Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Tag: 70273 blocks (page 2 of 3)

Mail Call for The 70273 Project


Getting heavily-decorated mail tickles me,
The Engineer, and our local post mistresses.
Tickles a lot of other folks along the way, too,  I’m guessing.


A flock of beautiful blue birds
brought this package from Australia,
a box filled with – count them –  160 blocks.
Thank you, Glenda Williams!



Beautiful flowers adorn another envelope from Susan Getchell in Florida.


Lee Durbin sent another envelope of blocks,
this one decorated in patriotism, and it sparked
the idea to make five blocks a day over Memorial Day weekend
(which I did and well tell you about soon)
as a way of remembering and appreciating
those who died to prevent atrocities
like the one that murdered the 70273 people
we commemorate with The 70273 Project.


Just seeing Kitty Sorgen’s name on the return address label
makes me smile, so when I turn it over to see this,
it’s like getting a bonus.EnvelopeJewelryJohansen1cropped

Orderly, well-dressed felines
brought this envelope from Marie Johansen.


And this one from Tina Davis was just plain fun.
Included in her envelope was a piece of fabric
and a request for me to sign it
and become part of her signature quilt.


Sometimes I open envelopes to find jewelry on the inside –
like this uplifting note from Susan Guild


and this one from Samantha Kendig


and this exciting news from MJ Kinman.


Then there’s this creative postcard
from the talented one known as Della Monk.
It really doesn’t have any relation to The 70273 Project,
but it’s so much fun, there’s no way I could leave it out.

No matter how your blocks get to me,
I thank y’all for being part of
The 70273 Project
and making it such an enjoyable
and worthwhile endeavor.

Mail Call: Envelopes 9, 10, 11, and 12

Block75SharleenJespersen copy

Sharleen Jespersen, who has a habit of making beautiful quilts
for really good causes,
makes this beautiful 9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm) block for The 70273 Project
in honor of her daughter and tucks it inside Envelope #9.

Thank you, Sharleen. I’m honored and delighted
that you’ve chosen to be a part of
The 70273 Project.

Block76KathleenLoomis copy

I met Kathleen Loomis at a fiber arts workshop
in Louisville, KY a couple of years ago,
and I was delighted to open Envelope #10
to find this 3.5 x 6.5 (9 cm x 16.5 cm) block from her.

Kathleen writes:
” I am working on a quilt that references the American flag,
and right now I’m alternating
between sewing on the red and white areas.
I had lots of different white fabrics in piles
on my cutting table,
so I grabbed the top one off the pile
and cut a block for you and The 70273 Project.

The red parts are being heavily stitched
and cut into ‘postage stamps’.
I assemble a large panel of quilt sandwich
and then stitch and stitch and stitch
for a while before cutting it into 1-1/2 inch squares.
Sometimes at the end of the cutting
there’s a very skinny pice left over,
which of course I would never throw away
even if it’s only 1/4 inch wide.
So I picked up a skinny bit that was sitting
on my sewing table, cut it into four parts,
and stitched them onto the white ground fabric.
I would estimate total work time at 2.7 minutes.”

Thank you, Kathleen. Look forward to seeing that quilt
that lent us some pieces for The 70273 Project.

Block84JulieTaylor copy3.5″ x 6.5″ (9 cm x 16.5 cm)

Block85JulieTaylor copy3.5″ x 6.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm)

Block86JulieTaylor copy6.5″ x 9.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm)

Block87JulieTaylor copy9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm)

In Envelope #11,
we find four blocks created by Julie Taylor.
Julie writes:
“Cecilie had her physical and mental challenges
and passed at too young of an age.”

Thank you, Julie.
You pay beautiful homage to Cecilie.

Block88CatherineHill copy

Hailing from the U.K., we have Envelope #12
containing this 6.5″ x 9.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm) block made by
Catherine Hill.
It makes me think of two friends
holding hands as they go willingly
– because they’re “disabled”
which means they don’t know anything but Trust –
off with the person who ultimately
shepherds them to their death.

Thank you, Catherine, for this block that tells a story.


Have you made some blocks?


Joined the Facebook group?

Liked the Facebook page?

Told three (or more) others about The 70273 Project?

And on we grow . . .
thanks to y’all.

Envelopes 2, 4, and 6, Please

Block24DeborahMacKinnon copy

Envelope #2
is from Deborah L. J. Mackinnon
who hails from Washington.
Deborah writes:

I began my journey as an artist after retiring from a career in education.
My love of learning combined with a life long love of fabric.
Self-taught, I’m a member of Contemporary Quilt Arts.
My current project is a series of quilted artist’s books.
Additionally, I’m an active Rotarian and a joyful grandmother.
“Making visible the invisible” is what motivated me to create my block.
The red x’s are shadowed with black fabric pen
to symbolize the prejudice
that physically and mentally disabled individuals
still endure.

Thank you for initating this project.

Deborah L. J. Mackinnon

Thank you for participating in this project, Deborah.



Envelope #3 from Georgia contains
a block from Anonymous Maker 2
created in honor of Nancy Chambers


and a block from Anonymous Maker 3
writes “A very worthy project!”
and created this block
in honor of Nancy Chambers

Thank y’all for making these beautiful blocks
in honor of Nancy. They do her justice
in their vulnerability,
in what must surely look to some
like imperfections.
These blocks, like Nancy,
are beautiful
in their own unique way.


Block36DeniseGiardullo copy

Block37DeniseGiaroullo copy

Block38DeniseGiardullo copy

Envelope #6 contains blocks from
Denise Giardullo
who lives in New York.
Denise writes: “Thank you. I am happy to participate.”

Glad you’re a part of this, Denise. Thank you.


It’s fun to go in the post office
and come out with something besides bills.

And what of envelopes 3 and 5, you ask?
Stay tuned.

Perhaps you’d like to:
make some blocks
get blog posts delivered
join our facebook group
like our facebook page

A Block Making Party with Kimberly Brock and the Tinderbox Writers


Kimberly Brock, author of The River Witch
and a real dynamo creative kind of gal,
invited me to yesterday’s gathering
of The Tinderbox Writing Group,
and guess what we did – that’s right!
We made blocks for The 70273 Project.


MariAnn Stefanelli, a kickass editor
and founder of The Writer’s High Retreat,
put a tear at the bottom of one of her X’s.


Kimberly Brock found it hard to smile
when holding her block.
She made her two red X’s from scraps
that she cobbled together in a
deliberately clumsy way,
saying this is how the doctors’
hearts – at least some of them –
must have felt:
shaky, uneasy, reluctant.
Surely, she said, some of the doctors
went along with the program,
fearing what might happen to their families
if they didn’t.


Karen Filos made a vertical block.
And those flyers in her lap?
She’s got ideas of places she can post those!


Janice Foy, who is surely wearing green this week
the perfect color to go with her beautiful Irish accent,
made two blocks.


Samantha Kendig left space between her
two red X’s, space where a third red X
could have gone . . . but didn’t.


I can’t wait to tell you more about the narrative clay
Pam Arena creates, and I will, too, cause she has an exhibit
opening next month, and I will be there!
I can’t wait to see her flowers that express
her love for her mother
and her grief following her mother’s death.
Yesterday she took her hands out of the clay
to make a block for The 70273 Project,
and I couldn’t be happier about that.




These women are amazingly creative,
their stories enthralled and inspired me.
And as if all that isn’g enough,
they all have people they’re going to contact
to let them know about The 70273 Project.
What a grand way to kick off a week.


And as if all that isn’t enough,
when The Engineer fetched me afterwards,
he came bearing gifts.
“It’s the biggest 4-leaf clover I’ve ever found for you.”
He’s a keeper, that one.


Want me to come to your block making group?
Let me know – we might just be able to make that happen.
Want to keep up with goings-on?
It’s free and easy to subscribe.
Want to become a part of The 70273 Project?
Maybe you want to start by liking our Facebook page
then making some blocks.

So You Want to Make a 70273 Block Without Sewing, Do You?


Let’s say you want to make blocks for The 70273 Project but your arthritic fingers don’t want to cooperate. What to do?

You glue.


Six days after launching,  my mother (Mother), my other mother (Mama Helen), my brother (Jerry or, as I call him, J3) and my sister-in-love (Robin) had ourselves a block party. Now here’s the thing, though they were enthusiastically eager to make a block, arthritis made it awfully hard and quite painful for Mother and Mama Helen. So what to do? Again I say, glue.

I got to work  and auditioned several glues, and found this glue and this glue and this glue work swell. (I’m not done auditioning glues, so keep an eye on the sidebar for additions) – the fabric remains flexible and it holds like nobody’s business. Which it will need to do seeing as how these quilts will be rolled, unrolled, shipped, hung, taken down, and, well, you get the picture. The two red X’s have to stay put.


The first important note: Mother and Mama Helen found the glue bottle hard to mash, so if that’s a problem for you and yours, you might want to pour some out on a piece of waxed paper and use a toothpick or popsicle stick to smear the glue to the back of the red fabric.

The second important note: If you click from the sidebar and purchase the item, The 70273 Project gets a few pennies in the coffer to help cover our costs. Thank you.

The third important note: I will be adding other items to our little Amazon shop, so check back. And hey, if you know of something we should add to our little storefront, please do let me know.

Back to making blocks . . .


Mother has decided that she’s gonna’ make 31 blocks in March, and she wants them all to be the small blocks to represent children who didn’t have a chance to grow up.


When she went to lay down the two red X’s, Robin, my sister-in-love, went quiet and said how good it felt to be a part of something bigger than herself.

This block party, by the way, is how we celebrated my birthday – a week late and there was a meal (cubed steak and mashed potatoes and a birthday cake with pink boiled icing just like my grandmother used to make me) that followed the block making activity.



Mother’s kitties, Lewis and Clark (warning: be real careful what you name baby kitties) joined in, too. And a good time was had by all.


I am absolutely thrilled to be a guest blogger over at my friend Lori East’s e-nest today. Please do go by and wave at her, and take a few minutes while you’re there to enjoy her beautiful work and words. She’s a treasure, that one.


The blocks are rolling in, and I’m cataloging them in my shiny new (well, 2 days old, but that’s new, right?) system. I’ll be posting them here, so subscribe (see below) cause you don’t want to miss a thing.


Now remember to:
like our facebook page
follow our pinterest board
and subscribe for free home delivery
and please, please, please keep making those blocks.

The 70273 Project: Off and Running

The 31-Blocks-in-31-Days Event for The 70273 Project is off and running . . .


Barbara Atwell is off and making,
and spreading the word, getting others involved, too.


I met Fran Saperstein around the end of 2009, and let me tell you:
she’s one of those people whose heart shines through immediately.
And look – she’s keeping things interesting for the quilters
by making some vertical blocks!


Having been gone for a week and a half,
we should be able to get by the post office
tomorrow when it’s open,
so stay tuned for more blocks and makers
as the week unfolds.
(I probably won’t sleep a wink tonight in anticipation!)


Having spent most of today tinkering under the hood here at the blog.
I direct your attention to the lower right sidebar
where I’ve added a cute-as-all-get-out
working-on-the-goal graphic.
As the blocks come in,
the tube will fill till we get to the magic number:
And oh what a celebration that will be.

I also added a directory in the sidebar
for The 70273 Project
to make it quicker and easier
to find specific posts
that might be helpful.

Thank y’all for the blocks I know you’re making.
I can’t wait to see them on Facebook.
Post on your timeline and tag me
or on my timeline
or on The 70273 Project campfire page.

Now I’m gonna’ be on the go
over the next few months,
so if you have a group you’d like me to speak to
or if you’d just like to meet for
a Krispy Kreme doughnut,
let me know.

Wanna’ get free daily delivery? Subscribe right here.

Any Day Now . . .


Every day before heading to the post office, The Engineer says, “I’ll bet today’s the day.” He is so excited about The 70273 Project. I just can’t tell you. So far he’s come out empty handed (well, unless you count the bills), but I understand that several blocks are winging their way to me and others will be soon, so let’s review Operation: Send Me the Blocks . . .

When your blocks are ready to mail, you download, print, and fill out the Provenance Form then attach it to your block(s) with a safety pin. Why a safety pin, you ask? Because just like a staple holds papers together better than a gem clip, a safety pin holds blocks together better than a straight pin. (Plus it’s not as likely to cause pain.)

Mail your blocks and form to the address on the form, then scoot on back to your computer and send me an email containing the following: a photo (or several) of you (you making the blocks would be terrific) and a short bio. Why do I have you email that instead of writing it out on the form and sticking a photo inside the envelope? Imagine me scanning 70273 photos and typing in 70273 bios, that’s why;) If you email them to me, it’s much quicker and easier for me to copy and paste . . . and with the exception of maybe dropping off the first letter of the first word when highlighting before copying, I’m much more likely to get it just the way you sent it without typos.

If you’re sending multiple blocks (Thank you!), feel free to pin all of them to one Provenance Form. If you host or attend a block making party and volunteer to mail everybody’s blocks, be sure each maker completes a Provenance Form and attaches it to their blocks before you put them in the envelope. In other words, each maker must complete a Provenance Form. You’ll also need to get each maker to send me their bio and photo via email.

And what if you want to remain anonymous? There’s a place on the form to tell me that, but I’d still like your name and contact info so I can let you know when your blocks are received and send you a thank you note. If you wish to remain anonymous, know that I will honor your request and your info will go no further than me, and all you need send is your name and contact info. You can leave all else blank and there’s no need to send a photo and bio. The photos and bios are for use when posting your blocks to Facebook or including them in a blog post.

Is there anything I’m forgetting? Anything you still have questions about? Just holler.


Won’t be long till the Make-a-Block-a-Day March Event begins, so let me know you are in so I can get us all set up. I’m creating a special Facebook page just for us. If we can rally 100 people making a block a day for 31 days, that’s . . . let’s see . . . where’s my Engineer calculator . . . 3100 blocks. Significant.

And hey, be sure to subscribe (if you haven’t already) cause it’s the best way to keep your finger on the pulse of The 70273 Project.

Blocks Stitched, Painted, and Stenciled


For her first block for The 70273 Project, Margaret Williams cut a rectangle from an old damask tablecloth then embellished it with the two red X’s.


For her next block, she attached the red fabric down with a little blanket stitch to make the two red X’s.


Then it was time to play with a little paint. Margaret used freezer paper (you can buy it in rolls at the grocery store or in 8.5×11 sheets at the craft store.) to make stencils for a couple of x’s. She’s not going to trim the blocks until she finishes the embellishing because that might draw them up.


Margaret used regular brush and foam brush edge for the other two blocks. Must be sure to put waxed paper or oil cloth tablecloth or poster board – something underneath to protect the surface you’re working on.


And just like that, in the snap of a couple of nights, Margaret has created four blocks. She’s joining me in making a block a day for the 31-day challenge for March. The daily repetition is sure to stretch our creativity and pleasantly delight us with what falls out of our hands as we generate blocks that are as different and unique as the people we commemorate. Won’t you join us and invite others to join us, too? Details coming soon, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the boat.

More Blocks in the Making & Mentions





Kitty Sorgen is stitching up a blue streak, and I love it! Yesterday you saw the blocks she stitched on her ferry commute, and today she sends snaps of her latest stitchings and writes:

“I’ve purposely pieced the white fabric on this one to represent the perceived ‘flaws’ of the murdered innocents. This one is also machine pieced….hope that’s ok. Lots of prayers being stitched into these blocks…….”

As for her question if it’s okay that she’s piecing the white fabric together, yes, it’s absolutely okay. I like that each block will be different . . . just like each of the 70273 people were individuals. That’s just the way it should be. And I love the mindfulness and love Kitty infuses into each of the blocks she makes.


Margaret Williams‘ first block is made from an old damask tablecloth. You don’t have to buy new materials to make a block (unless you just want to. Far be it from me to keep anybody out of a fabric store.). Just poke around and see what you already have on hand.

And when I posed this morning’s facebook question: “What’s gonna’ make this (or has made this, depending on where you are in the world) a day to circle on the calendar and draw stars around?”, Susan Howell Graham (we grew up together, though she – like a whole lotta other people – is younger than me) answered thusly:


I can’t wait to see Susan’s blocks. She’s been wanting to learn to quilt, you know.

Do you have blocks in the making? I’d love to see them – you can send them via email, post on my facebook timeline, or post on your facebook timeline. (Be sure to tag me so I don’t miss anything.)


“One square or 1,000, we can help make the invisible visible. We are all less able when there is hatred instead of love.” ~ Sarah Meredith

“I may even try to sew, which is an idea I never imagined I’d entertain. I don’t know much about fabric drawing either, but this is a good cause to learn on.” ~ J. Clement Wall

“Yes, yes yes! I would love to be involved and I will see who else I can get involved in this over the pond … I am also thinking about Fine Cell Work too and maybe they would get involved … Now all this is something I didn’t expect to wake up to and start buzzing about!!” ~ Lucy Iles Horner on Facebook or luxyloo11 on Instagram


Linda-Marie Davinroy Smith asked another good question on Facebook: You’ve listed 3 different sizes of blocks, do you need equal amounts of each size? Will all 3 sizes be incorporated into one quilt, or is each size being used for different sized quilts?

The answer: While we may make some quilts using blocks that are all the same size, we’ll mostly mix it up and make quilt tops using blocks of all the 3 different sizes.  “So feel free to throw us a challenge,” I told Linda-Marie, “and make some vertical blocks.”

Keep those blocks going and questions coming, y’all – keep spreading the word – and subscribe so you’ll stay in the loop. We’re not even a week out, and already there are things in the works that you don’t want to miss.

On behalf of my fingers, the 70273 souls, and the disabled folks we hold dear, thank y’all.

Presenting Block 2 of The 70273 Project

Today –  block 2 of The 70273 Project.


This is a 9.5″ x 12.5″ block.


As you can see in this closeup,
I stitched down some transparent white ribbon
stitching it down all around to prevent the edges from curling up
These quilts will be handled and transported a lot,
so a girl has to think about this kind of thing.
On top of the white ribbon, I stitched down some narrow
sparkly, festive red ribbon using a technique called couching.
Here’s a video if you prefer live recorded action.
It’s a very simple stitch. And I do mean very.


Ribbon turns a studio into a gym


if you’re a grandcat.

I’m hatching an idea about a 31-day challenge.
You know, create a block a day for 31 days.
What do you think?
It’s a surefire way to turn your creativity loose.
I just need to work out a few details in my head.
Stay tuned for more info.

On behalf of myself and the 70273 people we commemorate,
thank you for telling at least 3 people every day,
for making blocks,
and being a part of this project in whatever way(s) you choose.
Keep those good ideas and questions coming.

And before you go, don’t forget to subscribe.
We deliver to your front doorstep every morning
and we never break a window.

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