Tag: 70273 profiles (Page 2 of 2)

An Afternoon with Roxanne Lasky

RoxanneLaskyAndJHC2I’ve long admired and adored the work of Roxanne Lasky from afar. Knowing that she lives in the vicinity, a couple of days ago, as we barreled down the road headed to Hilton Head Island, I sent her a facebook message asking if there was a fabric store or quilt exhibit I needed to see while we are here. Her response? “You’re passing right by us. Stop by. Lorie McCown is here, and we have wine.”


Now it didn’t work out for me to get over there in time to meet Lorie, but I did spent an hour and a half with Roxanne, her engineer Stu, and Miss Nellie at their beautiful home yesterday, and what a treat that was! I hadn’t been there 30 minutes when we were talking with ease about topics even the best of friends usually avoid – things like organized religion and spirituality. There are few things I enjoy more than meeting other cloth workers, seeing their studio, hearing their stories . . .

As far as art goes, Roxanne has done it all.


She’s sculpted


and painted


hooked rugs,
made traditional quilts,
owned a fabric store,
and done longarm quilting.



Honoring what beckons to her,
she found her way to houses


and art quilts.
Intuitive stitching, she calls it.



Roxanne makes jackets
that showcase her intuitive stitching.


This piece, that hangs in the bedroom,
is a collage of cloths she’s bundled,
rusted, and dyed, transforming
them all in one way or another.
She and Lori sometimes do collaborative pieces.
Their current collaboration is
on an indigo-dyed doily.
They’ve just begun,
and already it’s a sumptuous piece.


Roxanne is working on a series about
the erosion of memory
and in particular, Alzheimers.
In these pieces, Roxanne stitches
good memories of her mother
along with the sadness of remembering
her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s
and her fear of developing Alzheimer’s herself.

Having grown up poor,
when her mother married
and found herself with enough pin money
that she no longer had to buy
somebody else’s cast-off shoes,
she indulged in her love of high heels.
New high heels.
This piece is called The Other Oz.
(Roxanne is as good at naming pieces
as she is at conjuring and stitching them.)
As you might imagine,
she finds it necessary to take
frequent breaks from the memory series,
stitching other, unrelated themes.

This piece is her personal totem,
filled with things that
speak to her.
Things like
dresses, feathers, and birds.

A former special ed teacher and
an early contributor to The 70273 Project,
and, Roxanne recently met a fella who regaled her
with stories about his son
who has Down’s Syndrome and autism,
and she was so moved, she vows
to make a block dedicated to his son.


After a morning of thrift store shopping
with The Engineer and my mother
(I’ll show and tell you more tomorrow)
and getting to call Roxanne Lasky “Sugar” to her face,,
the sun set on what I’d be hard pressed to call
anything but A Mighty Fine Day.

What I Found Inside Envelope 20


Little Luna, I call her, and I adore her. She’s the teenage daughter of a woman I love – a woman I call Moonglow – and these are her blocks. Little Luna’s, I mean. She shopped for her fabric at thrift stores, and she texted me messages and photos throughout the morning, taking me shopping with her.  Here, in her own good words, is what she told me about making them . . .


Sometimes we forget that terrible things are done. When my mom told me about this project, I immediately wanted to conribute. I believe in this, I believe that no one should die by 2 “x”s on a piece of paper. We all have a right to life, even the imperfect and the youngest among us can teach and give to the world. No one should be able to take that from us!


What happened to these people was a monstrocity! The very fact that they just looked at a piece of paper and never looked in the eyes of the person they were sentencing to death shows their lack of humanity. I am infuriated by this. Someone thought “This child can not have a future. XX.”!!!


I chose to cut up soft worn fabric from donated clothes. The fabric was part of someone’s story. The “X’s” could have been an unseen hand ending that tale. Thank you, Miss Jeanne, for letting me help, and for reminding the world that everyone has a story and needs to be seen and honored.

Little Luna



Mail Call for The 70273 Project


Getting heavily-decorated mail tickles me,
The Engineer, and our local post mistresses.
Tickles a lot of other folks along the way, too,  I’m guessing.


A flock of beautiful blue birds
brought this package from Australia,
a box filled with – count them –  160 blocks.
Thank you, Glenda Williams!



Beautiful flowers adorn another envelope from Susan Getchell in Florida.


Lee Durbin sent another envelope of blocks,
this one decorated in patriotism, and it sparked
the idea to make five blocks a day over Memorial Day weekend
(which I did and well tell you about soon)
as a way of remembering and appreciating
those who died to prevent atrocities
like the one that murdered the 70273 people
we commemorate with The 70273 Project.


Just seeing Kitty Sorgen’s name on the return address label
makes me smile, so when I turn it over to see this,
it’s like getting a bonus.EnvelopeJewelryJohansen1cropped

Orderly, well-dressed felines
brought this envelope from Marie Johansen.


And this one from Tina Davis was just plain fun.
Included in her envelope was a piece of fabric
and a request for me to sign it
and become part of her signature quilt.


Sometimes I open envelopes to find jewelry on the inside –
like this uplifting note from Susan Guild


and this one from Samantha Kendig


and this exciting news from MJ Kinman.


Then there’s this creative postcard
from the talented one known as Della Monk.
It really doesn’t have any relation to The 70273 Project,
but it’s so much fun, there’s no way I could leave it out.

No matter how your blocks get to me,
I thank y’all for being part of
The 70273 Project
and making it such an enjoyable
and worthwhile endeavor.

Mail Call: Envelopes 9, 10, 11, and 12

Block75SharleenJespersen copy

Sharleen Jespersen, who has a habit of making beautiful quilts
for really good causes,
makes this beautiful 9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm) block for The 70273 Project
in honor of her daughter and tucks it inside Envelope #9.

Thank you, Sharleen. I’m honored and delighted
that you’ve chosen to be a part of
The 70273 Project.

Block76KathleenLoomis copy

I met Kathleen Loomis at a fiber arts workshop
in Louisville, KY a couple of years ago,
and I was delighted to open Envelope #10
to find this 3.5 x 6.5 (9 cm x 16.5 cm) block from her.

Kathleen writes:
” I am working on a quilt that references the American flag,
and right now I’m alternating
between sewing on the red and white areas.
I had lots of different white fabrics in piles
on my cutting table,
so I grabbed the top one off the pile
and cut a block for you and The 70273 Project.

The red parts are being heavily stitched
and cut into ‘postage stamps’.
I assemble a large panel of quilt sandwich
and then stitch and stitch and stitch
for a while before cutting it into 1-1/2 inch squares.
Sometimes at the end of the cutting
there’s a very skinny pice left over,
which of course I would never throw away
even if it’s only 1/4 inch wide.
So I picked up a skinny bit that was sitting
on my sewing table, cut it into four parts,
and stitched them onto the white ground fabric.
I would estimate total work time at 2.7 minutes.”

Thank you, Kathleen. Look forward to seeing that quilt
that lent us some pieces for The 70273 Project.

Block84JulieTaylor copy3.5″ x 6.5″ (9 cm x 16.5 cm)

Block85JulieTaylor copy3.5″ x 6.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm)

Block86JulieTaylor copy6.5″ x 9.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm)

Block87JulieTaylor copy9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm)

In Envelope #11,
we find four blocks created by Julie Taylor.
Julie writes:
“Cecilie had her physical and mental challenges
and passed at too young of an age.”

Thank you, Julie.
You pay beautiful homage to Cecilie.

Block88CatherineHill copy

Hailing from the U.K., we have Envelope #12
containing this 6.5″ x 9.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm) block made by
Catherine Hill.
It makes me think of two friends
holding hands as they go willingly
– because they’re “disabled”
which means they don’t know anything but Trust –
off with the person who ultimately
shepherds them to their death.

Thank you, Catherine, for this block that tells a story.


Have you made some blocks?


Joined the Facebook group?

Liked the Facebook page?

Told three (or more) others about The 70273 Project?

And on we grow . . .
thanks to y’all.

Envelopes 2, 4, and 6, Please

Block24DeborahMacKinnon copy

Envelope #2
is from Deborah L. J. Mackinnon
who hails from Washington.
Deborah writes:

I began my journey as an artist after retiring from a career in education.
My love of learning combined with a life long love of fabric.
Self-taught, I’m a member of Contemporary Quilt Arts.
My current project is a series of quilted artist’s books.
Additionally, I’m an active Rotarian and a joyful grandmother.
“Making visible the invisible” is what motivated me to create my block.
The red x’s are shadowed with black fabric pen
to symbolize the prejudice
that physically and mentally disabled individuals
still endure.

Thank you for initating this project.

Deborah L. J. Mackinnon

Thank you for participating in this project, Deborah.



Envelope #3 from Georgia contains
a block from Anonymous Maker 2
created in honor of Nancy Chambers


and a block from Anonymous Maker 3
writes “A very worthy project!”
and created this block
in honor of Nancy Chambers

Thank y’all for making these beautiful blocks
in honor of Nancy. They do her justice
in their vulnerability,
in what must surely look to some
like imperfections.
These blocks, like Nancy,
are beautiful
in their own unique way.


Block36DeniseGiardullo copy

Block37DeniseGiaroullo copy

Block38DeniseGiardullo copy

Envelope #6 contains blocks from
Denise Giardullo
who lives in New York.
Denise writes: “Thank you. I am happy to participate.”

Glad you’re a part of this, Denise. Thank you.


It’s fun to go in the post office
and come out with something besides bills.

And what of envelopes 3 and 5, you ask?
Stay tuned.

Perhaps you’d like to:
make some blocks
get blog posts delivered
join our facebook group
like our facebook page

Nancy Does Her Part for The 70273 Project Blocks

Nancy does her part: makes a drawing that will become her block for The 70273 Project.
(Lighting was a little on the dark side on account of it was post-lunch nap time.)

And here Nancy and Jeanne (mostly Jeanne, actually) talk about
what it’s like to be a mother and an artist.



Here are Nancy’s finished drawings for her 70273 blocks.
Just wait till you see what I have planned for
my part of the collaboration.
Stay tuned.

Today we picked up the 563 (or so) drawings that will become
In Our Own Language 19.
Here are some of my favorites:





Tonight I was tickled to be invited to talk about The 70273 Project
with other writers over on Twitter
in #storydam,
a chat moderated tonight by Meredith Shadwill.

Don’t forget to help get the word out by mentioning The 70273 Project on
Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media outlet you hang out in.


Remember to subscribe so you stay up to date.


Let me know when you get your block finished
and let me know if you’re gonna’ participate in the
Make-a-Block-a-Day-in-March Event.

and, as always:

Thank you.

The 70273 Project: And On We Grow

Less than a week after Launch . . .


My friend Kitty Sorgen made a couple of blocks as she rode the ferry yesterday and sent me these photos. Isn’t that a beautiful commute? Here’s what she had to say:


“Had an hour long commute this morning on the Kitsap from Friday Harbor to Anacortes. It’s like ‘old home week’ when we ride the ferry……seeing all your neighbors off to do shopping or having doctor appointments. This morning I sat stitching my first blocks as the islands slipped silently by in the misty morning.”


“The black spots in some of the reds represents to me the darkness of heart there must have been in someone who could have participated in such a plan as this.”

Kitty on Facebook



Yesterday I received an email by Hilke Kurzke of Büchertiger Studio & Press is a German national who now lives in the UK,  a book artist, and the mother of two disabled boys. She read about The 70273 Project and has not only started her first (I hope there are more) block, she featured the project on her blog today.  How’s that for fast turnaround! And, as if all that isn’t enough, she’s invited me to pen a guest post, too. I’ll let you know when it goes live. You know I will.

Where to find Hilke:



Web site


Etsy Shop


Over on Facebook, Merle Halliday Westbrook, a talented, fun, and funny woman I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person, asked the title of the documentary we were watching when the idea for The 70273 Project lighted on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. It’s a multi-part documentary called Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution. The few sentences about this atrocity appears about 2/3 of the way through the first episode of the first season. (They don’t mention the number 70,273. That came from my subsequent research.)

This Q/A has now been added to the Thoughtfully Asked Questions page. Keep those questions coming, y’all.


Don’t forget to help get the word out about The 70273 Project (Thank you).

Make a block . . . or at least make plans to make a block.

Subscribe so you don’t miss anything.


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