The 70273 Project: Fabric Info & Sizes of Blocks


Today we’re gonna’ talk about making blocks for The 70273 Project, but first . . .

Less than 24 hours after launch, response to The 70273 Project has been quite exciting. I am plum (does it have a final “b” or not, I always get confused) tickled with the positive emails, Facebook posts, tweets, and Facebook messages I’ve received from all corners of the world. Yes, we are already a worldwide project! And get this: if everybody actually makes the blocks they’ve said they would, we only need 70,000 more blocks!

People have offered to host block parties in their homes and in local senior centers, help stitch the blocks together to make quilt tops, send money, quilt, asked me to pen guest blog posts,  requested interviews, and plotted ways to host digital block parties just to give you an idea of the emails and messages I’ve received today. I declare, had today’s response been any more heartwarming, my heart would be a pile of smoldering ashes right now.

And boy oh boy have people helped get the word out, and let me tell you: that’s a tremendous help. Thank y’all so much, and please don’t stop. These 70,273 people deserve this. And now, about those blocks . . .


Pretty much any kind of fabric is okay – 100% cotton, cotton/poly blend, wool, felt – those are all okay to use for the base of the block as long as it’s white or slightly off white. I’d prefer you steer clear of upholstery fabric because it’s thicker than other fabric, making it harder to stitch. And double knit is bad to stretch, so unless it’s absolutely all you have on hand, I’d ask that you steer clear of it, too.

As you can see in this first block I made, my white fabric is actually a white-on-white, which is fine because in fabric math white + white = white.


9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.x cm x 31.8 cm)


6.5″ x 9.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm)


3.5″ x 6.5″ (9 cm x 16.5cm)


The blocks you send me (the white fabric) can be any of the following 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). And when making the X’s, please allow a 1/4″ border all around to give me room to stitch the blocks together.


In future blog posts we’ll talk about other ways to make the two X marks on the white base, but for now here’s the first block I made.  Using a simple up-and-down stitch, I used scraps of red ribbon (off a Christmas gift) to make the X’s. (And no, I’m not a child of the depression or a hoarder.)


Oh, and as you see in the photo, it’s okay to let your knots show. Make the two red X’s any way you want, just be sure that:
~ there are two red X’s on each block
~ there are no letters of the alphabet, words, names, or numbers on the block – only two red X’s.

Why white?
Because white represents medical records, the only information assessing physicians used to make their life and death determinations.

Why two red X’s?
Because once two of three assessing physicians paced a red X on the bottom of the medical records, the person was murdered. Two red X’s equal one person.

Why no letters, words, names, or numbers?
Because two red X’s equals one person – the death sentence of one person, to be more exact, and words, letters, names, and numbers distract the brain from the emotional message we’re making here. When you see a room filled with quilts made of blocks with two red X’s, I imagine it’s going to be quite moving. Were you to see a name or initials or a word or even the number “70,273” thrown in, you would be immediately distracted. Words, names, numbers, and such engage the brain, and we are a project designed to engage the heart.

One more very important step: Once you’ve finished your blocks, please download, print, complete, and use a safety pin to attach the Provenance Form to your blocks and mail to the address on the form.


Y’all get your pencils out and write down your homework assignment.

  1. Make a block. (Or at least gather the materials to make blocks.)
  2. Using social media, the phone,  or smoke signals, tell at least 3 people about the project.
  3. Subscribe to the blog so you can tune in tomorrow when we’ll talk about . . . well, I don’t know just yet exactly what we’ll talk about, but it’ll be something related to The 70273 Project, for sure.




  1. Carlyn Clark

    Do you still need blocks?

    • whollyjeanne

      Oh yes, Carlyn, I most surely do still need blocks!
      (And if you’d like to make them into a quilt, that would be fine, too.) if you have any questions, just holler.

  2. Deb Bear

    I’m in to do a few blocks! This is wonderful!

    • whollyjeanne

      Great, Deb. Let me know if you have questions or need anything. ❌❌

  3. Linda Hurl

    Tomorrow people are coming i hope to make the blocks which i will make into a quilt, my question is Do i fill in provenance form for the completed quilt or does everyone who makes a block need to do one

    • whollyjeanne

      Everybody who makes a block needs to complete a Provenance Form. Don’t need a form for each block, just for each Maker.

      Please take photos as you are making the quilt because I keep a scrapbook on each and every quilt and would love to have photos of the blocks and quilt being made. And when you’ve finished the quilt, please send me the following info:
      ~ month/year of completion
      ~ finished dimensions
      ~ your name as you want it to appear as Piecer, Quilter, Finisher
      ~ the number of lives commemorated
      ~ names of those who made blocks in this quilt
      I need this information for the label, which I’m happy to print and stitch on when the quilt lands in my grateful hands. It just helps me to be able to print labels in batches, so if I can get this info ahead of time, I can print when I’m printing other labels.

      Thank you SO much for doing this! Let me know if you need anything else. Jeanne

  4. Sharon Sutton

    I still think about the quilts I saw at the Houston Quilt Festival, November 2017. My sister and I approached the quilts from a vantage point of not knowing the history of the design. DNA, women, what do the the 2 red X’s mean. After hearing and reading the explanation , we both were very touched by the story and the mordern remberance. I was squaring up a block and the two red pieces I cut off will work for a quilt square. I wish you continued success.

  5. Pam L

    Sorry I missed the display at the Houston Show. Just saw the information on your project which was on a newsletter I subscribe to. Do you still need more blocks/quilts?

    • whollyjeanne

      Hey Pam! I sure do still need blocks and quilts and would be mighty grateful to have you join in and help commemorate. You can visit for a directory of how to make blocks and quilts. And you can always email me with any questions.

      A question for you: what’s the name of the newsletter you read about us in? Sending thank you notes is one of my favorite things to do!


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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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