Block #1, made by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

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

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

It happened again this morning.

an avatar for jeanne hewell-chambers

As a new member of an organization,
I needed to create an avatar.
The image that popped-up immediately
was of In Our Own Language 3
– the third set of Nancy’s drawings
set to stitch –
with a pair of red X’s
in the center of the image.

It’s just two X’s.
It’s just red.
It’s just a digital image.
It’s just impossible to create.

“It’s so simple . . .
and so powerful,”
Margaret Foley said yesterday
as she interviewed me for an upcoming article.

The people we commemorate
were simple folks
worthy of life.
May it be nearly impossible,
from this point forward,
for any of us
to make two red X’s
without considering that.


And if you want to use a pair of red X’s
on a product or image or flyer
or anything else
designed to reference and represent
The 70273 Project,
please contact me before you begin.


Make blocks.
Make quilts from your own blocks.
Make Middlings.