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, pairs of red X’s, no writing or other embellishments to distract from the red X’s, but then . . . Middlings are quilts that measure 18″ x 22″ (46 cm x 56 cm) (yes, fat quarter size) when finished, and, as long as you remember the basics, you are free to get as creative as you want.

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 (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.
~ Get as creative as you like and put as many red X’s as desired on the Middling, just remember to place the red X’s so that they are easily identifiable as pairs.
~ 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 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.  I’ll be writing a post about that in the next few days, so check back for more details.

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:
Check back for the shiny new Provenance Form.
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.

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.

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.