Tag: 70273 adventures (Page 1 of 2)

A Day of Questions and Goodness at University of Central Missouri

two women stand in front of a sign that says

Daughter Alison is with me at University of Central Missouri. a history major who is keen on such things, will now help me preserve, archive, and catalogue information is now The 70273 Project Documentarian.

It was good to get reacquainted with the quilts. I think they were as almost as glad to see me as I was to see them.

Firs stop of the day was to a Fiber Arts Class taught by Professor Mick Luehrman. Many of these students are Art Education majors, so I gave a brief overview of The 70273 Project then spent time talking about  Nancy’s work and how it has changed and evolved since June 2012 when she began drawing.

Next it was back to the McClure Archives and University Museum where I had the honor of speaking to Dr. Clifford’s Cultural Anthropology class.  Their paper about The 70273 Project is due on Thursday, 19 September 2019, and because they’d just discussed construction of cultures, I focused my talk on Aktion T4.

One student showed me photos of the Hawaiian quilts his sister makes. He’s very proud of her, and rightly so.

I even shot a short video for him to send her, inviting her to bring Hawaii into The 70273 Project.
Fingers crossed.

Several of the Cultural Anthropology students stayed after the talk, taking a closer look at the quilts and snapping photos (They asked Dr. Clifford first), perhaps for their papers. Many of them wandered over to ask me more questions or just to chat a bit about the project or history. Collin Shepherd, the man on the left (name used with his permission), says “I love the simplicity of the project and that anybody can participate. The simplicity makes it powerful.” Such good questions they asked. And how I enjoyed getting a glimpse of how their brains work, how they are using critical thinking skills (yay!) and diving deep in thoughtfulness for a blast of insightfulness.

Two reporters were there before, during, and after my presentation to the Cultural Anthropology students. Heather Berry of Rural Missouri (L) and Derek Brizendine of The Daily Star Journal (R). (Now listen, y’all. The Daily Star Journal comes out on Friday, and we’ll still be here so I can get a couple of copies of that, but I need y’all to promise me faithfully that you’ll send me a copy of Rural Missouri when it comes out with the article in it.) They, too, asked terrific questions and seemed keenly interested. Heather is working on her second quilt and using her sewing machine. Her first quilt was done by hand as she spent time with her mother who was dealing with cancer. Fortunately, Heather was able to show her mother the finished quilt before she died. And guess what: she promises to get involved with The 70273 Project and make a quilt! Derek’s burning question (delivered after the students left): “Tell me about your shirt and your glasses.” They were so much fun.

After bidding farewell to Heather, Derek and the Cultural Anthropology students, it was time for the Art and Collaboration class taught by Dr. Melanie Johnson. These students are pursuing majors in a variety of fields – sports medicine, business, music, and more that escape me right now – so after a brief overview of The 70273 Project, I focused on collaborating with Nancy and with people from around the world, and what it’s like leading a ginormous group of kind, compassionate, creative volunteers. Theses students, like the ones before them, were delightfully engaged, inquisitive, and observant. They continued the tradition of asking thoughtful, pertinent questions. Good questions seems to be the theme of the day. Do you have questions? If so, let me know because I plan to post the questions and my answers in future blog posts.

We left campus with a smile on our face and much to talk about. After a stop by the drug store and the college bookstore (where I purchased a tote bag which will be much easier to get to things we need instead of having to negotiate a suitcase), we came back to the apartment. The plan was to rest for an hour or so, then go to Amber’s house to see Tara and meet their goats. But you know what actually happened? Energized as I was, I want you to know that I sat down and went promptly to sleep. I was in such a deep sleep  that Alison couldn’t wake me up till near midnight, so we’ll meet the goats and hear all about Amber’s shiny, new Fulbright scholarship later in the week.

It was a good day, a great day, an amazing, astonishing, absolutely sublime day. Parents, if your child is considering the University of Central Missouri, put it on the short list. If they’re not considering UCMo yet, put it on the short list to visit. Professors, Museum Directors, and Accessibility Staffers on college and university campuses, consider inviting The 70273 Project for an exhibit, class visits, presentations on and around campus, and a block drive. I’ll make you look good, I promise.

If you’re in the vicinity of University of Central Missouri, here’s the schedule for the rest of this week:
Wednesday, 18 Sept 2019
12 to 1:30, students, staff, and faculty are invited to a brown bag lunch with Jeanne in the Chapel Basement
5:00 p.m. Jeanne will present “The 70273 Project: a Backstage Pass” at the Warrensburg Presbyterian Church. This even is open to the public, so y’all come on.
6:30 p.m. Community dinner with Jeanne Hewell-Chambers at Café Blackadder. By invitation only. Attendees pay for their own meal.

Thursday, 19 Sept 2019
2:00 p.m. Lecture (The 70273 Project: a Backstage Pass) at Midwest Center for Holocaust Education in Kansas City

Saturday, 21 September 2019
9 am to 12 pm Block Drive in downtown Warrensburg Courthouse Square. All ages invited. No sewing skills necessary.

Hope to see y’all at some of these events, and Dr. Amber Clifford (above l to r: Dr. Clifford, Jeanne, Dr. Melanie Johnson, who was wearing the cutest shoes you ever saw), thank you again for this week.

Postcards and a Head Scratcher Mystery

8 small quilts

Quilters love mysteries, right? For you non-quilters, a mystery quilt is a fun way to make a quilt from patterns (a.k.a. clues) dribbled out as you go along. You don’t know what the final quilt looks like till the last steps of putting it together.

Well, just this morning, I woke up in room 106 of the Comfort In in Montpelier, Idaho (yes, The Engineer and I are on a road trip going from the Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace in Sandy, Utah last weekend to the Northwest Festival of Quilts in Portland, Oregon this-coming weekend – May 11 and 12, 2018) and bless goodness if I didn’t hatch a mystery challenge for The 70273 Project the minute my eyes opened! Here in The 70273 Project Tribe, we celebrate and champion differences, right? So our Mystery will be . . . well, different.

small quilt, white base with two red X's

back of a postcard

If you choose to participate in The 70273 Project Mystery Mystery (and I sure do hope you will ’cause this is gonna’ be fun), here’s what you do:
~ Make and send Minis (The 70273 Project version of a fabric postcard). As many as you can and want to cause I need A LOT of them. Of course I’ll need a Provenance Form with your Minis. (Note: Though you can if you want to, you don’t have to send them individually. You can put them all together in an envelope and we’ll call that a bus trip.)
~ Send picture postcards (or photos, if you can’t find postcards) of landmarks in the area where you live.
~ Send me stories about something that’s quirky and off-the-beaten path about your area. Do y’all have an unusual ritual or celebration that happens every so often? Tell me about it and send photos or postcards. Is there a landmark that you take visitors to see? (Like the geyser in Soda Springs, Idaho that Sandy and Marvin Martin took us to see yesterday, for example.) What would we find on a brochure in the rack in a hotel lobby? Introduce me to your hometown by way of its landmarks, celebrations, statues, small museums – anything that would be on a billboard or in a brochure rack in the hotel lobby. And don’t stop with just one ’cause I know wherever you live is interesting.

four old geysers standing in front of a geyser

Bonus points if you email me photos of your Minis, photos of your picture postcard (or just photos that we’ll call postcards), and your stories before licking the envelope and putting the stamp on.

Start sending as quick as you can, send as many as you can, and don’t stop till I tell you to.

And last but not least, check back here often for more breadcrumbs cause more will be revealed as we go along.


Other places to gather around The 70273 Project water cooler:

Shop with Amazon Smile and support The 70273 Project (US only).

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.

Follow the pinterest board for visual information.

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

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.




World War II veteran

Woman in 1940s attire shows the quilt block she made, a pair of red X's on a white base

A mother and her 3 children smile after they've made blocks for The 70273 Project

woman with long brown hair wearing a red shirt makes a quilt block of 2 red X's on a white base

a man wearing a blue shirt with yellow stripes cuts paper
It is her pocketbook that first catches my eye. I like ’em big, self reliant (willing and able to stand on their own when put down), and open at the top so I can reach and retrieve efficiently. Hers meets all my criteria, and I don’t mind telling you that I covet it.

“Is that your grandson?” she asks, stopping about 8′ away from us where The Engineer stands holding our grandson, Calder Ray.

I nod.

“He’s adorable,” she says.

“I know,” I tell her. “And if I didn’t say that, I’d have to turn in my grandparents’ card. Do you have grandchildren?”

“Not yet,” she says then asks, “but would you like to see what I’m doing for my future grandchildren?”

I follow her to a nearby bench and sit beside her. From her magic bag, she pulls out a large sketchbook. It’s the sixth one she’s created for her future grandchild, each filled with stories sketched around a central theme. This book is a treasure hunt to all her favorite places on Hilton Head Island where she lives. She shows me the sketch she’s working on now, a map to the place she goes to see the best sunsets on the island. (A place I’ve never heard of. A place we will visit the following night.)

After asking if I can copy her idea that, as a personal and family historian, I am now totally smitten with and committed to despite my woeful lack of drawing skills, I ask about the theme of the other 5 journals. She tells me that the first one was about her family history. She tells me about how during World War II her ancestors did what so many families in Holland did at that time: delivered their young boys to a cruise ship and left them there, knowing that their sons would be fed, clothed, and trained for a career. Her uncle spent the rest of his life with that cruise line.

“I didn’t know how much to write about that particular period of time,” she confesses, “because while I want to tell the truth, I don’t want these books to be dark. My family hid in the attic of their house and slaughtered goats up there for food. It was not an easy or pretty life back then.”

“So true. Would you like to hear what I’m working on?” I ask, then I tell her the thumbnail version of The 70273 Project. She listens intently then asks, “What would you do if I told you that Nazis are live and well today – even right here on Hilton Head Island?”

“I don’t know exactly what I’d do,” I answer, “but I’d do something.”

I regret my answer the second the period at the end of the sentence falls out of my mouth, and I tell her so. “You ask a very good question, and it begs a better, more thoughtful answer – especially since one of the 3 purposes of The 70273 Project is to educate all who will listen not just about the atrocity, but about things like respecting differences, protecting those who can’t protect themselves, and about taking a stand against bullying. Thank you for the good question. You’ve given me something to think about, sort out, and articulate.”

She tells me that Nazis are alive and well today, and that some are stalking and persecuting her because she calls them out publicly. Some, she assures me, are well-placed elected officials. She encourages me to go to the local courthouse and pay them $10 for a cd version of the transcript of her latest trip to court that happened just the week before. She tells me more about what’s happening in her life and who these well-placed people are, and when I notice the family looking at me and tapping their watches, I tell her it’s time for me to go. “Remember to get that transcript if you have time,” she implores me, “and at the very least, remember that they still exist.”

Though she cautions me to ponder all she told me for three days before telling my family and friends, I start telling the minute the last car door closes. Most of my family thinks she’s probably lined her walls with aluminum foil, too, and maybe they’re right. But I wonder . . . could that kind of ostrich thinking – that head-in-the-sand mode – have propelled the Nazis forward through their agenda? Did people back in 1940 think the rumors they were hearing were too outlandish, too awful, too extreme to be true? Was it too inconceivable that people were being murdered because of disabilities, so folks continued with life as usual, swatting such a notion away as though it were a fly?

At the very least, it is a good question – a very good question that all of us involved in The 70273 Project should be asking ourselves.

This weekend (Saturday, 4/21/18 and Sunday, 4/22/18), a mere 30-minute drive from where I will be attending the  World War II Heritage Days in Peachtree City, GA, spreading news of The 70273 Project and thanking World War II veterans for their service,  a Neo-Nazi rally will be taking place.

Think about that: only about 20 miles separates World War II veterans from people who follow the ideology they fought.

What to do?
Do I wrap myself in quilts of The 70273 Project and stand on the sidelines of their rally as a way of saying, “Oh no you don’t. We remember and will not let it happen again on our watch.”?
Do I attend World War II Heritage Days as planned and thank the veterans for their service and tell others about the atrocity known as Aktion T4?

I want to do both of the above.

If we attend – even in silent, peaceful protest – will this fuel their fires?
If we attend with placards of protest, will that fuel their fires?
If we stay home and say/do nothing, will they misread that as something akin to  implied consent?

Am I making too much of this? Am I making assumptions and falling prey to stereotypical thinking because the word “Nazi” is a word that triggers me into visions of unspeakable acts of oppression, physical altercations, and slurs of every kind imaginable towards those who are different? Are they even really Nazis, or is that the term being used because, let’s face it: it is the insult of choice used by many to label those who think differently. If so, aren’t I guilty of putting negative energy into the world?

So many questions.

Conventional mother wisdom would urge me not to stoop to their levels, to not become what they are, to not give them the attention they want. Were he here, my daddy would tell me that when you wrestle with pigs, you both get muddy and the pig likes it. Y’all, I just don’t know. I feel like such a simpleton when I tell you that for the life of me, I cannot understand why each breathing person doesn’t focus on being the best person they can be and leave the rest of us to do the same; why people set about to feel better about themselves or more powerful or who knows what by diminishing or eliminating those who differ from them in any way. It baffles me.

One thing I am absolutely sure of falls out of the mouth of my son: “You gain nothing when you fight hate with hate.” (Who is this young man, and how did he get to be so wise?)

While the questions swirl, a thought rises to the surface:  what if we, each one of us,  wherever we are in the world,  practice the power of the needle and send a message by stitching blocks, by commemorating people the Nazis of the 1940s murdered, and posting photos in social media using #70273standsforpeace or #70273neveragain or #70273practicescompassion. (If you have a better one, use it.)

So I have written  myself into a decision: I will go to World War II Heritage Days and shake the hand of every veteran and their family members in attendance, look them in the eye, and thank them for putting their lives on the line to keep people around the world safe. I will tell every person who pauses at our table about what we’re doing, how we commemorate these 70,273 people who were murdered for the crime of being born with different abilities. It is not be the decision I will make every time I am confronted with such a choice, but for today, for this weekend, this is the choice I make.

a pile of quilt blocks, pairs of red x's sewn to a white base


The 70273 Project Emporium Grand Opening

a mound of red ribbons lay on top of a white quilt with pairs of red X's

Welcome to the Grand Opening of The 70273 Project Emporium, our shiny new online shop!

A few notes . . . New items will be added periodically – like more art quilts, for example – so do check back, and because I’m the stockist, shelf elf, manufacturer, clerk, and mail room, the shop will close periodically when I know I won’t be here to ship things. Shipping prices are for the US only because, honestly, I don’t know how to calculate international shipping charges. But I will go to the post office and ask, so if you live outside the US and see a little something you’d like, let me know. I’ll hold it for you and get back to you about the shipping charges. I’ll even hand deliver it if you’re gonna’ be at either Rochester or Durham Cathedrals when I’m there in January.

Oh, one more thing: if you have something you’d like to contribute – something we can sell to raise money for The 70273 Project coffers – let me know.

Now click right this way to do some shopping for yourself or others.

Thank you for your continued support of The 70273 Project. You’re awesome. Happy shopping! Wish I had some hot cider to offer you to sip on while you make your selections. But you’d probably spill it on your keyboard, anyway.





It’s Sunday, 05 November 2017.
Nobody applauds when the announcer declares the 2017 International Quilt Festival over.

Queen Becky gives us a lesson in how to fold the quilts,
how to roll and twist the tissue paper,
and where to place it to prevent creases when the quilts are folded.
She is an excellent teacher from whom I learn an awful lot.

The quilts and all who had a hand in creating them are treated with respect.
A clean sheet is placed between the quilts and the floor,

and everyone who touches the quilts wears clean, white gloves.

Sean and David Rusidill (Caroline’s amazingly polite and fun to be with sons), Judy Jochen,
and Shannon Timberlake join in the take down and store effort.

The Engineer (Andy) takes quilts off the walls, and
Linda Moore and Peggy Thomas (sisters) fold and box quilts as they come down.

Caroline Rudisill checks quilts off the inventory list

as they go into the boxes.

It would not have happened with out Peggy Thomas

and Tari Vickery,
both seen here in The 70273 Project Interactive Booth
where people took home 1000 block kits,
left financial donations, and made Friendship Blocks.

Peggy Thomas and Tari Vickery (The 70273 Project Ambassadors)
– what would I . . . what would The 70273 Project . . . do without them?

Mary Green, Ambassador for The 70273 Project
(seen here in front of her beautiful Middling made with beads)
worked in the Interactive Booth, as did . . .

Cindy Cavallo, Ambassador

Caroline Rudisill, Ambassador

Frances Alford, Ambassador
and folks whose photos must be on somebody else’s phone:
Elaine Smith, Ambassador
Linda Moore, Ambassador
Judy Jochen, Ambassador,
Shannon Timberlake.

Thank you all for making the effort not just to get to the Festival,
but to share your time with The 70273 Project. I am grateful beyond description.

Thank you to Queen Becky, who hung The 70273 Project quilts
in the Special Exhibit, making us look so good . . .

to Rose (she teaches special education) who helped hang quilts in the Interactive Booth . . .

to Becky who, because of health issues, wasn’t able to be at the Festival,
but for months and months before the Festival,  donned her best patience and wit
to guide me through the process,
even taking the time to call me on the phone
with the good news that The 70273 Project had been selected
as a Special Exhibit when she could’ve just sent an email.

to Deann who was on-site, always calm and patient and thorough in her answers and instructions,

to Terri, whose laugh never faded throughout the entire five days

to the people back home who assembled The Go Block Bags
(all 1000 bags were taken!) . . .

 to all y’all who weren’t there in person,
but were most definitely there in spirit – sharing posts,
telling others, sending encouraging, appreciative message, emails, and comments –

and to The Engineer . . .  Andy
the man who has unwaveringly honored
our vision and vow of togetherness
for 44 years now . . .


It definitely takes a village, and we have a village made of the  kindest,
most compassionate, smiling, big-hearted people I ever dreamed existed.

All good things must come to an end, and the International Quilt Festival is no exception.
Looking at the photos of empty walls now, I see visual foreshadowing . . .

We get home and take our elder Corgi Phoebe up the mountain on Wednesday,
cooking all her favorite foods and putting them in front of her,
sitting on the floor with her, petting her, talking to her, loving her.
She wants to go outside every 2 minutes or so as though she can’t make up her mind.
She stands over her water bowl as though it’s familiar,
but she’s forgotten what she’s supposed to do with it.

A business trip on Thursday, and on Friday, it’s time to make The Hard Decision.

As we wait on Jeff (our vet, friend, and well, extended family member),
a man comes in and walks right over to Phoebe who would ordinarily
be glad to see him because she has always known that everybody wants to pet her.
This man does want to pet her,
but today Phoebe doesn’t even raise her head
or look up at him.

We are ushered not into the usual exam room,
but into a more spacious room with colorful padded chairs.
There’s even a doggie bed . . . pink.
I know why we are here
– shoot, I’m the one who called Jeff and told him why we wanted to come –
and yet I am unable to let go of the hope,
that Jeff will enter to announce that an IV of fluids
and maybe 2 weeks of antibiotics and our Phoebe will be good as new.

That’s not what happens.

I sit on the floor with Phoebe.
She stands near the door,
and I ask her to move
for fear someone will smack her hard
when they don’t see her standing there.

She makes laps around the room,
walking in circles that take her
in front of the examining table,
in front of Andy,
in front of me,
then back by the examining table.
Around and around and around she goes.

Jeff takes her out to put the catheter in,
and when he brings her back,
she’s content to lay on the bed she’s been avoiding.

We all sit on the floor now.
As Jeff administers the sedative/anti-anxiety drug,
I tell stories that start with “Remember when . . . “.

As Jeff administers the narcotic,
we each lay a hand on Phoebe
and send steady streams of love to her
through our touch.

The precious four-legged soul called Phoebe
who gifted us with her presence
breathes her last breath
to the sound of laughter and love.

From the high of the Special Exhibit at IQF
to the lows of witnessing the life of a member of our family come to a close,
life is a roller coaster, and we have been in the front seat.

More Blocks Made at Hever Castle

More than 100 people were commemorated yesterday
at the Hever Castle Quilt Show
– which is part of the Hever Castle Festival of Homemade and Homegrown –
and more Makers showed up today
to commemorate those we honor in The 70273 Project.
Like this smiling International Quilt Judge
seen here standing in front of the gorgeous quilt she made.
She came yesterday, pledged to make 25 blocks,
and returned today with 26 blocks in hand.
Then I want y’all to know, she sat down and
commemorated 6 more people.
And that’s not all. Before leaving,
she promised to tell her large 300+ member quilting group
about The 70273 Project and get them involved.

Edina Geering – the beautiful woman on the right
wearing the Team 70273 badge on her lapel – was back today.
Edina and Lucy Horner are responsible for this
wonderfully successful event,
and Lucy is, once again, the one who took these captivating photos.

People of all ages filled the booth throughout the day,
learning of The 70273 Project and making blocks.

Edina’s granddaughters, Abigail and Imogene
came to lend a hand today as did Lucy’s daughter, Gabby.

“It made me well up listening to them explain The 70273 Project
to people as they went round handing out leaflets,”
Lucy says of Abigail, Imogene, and Gabby.
“Gabby was brilliant at talking to people
and keeping everyone entertained!”

Meet Sally who came today
and brought – wait for it –
the FIRST QUILT she’s ever made!
Isn’t it amazing?
And it measure 5′ x 8′.

“Oh, and we met Anne Boleyn, too,” writes Lucy.
“Hever Castle was her childhood home.”
(I’ll bet Anne’s dress would have Scarlett O’Hara
drooling all over herself!)

Thank you to all who helped make the
Hever Castle Block Drive so wildly successful,
and thank you to
those who commemorated so many people this weekend.

Would you like to hose a Block Drive for a group or event in your area?
Let me know and I’ll send you everything you need.
And remember: tomorrow is the Block Drive
at Modern Domestic in Portland, OR.
If you can’t be there to make blocks
but would like to have blocks in the Modern Domestic quilt,
do what I’m going to do: mail your blocks to them.



Blocks Being Made at the Hever Castle Quilt Show

This weekend, thanks to Lucy Horner and Edina Geering – two dynamos if ever there was such a woman – blocks for The 70273 Project are being made across The Pond at the Hever Castle Festival of Homemade and Homegrown. Let’s drop in, shall we, using the delightful photos and words of Lucy Horner . . .

Such an amazing day at Hever Castle spent spreading the message and love of The 70273 Project. 70 blocks made, 100’s of people talked to, and some beautiful smiles captured in this all-inclusive Project. Our last block maker of the day was from Hamburg, and I loved that she was wearing the globe. We are there all weekend, so if you fancy a day out to the Festival of Homemade and Homegrown and the Hever Quilt Show, do stop by.

Such a beautiful spot! These quilts have such personality.
I love putting them under my arm and showing them the sights!

It’s a beautiful team effort.
This weekend was organized by the Mover & Shaker called Edina Geering,
and boy she really gets things going and keeps things moving! 

I love how hands-on Edina is!
This is Victor. He was fab. He was saying that he is in the Brighton School of Samba
and they have here tabbards for a gig
which are white with a red heart.
He was going to get his group to cut them up for blocks,
but I said “Woah. We need you and your samba band in your tabbards
celebrating The 70273 Project!”
He told me to email him some dates.




 Stewards are always standing by to make sure that visitors
touch the quilts with their eyes only.

Liliana (5)  and Rosie (3) with blocks they made
with Edina and Linda pictured in the background.

They’re wearing dresses their mum made for them.


Celebrate / Commemorate . . . it’s a balance.
I talked till my lips stuck to my teeth.
But these quilts are a noisy lot!
They were stopping people in their tracks.
We’d thrown one over the entrance gate,
and a lady said, “I saw it in the distance, and it shouted out to me.
I got shivers when I got up close to it.”
The voiceless sing a beautiful song.

Thank you, Lucy, Edina, and other members of
The British Isles Quilter’s Guild
who are on hand to offer instruction and encouragement.
And thank you to everybody who felt strongly enough
to risk doing something new and doing something imperfectly.
If you’re in the area and you read this in time,
skip on over there and make a block.
And hey, be sure to send me a photo.


Now if you’re going to be in the vicinity
of Portland, Oregon (USA)
on Monday, 9/4/17,
stop by Modern Domestic to meet Michelle Freeman,
make blocks for the Modern Domestic quilt,
and see The 70273 Project Quilt #219 under the long arm.


Are you hosting a Block Party? Let me know and send photos!



Day Three in France: Toulouse

23 June 2017

You know when you are greeted with . . .

Tari Vickery and Katell Renon

a carousel

a statue listening intently to a bird,

and a dog so tired from playing that he went to sleep with the ball in his mouth.
(That, or the area is known for its dog-on-dog crime.)
it’s gonna be a day filled with fun and love.
And it is.
It really, really is.

Perhaps it’s because we’re two sleeps away
from The 70273 Project Exhibit at Lacaze, France,
that I spy pairs of X’s throughout Toulouse.


(I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Toulouse blue!)









Glass panels

at the Orly airport

and light through my upside down glass
that made me think of Nancy’s drawings.

There is a sewing shop

the courthouse where Katell and Patrick were wed,

bicycles that made me smile

shades of blue that come with history and story
(I don’t know why the photo is wonky.
Just turn your head or your computer screen
cause I’ve wrestled with it long enough.
I need to go to bed!)


and real windows and painted windows on the same home
that make me think how some people behave.

And hearts. Oh my goodness, there are hearts everywhere in Toulouse.

on the sidewalk

and  in patches of moss.

There are hearts that, if you look at them one way,
might resemble roosters

There are teapot hearts that short and stout,
with feet and handles of love
and spew love out into the world through their spout.

And as we head to the parking lot, I spy this tote bag.

Then we close out the day
at the beautiful, comfortable, welcoming home
of Katell and Patrick Renon.
I am one lucky, grateful woman.
Oh yes, yes I am.

I’m also a woman who’s a day behind with posts
because the days are full here
and when night comes, I fall asleep before I hit the bed.
There will be more photos of Paris and Toulouse on
Instagram if you’re interested,
and I promise to do my best to catch up tomorrow,
even though tomorrow is a Very Big Day, you know.

Day Two in France: Paris

Day Two is a day of stories, friendship, quilts, and pairs of X’s . . .

This morning, dear Chantal showed up at our rented flat with the first Friendship Block for The 70273 Project. What is a friendship block, you ask? Well, it’s something I’d planned to wait to tell you about till July 1, but looks like I need to go ahead and tell you now since I’ve got and spilled the beans early.

We’re borrowing a page from the history books and creating Friendship Quilts to raise funds for The 70273 Project. You take a red marker and write your name, using your first name as one of the lines in the red X and your last name as the second line that crosses the first line in the red X. For the other red X, you can write the name of the person you dedicate your block to – maybe an ancestor, a friend, a family member, a student – or maybe you do like Chantal did and make a collaborative friendship block. Ask a friend or loved one or even me to use their name to make the second red X. Then you send the block with a financial donation that will be much appreciated and well used, I promise. If you live in the US, you will also receive a receipt for your income tax report. So that, my friends, is what a Friendship Block is. Friendship blocks will be used only in Friendship quilts, too, by the way, and they will be counted as commemorative blocks.

Our first stop was heaven. Or, as some of you might call it, a fabric shop. But not just any fabric shop. This is the fabric store little girl Chantal visited with her mother, and every time they went, young Chantal secretly wished that this would be the day her mother bought fabric to make a dress just for Chantal instead of another hand-me-down dress she would get when her sister outgrew it.

When I heard that, I knew what I wanted – nay, I knew what I just had to do: buy the fabric for Calder Ray’s sleeping quilt. And I did. Found some beautiful soft fabric in the blue that he loves. And what’s in Chantal’s bag, you might ask? Well, she bought herself some lovely fabric . . . to make herself a dress.

I love everything about this shop . . . the quilted floors,

The doll-size mannequins wearing the most smashing outfits. Chantal says she remembers them being here when she was a little girl coming with a special wish.

Though we took our time looking around, it was eventually time to leave, and let me tell youThe Engineer was sad to leave, too . . . because the store was air conditioned.

We visited the Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement, where Chantal was gracious enough to find shady inclines instead of full sun steps.

There are quilts everywhere in that church . . . at the door, I spy borders.

On the floor, I spy quilts..

On the altar, I spy a quilt.

On the floor, I spy a colorful quilt of stained glass reflections appliquéd onto the floor “blocks”.

In the ancient stained glass, I see a 9-block with much color and intrigue surrounding it.

I fall head-over-heels in love with these modern quilts . . . I mean windows . . . and Chantal and I take a seat in front of them and talk about not just the windows, but Nancy and The 70273 Project and quilting techniques.

In the ceiling, I find two X’s, and I imagine they are red.

And on our exit, I get another view of Paris.

On the nearby multi-function place, I see more X’s that, if you squint your eyes just right, can be red.

In the area where artist have long set up stalls, I spy a blue, white, and red 9-patch.

We enjoy a French pancake breakfast for a late lunch. It was delicious, and there was a heart in my sweet pancake. A heart. That’s what this trip has been filled with.

I wish y’all would look at the bottom of the chairs, something I didn’t see till just now . . . two more X’s.

it was cooler today, in part because of the spectacular clouds, in part because of the constant breeze, and in part because Chantal went out of her way to find shade for us to walk in. And it was another lovely day spent with the darling Chantal who gives us time from her busy schedule. I am so very grateful for that and for all she does to commemorate the 70,273.

Three more sleeps till the first major European exhibit for The 70273 Project. How will I manage to sleep with all the anticipation and excitement? Pfffft. I can sleep on the flight home.

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Allow me to introduce myself . . .

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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