Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Page 2 of 103

Week 44 in Review (December 12-18, 2016)

This week, I received noticed that Quilt 1 of The 70273 Project has been juried into QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah, GA, so congratulations to us!

Thank you to this week’s Angels for sending financial donations:
Francis Holliday Alford.
Please keep The 70273 Project in mind if you do any end-of-the-year giving. The 70273 Project, Inc. is a 501(c)3, and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes. (I’m sending those out the week after Christmas, and hereby promising faithfully to be more prompt in 2017.) Your donations are greatly appreciated as we gear-up for finishing the blocks in 2017.

And thanks to these people for stitching and sending blocks:
Maïté (France)
Kay Portness (VA/USA)
Donna Berman (USA)
Nadia Berman (USA)
Shelly Burge (NE/USA)
Linda Kemp (Lower Hutt, New Zealand)
Margaret Williams (GA/USA)
Sandy Martin (Soda Springs, ID)
Kathi Davis Thompson (Soda Springs, ID)
Sharon Berg (Soda Springs ID)
Becky Smith (Montplier, ID)
Gail George (Soda Springs, ID)
Joan Dobbs (Soda Springs, ID)
3 Anonymous

With the blocks I received in week 44, we now have 6639 blocks, which means we’ve commemorated 6639 people. Give yourselves a hand, y’all!

Thanks for all the drop-dead gorgeous cards, too. You’ve really brightened my daze.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled holiday chaos!

From the Mail Bag: Ask Jeanne Anything

Beautiful blocks made by Caroline Rohner-Preston

The Engineer and I have been out of town (and out of internet access) for almost two weeks while helping our daughter move, and we got in late last night – way after the post office had closed – so as soon as we get by there to fetch the mail, I’ll sift through it, take stock, and we’ll review week #44. For today, let’s take a few items from the Mail Bag . . .

Dear Jeanne:
Why do you only allow two red X’s on each block?

Someone Who Can’t Make Just Two Red X’s

Dear Someone Who Can’t Make Just Two Red X’s:
You can make more than two red X’s . . . you just have to make each pair of red X’s their own block to call home. Assessing physicians of Aktion T4 based their evaluations not on the person in question and how they presented, but on their medical records. Yes, that’s right: assessing physicians only read words on a page, and the white base represents that piece of paper. Once two of the three assessing physicians placed a red X on the bottom of the form, the person was sentence to die, so the two (not one, not 50, not 9, not 12, but 2) red X’s represent the death sentence. Each block with its white base and pair of red X’s represents a life that is commemorated. Feel free to commemorate as many lives as you will by making one block (white base, two red X’s) for each life.
Thanks for your question. I look forward to receiving a lot of blocks from you!

Dear Jeanne:
What will happen to the quilts once they’re all made?

Safari Girl

Dear Safari Girl:
Another good question! Quilts of The 70273 Project will spend the rest of their lives traveling the world, commemorating the 70273 disabled people who were murdered; celebrating the countless number of people with special needs who live among us today; and educating others about not just tolerating differences but embracing them. This is a big project with a three-fold purpose, and I want quilts of all sizes so we’ll have something to fit in any venue/exhibit space that will have us, be they traditional exhibit spaces or no. If you think of places we might inquire about exhibiting The 70273 Project quilts, please let me know. 

Thanks for your question and for scouting out places!

Dear Jeanne:
How can I help?

Someone Who Believes in The 70273 Project

Dear Someone Who Believes in The 70273 Project:
This is my favorite question! Here are some ideas of ways you can help with The 70273 Project. If these ideas spark other ideas, please contact me, and let’s talk.
~ Make blocks.
~ Tell others about The 70273 Project and encourage them to make blocks.
~ Make a Family Quilt or a Group Quilt.
~ Volunteer to piece tops.
~ Volunteer to quilt quilts.
~ Make a financial donation and/or encourage others to do the same.
~ Let me know of upcoming exhibits to which I might submit a quilt.
~ Let me know of places I might submit an article or make myself available for an interview. Think magazines (print and online), organizational newsletters, newspapers, guest blog posts, podcasts, etc.
~ Mention The 70273 Project in your blog posts, and send me a link so I can add you to the Clarions page.
~ Post photos on Instagram and tweet about the project, using #the70273project.
~ Let me know about places, events, organizations that might be interested in having me do some storytelling for The 70273 Project or make a presentation about The 70273 Project or even talk about creativity and how The 70273 Project came into being.
~ Send me an email or Facebook message as other ideas for how you can help come to you.
~ And hey, remember to subscribe to the blog ’cause I have some things coming up after the first of the year you won’t want to miss!
Let me know if there are other ways you’d be willing to help, and thank you for your commitment to The 70273 Project.

Quilt #29 of The 70273 Project

Today, another letter from my talented and indefatigable friend, Katell who lives in France. Y’all are gonna’ like this a lot . . .

Dear Jeanne,

Maïté (actually Marie-Thérèse, but everyone says Maïté) is one of my dear friends. When we met 11 years ago, she already knew a lot about patchwork and quilting, and she made numerous beautiful artworks. Some are modern, others are country style or traditional but each one if perfectly sewn and has a French flair. She is the one in my group who enjoys appliqué the most, surely because she is gifted for drawing, too! She can also sing beautifully, too, but that is another story.

She already made Quilt #23 by herself, as you know. Then at the Patchwork Club of Colomiers a few weeks ago, we were gifted a parcel full of very old baby clothes. They seem to be at least 60 years old, maybe even from World War II. Maïté carefully soaked them, unstained them, pressed them, and finally . . . cut them. Yes, they were too worn to be kept. They probably came from an attic, supposedly from a wet nurse.

Because of this special origin, Maïté decided to piece them in the form of a heart. She asked for the help of Kristine, our ever-gifted friend, and here is the result . . . 

This is Quilt #29 with 101 blocks to be added to the block count, dear Jeanne! Maïté has already begun quilting it.


Thank you Maïté, for using your talent to help commemorate over 300 people so far. You pay tribute to them with beauty, the way they deserve to be remembered. Thank you, too, Kristine, members of the Patchwork Club of Colomiers, and generous donor of these precious baby garments for helping to commemorate in such varied and generous ways. And thank you, Katell, for all you are doing in France and for still finding the time to send us this story, so beautifully written!  This post was especially helpful this week when we fill our days to the brim with moving our daughter from one place to another.

Inquiring minds may wonder what I think about the heart shape and using blocks as border. I LOVE IT! The blocks are made according to the guidelines, and that’s the main thing.  Here in The 70273 Project, we embrace differences of all kinds, and I think this quilt and the others that will surely follow are another way of saying that.

Now if seeing this quilt stirs up your creative juices and makes you want to raise your hand with an offer to Piece and Quilt in 2017, do let me know, and let me know pronto because the first or second week in January I’ll be sending a lot of bundles out into the world.

And hey, things are gonna’ really rev up come January. Trust me when I tell you that you won’t want to miss some of The 70273 Project Adventures I have planned, so take a minute to subscribe cause everything starts here on the blog.

Week 43 in Review (Dec. 5-11, 2016)

We’ve been down in Georgia helping our daughter move, but I’ve still managed to find time to get some chores ticked off the long to do list for The 70273 Project, and I left plenty for later.

Deena Sanders and The Tree City Quilters invited The 70273 Project to display a quilt in their 2017 quilt show to be held in Gainesville, Florida on May 6 and 7 of next year.  I’ll be sharing more information closer to time, but if you’re in the vicinity, go ahead and put it on your calendar.

Encouraged by Janine Morrell, I submitted a quilt to QuiltCon East to be held in Savannah, GA in  February 2017. I’ll keep you posted.

With the help of The Engineer, Chloe Grice, Ada Hewell, Deirdre McConathy, Patti Nies, and Peggy Franke, I finished creating Holiday Cards to go in The 70273 Project Card Shop. It was a tedious, time-consuming, challenging, detail-oriented endeavor . . . and I loved every minute of it because it afforded me opportunities to exercise my graphic design, coding, linking, and organizing, skills. It whisked me right back to years gone by when I did these kinds of creative endeavors and presentations regularly. It requires intense concentration and focus, which often feels like a vacation for my brain that is usually being tugged in a myriad of directions. So if you haven’t yet sent out your holiday cards and even if you have, drop by and help yourself to printable and digital postcards and printable notecards.

Quilters in France continue to be busy commemorating, and I couldn’t be more excited or grateful for their participation.

Six more Angels got their wings this week when they made financial donations to The 70273 Project:
Suzanne McCarthy
and five who prefer to remain Anonymous.
Thank you all for your generosity. Remember that The 70273 Project, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization, so all donors will receive a thank you note and a receipt to use when preparing tax forms. Please keep us in mind when preparing any year-end giving. We’ll sure put it to good use, I promise!

And last but not least, thanks to the generous creativity of:
Kim Monins’ son, Daniel Monins ( Channel Islands, UK)
Jenny Marshall (Channel Islands, UK)
Faye Cook (AUS)
our new official block count stands at . . . 6464! Give yourselves a hand, y’all!

Stitch on, y’all, and have a good week.

The 70273 Card Shop Is Now Open for Business

I know, I know. I’ve been promising holiday cards, and here they are – at last. With the help of The Engineer and Chloe Grice, I’ve created an assortment of digital and print cards.  And every block in the Christmas tree design was created by our own Deirdre McConathy. And the words came from y-o-u. Over in Facebook land, I asked you to share some of your favorite greetings, and I’ve used  words from Ada Hewell (wave to the nice readers, Mom), Peggy Franke, and Patty Nies to craft an assortment of holiday greeting cards. So once again: collaboration gets the job done!

The cards come in all denominations: some are ready to attach to an email; some are postcards to print for those who have just enough time to sign their name; and some are notecards for those who want to include a little note. All can be printed from your home computer and are free to use.

Donations not required (but they are appreciated and can be made using the Donate button in the sidebar on the home page.)

Help yourself to any or all of these specially-designed-and-ready-to-go birthday and Christmas cards and feel free to send others over here to help themselves, too.

Click here for  digital postcards.
Click here for printable postcards.
Click here for printable notecards.
Click here for digital and here for here for printable birthday cards.
Note: Cards may appear blurry because I enlarged them for a better viewing experience. They’ll print clearly, though.

More cards coming for other holidays and special days, so check back often by clicking the link to The 70273 Card Shop in the sidebar 70273 Project Directory or using the pull-down menu at the top of your screen. And hey, thanks for helping get the word out about The 70273 Project.


All designs ©The 70273 Project, Inc.

Une Autre Lettre de Mon Amie Katell Renon

Dear Jeanne,

Here as well as in all Europe, we have begun to decorate our home in red and green. This Tuesday is St. Nicholas’ Day, a millennial celebration, one of the most long-awaited days for children in Northern and Eastern Europe. They will receive candies, chocolate, and other presents from the great-grand-father of Santa Claus of December 25th.


Dearest Jeanne, do you want some chocolate and candies from us, just as if St. Nicholas was coming home today?

Well, what would you say to know that as many as 40 new Makers offer 129 blocks to Le Projet 70273?

Our dear newcomers are:
Brigitte Balaguerie
Jeannine Baltieri
Francoise Bediee
Helene Berretta
Maryse Brus
Annie Cathala
Marie-Paule Celma
Marie-Jo Dimas
Paulette Dubiau
Renee Durand
Jacqueline Egea
Chantal Eschalier
Anne-Marie Esteban
Felicia Eychenne
Yank Flandey
Dolores Juarez
Aline Lopez
Daniele Martinez
Catherine Moliet
Martine Paulmier
Francoise Planques
Henriette Scriva
Marie-Christine Secco
Jeannine Sutra
Michele Verguet
and 15 Anonymous Makers.

All these dear quilters make their blocks for the commemoration of the 70273 victims. These blocks will all be pieced, quilted, and displayed in Lacaze on June 25, 2017.


On a top being sewn, a Santa Claus from Jim Shore is perfectly at ease.

Soon we will send you photos of the tops made with these blocks! A total of 6 are being made or quilted in Occitanie. We hope to be able to show at least 20 quilts in Lacaze on June 25, 2017, so let’s keep on making blocks!

Your faithful friend,


It is such a delight to receive your letters, Katell, and while you know how much I adore chocolate, I’ll gladly take the blocks instead. Please tell the good quilters in Occitanie that on behalf of the 70273 people we commemorate, I am deeply grateful to them and to you for all the time, energy, and expertise you invest in The 70273 Project. You can find more from Katell in her previous letter, on the Clarions Page and on her blog.

Weeks 41 and 42 in Review (Nov 21-Dec 4, 2016)

Things got a little bogged down what with Thanksgiving and The Season kickoff with all the falderal and hoopla, plus I got a little panicky about a few things – mostly how on earth will I keep up with everything and not overlook somebody’s beautiful blocks or count them twice, leaving us holding a big empty bag next October – which required some sit-down-and-think-time, so I’m late with these posts. But I’m ready now, so without further bandwidth, here are the highlights from the past 2 weeks:

WEEK 41:  Nov 21-27 , 2016

Thanksgiving week here in the US, and we spend it with Nancy, my mother, and our daughter – and, regardless of where you live, I spent it with you, too, as I do every day, sending out my gratitude that y’all stand with me, helping commemorate these 70273 people.

Alida Palmisano mentioned us  on her blog . . . twice. You can find us here and here. (If you’re a journal junkie like me, keep a cloth near the computer to clean off the drool as you read about her journal.)

Ann Grasso gave us an Encore for my guest blog post AND she listed us on her Creative Collaborations page. If you ever doubt that there are good people out there doing good things, drop by this page and feel better.

All four of these links have been added to the Clarions page. If you read about The 70273 Project in a blog post or if you pen a post about us, please send me a link so I can add it to our Gallery of Support.


Thanks to the creative generosity of these good people:
Angela Rybarczuk (Channel Islands, UK)
Janet Hartje (MN, USA)
Jo Cook (IA, USA)
Julie Spiess (IA, USA)
Faye Cook (AUS)
and one Anonymous Maker (IA, USA)
our block count now stands at: 6179!

WEEK 42:  Nov 28 – Dec 4

A few health concerns have kept me moving more slowly through this week, on top of dealing with the loss of my granddog and the illness of my four-legged Phoebe, and all the things that are an inherent part of The Season. I continue to get lots of emails and notes from people who are just finding out about The 70273 Project, raising their hands to send financial donations, make blocks, piece, and/or quilt. It’s all quite wonderful, you know.

A huge thank you to Frances Holliday Alford for her ongoing financial support. Frances not only makes art, she supports others who are making art. Get to know her via this magazine article. (And yes, she mentioned The 70273 Project in her interview!)

Another huge thank you to another financial donor who wishes her to remain anonymous. Your generosity is muchly appreciated and has already been put to good use.

I’ve streamlined the cataloguing process (yes, again – it’s getting better and better, trust me) – I’ll tell you all about it later – and tweaked (read: improved) my journaling process. I’m a lifelong documentarian kind of girl, y’all.

The 70273 Project was featured in a lovely multi-page spread in Fayette Woman Magazine. The ink hasn’t yet dried on the current issue, and as soon as there’s a link up, I’ll let you know so you can go enjoy a read of this beautiful magazine published by my talented friend, Joyce Beverly.

Alida Palmisano made some more blocks and encouraged her readers to do the same.


And thanks to these generous creatives . . .
Ella Andrews (Channel Islands, UK)
Sue Harris (Channel Islands, UK)
Lorraine Whiting (Channel Islands, UK)
Debbie Burchell (Toronto, CA)
Alida Palmisano (MD, USA)
Jeanne Huebert (CA, USA) (Lovely name, don’t you think?!)
Pam Patterson (TX, USA)
Diane Dresdner (VA, USA) (who included a note saying “This is my first batch!”)
Frances Holliday Alford (VT, USA),
our current block count is . . . 6394!

Thank you for continuing to make and send blocks, even though I’m sure there are many other things begging your time and attention.


I try to remember to post links in the Facebook group and on the Facebook page, but it doesn’t happen automagically which means that sometimes . . . okay, many times . . .  I forget. Y’all don’t want to miss the things I’ll be revealing after the first of the year (trust me on that!), so take a minute to subscribe so you aren’t left out.

Kindness, a Cornerstone of The 70273 Project


Blocks made by Chloe Grice and her sister, Kat Andrews. Photo by Chloe Grice

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters
and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

~~ excerpt of a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

December’s Adventure: Family Quilts


Quilt top made of blocks created by Chloe Grice and her sister, Kat Andrews

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when we make a special effort to gather with people who are special to us (well, most of them are special to us, anyway), so I thought what better time to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our loved ones and work together to create something meaningful and lasting. Something we can visit together years from now and remember when. Something future generations can see and feel a sense of roots and connectedness. Our Adventure for December? Make an entire quilt with blocks made by you and your relatives –  Family Quilts for The 70273 Project!


Kitty Sorgen’s Family Makes Blocks on the Deck

Here’s all you need to know:
~ Same block sizes and design guidelines apply.
~ Everybody who makes a block must complete and sign a Provenance Form. Folks can remain anonymous, if desired, but I still need their name for the ultra-private-nobody-sees-but-me database.
~ There’s no maximum or minimum number of blocks that must be created (though remember: we’re aiming to get all 70,273 blocks completed by October 2017).
~ And there’s no maximum or minimum size the finished quilt must be.
~ When piecing and quilting, please use only white thread in your needle and/or bobbin, and please do not quilt over the red X’s. You can quilt all around them and right up to them, just not on them. The binding (or facing) and backing fabric must be white (we use bleached muslin), and there must be a 4″ hanging sleeve made from the same fabric used on the back of the quilt and attached to the top edge of the quilt, leaving a 1″ gap between the side edge of the sleeve and the side edge of the quilt.


Laurie Dunn’s Adorable Grandchildren Make Blocks at the Beach

Now here’s where I’m streamlining things a bit for you.

For several reasons, I still want to know who made which block, but instead of scanning or snapping a photo of each block and emailing it to me, here’s what we’re gonna’ do:

~ Once the blocks are made, write the Maker’s name on a piece of blue painter’s tape (make sure it’s dark enough and legible enough to be readable) and stick it somewhere on one of the red X’s. There are other ways to attach names to each block – you can write names on a strip of cloth and safety pin it to the block. Or you can use one of the little tagging “guns” to attach the name. If you use tape, though, please use the blue painter’s tape and make sure it’s stuck down tight. (Note: you can make collaborative blocks with family members: You lay down one red X and ask a Special Someone to lay down the other red X. Just be sure to include both names on the id tag.)
~ This id tag remains on the quilt until it lands in my arms (along with the completed Provenance Forms) where I will take what I need, create the quilt label, and remove the tape.
~ If you’d take photos to send along to me, I’d love to profile your family. And for those wishing to remain anonymous, feel free to grab and wear the nearest lampshade.
~ If you want to make blocks but don’t feel comfortable with the Piecing and Quilting part, you might ask around to see if there’s a willing quilter in your community (if so, be sure to give them the specific instructions as outlined above) and if not, just send me the blocks along with the completed Provenance Forms to me, and some generous, big-hearted person will finish it for you. If you do send me a completely finished quilt, please be sure to let me know who did the Piecing and who did the Quilting.

And that, my friends, is all there is to it.

So when That Uncle gets on your last nerve, go make some blocks.

And no, you don’t get to wish he lived about 76 years ago.


When you’re making your list and checking it twice and come to that hard-to-buy-for-person, consider making a donation to The 70273 Project in their name by mashing the “Donate” button in the righthand sidebar or mailing a check made payable to The 70273 Project, Inc. and mailed to POB 994 / Cashiers, NC 28717. A gift to The 70273 Project truly is the gift that will keep on giving.

Playing in the Meadow on the Other Side of the Rainbow Bridge


My boy, Kipp, rescued him from a Denver humane society.
It was between the border collie and a Corgi – he couldn’t decide.
Ultimately, Kipp chose well.


Otto was a slightly neurotic dog
afraid of the most, um, unusual things.


He was a mischievous dog,
though you usually only knew
he’d been mischievous
when he had this certain look about him.
Oh, he knew you were smart enough to figure it out eventually,
but he was always hopeful that once – just once –
he’d be wrong about you.

If you couldn’t find Otto,
you could bet your bottom dollar
that something resembling food
(cooked, raw, packaged, unpackaged – no matter)
had been left within, oh, 4′ from the edge of the kitchen counter.


Otto was a dog secure enough in his own manhood
to be prissy on occasion . . .
without apology.


We’re still not quite sure which one
Marnie fell in love with first:
Kipp or Otto,
but no matter.
They were a package deal
and she won both their hearts.


And though they were as nervous
as any first-time parents in the history of the galaxy ever were,
Otto proved to be a good Big Brother
to Calder Ray,
watching over him when others
went to sleep on the job.


Though they’ll surely adopt another furry baby
sometime down the road
when their hearts have had time to heal,
one thing is for sure:
the next Chambers canine will have awfully big paws to fill.


R.I.P. Otto.
You were the best Son Dog,
the best Big Brother Dog,
the best Granddog,
the best Great Granddog,
the best Nephew Dog,
the Best Friend

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