Today we’re gonna’ talk about making blocks for The 70273 Project, but first . . .

Less than 24 hours after launch, response to The 70273 Project has been quite exciting. I am plum (does it have a final “b” or not, I always get confused) tickled with the positive emails, Facebook posts, tweets, and Facebook messages I’ve received from all corners of the world. Yes, we are already a worldwide project! And get this: if everybody actually makes the blocks they’ve said they would, we only need 70,000 more blocks!

People have offered to host block parties in their homes and in local senior centers, help stitch the blocks together to make quilt tops, send money, quilt, asked me to pen guest blog posts,  requested interviews, and plotted ways to host digital block parties just to give you an idea of the emails and messages I’ve received today. I declare, had today’s response been any more heartwarming, my heart would be a pile of smoldering ashes right now.

And boy oh boy have people helped get the word out, and let me tell you: that’s a tremendous help. Thank y’all so much, and please don’t stop. These 70,273 people deserve this. And now, about those blocks . . .


Pretty much any kind of fabric is okay – 100% cotton, cotton/poly blend, wool, felt – those are all okay to use for the base of the block as long as it’s white or slightly off white. I’d prefer you steer clear of upholstery fabric because it’s thicker than other fabric, making it harder to stitch. And double knit is bad to stretch, so unless it’s absolutely all you have on hand, I’d ask that you steer clear of it, too.

As you can see in this first block I made, my white fabric is actually a white-on-white, which is fine because in fabric math white + white = white.


9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.x cm x 31.8 cm)


6.5″ x 9.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm)


3.5″ x 6.5″ (9 cm x 16.5cm)


The blocks you send me (the white fabric) can be any of the following sizes: 3.5″ x 6.5″ (9 cm x 16.5 cm) or 6.5″ x 9.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm) or 9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm). And when making the X’s, please allow a 1/4″ border all around to give me room to stitch the blocks together.


In future blog posts we’ll talk about other ways to make the two X marks on the white base, but for now here’s the first block I made.  Using a simple up-and-down stitch, I used scraps of red ribbon (off a Christmas gift) to make the X’s. (And no, I’m not a child of the depression or a hoarder.)


Oh, and as you see in the photo, it’s okay to let your knots show. Make the two red X’s any way you want, just be sure that:
~ there are two red X’s on each block
~ there are no letters of the alphabet, words, names, or numbers on the block – only two red X’s.

Why white?
Because white represents medical records, the only information assessing physicians used to make their life and death determinations.

Why two red X’s?
Because once two of three assessing physicians paced a red X on the bottom of the medical records, the person was murdered. Two red X’s equal one person.

Why no letters, words, names, or numbers?
Because two red X’s equals one person – the death sentence of one person, to be more exact, and words, letters, names, and numbers distract the brain from the emotional message we’re making here. When you see a room filled with quilts made of blocks with two red X’s, I imagine it’s going to be quite moving. Were you to see a name or initials or a word or even the number “70,273” thrown in, you would be immediately distracted. Words, names, numbers, and such engage the brain, and we are a project designed to engage the heart.

One more very important step: Once you’ve finished your blocks, please download, print, complete, and use a safety pin to attach the Provenance Form to your blocks and mail to the address on the form.


Y’all get your pencils out and write down your homework assignment.

  1. Make a block. (Or at least gather the materials to make blocks.)
  2. Using social media, the phone,  or smoke signals, tell at least 3 people about the project.
  3. Subscribe to the blog so you can tune in tomorrow when we’ll talk about . . . well, I don’t know just yet exactly what we’ll talk about, but it’ll be something related to The 70273 Project, for sure.