December’s Adventure: Family Quilts


Quilt top made of blocks created by Chloe Grice and her sister, Kat Andrews

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when we make a special effort to gather with people who are special to us (well, most of them are special to us, anyway), so I thought what better time to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our loved ones and work together to create something meaningful and lasting. Something we can visit together years from now and remember when. Something future generations can see and feel a sense of roots and connectedness. Our Adventure for December? Make an entire quilt with blocks made by you and your relatives –  Family Quilts for The 70273 Project!


Kitty Sorgen’s Family Makes Blocks on the Deck

Here’s all you need to know:
~ Same block sizes and design guidelines apply.
~ Everybody who makes a block must complete and sign a Provenance Form. Folks can remain anonymous, if desired, but I still need their name for the ultra-private-nobody-sees-but-me database.
~ There’s no maximum or minimum number of blocks that must be created (though remember: we’re aiming to get all 70,273 blocks completed by October 2017).
~ And there’s no maximum or minimum size the finished quilt must be.
~ When piecing and quilting, please use only white thread in your needle and/or bobbin, and please do not quilt over the red X’s. You can quilt all around them and right up to them, just not on them. The binding (or facing) and backing fabric must be white (we use bleached muslin), and there must be a 4″ hanging sleeve made from the same fabric used on the back of the quilt and attached to the top edge of the quilt, leaving a 1″ gap between the side edge of the sleeve and the side edge of the quilt.


Laurie Dunn’s Adorable Grandchildren Make Blocks at the Beach

Now here’s where I’m streamlining things a bit for you.

For several reasons, I still want to know who made which block, but instead of scanning or snapping a photo of each block and emailing it to me, here’s what we’re gonna’ do:

~ Once the blocks are made, write the Maker’s name on a piece of blue painter’s tape (make sure it’s dark enough and legible enough to be readable) and stick it somewhere on one of the red X’s. There are other ways to attach names to each block – you can write names on a strip of cloth and safety pin it to the block. Or you can use one of the little tagging “guns” to attach the name. If you use tape, though, please use the blue painter’s tape and make sure it’s stuck down tight. (Note: you can make collaborative blocks with family members: You lay down one red X and ask a Special Someone to lay down the other red X. Just be sure to include both names on the id tag.)
~ This id tag remains on the quilt until it lands in my arms (along with the completed Provenance Forms) where I will take what I need, create the quilt label, and remove the tape.
~ If you’d take photos to send along to me, I’d love to profile your family. And for those wishing to remain anonymous, feel free to grab and wear the nearest lampshade.
~ If you want to make blocks but don’t feel comfortable with the Piecing and Quilting part, you might ask around to see if there’s a willing quilter in your community (if so, be sure to give them the specific instructions as outlined above) and if not, just send me the blocks along with the completed Provenance Forms to me, and some generous, big-hearted person will finish it for you. If you do send me a completely finished quilt, please be sure to let me know who did the Piecing and who did the Quilting.

And that, my friends, is all there is to it.

So when That Uncle gets on your last nerve, go make some blocks.

And no, you don’t get to wish he lived about 76 years ago.


When you’re making your list and checking it twice and come to that hard-to-buy-for-person, consider making a donation to The 70273 Project in their name by mashing the “Donate” button in the righthand sidebar or mailing a check made payable to The 70273 Project, Inc. and mailed to POB 994 / Cashiers, NC 28717. A gift to The 70273 Project truly is the gift that will keep on giving.



  1. Chloe

    I love these photos of Laurie and Kitty’s families Jeanne! I think it’s a fantastic idea to create blocks with family members, and of course a perfect time of year to do so too. Thank you for including our quilt top: my sister and I had fun working on our blocks together 🙂 xx

    • whollyjeanne

      I just sit mesmerized by your beautiful quilt top, so much love stitched in there. The blocks you and Kat made just seem to glow. xo

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