The 70273 Project

with a side of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Tag: 70273 blocks (page 1 of 3)

Gentle People, Thread Your Needles

Q: What October 14 is?
A: The 20 month birthday of The 70273 Project

Q: How will we celebrate?
A: We’re throwing a Blockapalooza!

Let’s see how many blocks we can make on that one day – October 14, 2017.

Participation is easy:

  1. Cut a piece of white or nearly white fabric in one of these sizes: 3.5×6.5″ or 6.5×9.5″ or 9.5×12.5″ 2)
  2. Put two red Xs on it. Don’t sew? Don’t let that stop you cause there are many ways to lay those two red X’s down on the base of white or near-white fabric. You can use paint, permanent marker (red Sharpies work swell), ribbon, fabric, lace, embroidery, stencil, – whatever method you choose. If you enjoy sewing, you stitch those two red X’s down any way you want to. These quilts will not be washed, so don’t worry too much about the red being colorfast. No words, no numbers, no drawings or symbols – just two red Xs. That’s all that goes on the blocks. That’s it. Period.
  3. Grab yourself a badge like the one above and share on social media on October 14 (or even before to build enthusiasm and give folks time to gather supplies) to help us get the word out and encourage your friends become involved. Use the hashtags #globalblockday and #the70273project to show us your blocks or quilts and to let us know how many people you’ve commemorated.
  4. Repeat as many times as desired.
  5. Get involved and get others involved. Let folks know you’re participating by mashing the “going” button on the Facebook event then invite your friends and make a pledge in the comments. Pen a blog post about Global Block Day or invite me to write one for you. Or maybe you’re a shop or a library or an organization or an individual who’d  like to host a physical or virtual Global Block Day Event and write a post for me?  Let me know.
  6. Fill out a Provenance Form and mail with your blocks or quilts.

A few notes . . .

  • If you have blocks, a quilt made from your blocks, or a Middling you’re working on and just haven’t gotten around to finishing, get that needle in motion so it can be included in our numbers for Global Block Day or Blockapalooza.
  • Can’t stitch on October 14? I’m gonna’ make it easy for you: Global Block Day is October 14, and Blockapalooza starts today, October 7, and runs till November 14 to allow time for stitching and shipping. Blocks, Middlings, or quilts made from your own blocks received by me or an Ambassador by the end of 11/14/17 will be counted as Global Block Day/Blockapalooza contributions and added to the official block count.
  • If you have a stack of blocks or a Middling or a quilt made from your blocks that you’ve been meaning to get in the mail but just haven’t gotten around to it, get around to it in time for me to receive it by November 14. If you’re in Europe, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with a 70273 Project Ambassador near you.
  • Though they won’t be added to the official block quilt until received by Ambassadors or me, 70273 Project Ambassador Tari Vickery will be donning her green visor to keep a tally on 10/14/17 Global Block Day and keep us updated, so check in often to watch the numbers grow as this big beautiful rock we call Earth makes its way around the sun. After Global Block Day, look for Blockapalooza updates on the blog.
  • Join The 70273 Facebook Digital Campfire, like The 70273 Project Facebook, or subscribe to the blog to stay in the loop.
  • A big Thank you to 70273 Project Ambassador Sarah Jespersen Lauzon for creating the badge and easy-to-follow instructions. Please use the badge and share this post as often as possible to let others know about The 70273 Project and to encourage them to participate.
  • Another big Thank you to 70273 Project Ambassador Lucy Horner for researching and creating the hashtag #GlobalBlockDay.
  • And last but not least, a big Thank you to y’all for helping us remind and/or convince the world that Every life has value. Every. Single. Life.

Now let’s get busy commemorating.

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Block Count Update!

Block #17311 by Christine Prades

I’ve had a productive week while feeding, chauffeuring, and otherwise tending to our daughter during her post-surgery complications. I’ll tell you about all those exciting things in various blog posts to come. Today, I’ll cut right to the chase and give you the block count info. This week I checked in blocks from:
Malek Suleiman (US)
Jennifer Suleiman (US)
Sylvie Keryhuel (FR)
Mireille Grot (FR)
Evelyne Ollivier (FR)
Isabelle Comte (FR)
Annie Hemmerlin (FR)
Catherine Guignol-Moraine (FR)
Agnes Rozenknop (FR)
Anne-Marie Andrau (FR)
Marianne Petition (FR)
Evelyne Lattore (FR)
Chantal Benoudiz (FR)
Annick Petit (FR)
Suzanne Mounters (FR)
Aline Bouchard (FR)
Bethany Sharpton (US)
Amy Castillo (US)
Jeffrey Allen-Kantrowitz (US)
Carlyn Clark (US)
Wendy Caton Reed (US)
Barbara Williamson (US)
Jeffrey Bovee (US)
Becky Ludden (US)
Joanne Sowa ((US)
Alisa Stedman (US)
Sophie Hudson (UK)
Pauline Jennings (UK)
Alida Palmisano (UK)
Avril Bond (England)
Sue Maudling (England)
Ros Masrin (UK)
Karen Bingham (UK)
Jean Higgins (England)
Ginny Crosthwait (US)
Janet Eidem (US)
Carolyn Katzoff (US)
Barbara Ellis (US)
Dian Dresdner (US)
Sam Bell (Scotland)
Jean Dargie (Scotland)
Pamela Cameron (Scotland)
Elsie Swales (Scotland)
Roger Clare (Scotland)
Patricia Menzies (Scotland)
Teresa Parnham (Scotland)
Jean Iso (UK)
Liz Crichton (Scotland)
Sally Bennett (Scotland)
Sylvia Clark (Scotland)
Anonymous

and a quilt from:
Quilt 264 Edna Dorris (US)
(Don’t panic if you sent quilts in. I have 3 to 5 boxes that I simply haven’t had time to open yet, and I’m sure there’ll be more waiting for me when I get back up on the mountain.

I assigned several more quilt numbers and have other quilts yet to be checked in. I was interviewed several times, and did A LOT of infrastructure work that we’ll talk about later. For now, let’s get an answer to what we all want to know: how many blocks do I have right now?

Are you ready?

As of right now, our official block count stands at :::::: 24,720! Maybe one of you mastheads can figure out what percentage that is, all I know is that’s a lot of blocks checked in since our last update 12 days ago. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and look at how our graph tube is filling up! And I know there are thousands of blocks being stitched and quilts being made around the world even as I type, so please keep commemorating and sending them in. And always, always, always, Thank you.

~~~~~~~

Other places you might want to visit:
The Introduction Post
The English-speaking Facebook Group (Our Digital Campfire)
The French-speaking Facebook Group
The Facebook Page
To Subscribe and Have Blog Posts Delivered to You
Block Instructions
To Make and Register a Quilt
To Make Middling Quilts
To Make Long Skinnies Quilts
Pinterest Board

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Just Look at These Blocks from Scotland

What are the chances I’d open two envelopes from Scotland as I check in blocks today? (I should’ve bought a lottery ticket!)

Sam Bell sent these beautiful blocks – one in each size – and a copy of the Spring 2017 issue of The Quilter magazine, the periodical of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles because on page 9 is a short article about The 70273 Project and the good work U.K. Ambassadors Mary Turner, Margaret Jackson, and Chrissy Fitzgerald are doing along with other members of the Coxhoe Quilters.

Envelope #400 is filled with many blocks and this delightful note from Petrina Menzies, a Development Worker at The Session House & Open Learning Centre in Perthshire . . .

Dear Jeanne,
Enclosed are the blocks made from a very small group of ladies in Perthshire Scotland. Working on the blocks gave the ladies time to give thoughts and prayer to something that we had all forgotten. Thank you to you for spreading the word about your wonderful project.
Yours sincerely,
Petrine Menzies

Made by Jean Iso

Made by Liz Crichton

Made by Teresa Parnham

Made by Teresa Parntiam

Made by Sylvia Clark

Made by Sally Bennett

 

Made by Petrine Menzies

Made by Elsie Swales

Made by Jean Dargie

Made by Pamela Cameron

And there were a few blocks made by people who wish to remain anonymous.

Big thanks to all the people in Scotland who’ve made blocks and who will make and send blocks. We still have many people to commemorate, though, so keep stitching, y’all.

~~~~~~~

Other places you might want to visit:
The Introduction Post
The English-speaking Facebook Group (Our Digital Campfire)
The French-speaking Facebook Group
The Facebook Page
To Subscribe and Have Blog Posts Delivered to You
Block Instructions
To Make and Register a Quilt
To Make Middling Quilts
To Make Long Skinnies Quilts
Pinterest Board

SaveSaveSaveSave

About Those Two Red X’s

Block #1, made by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

They’re such a little thing,
a simple design, folks say,
and yet they’re incredibly hard to make.

When I sat to stitch the first block,
I had no trouble cutting out the base
or threading the needle.
I had no trouble cleaning toilets
or cleaning out the dishwasher
or going to the grocery store.
But I had much trouble
stitching two red X’s.
The fact that they represented
a life
did not escape my heart,
my brain,
or my hands.
Continue reading

Inside Envelope 215: A Story from Rosalie Roberts

Block 6230 Made by Rosalie Roberts 9.5″ x 12.5″

Dear Jeanne,

As I watched the World Series this year, I was really enjoying the challenge of the two teams that had not been to the Series for so long and how the teams had struggled and worked so hard against big odds again to get to that stage. As I have loved the World Series since I was young, I watched each game and most of the pre-game broadcasts to learn more bits of info that I would love to have in my not-so-important storage bin in the back of my brain. Sports is a big addiction for me.

One story caught my attention. One thing you might remember: I have sent in a few blocks in memory of my Aunt Ila Rae Yost. She was born with Spina Bifida. She had a growth in the middle of her back about 3 inches across and one inch thick. It was at her waist level. She was able to walk but with a limp and did not progress in school very well. It was at a time when they did not allow “such people” to go to school. So Grandpa hired a school teacher that lived with them. Eventually, when my grandparents got older, she was put in a school in Idaho and then later into a nursing home in Utah.

In this story relating to the Series . . . the second baseman, Javier Baez for the Chicago Cubs’ sister Noely Baez was eleven months younger than he. She was born with Spina Bifida. They were very good friends growing up, and he took good care of her and played with her a lot. In her case, she was paralyzed from there waist down and was in a wheelchair most of her life. A very beautiful young girl. They looked fun together and with their Mom and Dad. Noel was 21 years old when she died in April 2015. I would like to send this block in her memory. This was very touching to me and close to my heart as I grew up with this. My Aunt Ila Rae was 10 years older than I. We were friends and playmates for a long time and then I outgrew her development level but never my love and concern for her.

Rosalie

~~~~~~~

Thank you for introducing us to Aunt Ila Rae Yost. Sounds like you were lucky to have her in your life, and vice versa.  ~ Jeanne

Here’s the short link, all ready to copy and paste should you want to share this post: http://wp.me/pwW64-2AL

Story Time: Block #3771

Block #3771 Made by Margaret Williams

These X’s are made from the seams of a sweatshirt worn by my best friend’s father. He died a few years ago, and I was making a quilt for her mama from his clothing. Mr. Evans was a huge World War II history buff, and he would’ve loved this project.

Do your blocks have a story? Please share.

~~~~~~~

Make.
Like.
Join.
Subscribe.
Make.

A Letter from Christine Fitzgerald: Learning from Children

Coxhoe Quilters’ stall for The 70273 Project at Durham Cathedral. Photo by Chrissy Fitzgerald

Dear Jeanne,

As you know, Coxhoe quilt group worked with schoolchildren on Friday 27th January, Holocaust Memorial day, as part of a series of workshops. Three sessions later in the morning and we had a huge pile of blocks made. I must admit I was a little apprehensive about how it would go, and wondered if it was too big an ask to invite the pupils to sew blocks, rather than simply draw with fabric pens, which would have been quicker and easier.

Photo by Chrissy Fitzgerald

How wrong I was. The pupils listened to the excellent talk given by the museum’s fantastic, helpful education team and then when invited to start sewing, simply picked up the materials without hesitation and got stuck in willingly. Seeing the look of concentration on their faces – it was obvious that most of them were unfamiliar with basic techniques – brought a huge lump to my throat,and as another member of our quilt group mentioned, “goosebumps”. The stitches were huge, knots and the technique of threading needles were struggled with, and those who stitched with the squares in their laps were in imminent danger of stitching their clothing along with the blocks.

The material puckered, and I mentioned afterwards to the group that we could “straighten it out”. No, the answer came – leave it as it is: it is their work and we can work the feature into the quilting and piecing afterwards. How right they were; short of securing anything about to fall off, the quality of the work has a beauty to it beyond the finest workmanship.

It was a lesson to me in a number of ways: setting out to help teach on the day, I ended up learning more than I taught from these children. The way they willingly assisted, even though it was clearly out of their comfort zone: the persistance and diligence as they sended the scale and importance of what they were doing: and the value of standing back – except when asked to assist – and allowing the pupils to explore and create without “jumping in” the whole time and correcting. The unique visual impact that was the result of their creations, and is waiting to come together as quilts, is something the group is very excited and honoured to participate in.

The effort put in by everyone on the day to make this a success was overwhelming, and I feel honoured to be working with so many good, lovely, generous people.

As I contemplated the day’s victory over my control freak tendancies, I had a random memory from childhood: running up to my (Irish) mother and auntie, with two knitting needles stuck into what I now realise was just a huge tangle of wool. “LOOK!” I bellowed, “I’m KNITTING!”. My mother and auntie paused in their gossiping session and calmly regarded my, um, attempts. Auntie Pauline switched on her trademark full-beam twinkly smile and delivered her verdict.

Good girl yerself, she said.

I hope to make blocks with many other people this year, and will be taking a hint from that memory; the blocks will be their own creations, and I will help, but will be embracing the full spectrum of the beauty of creative work from all, and simply enjoying the moment.

With very best wishes from the UK,

 Chrissy

~~~~~~~

Dear Chrissy,

The best teachers learn from their students. Thank you for sharing this day with us and for all you and the other Coxhoe Quilters are doing there. May we all be willing to let our child self come out to play more often.

Thank you,

Jeanne

~~~~~~~

Children of all ages are cordially invited to help commemorate these 70,273 souls by  making blocks and participating in The 70273 Project.

There’s Gonna’ be a Stitch-In in Harrisonville, Missouri on 1/28/2017!

Hosted by The 70273 Project Ambassador, Denniele Bohannon of Louanna Mary Quilt Design,  there will be a block-making party for The 70273 Project in Harrisonville, Missouri on Saturday, 1/28/2017. Drop by Pearson Hall any time between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and make a few blocks.

Do you have to know you way around a needle and thread to make blocks? “Absolutely not,” says Denniele, “If you are a stitcher, bring your machine, white and red fabric, and join us. You might want to precut your background blocks, though you’re welcome to cut them when you arrive. If you are not a stitcher, we have blocks you can create without any sewing at all.”

Men, women, boys, and girls – people of all ages – are welcome to stop by and commemorate one (or more) of the 70,273 people who were murdered for being imperfect. And 70273 Ambassador, Lori East, from Carthage, Missouri, will be there, ready to stitch the blocks you make into a quilt top – maybe even more than one top – so you’ll enjoy instant gratification as you see your blocks join other blocks in paying tribute to people we’ll never know yet refuse to forget.

“70,273 blocks is a huge undertaking but how can we not participate? There are groups all around the world sewing, painting, drawing, embroidering blocks to commemorate each life lost. Harrisonville, Missouri, it is our turn to help.,” says organizer Denniele.

Thank you, residents of and visitors to Harrisonville, Missouri, for spending your Saturday morning standing seam-to-seam with others to pay tribute to people who might otherwise be forgotten. And thank you, Denniele, for organizing this and holding the space for this goodness to happen.

I want photos. Promise me photos.

Using Inks and Glues and Fusibles

Waiting in the doctor’s office gives a Mom plenty of time to stitch. I set out to make a block a day in 2017, but most days – even non-waiting room days – have been Lay’s Potato Chip Days when I couldn’t make just one block.

I have 28 blocks to show for the first 12 days of January . . . and none of them will up our block count. Why? Because these blocks for The 70273 Project (and more still to come) will be used to replace blocks that have already been counted and now need to be replaced because the ink used to draw the X’s has changed from red to purple and orange.

So I thought we’d talk a bit today about which markers to use when you’re drawing the X’s. The only markers I’ve used are Sharpies, and they have been good. I only used them at a World War II event last spring when there simply wasn’t time or space for people to sew. I had red Sharpies available in all tip widths, and there was no halo effect, and the color hasn’t faded. (Of course it hasn’t been a year yet.) I read on an art group forum that Posco pens perform well, too. Sharpies are easy to find in office supply stores, craft stores, and discount stores. Or, feel free to click on the item(s) of your choice below to shop from The 70273 Project Smile.Amazon Shop. It doesn’t cost you a penny more,  and a tiny portion of your purchase price go in our coffers.
Big Chunky Chisel Top Markers, Red, Package of 12
Fine Point, Red, Package of 12

On the Don’t Use List are IdentiPens which are reported to have faded drastically, despite the quilt being displayed in a dark room.

At Thomaston last Monday, we glued the X’s down because that was more time efficient and because arthritic hands can often glue when they can’t stitch. I’ve auditioned several brands, looking for glues that are easily spread and remain flexible when dry. The glues that make my A List are:
Dritz Liquid Stitch (bottle)
Dritz Liquid Stitch (tube)
Aleene’s Permanent Fabric Glue
Aleene’s OK To Wash It Glue
Aleene’s Fabric Fusion.
You can easily find these in craft and fabric stores, or you can click on the links presented here or in the sidebar, order from Smile.Amazon, and support The 70273 Project.

You might also want to fuse your red X’s to the base. If so, I recommend Steam-A-Seam 2. It can be purchased as follows, according to what size you want your X’s to be:
1/4″ x 40 yard roll
1/2″ x 20 yard roll
9″ x 12″ sheets / 5 sheets to a package

When making blocks, keep in mind that these quilts will be traveling the world for decades to come – repeatedly being folded and unfolded – and attach the red X’s in ways that have staying power. And hey, thanks for continuing to make blocks and commemorate The 70273.

Blocks Were Made in Thomaston, Georgia Today

Months ago, my cousin Mary invited me
to tell her women’s group about The 70273 Project
and help them make blocks,
and today, that’s just what I did.

70,273.
A huge number to be sure.
A huge number that causes eyes to glaze over
as people struggle to find something . . .
anything . . .
relatable and understandable.

70,273 perfectly imperfect people
murdered, sight unseen.
It’s sobering, unfathomable, incomprehensible. . . .
especially when someone mentions a friend, then a grandson
who would’ve definitely received two red X’s
were we living in another time.


There is the teensiest bit of nervousness
as is inevitable for people who don’t make things every day.
But quick as a snap,
stories are flying,
memories are bubbling up,
plans are being made to gather and make more blocks
. . . maybe even an entire quilt.

Twenty-four more people are commemorated.

It is a good day.

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