The 70273 Project

with a side of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Tag: 70273 UK

Things Are A-Buzz Across The Pond

I met Lucy Horner in an online photography class, and fell immediately in love with her exquisite photos and her enthusiastic, can-do personality. Though she undoubtedly had no idea what she was in for, it sure was a lucky day for me when she heard of The 70273 Project and offered to collect blocks in her area of the U.K. She is an amazing, talented dynamo of a woman, and I am hugely awed and grateful by all that is going on in her neck of the woods across The Pond. Writes Lucy in her most recent update . . . 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Friday 13th October 7.30pm St Stephens Church, Maidstone Rd, Chatham ME4 6JE … We will be having a ‘Putting Together’ Evening.  If you are an experienced sewer with your own machine, please bring it along to St Stephens and help us start putting together the Rochester Cathedral Quilts.  Thank you to those of you who have already volunteered to put together quilts – YOU’RE AMAZING!  If you can help put together a quilt but don’t live near to Medway then do get in touch – bundles of blocks can be sent XX Email: Lucy for more info and if you can come along to St Stephens.

Friday 10th- Saturday 11th November 10 am-4.30 pm (4 pm on Saturday) – The Autumn Quilt Festival, Kent Showground, Detling, Kent ME14 3JF. Lucy and her Team 70273 will be block making and putting together quilts at the Grosvenor Show  What better way to commemorate Armistice Day in 2017 – making blocks and quilts for The 70273 Project.  Click on the link above for full details.

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Thank you thank you thank you XX Thank you to all of you wonderful people at The Great British Sewing Bee LIVE who stopped and made blocks, pledged blocks and have promised to give our Project wings by getting their sewing groups, schools and community groups involved back home. Thank you to Berol, Bev, Debs, Edina, Gabby, Linda, Louise, Lydia, Sal and Sally who donated their days to run the stand.  To Upper Street Events for the opportunity to spread our message, and to our fellow stand holders for making blocks and donating fabric & ribbon XX

Here are some photos from The Great British Sewing Bee Live, and I love how they contain the meditation of people stitching to remember somebody, the connection and chat with whoever they are sitting next to, and the happiness at contributing to this beautiful blanket of love that we want to wrap the world in.

Val flew over from Toulouse to be at the show and was delighted and surprised to see two of the French Quilts being displayed at The Great British Sewing Be LIVE.  She contributed blocks to the quilts that were displayed in Lacaze, in the South of France back in June.  Twenty of these quilts are now doing a UK tour, and will be on display in Durham and Rochester Cathedral next year.

This week is National Inclusion Week, and this year the theme is ‘Connect for Inclusion’.  This could be the perfect week and way to introduce The 70273 Project to groups, schools and colleges.

And big thanks to Louise Back for cutting all those 100’s and 100’s of blocks up for TGBSBL!  If you’ve got sheets and white fabric to donate then let us know!

271 blocks arrived through the post this week … many from people who pledged to make blocks at TGBSBL.  Jill Nibloe sent a letter with hers which sums things up beautifully:

‘Dear Ladies, I am very pleased, proud and humbled to take part in this Project.  I have worked for many years supporting secondary school students with learning difficulties, so when I saw the stand at the Sewing Bee show I was hooked.  I had no idea about Aktion T4 so this is a way of spreading love around the world and perhaps atoning a little for all the ‘wrongs’ that happen.  Many thanks and lots of love.’  Lots of love to you Jill!  We salute you! XX

Photo By Clive Tanner

Photo By Colin Tolhurst

And finally, The 70273 Project received a royal block when the Countess of Wessex visited Rochester Cathedral and she took time to make her own commemoration. The Countess was visiting the newly opened Cathedral Library and also touring the tactile timeline in the Textus Roffensis exhibition space which the incredibly talented and delightful Wendy Daws and the Kent Association for the Blind Medway Art Group were involved in, as well as The Crypt Glass Manifestation which was created and designed by artists from the Kent Autistic Trust.  Both of these groups will be involved in creating the altar hanging for The 70273 Project which will be on display in the Cathedral from Mid January to early March.

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A hearty Thank you to you, Lucy, and the dynamic Team 70273 you’ve put together. I can’t wait to be over there next year and meet y’all in person.

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Other places to gather around The 70273 Project water cooler:

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.

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.

If you’d prefer to work solo and need a little more room to spread your creative wings, consider making a Middling.

Blocks Being Made Around the World

More block drives, y’all . . .

Susan Luff sends photos from today’s Block Drive and Workshop for The 70273 Project organised by Edina Geering and held in Culverstone Community Centre in Meopham. “An amazing amount of love has gone into making all these blocks – it was a pleasure to be able to help,” writes Susan. “It was also quite chilling and surreal as I was sewing today to imagine that I was sewing someone’s life.”

 

 

 

L to R: Susan and Edina

Our Edina fell and dislocated her toe, leaving her foot a colorful array of bruises. She will be at The Great British Sewing Bee tomorrow as scheduled, but she needs help, so if you’re going, please consider volunteering your time for at least a little while.

The amazing, dynamic Lucy Horner sends these photos from The Great British Sewing Bee today where more blocks were made and pledged:

 

 

Three Generations of Women Stitching Blocks for The 70273 Project

And over in Franklinton, Louisiana, Mary Teresa Green held a workshop for the Queen Bees Guild and sends these photos and words:

“Today I hosted a 70273 Block Making Party at one of my quilt guilds, The Queen Bees of Franklinton, LA,” Mary writes. “The members had a great time and took a lot of white squares and red fabric to make blocks. In Franklinton, Louisiana. One member who wasn’t able to make it to the meeting even texted me photos of two blocks she made ahead of time.  Everyone was very moved and motivated. The members will continue to make blocks and bring hand them in to me to send to you.  The Queen Bees  have two steadfast rules: leave your bad attitude at the door and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Those rules make for a laid back group that is amazingly productive.”

 

 

 

 

 

So many people being commemorated with reverence and beauty. Please keep making blocks, Middlings, Long Skinnies, and block quilts, encouraging your friends and family to join in, and send me photos and stories. I’ve got some important news coming out over the next few days, so be sure you either subscribe to the blog or check back here frequently so you’re always in the know.

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Making Blocks at The Great British Sewing Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee opened today, and thanks to the efforts of 70273 Project Ambassador Lucy Horner (who took and sent every one of these photos),  Edina Geering (you met her and her adorable and precocious granddaughter on Hever Castle weekend), and I don’t know who all else, The 70273 Project has a beautiful booth and plenty of block making supplies ready for the making. And oh the making that did happen today . . .

Patrick  Grant
– Great British Sewing Bee judge and menswear fashion designer –
stopped by today and promises to be back tomorrow to make a block.

Thank you for the shout-out Natasha McCarty
of Channel 78, The Sewing Quarter,
and for going back tomorrow to make a block.

So if you live in the vicinity (or even if you don’t),
get yourself over to The Great British Sewing Bee
sometime before it closes on 9/24/2017
to enjoy the sights;
meet Edina, Lucy, Berol, and Debs;
and make a block or three to commemorate
these special people we honor.

Who knows? You might even get to drive through
a rainbow on the way home,
as did Lucy, Edina, Berol, and Debs today.

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There’s a lot coming up in The 70273 Project,
and here’s how to make sure you don’t miss a thing:
subscribe to the blog
join the English Facebook group
join the French Facebook group
like the Facebook page
follow along on Instagram
have a look at the Pinterest board

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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

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

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