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So many of you – I’m thinking about you, Pam Yates, Ann Grasso, Tanya Weising-Pike –  are talking up The 70273 Project to your quilt guilds, your church groups, your hobby clubs, art and history teachers, special ed classes – spreading the word and even providing the materials for folks to make blocks on the spot. Cass Hale is hosting a block-making party, open house style. Laurie Dunn and Pam Yates are getting their entire families involved. Others (think Lori East and Hilke Kurzke) are having me over for a guest blog post or, like Terri Belford, are interviewing me for a podcast. Then there’s Kimberly Brock who’s invited me to chat at her Tinderbox Writers’ Workshop one day next week.

I know there are many others I don’t know about, so please  let me know cause I want to give you and your block makers some love here on the blog and in other e-spots like Facebook and Twitter if you’re buzzing around out in the community on behalf of The 70273 Project, will ya’?

This is a project with only a few rules, but the few rules are there for a reason and quite really VERY important, so since y’all are stepping out, I thought it might be helpful if I put together a shiny new When You Speak to Groups Handbook When You Speak to Groups Handbook so you don’t have to worry about missing the few key points  when you’re standing up in front of a group. We’ll talk about it here in this post, but there’s even more info in the Handbook, so do be sure to  download, print, and pack it.

TAKE

~ There are flyers available to download and print.
~ You can download and print info cards on paper that’s perforated for business card printing.
~ The When You Speak to Groups Handbook
~ Maybe you want to print out some photos of blocks or take blocks that you’ve made.
~ If you’re providing materials for the audience members to make blocks, you want to take:
* Provenance Forms – enough for each Maker
* White fabric, precut into the three block sizes
* Red scraps of fabric, ribbon, yarn, etc.
* Red thread and needles
* Glue (see sidebar – if you click and purchase from our site, it doesn’t cost you any more and we get a few pennies in the coffer to cover expenses)
* Wax paper for pouring some glue out because sometimes the bottles are hard to squeeze
* Toothpicks for spreading the glue
* Writing pens
* Wax paper or a vinyl tablecloth to protect working surfaces
* Paper towels (for cleaning up messes)
* Your camera
* Safety pins
* Scissors
* The Handout that’s included in the Handbook  giving the following info about where folks can keep up with what’s happening:

SAY
(from the introductory post, rewritten so you can just read if you want)

In anticipation of the new year, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers cleared her space – her physical, mental, emotional, and digital space – making way for something new, for possibility. After much pondering, journaling, and meditation, she knew what you want her 2016 to look like. She knew what she would do: she would lose weight, finish books, make 3 quilts for personal use. She made her plans and was prepared to stick to them. She felt in control of your life for the first time in I don’t know how long, and it felt good. Real good.

Then one night in mid-January, she sat stitch Nancy’s drawings (Jeanne stitches the drawings of her mentally disabled sister-in-love, Nancy) while watching a documentary on World War II with her husband and their daughter, and just like that – within a space of 4-7 minutes – out went the best laid plans, the slate was cleared, her life changed . . . 

Between January 1940 and August 1941, some 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls – were murdered by the Nazis. The Nazi doctors never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, they only read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society”, the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed. Most were murdered within 1-2 hours.

On February 14, 2016, Jeanne launched The 70273 Project – a project dedicated to commemorating those 70,273 disabled, voiceless, powerless people who were so callously and casually murdered. How will they be commemorated?  By gathering 70,273 blocks of white fabric (representing innocence and the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing one person) then stitching them into quilts that will travel the world.

Is she crazy?  Maybe. But Jeanne’s Bones say she can’t not do this. She knows she can’t change history – can’t unring that bell – but she can – with your help – commemorate the lives of these 70,273 disabled people in this small way.

[Then tell a little bit about why and how you got involved.]

(NOTE: The Handbook contains this information in a bullet point format in case you’re one who prefers to work form an outline.)

DO

THE BASICS

~ The base must be white fabric (representing the paper medical records), and on the base, two red X’s are placed (representing the death sentence).
~ Blocks must be one of these sizes: 3.5″ x 6.5″ (9 cm x 16.5 cm) or 6.5″ x 9.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm) or 9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm).
~ Makers are free to unleash their creativity in creating the blocks – all I ask is that the blocks be a white base with two red X’s and be one of the sizes mentioned above.
~ Please don’t sign the blocks or place other names on the blocks – no visible writing or words . ‘Why? Because I want to keep the focus on the 70,273 souls we commemorate. The Makers’ names will appear on a label that is permanently attached to the back of the quilt, and a copy of the label will be printed on paper and exhibited near each quilt. Or the paper copies of the quilt labels might appear in notebooks that accompany the exhibit. There’s a place on the form to dedicate blocks in honor or in memory of someone in particular, and unless the maker wishes to remain anonymous, these names will be given alongside the maker’s name on labels and exhibition materials. Provided the forms are submitted and emails containing photos and bios are sent as requested, makers will also be recognized on the blog, on twitter, on facebook, and in any books that eventually come.
~ Send photos of individuals with their blocks, as well as groups as they make their blocks. (An important note about photos and names: Thank you for keeping me out of hot water by making sure you have permission to send me names and photos of block makers. If a block maker has a guardian, please have the guardian complete and sign the Provenance Form giving permission. If faces cannot be shown, perhaps you can snap and  photos of hands and blocks.

AFTER MAKING BLOCKS 

1. Download, print, complete, and use safety pints to attach The Provenance Form to the blocks. Each maker must submit a Provenance Form, and multiple blocks made by the same maker can be attached to the form. PLEASE remember this form ’cause if I get a bunch of blocks with no form, I’ll have no way of identifying who made what, and we’ll both be in the doghouse.
2. Mail blocks and page one of the form to the address given at the top of the page.
3. Email me the photos and bios (see form for details and bio kindling).

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Here’s the downloadable version of the When Speaking to Groups Handbook.
Have I forgotten something? Please let me know.
Do you have experiences to share? Do tell, please.

There are all sorts of ways to stay in touch, and like I said, I don’t post the same things in all the places ’cause that would be boring, so be sure that:
~ we’re friends on Facebook
~ that you’ve liked the Facebook page
~ that you’re following the pinterest board
~ and subscribed to the blog

However you’re getting the word out, thank y’all. This is truly a grassroots effort – my favorite kind.