Category: 70273 (Page 1 of 27)

Meet The 70273 Project Data Angels

I told you about The Missus (The 70273 Project Online Searchable Database), now allow me to introduce you to the Host of Data Angels that is bringing it to life. I recently asked them the same three questions, and here are their answers, presented in alphabetical order by first name. If you’d like to know what the Data Angels do when they’re not bent over their computers entering data into The Missus, head this way.

 

Barbara Walsh (Minnesota, USA)

Q: Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: I have several family members that would 100% have been given 2 red X’s, perhaps even myself with my poor vision and scoliosis. How can someone not want to be involved is the question I ask.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: We were in the thick of the pandemic. My children’s school and sporting activities had all been shut down, and I got a good glimpse of what retirement will look like for me – even if it is 15+ years down the road. I have several hobbies, but not being active with any groups (my church quilting group shut down as well) was eye opening. With so much time on my hands, I needed a project, a group, a cause. I had already made some blocks, and was waiting for some block bundles to come my way, and I thought “How much data entry could there be?” I figured a few hours of data entry and I would be done. I still cannot comprehend how much is done and is still to do. Such important work, and I am so pleased to be a very small part of it.  (True confession: Jeanne, I am in your camp on the “S” (spreadsheet) word. I can barely say it! My career really isn’t a tech heavy profession, so emails and word documents are pretty much all I do . . . till now.)

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: My life’s work is dedicated to the honoring and remembering those that go before us. To have 70,273 individuals snuffed out because of someone’s idea of imperfection is unimaginable. To not have been remembered, honored, or buried properly is unthinkable to me. By participating in this project, i feel we are giving those 70,273 souls their due respect, honor, and in a strange way, a burial.

 

Gladys Loewen, Coordinator (Canada)

Q: Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: I became involved with the project because it speaks to various aspects of my identity. I identify as disabled, and I have worked for 25 years in the field of higher education and disability, so this project pulled me because of that. As well, my ancestors were German Mennonites from what used to be Prussia, and they later moved to Russia for religious freedom and pristine farmland. My grandparents and parents were born in various parts of the former USSR. In the late 1920s, after the Bolshevik Revolution when German communities were targeted for being different as outsiders, both sets of grandparents escaped Russia as Mennonite Refugees. My mother was 4 and my dad 8 when their families arrived in Canada, penniless. So this adds to my interest in The 70273 Project. And lastly, I am a quilter, and for that reason, our lives intersected at the International Quilt Festival in 2017. As a quilter, I knew I wanted to make a quilt for the project as soon as I saw the special exhibit in Houston. And of course, I have been teaching my grandkids how to sew, which made making a quilt with my 9 year old grandson an important project.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: I became a Data Angel because I am retired; skilled at coordinating and managing details; and I wanted to be part of a community. The Data Angels have become a team, a community, even though we are spread out from Canada to Argentina and from the Pacific Coast to the East Coast. I started doing data entry work several months after Kevin Thomas, nancy Carroll, and Lori Grillo started. nancy offered to meet on a phone call and walk me through my questions on how to get started. We chatted several times after that, and eventually we met so I could pick up her two quilts to bring to the AHEAD conference. I met her again when Tari Vickery came to visit, so that is where my community began with the Dta Angels. And now my role has shifted to Coordinator, so I continue to find ways to encourage and support the community feeling, a feeling of being in a safe, supportive place.

 

Lara Ferguson (California, USA)

Q: Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: Because I passionately agree with this statement you made from the beginning, “I want this to be so big, so immense that people cannot look away, cannot say they didn’t see it.” I wanted to be part of that.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: I work in IT, and I thought I might be useful. I love a good data entry project!

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: I don’t want any part of that history to be repeated, and I think people sometimes need help remembering and personalizing the stories of those who died.

 

Maria Conway (Argentina)

Q: Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: Once I read your first post on this project, i was completely hooked, and I couldn’t not participate! My sister in disabled. She lives with me, so it really touched my heart. This was at the very beginning of the project, and I remember thinking “this woman is completely crazy. She’s never gong to finish making and collecting 70,000+ blocks, so i’d better help1”

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: It’s something else I can do to help now that we’ve completed all the blocks. I’d love helping with putting together quilts, but I’m so far away, and the post here is to dreadful, so that’s really not feasible. And data entry is something I enjoy doing and am good at.

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: I find it very important to always speak against violence, especially against those who can’t defend themselves. I had no idea this happened. You always hear about the killings of Jews and gays, and that was absolutely terrible. The killing of disabled people is a work of pure evil, and people should know this happened so as to not let history repeat itself.

 

Patricia Taylor (Wisconsin, USA)

Q: Why did you become involved with The 70273 Project?
A: I first learned about The 70273 Project when we attended the Minnesota Quilt Show in 2018 and met you for the first time. I remember returning home, and all I could think about was the story you shared and the images of those pairs of red X’s so tenderly sewn into all the quilts on exhibit. The tiny christening dress is the one that stayed most in my heart.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: I made blocks and quilts, and when this opportunity came along, my husband taught me the basics of working with an Excelt spreadsheet and declared me ready to join, so there was no turning back – I had to join the team! My computer skills are quite limited – especially compared with the rest of the group, but even the limited efforts I make are so rewarding, and seeing all this information come together is fabulous.

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: To think of another person being murdered for any reason is unthinkable, but to know there were 70,273 people murdered because they were deemed “imperfect” is almost unbelievable. We cannot let these people or this atrocity go unremembered.

 

Peggy Thomas, Lead Data Angel (Georgia, USA)

Q; Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: I think it was serendipity – of course it was! Two things collided: I had recently sold my business and had a vague idea  that I might want to make a quilt again after 30+ years since my first one. Second, my son is Autistic, so anything touching disabilities – especially if it raises awareness – is dear to me.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: I knew – and said aloud – at our first hands-on work day at the Peachtree City Library that you needed help getting all this information out of your head and into a computer. You gave me a bit of back story and told me of plans for the future, then gave me crate blanche and off I merrily went.

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: The story behind The 70273 Project immediately moved me. When I thought about all the amazing people I’ve met over the years who would have received a death sentence in the form of two red X’s, I knew I would be involved for the duration of the project.

 

Roberta Pabst (California, USA)

Q: Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: Susan Bianchi made a short mention of the project during a “show and tell” session at a Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association meeting. It spoke to me, and I followed up. I can see in the database that Sue and the members of her art quilt group all made blocks and sent them in.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: I like to use the skills I have to help whenever I can.

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: It tells a story that needs to be told. It honors those who cannot speak for themselves. It reminds us that each person is important, even – or maybe especially – those who are different or dependent or hidden from everyday awareness. We don’t believe that such an atrocity could have ever happened, but we need to believe it to help inform our every day decisions. It can make us better people to feel the magnitude of what was done.

 

Sacha Brady (Indiana, USA)

Q: Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: It was a profound idea with great visual impact, something large and educational and creative that I had the skills to be a part of. All of those aspects appeal to me.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: Becoming a Data Angel was another way I could put my skills to use for the cause. I thought it would be busy work to pass the time during the pandemic, but it has turned into much more for me:P problem solving, troubleshooting, being part of a collaborative community. All of those aspects appeal to me, too.

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: Honoring people’s lives; grieving ourselves; facing hard truths; understanding that we are all connected and resilient even when life is fragile; and channeling our feelings into creative productivity are powerful and important. The 70273 Project is all of those things.

 

 

 

Kevin Thomas (Georgia, USA)

Kevin was our very first Data Angel, so we invited him to join us on the call, and I asked him the same questions. Here are his answers:

Q: Why did you get involved with The 70273 Project?
A: My mother has a lead role in it.

Q: Why did you become a Data Angel?
A: Because I believe in the project.

Q: Why is The 70273 Project important?
A: It brings awareness to a previously unacknowledged aspect of history.

 

We are grateful for the service and contributions of these retired Data Angels: 

Kathy Carfagno (USA)
Lori Grillo (USA)
Nancy Carroll (Canada, deceased)

Happy Fourth Birthday to Us!

Pairs of red X’s cover a white cloth

Quilt 31

Pairs of red X’s on a white quilt

Quilt 652

Pairs of red X’s on backgrounds of white

72 Blocks made by Alida Palmisano

Four years ago today, I gave myself the best birthday present ever when I mashed the “publish” button and launched The 70273 Project. What an incredible, amazing, astonishing four years it has been.

Looking Back

Our first blocks came from Kitty Sorgen less than 2 weeks of that first post. News of the project spread like wildfire, confirming that the kind, compassionate people in the world outnumber the bad folks, something I’d long suspected. Three days later, Margaret Williams did some experimenting and tutorials. And we were off! Throughout the four years, we received blocks from quilt guilds, schools, churches, families, and communities around the world.

Our first major European exhibit – in Lacaze, France, curated by Katell Renon and Cecile Milhau – was a mere 16 months after launch.  We’ve had exhibits literally around the world –  in Munich, Celle, and Dachau Germany, Durham Cathedral (U.K.); Rochester Cathedral (U.K.); the Channel Islands, throughout America, in Canada, Scotland, at the International Quilt Festival, in Charleville, France (I can’t wait to tell you more about this one!) curated by Annie Labruyere, and many more I’ve not yet written about. But I will.

Our quilts have been on exhibit – which means our stories have been told –  literally around the world. Working together with hundreds of thousands of people, we’ve made the world smaller and become friends – often dear friends – with people on the other side of the globe from us. We’ve made the world a kinder, more compassionate place.

Now and When

I would like to be able to tell you exactly how many block and quilts we have today, but the truth of the matter is that I’m behind on the record keeping side of the project. As y’all may know, The Engineer and I were home only 4 non-consecutive weeks in 2018 while traveling for The 70273 Project (a big bouquet of gratitude to everyone who made it such an amazing, memorable year). Then in 2019 I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, and took what amounts to an unscheduled sabbatical as I surrendered to the depression that followed.

I am delighted to tell you that we are learning to live together, my new vision and I, and though I still have my low vision/low spirit days, I now feel ready to push up my sleeves and lead us to the finish line. And just like in the very beginning when I asked for help because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could not commemorate these 70,273 precious souls without assistance, I am going to need help to get us to the Finish Line.

When I put out the call on 14 February 2016, y’all responded immediately with great enthusiasm and dedication. In the coming weeks, I will once again be posting Help Needed opportunities. I thank you in advance for stepping up and stepping in to help complete our commemorations in ways that will allow these important stories to continue to be told throughout the land and to ensure that those we commemorate and those we celebrate are never forgotten or overlooked again.

One Thing You Can Do Today

Yesterday I opened registration for the online life story writing gathering I’m offering called Keepsake Writers. We’ll gather weekly beginning 09 March 2020 to capture and preserve our life stories. I hope you’ll join in and create something  you and future generations will treasure. If you can’t participate right now, perhaps you’d be willing to share the link with your friends and family in case they are interested. All proceeds go directly into The 70273 Project to help fund the things I’ll be telling you about soon.

Keep Your Ears on  the Track for What’s Coming

the blog

the monthly newsletter

our Facebook page

our Facebook Campfire (a.k.a. Group)

Keepsake Writing Tribes Forming, and You’re Cordially Invited

 

If you’ve ever promised yourself that One Day you’ll write and preserve your personal and family stories, good news: One Day is right around the corner on Monday, 09 March 2020. That’s when my new online life story writing course called Keepsake Writers begins.

Writing, telling, preserving your stories is powerful. Stories unite us, uplift us, give us the literal and metaphorical arm’s length distance to better understand ourselves, decisions we’ve made along the way, and how we came to be who we are. Stories connect us with ourselves and others, with our friends and family, and often, in explicable ways, with our ancestors. Stories make us laugh, make us cry, make us think and feel and remember. Stories can show us where we went right and where we may have strayed from our intended path (sometimes – perhaps often – a good, serendipitous thing). Preserving and sharing our stories can be cathartic. Your stories – which is to say your life – has value, and there are so many good reasons to capture and share your stories. I hope you’ll decide to read your way through to the registration button, then commit to joining in what will undoubtedly be a life changing, life-affirming experience.

And all proceeds go to The 70273 Project, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to commemorating history, good and bad, personal and global.

My Background

Where most of my friends wore necklaces, I wore a Brownie camera. If you don’t count all those diaries, I wrote my first personal history in 2000 when I conducted interviews, did contextual research, and wrote a book of my father-in-law’s stories on the occasion of his 80th birthday. That was in late July. When I woke up one morning a week after delivering a copy of the book into every family member’s hands, a little voice whispered “Write a book about your daddy, and do it NOW.”

”You must be crazy,” i countered. “It’s August, and there’s no way I can do all the work and have a book wrapped and under the tree by December.”

”Ahem,” The Voice said again through what sure sounded like clenched teeth, “Write a book about your daddy, and do it NOW.”

I learned a long time ago that I lose every time I argue with The Voice, so I got out of bed, brushed my teeth, and got to work. The leather-bound books arrived on Saturday, 02 December 2000 while Daddy was in the hospital, suffering from complications from a fall he took a week before. I gathered the family around his bed to reveal the early Christmas present. We began reading the book to Daddy at 20 minutes till 1, finishing at 15 minutes till 5. Daddy took his last breath at 5 minutes till 5 p.m.

After that, I hung out my shingle, penning 22 more personal and family histories for clients and teaching workshops for the more do-it-yourself inclined.

Your Personal Elf

Even though it’s an act of love, I know how hard it is to writing your life in stories to an already full life. I know how overwhelming it can be to sit with a blank sheet of paper or a blank computer screen. I know how lonely it can be to write. I also know how joyful and well, cleansing it can be to spend time with your life stories. I know how exhilarating it is to hold a book of your stories in your hand and how rewarding it is to have other people smile and thank you with tears in their eyes when they’ve unwrapped their very own copy. That’s why in the monthly Keepsake Writing Tribe gathering, I’ll offer whatever support and encouragement you need or want. I will be . . .

  • The Trellis that provides the structure for you to grow and bloom
  • The Drill Instructor who elicits more from you than you may have ever thought yourself capable of
  • The  Fairy Godmother who whispers morsels of support and encouragement just when you really need it.

I won’t be writing for you, but I will make writing your stories fun, enjoyable, and do everything I can think of to help you create a lasting legacy that future generations will thank you for.

How It Works

Your investment of $107.00 USD per month ($26.75 per week or $3.82 per day, if you like that kind of math) includes . . .

  • Once a week we’ll gather on a Zoom video chat for 1.5 hours. With Zoom you can opt in for video or choose to join with audio only, and you make these choices every week. I’ll send you a link to our gathering every week, and when you click on it – voila, you’re in the circle.
  • We’ll warm-up for a few minutes then I’ll toss out a prompt, and you’ll write.
  • When writing time ends, you’ll have the opportunity to share your writing with the group, if desired. It is totally up to you, and you will never be pressured to share.
  • To eliminate the inclination to write to please others, the only audible feedback given by other Tribe members after each sharing is a simply “Thank you.”
  • We’ll have a private Facebook group just for us. In this group, I will post inspirational quotes, writing tips, organizational suggestions, usable information, book recommendations and reviews, and more to keep you stimulated and writing between gatherings. It’s a good place to get to know, support, and encourage each other.
  • Maximum enrollment of 12 to allow time for sharing.
  • Keepsake Writing Tribe(s) begin in March 2020 and will continue through the end of the year. The curriculum is different every month, never repeating or building on itself, so feel free to join at the beginning of any month.
  • Each week’s gathering will be recorded for those who have to miss.
  • Once the Gatherings have started for each month, I can’t offer any refunds.
  • Once you’re enrolled, I will add you to our Facebook group and email you the link for our first Gathering. Each week’s link will be shared in the Facebook group.

Who Benefits

  • You and your loved ones. You will create something that will surely be cherished by current and future generations while reminding yourself and them that you are amazing.
  • The 70273 Project. All monies go directly to The 70273 Project to cover increasing expenses. The 70273 Project, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization. Contact your tax advisor for guidance in tax matters.
  • Me. I get to do something I love doing – helping you preserve your precious, unique, invaluable stories.

Register now so you don’t miss a single Tribe Gathering.

Imagine holding a book of stories about your mother and her first sewing machine. Or your dad and his first car. Or the special toys that favorite uncle once created. Or about that rickety old chair you remember sitting in the corner of the kitchen. Don’t let your stories and the information they hold be lost forever. Sign up today and let me help you create something of lasting value, something that will be treasured for generations to come.

Make the Big Decision and Register Now for March 2020

March 2020 Keepsake Writing Gatherings:
Mondays 12 noon to 1:30 pm, Eastern Time
March 9, 2020: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
March 16, 2020: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
March 23, 2020: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
March 30,  2020: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Find your time zone here: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/
Register now and make sure you don’t miss a seat at this very special table.
Important note: Should you find that you have to miss one or more gatherings, you can still join us by way of the recordings. I record each gathering and will post them in our Facebook group for you to listen and re listen any time you want.



Questions? Just holler.

From the Archives: U.K. Quilts and Exhibits

A quilt with a white background covered in pairs of red X’s hanging high in an ancient cathedral

Durham Cathedral

White quilts covered with pairs of red X’s draped over church pews and chairs

Durham Cathedral

White quilts covered with pairs of red X’s draped over church pews and chairs and on the floor

Durham Cathedral

Two white banners covered with pairs of red X’s hang in the front of an ancient cathedral

Rochester Cathedral

White quilts covered with pairs of red X’s hang in an ancient cathedral

Rochester Cathedral

White quilts covered with pairs of red X’s on display in an ancient cathedral

Rochester Cathedral

White quilts covered with pairs of red X’s

Jersey Heritage Center and Museum, Channel Islands U.K.

White quilts covered with pairs of red X’s on display in a museum

Jersey Heritage Center and Museum, Channel Islands, U.K.

White quilts covered with pairs of red X’s on display in a museum

Jersey Heritage Center and Museum, Channel Islands, U.K.

 

Every year Europeans mark Holocaust Remembrance Day at the end of January. The Engineer, Tari Vickery, and I are honored to be in attendance and participate in January 2018. Quilts of The 70273 Project were on display in Durham Cathedral, Rochester Cathedral, and the Jersey Heritage Center and Museum in the Channel Islands. It’s been two years, and I still can’t adequately express my feelings or tell you about the people, the quilts, the stories, the connections, the tears of laughter, sorrow, and of Knowing, the immense hospitality and warm welcome. I’m still processing . . . And smiling . . . And chortling . . . And whispering gratitude. What an honor it was to meet people I knew only in social media, to bear witness to their stories, to feel the power of the quilts they made.

A big, huge, ginormous bouquet of gratitude to The 70273 Project Ambassadors – Margaret Jackson, Mary Turner, and Christine FitzGerald in Durham; Lucy Horner in Rochester; and Kim Monins and Gisele Therezien in the Channel Islands – who spent countless hours scheduling, coordinating, and staging Block Drives and these massive exhibits. And more bouquets of gratitude to the patient, supportive spouses, siblings, children, pets, grandchildren, and friends like Sharon Howell, Bev Bunn, Wendy Dawes, Edina Geering, Beryl Connelly, Annie Labruyere, Sue Harris, and countless – and I do mean countless – others in the U.K. who went above and beyond to commemorate tens of thousands of those we memorialize and create exhibits and events that will not soon be forgotten by those of us in attendance.

In case you’re wondering, The Engineer, Tari, and I paid our own way to these exhibits – as we always do – and we’re very grateful to those who gave us a bed to sleep on, fed  us, and ferried us hither and yon while we were there. Whenever we travel to an exhibit, each of us pays to take an extra large suitcase so we can bring home as many quilts as possible. We still have a few quilts in need of a ride home from Durham, however, so if you’d like to give them wings, please donate what you can and help us get them home to 70273 Project Heartquarters. When you donate through the Pay Pal Giving Fund, it only takes a few minutes to register and designate The 70273 Project – a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation – as the charity to receive your donation. There are no fees deducted when donating through The Pay Pal Giving Fund, which means The 70273 Project keeps your entire donation. Thank you in advance.

Be watching this space for what’s ahead for The 70273 Project. Subscribe to the blog, to the newsletter..

Visiting L’Albatros

Wednesday, 08 October 2019

Dark clouds may hover, but the sun always shines at Institut L’Albatros. How could it not with such happy students/residents and attentive, patient, creative teachers?

The topiary of Albatros to greet us

A stained glass Albatros greets us

Even a stainless steel bench greets us.

Annie Labruyere, who introduced L’Albatros to The 70273 Project over a year ago, unpacks the quilts She made from the blocks created by the people at L’Albatros. Students/residents form a circle with their chairs, and each person applauds, flashes a big smile, and waves to me as their name is called from the label of a quilt that contains their block. There are many quilts, and every one is beautiful, magnificent.

Betty, a now-retired teacher who continues to come and teach, shows the Middling she made. Betty knows Annie Labruyère’s mother as they once taught together.

Next is the tour of workshops where I am treated to see the fruits of the creativity that blooms at L’Albatros. There is this picture made of wire and fabric and yarns. It is an entire story in itself.

There are sequin boxes – such tedious, time-consuming effort!

Blocks made from 33 rpm vinyl records. Do you see the silhouette?

A doggie bed made from an old tire

A chair has been given festive new attire

They make jewelry, too, and when they offer, I accept with a huge smile of gratitude and delight. I take home with me 2 new pairs of earrings, a new necklace, a Christmas ornament (that makes a snow storm, as one resident showed me), a person made of a spool of thread, and the most sparkly ring you ever did see.

Holiday trees are being made from recycled wood. Preparations for the annual Christmas Bazaar are well underway, so mark your calendar and go there to do your holiday shopping. You’ll be really glad you did.

Every workshop is filled with necessary tools and ample supplies for creativity. The residents make their own choices.

I even spied a sew in machine!

After the tour, it is time for refreshments. “Do you like orange or apple juice?” I am asked. I choose apple juice, and they smile and tell me it is made from apples grown at L’Albatros. In other words, they know and I know after I taste it, that I have made the right choice.

Then I am offered an apple tart, though it doesn’t taste tarty at all. It, too, is made from apples grown at L’Albatros. When I am offered a second one, I eagerly accept and am given two more! (Yes, I ate them both.) I wish to get this recipe, though I’ll never be able to slice the apples so thinly as this.

Then it’s time for pictures! Say “frommage!”

Teachers and Administrators who are so caring and kind and creative themselves. They hold a Middling made by one of the female students of L’Albatros.

And in the wink of an eye, it is time to leave. It was a wonderful visit to a wonderful place, a place that the world needs more of. Thank you people of L’Albatros. You are now permanently in my heart. And thank you, Annie, for the work you continue to do with L’Albatros. It was a delightful visit, an afternoon I will never forget.

Days 2 and 3 at University of Central Missouri

People came in.
More people came in.
Still more people came in.
And just like that, instead of empty tables, we had 80 people and few empty chairs.
Students, professors, and some leaders at the University of Central Missouri brought a brown bag lunch and gathered in the basement of the Chapel to hear more about The 70273 Project.

They didn’t leave, even when this is what greeted them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When looking at the photos taken by The 70273 Project Documentarian Alison Chambers, I discovered these photos of Dr. Clifford-Napoleone introducing me and me speaking. We already share so many traits, characteristics, beliefs, and Southernisms Amber and I do, might this be more evidence that we were separated at birth?

There were really good questions, as I’ve come to look forward to from students here at the University of Central Missouri, and I’m delighted to tell you that the goodness of the  conversations grew as the faculty joined in. It was great.

Honor Roll of Alumni Faculty and Students for whom the Chapel is dedicated

The Alumni Chapel, site of the Brown Bag Lunch, was built in honor of students, staff, and professors who lost their lives in World War 1, World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Alison and I left the Chapel and went to the UCMo bookstore, where textbooks are displayed on open shelves just like in the good ole’ days before non-student textbook geeks like us weren’t allowed to poke around. Somehow I only bought three books.

Wednesday evening found us talking to folks at the Warrensburg First Presbyterian Church. It was another great group of delightful people, fantastic questions, and communal tears of joy and pain shed by women who are grandmothers, mothers, teachers, friends, siblings, and just plain ole’ caring women.

 

Miles Apart, Art Quilt by Susan Stevenson. This is the one that was in the Fissures Exhibit.

An Uneasy Chair, Art Quilt by Susan Stevenson

As I moved from pew to pew introducing myself before the program began, Susan Stevenson introduced herself to me. We both had a quilt juried into the Fissures exhibit at the Emerald Art Center in Oregon last year. AND I saw two of her amazing quilts (shown here with her permission) in the Faculty Art Gallery the day before as I was leaving the building after talking with the Fibers Class that was filled mostly with Art Education majors. Susan teaches Interior Design at University of Central Missouri, and I’m delighted to have met another talented art quilter in person!

L to R: Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Emma, and Jeanne

From the church, we went to Café Blackadder where we had the best supper. Alison got a large slab of tree that was filled with yummy fresh fruits. I’ve never been accused of being a foodie, y’all, but I sure did enjoy my grilled cheese / fig / balsamic vinegar / garlic mayonnaise sandwich with a side of sea salt chips. (It also came with pickled red onions, but I asked that they lave those off.) And just wait till you hear how Emma (shown above) spent her summer, coming soon to a blog post near you.

Thursday morning found us at the McClure Archives and University Museum enjoying unscheduled conversations with students, some of whom taped short videos telling us about how The 70273 Project impacts them.

At 2:00 Thursday afternoon I had the honor of speaking to another great group of interested folks at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. More good conversations, more good questions. When we arrived, we couldn’t help but notice how many armed security guards were in attendance, each wearing a bulletproof vest. Most interior office doors – even the ones with glass – were locked so we had to be buzzed in. Such security measures were necessary in the aftermath of the murders committed there several years ago. It all made me feel safe and sad at the same time.

It was still early when we left the Jewish Campus, so Alison and I took ourselves to one movie, and as we were ordering the food that would be delivered to us in the theatre, we decided that the timing worked out just fine for us to see an another movie. We saw “Angel Has Fallen” first (we were the only two in the theatre, and wouldn’t you know this is the chair I sat in.) (Yes, I moved.)  then there was just enough time to grab a drink at the theatre’s bar before going to see . . . wait for it . . .  “Downton Abbey.”

As we exited the theatre, we were greeted with the delicious sound of “That Old Time Rock and Roll”, and it was live music. Following our ears (that’s what Alison did – I danced down the sidewalk), we landed right smack dab in a street party. What a fun surprise! The sidewalk jewelry said “Dance fist. Think later,” and that’s just what we did.

Two more days at this wonderful place. Alison and I want time to slow down.

University of Central Missouri, Here We Come Again!

The amazing Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D., professor, Director of the McClure Archives and Museum, and Curator of the largest and longest exhibit to date of The 70273 Project has done it again! Y’all may remember that last March found me on the beautiful campus of the University of Central Missouri, delivering the kick-off speech for Politics and Social Justice Week. Well now she’s put together a full week of educational, brain-and-heart-expanding goodness.

The Schedule

Tuesday, September 17
~ Visit to an Art class on Fibers to speak about studio and project process
~ 12 to 1:30 p.m.: Lunch and Tour with press at the McClure
~ Possibility that another classroom lecture will be added
~ Possible informal chat with students over a brown bag lunch

Wednesday, September 18
~ 12 to 1:30 p.m.: Lunch with students in Chapel Basement
~ 5:00 p.m.: Public lecture at Warrensburg First Presbyterian Church, The 70273 Project: A Backstage Pass
~ 6:30 p.m.: Community Dinner with Jeanne at Café Blackadder (by invitation, attendees pay for their own meal)

Thursday, September 19
~ 11:00 a.m.: Special screening of The Eugenics Crusade: What’s Wrong with Perfect? in Wood 205 on the campus of University of Central Missouri
~ 2:00 p.m.: The 70273 Project: A Backstage Pass Lecture at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Multi-Activity Center Room / Jewish Community Campus / 5801 West 115th Street / Overland Park, Kansas 66211. Reservations are required and can be made here.

Friday, September 20
~ Open. Want to meet-up somewhere? Want me to speak to your group? I welcome any opportunity to meet and make, show and tell. Let me know asap and let’s make it happen.

Saturday, September 21
~ 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: The 70273 Project Block Drive in downtown Warrensburg Courthouse Square. All ages welcome. No sewing skills necessary. Supplies will be provided for those wishing to make blocks to commemorate those who were murdered. Quilters and stitchers are welcome to drop off already completed blocks and stay to chat a while. 

Check Back Often

Would you like to come to some of these gatherings? Maybe you want to get some friends together and take a field trip? Amber and I are finalizing the details this week, so check back often for information of added events and specifics on things like times, places, parking places and passes, directions, etc.

Updates from Me

I am enjoying some improvement in my vision. Your good thoughts, prayers, healing energy, encouragement, and support continue to make all the difference. I also appreciate your patience as I learned to deal with my impaired vision and gave way to the possibly/probably inevitable depression that followed the diagnosis. I’m back now, and raring to go. So many ideas to share here, so come back by often. The 70273 Project isn’t over yet! Not by a long shot.

So Grateful

A great big huge thank you to Amber for investing the time and energy to put all this together, and to my daughter Alison who will be my eyes and chauffeur since I still am not allowed to drive. And to all of y’all who continue to be part of The 70273 Project.

I hope some of y’all can come. And I hope you’ll share this post with others who might be interested in attending.

~~~~~~~

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Bits of Interest

Interviews, sending information, formatting and sending photos, answering questions – as always, life is like a crazy quilt with much going on behind the scenes and filling my days at The 70273 Project, and many things are now coming to fruition . . .

Curated Quilts Magazine

cover of Curated Quilts magazine with words sewn into quilts
Every issue of Curated Quilts is an opportunity to attend a juried exhibit from the comfort of your own home. Each quarterly issue – available in print or digital versions – features a central theme and images of quilts selected for inclusion in the gallery, along with interviews, inspiration, techniques, and patterns. The magazine is printed on heavy stock paper that’s a delight to touch, the page layouts are beautifully designed, and the quilts in the gallery are a delight to behold. It’s more like a coffee table book that you’ll enjoy looking at over and over.
In early April, Amy Ellis, one half of the Curated quilts team, emailed to ask permission to include one of The 70273 Project quilts in issue #8 featuring Well Said quilts. “Specifically, we would like to feature your quilt in our gallery. A quilt from your 70273 Project would make a beautiful addition to our group of quilts curated to feature Well Said quilts,” writes Amy. I’m delighted to tell y’all that Curated Quilts Issue #8 is out, and The 70273 Project Quilt #10 is on page 13! Thank you, Amy and Christine for thinking of The 70273 Project. It’s an honor to be included.
a page in a magazine containing a photo of and an article about Quilt #10 of The 70273 Project. The quilt is a rectangular white quilt covered with pairs of red X's.

Quilts #649 and #650 at AHEAD Conference

two women stand in front of two white quilts covered in pairs of red X's

(L ro R) Tree Kuharich, Jane Brown stand in front of (L to R) Quilts 650 and 649 at the AHEAD Conference in Boston 2019

Thanks to the encouragement of Gladys Loewen and the generous hospitality of the AHEAD – Association on Higher Education and Disabilities – leadership, The 70273 Project (Gladys Lowen, Peggy Thomas, Kevin Thomas, Andy Chambers, and I) hosted a block drive at the AHEAD 2018 conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Members of AHEAD – eople who work to make life on college and university campuses throughout the United States accessible and accommodating for students with disabilities – embraced The 70273 Project, and I continue to be invited to make presentations to group, deliver lectures to classes, make studio visits, and host block drives on campuses near and far. It is a thrill and an honor to talk with faculty and students who study history, art, social work, and disabilities.

Both quilts were on display in the registration area of this year’s AHEAD conference. The 119 blocks made at last year’s conference were divided into bundles for two quilts and sent to Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D. who pieced both tops, channeling her family history as she arranged and stitched, remembered and reflected.
woman stands besides two white quilts covered with pairs of red X's

Tree Kuharich stands beside Quilt #649 on display at the 2019 AHEAD conference in Boston. 53 lives are commemorated in this quilt that was pieced by Jane Brown and quilted by Tree.

The top for Quilt #649 (53 lives commemorated) was sent to Tree Kuharich who volunteered to quilt and finish it with a mere 3 months notice. Tree and her husband drove to Boston to view the quilts and attend one of Jane’s presentations on neurodiversity in higher education.
two white quilts covered in pairs of red X's hang between two women

Jane Brown (L) stands besides The 70273 Project Quilt #650 and Tree Kuharich (R) stands beside Quilt #649.

The top for Quilt #650 (66 lives commemorated) was sent to Gladys Loewen who quilted it using drapery fabric that once belonged to the mother-in-law of Tari Vickery as the backing. Tari hand delivered the repurposed fabric to Gladys this spring and even though she’s not a quilter, she nevertheless enthusiastically helped Gladys baste the quilt.
Thank you to all who were involved in the making of these two quilts, to those who invite me to take The 70273 Project to their campus; to AHEAD for having us host a block drive last year and displayed the quilts this year; to Kim Richards of AHEAD for taking photos, answering questions, and distributing information about the project; and to  Gladys, Jane, Tree, Tari, Peggy, Kevin, Andy, and everyone who made a block in Quilts 649 and 650.

University of Central Missouri

I spoke with Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D., Director of the McClure Archives and University Museum last week, and she says people continue to stream in to see the more than 100 quilts that are on display at The McClure. Due to the success and positive reception of The 70273 Project exhibit at the University of Central Missouri, the exhibit has been extended to the end of the year. The exhibit is open to visitors from 9 am to 5 pm  Monday through Thursday. Thank you, Dr. Clifford-Napoleone for all you continue to do to share this historical story, and thank you for these striking photos. I look forward to being back on campus this fall to talk to classes and your quilt guild and host a block drive.

Sacred Threads

5 white quilts covered in pairs of red X's hanging on a black background

The 70273 Project Special Exhibit at Sacred Threads 2019. Thank you, Sacred Threads, for including us and for this photo.

The Sacred Threads Exhibit opened last week, and The 70273 Project is honored to have a small Special exhibit amid some of the most amazing and powerful quilts I’ve seen in a long while. I’ll be there this week, so if you’re in the area and can come by, let me know when you’ll be there and we’ll make arrangements to meet. Oh, and my quilt Playground of Her Soul will be there, too! Can’t remember if it’s in the Grief or Joy section. I asked Curator Barbara Hollinger to decide on which side of the fine line she wanted to include it. I also created my eyes in cloth, and that piece is part of the Eye Connections exhibit.
For specific information about the exhibit – like where it’s located, the hours, and registration – visit The 70273 Project Calendar

KC Studio Article

2-page spread of magazine article featuring a quilt from The 70273 Project

KC Studio / July/August 2019 edition

The 70273 Project is the subject of an article on page 26 in the July/August 2019 edition of KC Studio – an online periodical covering the Kansas City art scene. Bryan LeBeau interviewed Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D., Director of the McClure Archives and Museum on the campus of the University of Central Missouri, he interviewed me, and he visited the exhibit.  Thank you, Bryan, for being so thorough in your research, and thank you KC Studio for including us.

MoFA Stories of Importance Exhibit

Nancy and I are plum tickled to have two pieces juried into the Stories of Importance Exhibit at the Missouri Museum of Fiber Arts.  Playground of Her Soul and In Our Own Language 3 will soon be on their way to Missouri for the exhibit that runs October 31, 2019 to December 13, 2019. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be there for the opening reception and Juror’s Talk from 5 to 7 pm on Thursday, October 31. If you can come, give me something to look forward to by letting me know.

That’s All for Now, Y’all

pair of eyes made of fabric
I had my fourth eye treatment last week (July 10, 2019), and though there’s some improvement, impaired vision continues to slow me down. It’s true that we exceeded our goal of 70,273 commemorations before our third anniversary – Y’all are AMAZING – and it’s also true that  there’s still much happening in The 70273 Project, so stay tuned cause you’ll want to be part of things we’ve got coming up. I just know you will. Here are some of the ways you can stay in the know . . .

The 70273 Project at the Minnesota Quilt Show Next Week

a few white quilts stacked one on top of the other

a few of the quilts headed to Minnesota

The good news is: the  Minnesota Quilters Show happens June 13-15, 2019, and The 70273 Project will be there as a Special Exhibit. The bad news is:  I will not be there this year because at the last minute, my third eye treatment had to be rescheduled on June 13, and since I’m out of commission that day and up to three days after, well, do the math. It just won’t work this year, and I’m heartbroken. Many quilts will be there, though, and  I made sure to send all the quilts I had available that contain threads of Minnesota.

red x's in a clear plastic bag, paper, tape, white quilts

preparing to ship the quilts

PREPARING QUILTS FOR TRAVEL

Ever wonder how I prepare quilts to ship to a Special Exhibit? Well, get a life . . . I mean, just pull up a chair cass I’m about to tell you.

It’s not unusual for it to take me 12 hours or more to get a shipment of quilts ready and on their way. First, I pull the quilts that have connections to the place they’re headed. I wasn’t able to get all of the quilts with connections to people who live in Minnesota because many are in exhibits elsewhere, but I sent every one I had in inventory. On a form I created, I note the quilt number, the dimensions of each quilt, and the number of commemorations in each quilt. I send that to the Special Exhibit Coordinator who  does the math, figures out which quilts will best fill the space they have available, then sends me back the list of the quilts they want

After giving the now-don’t-any-of-you-take-it-personally-if-you-weren’t-selected-this-time-cause-it’s-not-about-you-it’s-all-about-the-numbers-(and-nobody-here-is-fat), I pull the requested quilts – something that will be made much faster and  easier when everything is entered in The Database. That’s something you can do from anywhere in the world, so if you know you way around a spreadsheet, are on good terms with your computer, and are willing to pitch in and help, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Peggy Thomas who is our Fearless Leader of the Data Angels. She’ll tell you everything you need to know and get you the information you need to get started. And if you’re already a Data Angel, thank you.

Back to our blog post, already in progress.

Once I’ve checked the pulled quilts against the please-send roster at least 3 times to make sure I didn’t leave anybody – I mean any quilt – out, I put the quilts in clear plastic bags for protection from the elements. I use the handy-dandy form I created to note which quilts are in each box, keeping a copy for me and tucking a copy inside each box as a packing slip. On the handy-dandy packing list form is printed in large bold letters my contact information as well as the contact information for the intended recipient. I revise the information and print out copies for the Special Exhibits Coordinator to use for the return trip.

If two quilts share a plastic bag, I tuck a note inside the bag telling which quilts are in that bag. (A seeming waste of time task that has come in handy more than once, believe it or not.) The paperwork for each box goes in page protectors to protect it from the elements, and I include clean printouts of the paper work for the return trip along with more clear plastic bags because I tape the bags shut which means the receiver will likely have to tear them open, rendering them unusable for a second trip.

Before sealing the boxes, I label them on the outside as Box 1 of 3, Box 2 of 3, Box 3 of 3, and so on. I decorate the outside of each box with something colorful (and hopefully entertaining) so if one box should miss a traffic light and get separated from the others, I can tell folks on the receiving end what to look for.

a brown box on a black tabletop

the quilts are all strapped in and only one has asked “Are we there yet?” (so far)

LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN

Once I’ve checked the quilts in each box at least 3 times (yes, there’s a lot of making a list and checking it thrice) to make sure the information on the packing list is correct, the boxes are taped shut, loaded into the truck, and off we go to find the nearest shipping place (which, if we’re in NC, is at least an hour’s drive away).

And yes, I do kiss each box as it leave my hands (you know I do) and admonish the shipper to take good care and make sure every box arrives safely. (They don’t always listen, but we’ll talk about that another day.)

When back home, I email the Special Exhibits Coordinator and give her the tracking information, intended arrival date, and, of course, my promise to do the tracking myself because she doesn’t need one more thing added to her to do list.

LESSONS LEARNED

Things I’ve learned about packing quilts for traveling:
~ Like newborn babies, the quilts are happier and safer when there’s little free space for them to move around in the box.
~ All the paperwork is not an expenditure but an investment of time. I don’t want anybody along the way to have no idea what they’re holding and who to call. (Remind me to tell you a story about that some day.)
~ The boxes – even the sturdiest ones – are good for only one trip there and back.
~ Tape is not something you skimp on.
~ I use only clear plastic bags because if somebody sees a sealed dark green or black garbage bag, well, I don’t need or want to finish that sentence for you.

words on a page showing that a package has been delivered

proof positive (you’d think so, right?)

QUILTS HAVE LANDED IN MINNESOTA

The quilts are in Minnesota, ready to be hung, receive visitors, and greet admirers. I already miss all the people I met last year and everybody I was looking forward to meeting this year.

If anybody who’s going can spend some time in The 70273 Project Exhibit to tell folks about what they’re looking at and feeling (everybody feels these quilts – they really do) and answer questions, that would be better than terrific. Let me know  and I’ll tell you some of the most frequently asked questions along with my phone number so you can call me any time. And hey, y’all promise y’all will send me pictures.

plastic bags containing white cloth in a blue container

YOUR TURN

So that’s the shipping process in a nutshell. If you have other ideas and information about shipping, if you have contacts with the major shipping companies, if you have a good source for shipping supplies, if you’d like to exhibit some quilts, or if you’d like to become a Data Angel  let me know. And if you’d like to don your wings and join the Monthly Angel Members to help cover the cost of not just shipping supplies but the actual transit costs (and a whole of of other things, for that matter, cause yes, there are 70273 Project expenses), use the donate button in the side bar or send me an email, and I’ll tell you how and where you can make checks.

 

Meet Quilt 423

a white quilt covered with pairs of red X's is displayed beside a waterfall

Allow me to introduce Quilt 423 of The 70273 Project.

a box made from a carton of drinks sits atop a white quilt covered with pairs of red X's

As one who once taught book and box making workshops, I chortled gleefully when Miss 423 arrived in her own handmade chariot, complete with a (still-uncompleted) subtraction worksheet turned protection flap! The box is made by the same creative hands that picked up the quilt top last year at the Minnesota Quilt Show and finished it into this quilt: Rhende Hagemeister, a woman who’s as much fun as she is talented.

 

“The tears flowed most of the time. I thought about each pair of red XX’s and vowed to honor each one – their names, their families, their lives – blowing in the wind for us to remember and honor. They spoke to me.” ~ Rhende Hagemeister

 

a white quilt coverd with a varity of pairs of red X's

The knowledgeable and talented one named Teddy Pruett pieced #423 who measures 38.75” wide by 60” high and commemorates 47 souls. Data Angels from around the world are busy entering information on each block and quilt, and as soon as they’re done (and there are several backups of the . . . landscape-oriented table cause the word “spreadsheet” sends me into a fetal position in a dark room!), I’ll be back to tell you who all has a block in this beauty. For now, enjoy the photos  (especially the one of the front that’s being held up by The Engineer in what I’ve come to call The Steve Maneuver, named after Kim Monins’ husband who held up many, many quilts throughout Jersey, Channel Islands (U.K.) and help me thank Teddy, Rhende, and all the as yet unidentified Makers for their contribution to The 70273 Project. And hey, if you’re willing to become a Data Angel, let me know. It’s something you can do from the comfort of your own computer anywhere in the world.

If you live in the Minnesota vicinity, mark your calendars ’cause The 70273 Project, The Engineer, and I will be back at the Minnesota Quilt Show in Rochester this year. See the calendar for details. There will be many quilts that were touched by hands from Minnesota on display for the first time this year, so be sure to stop by and see them and let me call you “Sugar” to your face.

~~~~~~~

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