Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Tag: 70273 adventures

Quilt #5: Blanchard Valley Center, part 2

MARCH 6, 2017
MONDAY AFTERNOON
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.

December’s Adventure: Family Quilts

chloeandkatquilttop

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!

kittysorgenfamilyondeck

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.

lauriedunnfamilyatbeach

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.

November Adventure: Men of The 70273

lauriedunn1

Laurie Dunn’s dad, a World War II veteran

lauriedunngrandsons02mar16-copy

And Laurie Dunn’s grandsons

It’s the first day of November, so you know what that means: time for a new Adventure for The 70273 Project. In September and October, we collaborated – you and me. October and November are devoted to Making Blocks with Your Siblings. What say we devote November and December to putting the men in our lives on the MENu to make blocks? And now seems a good time to MENtion that “men” can be any age males – sons, grandsons, uncles, spouses, partners, friends, dads, granddads, coworkers – you get the idea.

Andy

The Engineer

kippmakesablock

My son, Kipp, makes a block.

Shoot, I might even put blocks, red fabric, thread, and Provenance Forms in her hand and suggest that my daughter use this as a way to meet potential life mates (not that she needs further enchantMENts.) Can you imagine the allureMENts (a.k.a. pickup lines) . . .

“What sign (of block) are you?”
“Hey Good Looking, I bet we could make beautiful blocks together.”
“You knock my blocks off.”
“If you’ve got one X, I’ve got the other.”
“I’d like to get to first block with you.”

I mean, the possibilities are endless and who knows, this could ceMENt the deal.

Okay, I’ll MENd my ways and stop now (you’re welcome).

ThomasEastin

Thomas Eastin, one of my Other Sons

block158stevejankousky-copy

SteveJankousky who saw a tweet sent out by my son, Kipp, and made his blocks straight away.

MANy men have already made blocks . . . will they make more just to go in the Men of The 70273 quilts? I sure hope so.

scottgriffin

Scott Griffin made an entire quilt from his blocks

Making blocks is no MENial thing, you know. Same measureMENts, same guidelines, same Provenance Form apply (just be sure to MENtion that these blocks are for The Men of the 70273 in the space set aside on the Provenance Form for “Adventure”.)

dannytate11sep16

Danny Tate, my cousin who’s lucky in love. He married Mary, my cousin.

After docuMENting (a.k.a. cataloguing) these blocks per usual, I will set them aside so that we can make quilts (Yes, plural: quilts. Can I get a little aMENability for my optimism?)

jerry2

My brother, Jerry (I call him J3)

So let’s stitch on into November, MENtoring the guys if needed, offering cajoleMENts and compliMENts, comMENting on the MENtal effort they put into the effort, and reminding them ’tis a comMENdable thing we’re doing here, comMENorating the 70273 people who were murdered, an effort seeped in awsoMENess. And hey, your assignMENt includes sending photos.

~~~~~~~

Other installMENts for 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.)

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.

An Adventure for October 2016: Collaborate with Your Sibs

Jerry1My brother, Jerry. Or J3, as I call him.
It helps Mother tell us apart.

Last month we started a monthly adventure or theme, and we kicked our adventures off with Collaborate with Jeanne. If you missed it, don’t worry: there’s still time for you to send me up to 50 blocks.

Now for October, let’s collaborate again . . . this time with our siblings.

WHO
You – anybody who wants to participate (and you need never have made a block for The 70273 Project before now. This can be how you become part of The 70273 Project tribe.) – and Your Siblings. Yes, the very ones who crossed over into your space in the backseat. Yes, the very ones who touched your stuff without permission. Yes, the very ones who got away with everything. Those siblings.

WHAT
You’ll stitch a duet . . . create blocks together . . . share. These blocks will go into their own quilt(s), and the quilt label will reflect both siblings’ names.

WHEN
October 1 – November 30, 2016. Roughly.

HOW
You cut out a base in the one of the three sizes, lay down one red X in the technique of your choice, complete and sign a Provenance Form.  (Important note: Be sure to note on your P Form that these blocks are part of the Siblings Adventure.) Once that’s done, deliver the partially-finished blocks to your sibling and get them to stitch down the second X, complete and sign a Provenance Form of their own, then mail everything to me.  And maybe, if you’re feeling nice, you’ll include an envelope already addressed to me. (Yeah, you can let them pay the postage. It’s about time they pulled their own weight.)

HOW MANY
Make as many blocks as you want with each and every one of your siblings – biological, chosen, or otherwise. The more blocks made, the more people commemorated.

And there you have it – our second Adventure in The 70273 Project. Questions? Ask me here in the comments, send me an email (see envelope icon in upper right-hand sidebar), send me a message on Facebook, post in the English Facebook group or the French Facebook group, or post on the Facebook page.

Now y’all be nice.

And no, we’re not there yet.

Don’t make me pull his car over.

An Adventure for September 2016: Let’s Collaborate

Block1332NancyChambersJHC6.5x9.5 copyA collaboration block
made by Nancy Chambers and Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Beginning September 2016, I’ll be releasing themes (most will be revealed 10-14 days prior to the starting line) for The 70273 Project – challenges,  as quilters call them (at least here in the States) – Adventures, we’re gonna’ call them. Because we’re spread all over the world, most adventures will spread out over 2 months. Some will be 3. Some might run the course of a single month. You just never know.

To kick things off, I thought we’d do some collaborating.

WHO
You – anybody who wants to participate (and you need never have made a block for The 70273 Project before now. This can be how you become part of The 70273 Project.) – and me.

WHAT
We’ll create a block together. The quilt label will reflect both names, and these blocks will go into their own quilt(s).

WHEN
September 1 – September 30, 2016. As in you can start making the starter blocks on 9/1/2016, and all blocks being sent to me must be postmarked by 9/30/2016 10/31/2016.

Me, I have until the first anniversary (2/14/2017) to finish the collaborations because I’m optimistic and  hoping for an enthusiastically overwhelming response from y’all.

HOW
You are the Originator.
I am the Collaborator.
As the Originator, you cut out a base in the size of your choice, lay down one red X in the technique of your choice, complete and sign a Provenance Form, then mail the form and the block base(s) to me. I lay down the second red X in the technique of my choice, and we have ourselves a block for The 70273 Project and a collaboration. A partnership. A duet. And most importantly: another person commemorated.

HOW MANY
Each Originator can send me up to 50 blocks.
For those of you who commit to make a certain number of blocks by our next incremental milestone of 12/31/2016 set by Kitty Sorgen, you get 1/2 credit for each block you send as an Originator. Soon enough I’ll be calling for commitments in the Facebook group.

And there you have it – our first Adventure in The 70273 Project. Questions? Ask me here in the comments, send me an email (see envelope icon in upper right-hand sidebar), send me a message on Facebook, post in the Facebook group, post on the Facebook page.

Keep me busy, y’all.

Please.

~~~~~

I told you about the Facebook group and page, here are other places of interest for happenings in The 70273 Project:
Subscribe
to the blog so you don’t miss anything. (There’s a lot going on and a lot coming up, let me tell you.)
Follow the Pinterest board.