The 70273 Project

with a side of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Tag: 70273 adventures (page 1 of 2)

This is What Compassion Looks Like

pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

woman holds a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

2 women hold a small quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white and beige background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a background of white and beige

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

closeup photo of a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

at Durham Cathedral

hallway lined with quilts

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white backgrounds

wall filled with quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched onto white background fabric

pairs of red X's stitched to a white background fabric

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white background fabric

a small quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white background fabric hanging on a wall

a wall filled with quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

a wall filled with quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's stitched to white background fabric

at the Jersey Heritage Museum in the Channel Islands

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white fabric hanging from the ceiling

small quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background fabric

a small quilt made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white fabric

small quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white background fabric

a quilt made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white fabric

huge pairs of red X's stitched to an expanse of white fabric hanging in front of the cathedral in Rochester

quilts hanging from arches in the Rochester Cathedral

a quilt made of pairs of red X's stitched to a white background

a quilt made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn to white background fabric hang in the cathedral

in Rochester Cathedral

There will be many, many more stories and people and photos to come
on the blog and in the newsletter.

The 70273 Project Emporium Grand Opening

a mound of red ribbons lay on top of a white quilt with pairs of red X's

Welcome to the Grand Opening of The 70273 Project Emporium, our shiny new online shop!

A few notes . . . New items will be added periodically – like more art quilts, for example – so do check back, and because I’m the stockist, shelf elf, manufacturer, clerk, and mail room, the shop will close periodically when I know I won’t be here to ship things. Shipping prices are for the US only because, honestly, I don’t know how to calculate international shipping charges. But I will go to the post office and ask, so if you live outside the US and see a little something you’d like, let me know. I’ll hold it for you and get back to you about the shipping charges. I’ll even hand deliver it if you’re gonna’ be at either Rochester or Durham Cathedrals when I’m there in January.

Oh, one more thing: if you have something you’d like to contribute – something we can sell to raise money for The 70273 Project coffers – let me know.

Now click right this way to do some shopping for yourself or others.

Thank you for your continued support of The 70273 Project. You’re awesome. Happy shopping! Wish I had some hot cider to offer you to sip on while you make your selections. But you’d probably spill it on your keyboard, anyway.





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 . . .


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.

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.

More Blocks Made at Hever Castle

More than 100 people were commemorated yesterday
at the Hever Castle Quilt Show
– which is part of the Hever Castle Festival of Homemade and Homegrown –
and more Makers showed up today
to commemorate those we honor in The 70273 Project.
Like this smiling International Quilt Judge
seen here standing in front of the gorgeous quilt she made.
She came yesterday, pledged to make 25 blocks,
and returned today with 26 blocks in hand.
Then I want y’all to know, she sat down and
commemorated 6 more people.
And that’s not all. Before leaving,
she promised to tell her large 300+ member quilting group
about The 70273 Project and get them involved.

Edina Geering – the beautiful woman on the right
wearing the Team 70273 badge on her lapel – was back today.
Edina and Lucy Horner are responsible for this
wonderfully successful event,
and Lucy is, once again, the one who took these captivating photos.

People of all ages filled the booth throughout the day,
learning of The 70273 Project and making blocks.

Edina’s granddaughters, Abigail and Imogene
came to lend a hand today as did Lucy’s daughter, Gabby.

“It made me well up listening to them explain The 70273 Project
to people as they went round handing out leaflets,”
Lucy says of Abigail, Imogene, and Gabby.
“Gabby was brilliant at talking to people
and keeping everyone entertained!”

Meet Sally who came today
and brought – wait for it –
the FIRST QUILT she’s ever made!
Isn’t it amazing?
And it measure 5′ x 8′.

“Oh, and we met Anne Boleyn, too,” writes Lucy.
“Hever Castle was her childhood home.”
(I’ll bet Anne’s dress would have Scarlett O’Hara
drooling all over herself!)

Thank you to all who helped make the
Hever Castle Block Drive so wildly successful,
and thank you to
those who commemorated so many people this weekend.

Would you like to hose a Block Drive for a group or event in your area?
Let me know and I’ll send you everything you need.
And remember: tomorrow is the Block Drive
at Modern Domestic in Portland, OR.
If you can’t be there to make blocks
but would like to have blocks in the Modern Domestic quilt,
do what I’m going to do: mail your blocks to them.



Blocks Being Made at the Hever Castle Quilt Show

This weekend, thanks to Lucy Horner and Edina Geering – two dynamos if ever there was such a woman – blocks for The 70273 Project are being made across The Pond at the Hever Castle Festival of Homemade and Homegrown. Let’s drop in, shall we, using the delightful photos and words of Lucy Horner . . .

Such an amazing day at Hever Castle spent spreading the message and love of The 70273 Project. 70 blocks made, 100’s of people talked to, and some beautiful smiles captured in this all-inclusive Project. Our last block maker of the day was from Hamburg, and I loved that she was wearing the globe. We are there all weekend, so if you fancy a day out to the Festival of Homemade and Homegrown and the Hever Quilt Show, do stop by.

Such a beautiful spot! These quilts have such personality.
I love putting them under my arm and showing them the sights!

It’s a beautiful team effort.
This weekend was organized by the Mover & Shaker called Edina Geering,
and boy she really gets things going and keeps things moving! 

I love how hands-on Edina is!
This is Victor. He was fab. He was saying that he is in the Brighton School of Samba
and they have here tabbards for a gig
which are white with a red heart.
He was going to get his group to cut them up for blocks,
but I said “Woah. We need you and your samba band in your tabbards
celebrating The 70273 Project!”
He told me to email him some dates.




 Stewards are always standing by to make sure that visitors
touch the quilts with their eyes only.

Liliana (5)  and Rosie (3) with blocks they made
with Edina and Linda pictured in the background.

They’re wearing dresses their mum made for them.


Celebrate / Commemorate . . . it’s a balance.
I talked till my lips stuck to my teeth.
But these quilts are a noisy lot!
They were stopping people in their tracks.
We’d thrown one over the entrance gate,
and a lady said, “I saw it in the distance, and it shouted out to me.
I got shivers when I got up close to it.”
The voiceless sing a beautiful song.

Thank you, Lucy, Edina, and other members of
The British Isles Quilter’s Guild
who are on hand to offer instruction and encouragement.
And thank you to everybody who felt strongly enough
to risk doing something new and doing something imperfectly.
If you’re in the area and you read this in time,
skip on over there and make a block.
And hey, be sure to send me a photo.


Now if you’re going to be in the vicinity
of Portland, Oregon (USA)
on Monday, 9/4/17,
stop by Modern Domestic to meet Michelle Freeman,
make blocks for the Modern Domestic quilt,
and see The 70273 Project Quilt #219 under the long arm.


Are you hosting a Block Party? Let me know and send photos!



Day Three in France: Toulouse

23 June 2017

You know when you are greeted with . . .

Tari Vickery and Katell Renon

a carousel

a statue listening intently to a bird,

and a dog so tired from playing that he went to sleep with the ball in his mouth.
(That, or the area is known for its dog-on-dog crime.)
it’s gonna be a day filled with fun and love.
And it is.
It really, really is.

Perhaps it’s because we’re two sleeps away
from The 70273 Project Exhibit at Lacaze, France,
that I spy pairs of X’s throughout Toulouse.


(I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Toulouse blue!)









Glass panels

at the Orly airport

and light through my upside down glass
that made me think of Nancy’s drawings.

There is a sewing shop

the courthouse where Katell and Patrick were wed,

bicycles that made me smile

shades of blue that come with history and story
(I don’t know why the photo is wonky.
Just turn your head or your computer screen
cause I’ve wrestled with it long enough.
I need to go to bed!)


and real windows and painted windows on the same home
that make me think how some people behave.

And hearts. Oh my goodness, there are hearts everywhere in Toulouse.

on the sidewalk

and  in patches of moss.

There are hearts that, if you look at them one way,
might resemble roosters

There are teapot hearts that short and stout,
with feet and handles of love
and spew love out into the world through their spout.

And as we head to the parking lot, I spy this tote bag.

Then we close out the day
at the beautiful, comfortable, welcoming home
of Katell and Patrick Renon.
I am one lucky, grateful woman.
Oh yes, yes I am.

I’m also a woman who’s a day behind with posts
because the days are full here
and when night comes, I fall asleep before I hit the bed.
There will be more photos of Paris and Toulouse on
Instagram if you’re interested,
and I promise to do my best to catch up tomorrow,
even though tomorrow is a Very Big Day, you know.

Day Two in France: Paris

Day Two is a day of stories, friendship, quilts, and pairs of X’s . . .

This morning, dear Chantal showed up at our rented flat with the first Friendship Block for The 70273 Project. What is a friendship block, you ask? Well, it’s something I’d planned to wait to tell you about till July 1, but looks like I need to go ahead and tell you now since I’ve got and spilled the beans early.

We’re borrowing a page from the history books and creating Friendship Quilts to raise funds for The 70273 Project. You take a red marker and write your name, using your first name as one of the lines in the red X and your last name as the second line that crosses the first line in the red X. For the other red X, you can write the name of the person you dedicate your block to – maybe an ancestor, a friend, a family member, a student – or maybe you do like Chantal did and make a collaborative friendship block. Ask a friend or loved one or even me to use their name to make the second red X. Then you send the block with a financial donation that will be much appreciated and well used, I promise. If you live in the US, you will also receive a receipt for your income tax report. So that, my friends, is what a Friendship Block is. Friendship blocks will be used only in Friendship quilts, too, by the way, and they will be counted as commemorative blocks.

Our first stop was heaven. Or, as some of you might call it, a fabric shop. But not just any fabric shop. This is the fabric store little girl Chantal visited with her mother, and every time they went, young Chantal secretly wished that this would be the day her mother bought fabric to make a dress just for Chantal instead of another hand-me-down dress she would get when her sister outgrew it.

When I heard that, I knew what I wanted – nay, I knew what I just had to do: buy the fabric for Calder Ray’s sleeping quilt. And I did. Found some beautiful soft fabric in the blue that he loves. And what’s in Chantal’s bag, you might ask? Well, she bought herself some lovely fabric . . . to make herself a dress.

I love everything about this shop . . . the quilted floors,

The doll-size mannequins wearing the most smashing outfits. Chantal says she remembers them being here when she was a little girl coming with a special wish.

Though we took our time looking around, it was eventually time to leave, and let me tell youThe Engineer was sad to leave, too . . . because the store was air conditioned.

We visited the Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement, where Chantal was gracious enough to find shady inclines instead of full sun steps.

There are quilts everywhere in that church . . . at the door, I spy borders.

On the floor, I spy quilts..

On the altar, I spy a quilt.

On the floor, I spy a colorful quilt of stained glass reflections appliquéd onto the floor “blocks”.

In the ancient stained glass, I see a 9-block with much color and intrigue surrounding it.

I fall head-over-heels in love with these modern quilts . . . I mean windows . . . and Chantal and I take a seat in front of them and talk about not just the windows, but Nancy and The 70273 Project and quilting techniques.

In the ceiling, I find two X’s, and I imagine they are red.

And on our exit, I get another view of Paris.

On the nearby multi-function place, I see more X’s that, if you squint your eyes just right, can be red.

In the area where artist have long set up stalls, I spy a blue, white, and red 9-patch.

We enjoy a French pancake breakfast for a late lunch. It was delicious, and there was a heart in my sweet pancake. A heart. That’s what this trip has been filled with.

I wish y’all would look at the bottom of the chairs, something I didn’t see till just now . . . two more X’s.

it was cooler today, in part because of the spectacular clouds, in part because of the constant breeze, and in part because Chantal went out of her way to find shade for us to walk in. And it was another lovely day spent with the darling Chantal who gives us time from her busy schedule. I am so very grateful for that and for all she does to commemorate the 70,273.

Three more sleeps till the first major European exhibit for The 70273 Project. How will I manage to sleep with all the anticipation and excitement? Pfffft. I can sleep on the flight home.

It’s Wednesday So It Must Be Paris!

A pictorial diary of our first day in Paris . . .

The Engineer and The Artist, on the plane!

finally what i dream about: hours and hours of uninterrupted stitching time!

i love this view of Earth

and this one

Though it began in a very stressful adventurous manner, we arrive in Paris on time and even better, so did our luggage!

a heart on the bathroom floor in the Paris airport portends how this trip will unfold and long be remembered

Dear Chantal Baquin meets us at the airport and will spend our time in Paris with us. We are so very lucky to have her!

Chantal’s friend Peter came to drive us from the airport, giving us a tour of the city of Paris on our way. We are lucky to have him, too! Our trip starts with much friendship.

love the chairs in the Paris airport

After leaving the airport, we see . . .


Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe detail

The Eiffel Tower from afar

The Eiffel Tower up close (It’s much bigger up close!)

The obelisk Napoleon brought from Egypt as a souvenir

A fetching tile mural

Moulin Rouge

The Louvre

The Louvre, old and new

a wall that on the left makes me think of a quilt

Notre Dame

a garden (with an available bench!) near Notre Dame where we rested and watched wedding photos being taken


the siene river


It is HOT here in Paris. I glisten all day long. Scroll back up to see my hair at the beginning of the day, now see what it looks like at the end of the day. This, my friends, is the mark of a full and well-enjoyed day!

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).



Quilt #5: Blanchard Valley Center, part 2

MARCH 6, 2017
Read Part 1 here

Who can forget these faces of students at Blanchard Valley Center on block-making day in 2016?

Some learned to use a sewing machine for the first time

others – like Jordan – is already quite familiar with sewing machines,
using them often to make costumes and clothes for himself and others.

Here we see Jordan in one of his latest creations. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Jordan
because he was out the day I was there, but what fun I had hearing about what he comes up with
and how he’s frequently known to dress teachers in clothes that are more to his liking.

Some drew their two red X’s onto the cloth

others painted

Tanya Weising-Pike, Director of Childrens Services, was one of the first people I heard from after launching The 70273 Project. “I want us to be a part of The 70273 Project,” she wrote. “We will have 100% participation. I’m already gathering supplies to make our blocks.”

And oh what a block making day they did have last year, sending a great big box of blocks that I decided needed to stay together in a quilt made just by hand of the staff and students at Blanchard Valley Center.

The Engineer and Cindy Maag get set up in the gym.

I contacted Tanya earlier this year to ask if The Engineer and I could deliver Quilt #5 to them to be on display for the month of March for Disabilities Awareness Month. Tanya gave my favorite answer: Yes, then introduced me to  Cindy Maag, the Community Relations Manager at Blanchard Valley, who turned a simple quilt delivery into a Very Special Event. It was wonderful, amazing, heartwarming. It was epic.

The suspense builds.

Students and teachers came.
Families came.
Randy Roberts, of The Courier came with his big camera to cover the event for the newspaper.

L to R: Tanya Weising-Pike, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Mayor Lydia Mihalik

Mayor Lydia Mihalik came. (She’s the short one in the beautiful orange jacket.)

Tanya introduced me then called me up to say a few words. Students were running around the gym. Teachers were stepping in front of them to steer them in another direction, but never to make them stop. It was the mild chaos of people being who they are without anybody telling them to be somebody else, and it was wonderful. (Plus I didn’t cough – not even once.)

I told them about The 70273 Project, trying hard not to bust into quiet tears when I looked at the students and imagined how anybody could consider them “useless eaters” or “unworthy of life.” Over and over and over again I said a silent Thank you that we live today where there are places like Blanchard Valley Center and not in 1940 with Aktion T4 constantly lurking and looming.

Quilt #5. Blocks made by students and staff of Blanchard Valley Center. Beautifully, lovingly pieced and quilted  by MJ Kinman.

Finally it was time for what everybody came for: The Big Reveal. I asked (well, actually I told, but since she’s the mayor and since I was raised right, let’s pretend I asked) Lydia and The Engineer to come turn the quilt around. Honestly, I was a little nervous, a little afraid the quilt wouldn’t have the emotional impact the blocks and quilts usually do because this was one quilt in a big gym. I wasted a few minutes of my life that I’ll never get back worrying about that. When the quilt was revealed, there was a moment’s hush as everybody took it all in, the faces registering what was going through their heads, through their hearts. There were tears and smiles in equal measure, and we didn’t rush through this moment, taking time to let it soak in that any one of these students would have received two red X’s at the bottom of their medical records were we to dial back the calendar a few decades.

I fielded some really good questions. Perhaps my Favorite Question of All Time was asked by none other than The Mayor Herself: “What else do you need?” Isn’t that the most fantastic question? After blowing her a kiss, I told them I still need blocks. And people to piece and quilt the blocks. I need people to make quilts from their own blocks or make Middling quilts or Long Skinny quilts. I need people to tell others and encourage them to get involved. I need help getting all the quilts back to HEARTquarters to prepare for The Great Gathering and Launch that’s slowly beginning to take shape in the background. And oh yes, I need financial donations to help cover the growing expenses.

I’m very grateful to Randy Roberts and The Findlay Courier for giving me permission to use this good photo because I was too busy talking to take pictures, something I couldn’t’ve done anyway because I’d already used up every bit of juice in my phone’s battery taking photos all the rest of the day!

Then it was time for people to come up for a closer look at the quilt they made.

Who could forget this photo of her making her block,

and here she is looking for her block in the quilt.

L to R: Cindy Maag, Bobbi Morman, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Tanya Weising-Pike ,and Ali Weising-Pike (who felt good enough to be there, thank goodness, else I wouldn’t’ve gotten to meet her!)

L to R: The Engineer, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Tanya Weising-Pike, and Ali Weising-Pike (They both have blocks in the quilt.)

As the students made their way back to their classes to prepare to go home,
there was nothing left for us to do but take a few more photos,
give and receive a few more hugs,
and turn the truck towards home,
(with another spend-the-night in Kentucky).

The afterglow? Oh it’s still going on, y’all.


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.

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