Tag: 70273 interview

Interview: Shirley, Wes, and Nealy Wesselhoeft


book cover bearing an image of a young boy standing on a bech wearing a sailor's suit

When he was six years old, Wes Wesselhoeft and his parents were unceremoniously snatched from their peaceful life in Chicago, Illinois and taken by train and truck to Crystal City, Texas where they were interned with other Japanese and Italians being held hostage in the hysteria of World War II. Hear Wes and Shirley tell the story – or parts of the story ’cause I want you to read the book and join us in The 70273 Project Book Chat in The 70273 Project Facebook Group (date and time to be announced) – in their own words. It is a story of resilience and generosity of spirit if ever I’ve heard one.

Join The 70273 Project Campfire (a.k.a. Facebook group) so you don’t miss this book chat where you can ask Shirley, Wes, and even Nealy the Service Dog questions and make comments on the book.


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The Equity, Access, and Inclusion Conference at the University of Maine

people sewing around a table with quilts hanging in the background

I met Sara Henry, Director of Student Accessibility Services and Conference Organizer at the University of Maine,  at the AHEAD Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 2018 when she stopped by The 70273 Project booth to make a block. When she invited me to be a presenter and host a 70273 Project Block Drive as part of the conference that’s a World Usability Day event, I was delighted and honored to respond with a hearty “Yes.”

The conference is from 9 am to 4 pm and offers an amazing variety of speakers and useable information. And there’s more: the conference is open to the public! Registration is quick, easy, and can be tended to here. Go here for a schedule, map, and other information.

I recently interviewed Sara Henry as part of growing The 70273 Project Podcast. Give a listen here or watch it on The 70273 Project You Tube Channel for the visual version. Note: Bear with me as I learn how to do this, and remember, we embrace imperfections.



We’ve fallen in love with Maine
as we make our way to Orono and the University of Maine campus.

white wooden house with chimney

blue house with white grim and two chimneys

the houses that seem capable and confident, ready to shelter the people they love

buildings of various sizes in a small town where cars line the streets

the small towns that whisk me back in time to my Fayetteville, GA childhood

gray skies over boats on the water

the boats

metal supports on a bridge with gray sky in the background

the Penobscot Bridge (Oh how The Engineer loves bridges!)

a happy man enjoying fresh lobster and corn on the cob and clam chowder

and lobster

a windshield wiper obscures part of the Acadia National Park sign

Acadia National Park

leaves of orange and red and yellow appear in front of the ocean clouded in fog and surrounded by trees and hills

its water

a man and a woman stand in front of a tree in Acadia National Forest

trees on the edge of the ocean

and its trees
all quite beautiful despite the rain and fog it dressed in today.

We’ve lingered in two bookstores, and I declare, y’all, they have revived me. The scenery and the bookstores – oh my goodness – the stories are popping up everywhere.

Oh, and when The Engineer spied the sign for the quilt store, we stopped
and left some cards for The 70273 Project
and shopped – you know I shopped a little.

Come to the conference if you can. And be sure to get up in my face and say Hey.

Interview: Julie Sefton

book cover with various colored barns on a blue background

Julie Sefton’s book

Julie Sefton and I met and became friends through one of my favorite blogs written by one of my favorite people: Jude Hill. (Jude has been very supportive of The 70273 Project since its inception. Thank you, Jude.) As sometimes happens, our families took us in different directions, and then through the magic of Margaret Andrews, Julie and I reconnected. Julie is not only a remarkable woman and quilter, she has a son with a disability and is coordinating The 70273 Project Special Exhibit for the upcoming Davies Manor 22nd Annual Quilt and Fiber Arts Show.

Besides talking about her personal quilting preferences and journey (I coined the phrase “bioquiltography” a decade or so ago. Once had a blog by that name, too.), Julie tells us more about The Davies Manor Quilt Show coming up this weekend and The 70273 Project Special Exhibit that will be there. If you live in the vicinity of Memphis or more specifically Bartlett, Tennessee and can go lend a hand at The 70273 Project exhibit, telling folks about the project, putting info in their hands, helping them make blocks and make sure they complete a Provenance Form, that would be fantastic! Let me know and I’ll pass your info along to Julie who will join me in being oh so grateful.

Here are the particulars:
Who: Davies Manor’s Association 22nd Annual Quilt and Fiber Arts Show
What: An annual quilt show that this year includes a Special Exhibit of The 70273 Project quilts
When: Friday, 11/2/2018; Saturday, 11/3/2018; and Sunday, 11/4/2018 from 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Located just off exit 20 of I-40 with entrances at 9336 Davies Plantation Road and 3570 Daviesshire Drive, Bartlett, TN
How: For more information, visit Davies Manor Plantation Facebook page and the Davies Manor web site 
How much: $5.00 for one day or $8.00 for all 3 days

A note before we begin: we experienced technical difficulties with Julie’s interview . . . we simply could not convince the microphone on her computer to play nicely. We asked, we cajoled, we pleaded and nothing worked. So eventually I just asked Julie to sit as close to the microphone as she could and talk as loudly as possible because we’re The 70273 Project Tribe, which means that we find the beauty in the imperfect, keep going forward no matter what, and know that the flip side is always joy. So turn your volume up as far as it will go and huddle up with your computer cause I think you’ll find what Julie has to say as interesting as I do.

Thank you, Julie, for being such a valuable member of The 70273 Project. Thank you, Margaret Andrews, for not only bringing us back together, but for finishing so many quilts that will be on display at Davies Manor. And thank you Nancy who’s in charge of the Davies Manor Quilt Show for taking such good care of The 70273 Project.

Here’s where you can find more of Julie. Be sure you give yourself plenty of time to read and look!
her current blog
her previous blog
her books
one blog post Julie wrote about ‘the 70273 Project
another blog post Julie wrote about The 70273 Project
Julie’s Build a Barn book she talks about in the interview can be found on Amazon and at BN.comhttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/build-a-barn-julie-sefton/1122723864?ean=9781604604115 and at the AQS Online Bookstore in paper edition or ebook. She’ll even autograph them for you if you’d like.

Julie . . .
~ teaches classes at her local quilt shop, Fabric for the Flock in Barlett, TN
~ has a Lecture/Trunk show for he Picking up the Pieces Guild in Memphis, TN on February 26, 2019 (no website)
~ will do a Lecture/Trunk Show for The Scrap Club hosted by Kevin the Quilter in O’Fallon, IL on February 28, 2019 with a workshop the following day
~ will teach a week-long class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in September 2019. Registration to open soon.

Would you be willing to let me interview you for The 70273 Project podcast? Send me a note via Facebook or email. or Instagram. I’m posting them as blog posts right now while I get an inventory and can handle it like an official podcast, posting the interviews in all the usual podcast lineups. Soon, y’all, soon.

And one more thing: If you’re anywhere near the Florida Atlantic University campus in Boca Raton, Florida, come to the library on Tuesday, 10/30/18  to say Hey and make a block. We’ll be there all day, from 8 am to 5 pm as part of Disabilities Awareness Month. Thank you, Michell Shaw, Director of Student Accessibility Services!


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Let’s Welcome The Netherlands


After agonizing over it a while, The Engineer and I opt to go to lunch together, and sure enough what we feared would happen, did. We get back to the exhibit to find a note in our journal from a woman that I would love to have met. Fortunately (1) we eat fast and (2) she comes back, and now you get to meet her, too. Yvonne promises to galvanize the Netherlands and get them into The 70273 Project in a big way. And one detail I’m not sure she mentions in the video: though they’re not Jewish, she and her husband live in a Jewish cemetery. Every year on Memorial Day, school children come in to help clean the graves, put out flowers, and hear stories from Holocaust survivors.

two women stand beside a multi-colored quilt

At the end of the day as we are leaving, we take the circuitous route (we do every day when entering and leaving) so we can view more of the amazing quilts on display, I hear my name and look around to see Yvonne beckoning me over. She’s won a Teacher’s Award ribbon, and oh my goodness is it an award ever well-earned.

a closeup of small quilts sewn together to make a large quilt


a closeup of the border of a quilt

I couldn’t get a photo of the entire quilt because there were so many people standing around admiring it, but I’ll get one today before the crowds arrive and add it here. It is 225 mini quilts stitched together and surrounded by a spectacular border . . . and it’s all hand pieced and quilted. Yes, really.

You know how you meet someone and feel an instant connection and desire to spend more time with them? Well, Yvonne is on that list with so many other people we’ve met along the way. I sense (well, hope) a visit to the Netherlands in my future, and maybe Yvonne and her husband would like to come spend some time atop a mountain beside a waterfall.

I have so many more stories and photos to tell y’all, but when I sit down at the computer at night, I go to sleep! They’ll come. I promise.

I am, however, able to upload a few short videos if you’re interested.


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Happy Birthday to Just Wanna Quilt

four small quilts covered with pairs of red X's

Happy one-month birthday to Elizabeth Townsend Gard and the Just Wanna Quilt Podcast!  I met Elizabeth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX last November  (apparently we didn’t snap a picture of us, though), and we just clicked. She and her Quilting Army have been VERY supportive of The 70273 Project, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Click over and give a listen to some of her fantastic interviews. The 70273 Project episode is #14, and Elizabeth released it on 14 Feb 18 – the 2nd birthday of the project, and my birthday, too (though I’m not telling how which one!)

Thank you, Elizabeth, for all you do to help The 70273 Project and bring quilters together in a digital quilting bee.

WXII Came A-Calling

Q: How do people find out about The 70273 Project?
A: Through high tech social media and good old-fashioned grass roots spreading and every way in between.

Jeanne and Bethany with her first quilt. She had to borrow a sewing machine and rotary cutter. We’re talking total novice, y’all.

So once upon a time, there was a lovely lass named Bethany, a newspaper reporter on assignment. When Bethany commented on the lovely quilts, the tables were turned and she was asked if she was a quilter. Her answer that day was no, but soon enough, our Bethany took the advise of the woman she was interviewing and signed up for one of Denniele Bohannen’s classes, and the rest, as they say,  is her story.

Then the day came when Bethany landed a job just over yonder from me  in North Carolina, and today she and Chris brought the camera and microphone and spent the morning in The Dissenter’s Chapel & Snug (my studio) looking at The 70273 Project quilts, asking good questions, and listening to my answers and stories. I don’t know when I’ve had so much fun, y’all.

In her star quilt, there were bicycles for her mother, an avid cyclist . . .

and a nod to science (atoms) for her dad . . .

and newspaper for journalist self. I see a theme in Bethany’s quilts: black and what and read all over. Or for those of you who don’t remember that childhood riddle, journalistic communication. It’s part of Bethany’s life, and it’s part of her quilty signature.

Bethany and her Churn Dash quilt she made in another one of Denniele’s classes. Note the backing fabric. Just sayin’.

And you know what else? Bethany brought a suitcase filled with her beautiful quilts and treated me to a private showing-for-one exhibit of her quilts. Pinch me.

Chris wanted to get a shot of me making blocks on my sewing machine – a 44 year old beauty The Engineer bought for me with proceeds from winning two radio contests the first year we were married. Now for all you eagle-eyed stitchers and non-stitchers who like finding bloops in films, if you  see this story  on the WXII  web site, you’ll chortle when you note that I ran out of thread before I’d stitched a single leg of a single red X. “Keep stitching,” Chris said, so I stitched and stitched and stitched some more . . . without any thread in the bobbin!

You’ll be hearing more about Bethany and Chris in another blog post coming later this week, so stay tuned.  Thank you, Bethany and Chris, for this wonderful opportunity to let people know about The 70273 Project. It was so much fun, and I’m serious about y’all coming back with your families for a weekend. I’ll leave the light on.

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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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