvaine Benezech, Regine Cahuzac, Cecile Milhau, Michele Mouton, Suzanne Pons, Fina Rodriguez, Lillians Several, Yvette Trombetta, and Lesley Westlake)
Quilt 173 (blocks made by members of the Leisure Time Crafting and Brighter Skies Fundraising Group of Spennymoor, Durham, UK)
Quilt 179 (a Middling made by Cindy Cavallo)
Quilt 186 (a Middling made by Debra Steinmann)
Quilt 210, (a Middling made by Jane M. McCarthy)

Wanna’ know the current official block count? You don’t? Oh you jokesters, you.

As of yesterday, the current official block count is . . . . 24,166! (Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how our graph is filling up!) The Engineer tells me that we are slightly more than one-third of the way to our goal, so please, y’all, keep stitching and telling and sending.

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Lacaze, Here We Come

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

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

The air is cool

the sun is shining

and the scenery is exquisite.

About an hour later, we round the curve

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


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



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

~~~~~~~

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

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

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

Paris, Day One

Paris Day Two

Toulouse

Paris Again

More Kindness in Paris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Paris sky isn’t bad either.

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

pairs of X’s everywhere

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

~~~~~~~

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

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

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