Day 3 of the International Quilt Festival

As I write this, I am feeling sad that today is the last day. Yesterday was another remarkable, indescribably astonishing and magical day with so many people coming back to the booth to be with the quilts or to talk some more. Many people came back, bringing others they wanted to show it to. There’s just too much to tell you right now because I am hoping to get this posted in time to have breakfast and a shower today (something that hasn’t happened since Wednesday!). I also want to get back to the convention center and have time to be with the quilts myself as today at 4, we will lovingly take them down and send them to their next destination. I have so much to tell y’all, but for now, some photos from yesterday. There were people . . .

At The 70273 Project Interactive Booth in the 100 Aisle, things are constantly bustling as people make Friendship Blocks using markers on fabric and the handy-dandy template Elaine Smith created. Many bouquets of thanks to those who volunteered at the IAB over the course of the Festival: Peggy Thomas, Tari Vickery, Linda Moore, Caroline Rudisill, Elaine Smith, Judy Jochen, Shannon Timberlake, Frances Alford, Cindy Cavallo, and Mary Green. Visitors can make Friendship Blocks and/or take a Go Bag filled with everything you need (except scissors and a needle) to make a small block. All blocks made at the Festival will go into a special Festival 2017 quilt, and of course, each pair of red X’s commemorates one life.

These two treasures – Tari Vickery and Peggy Thomas – have been here every minute of every day. The Engineer and I could not have done it without them. Yesterday they came over to the Special Exhibit to help talk to people – yes, it kept 5 of us busy because there were that many visitors!

I finally got to meet Caroline Rudisill in person! She split her time between the Interactive Booth and the Special Exhibit, and today she’s bringing her two boys to help with set strike.

And oh my goodness, what on earth would I do without The Engineer (who’s called Andy behind the scenes). He hasn’t sat down a single time since we’ve been here. There are always people,
so he’s always telling them about The 70273 Project.

Catherine Bonte, President of the French Patchwork Guild, came by. We looked at all the French quilts (there are many that were also exhibited in Lacaze, France in June of this year). Here we are in front of a quilt that was pieced by Katell Renon. I have a story to tell you about this, but no time now, except to say that when I mentioned my friend Chantal who is gathering blocks for us in France, Catherine knew I meant Chantal Baquin without me having to mangle her last name. (I get very self-conscious when speaking French to people from France! They pronounce the words so melodiously. I don’t.) If you live in France and have blocks to send, please contact Chantal Baquin for her mailing address. Catherine and I share a hope that One Day, all – as in every single one – of The 70273 Project quilts will be exhibited somewhere in France.

Now y’all, I tell you what: I don’t let dogs lick me (especially on the face) ’cause I know where their mouth has been. But Neely, the seeing eye dog? He’s different. With his owner’s permission,
I let him lick me till he didn’t have any saliva left to lick me with.

Emma from the Quilt Alliance came by to do a quick 3-minute interview about the project.

And there were quilts. These are just a few of them, of course. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be profiling each quilt individually with stories and names of all who had a hand in creating them.

Quilt 185

Quilt 113

Quilt 111

Quilt 78

Quilt 76

Quilt 75

Quilt 70

Quilt 60

Quilt 54

Quilt 45

Quilt 28

Quilt 23

Walls of The 70273 Project Special Exhibit

And that’s not all! This morning I received these photos . . .

From Uta Lenk, the German Ambassador for The 70273 Project, this photo of 80 commemorations made in Germany, now on their way to be pieced and quilted.

And from Lucy Horner, a 70273 Project Ambassador in the U.K., this photo showing quilts being made that will fill Rochester Cathedral in January 2018. More about that soon.

With that, I’m off to go commune with the quilts before the doors open. Being at the International Quilt Festival is a phenomenal, amazing, magical opportunity and experience. Thank y’all for letting me be the steward for The 70273 Project.


Other places to gather around The 70273 Project water cooler:

Shop with Amazon Smile and support The 70273 Project.

Subscribe to the blog (where all information is shared).

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.

Get folks to help celebrate your birthday by making blocks and/or donating bucks.

Follow the pinterest board for visual information.

Post using #the70273project on Instagram. (Please tag me, too, @whollyjeanne, so I don’t miss anything.)

Tell your friends what you want for your birthday.

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.


  1. Sandy Martin

    This is simply amazing,Jeanne. All I can say is thank you and I and my quilt guild members are so glad to have been a small part of this heart-touching undertaking. With love from Idaho, USA!

  2. Katell Renon

    I am so moved to see all the photos, Houston being the best place to reach people for the Project! I recognize many quilts from Lacaze, even though this is not the main pride. I am simply proud to be part of this Project!
    Hopefully we will be able to make another exhibition in France with France Patchwork, blocks are still being gathered by Chantal Baquin!
    With love from Toulouse, France,

  3. Gladys

    Great exhibit and idea Jeanne. Glad I got to chat with you in person. Hopefully we will connect again, not just on the Reframing Disability facebook page.

Pull up a chair why don't you, and let's talk . . .

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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