Tag: 70273 quilts (Page 1 of 3)

70273 Welcomes Improv

white cloth embellished with pairs of red X's

Touch Quilt being Quilted by Debra Jalbert. Photo by Debra Jalbert

Note from Jeanne: I first met Debra Jalbert of Made of Honor Quilts in July 2017 at a meeting of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild. I was there presenting a 70273 Project trunk show, and Debra took home two bundles and turned them into quilts. She also made a mini (postcard-sized) quilt and is currently working on one of The 70273 Project Touch Quilts, created especially for people with visual impairments, young children, and those who are more tactile learners.

In May 2019, I signed up for Debra’s  The Improv Experience  workshop offered at the C+C Sewing Co in Orlando, Florida. Recently diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, I needed to prove to myself that I can still do and learn things. Sarah Lauzon, co-owner of the C+C Sewing Co, 70273 Project Ambassador, and friend, remained close without hovering throughout the day, always available if I needed help. One of the best things Sarah did that was incredibly helpful to my low vision was put a brightly-colored child size bandage on the plate of the sewing machine to mark the 1/4″ mark. Oh, and did I mention that I got to use her sewing machine that once belonged to her grandmother and her granddaddy before that? Yes, really. Stay tuned for that story in a blog post coming soon.

woman holding a white quilt covered with pairs of red X's up in front of a neon pink flamingo

Debra holds The 70273 Project quilt as the pink flamingo looks over her shoulder

Debra used one of The 70273 Project quilts she made in the morning’s demonstration part of the day-long workshop, weaving it in seamlessly into the essential core of improv quilts. The workshop was so informative and entertaining, I asked her to write this blog post. Please help me welcome an active member of The 70273 Project, Debra Jalbert!

woman holds up a black and white quilt

Debra displays one of her improv quilts

While organizing my sample quilts for the class, I included a 70273 Project quilt to return to Jeanne since she was attending the class. That’s when I noticed that it perfectly fit into the class themes. The three major points of the class are: improvisation, collaboration, and working with a theme that includes palette limitations. The 70273 Project quilts fit this definition exactly!

The importance of collaboration was a major talking point throughout the day. What an opportunity to inspire one another through a quilting project! We created a safe environment to make mistakes – on purpose even – and then we actively shared what was learned. Freedom to work out loud was encouraged. We worked alongside one another and outside of our own head, gaining value through the opinions of others.

black and orange quilt

Another of Debra’s improv quilts. Her stories about how these quilt take shape are captivating.

What a terrific time to improve our quilting and relational skills! We certainly wanted to sew our best for our own projects and when sewing for someone else, but we don’t all have the same level of experience or the same way of doing things. Actively talking about what good communication looks like during the class helped with group cohesion and gave us moments to extend grace. We equally discovered ew sewing techniques by giving and listening to constructive advice.

Good and healthy communication is a practiced skill. Encouraging each other to give appropriate feedback with kindness and receive suggestions with grace may not always come easily or be our first reaction. Why not practice them in a safe, creative environment then take them out into our daily lives?

book with quilts on the cover and the word "Quiltcon" with each letter in a different color

Cover of the QuiltCon Catalog and Schedule, borrowed from the QuiltCon web site

Thank you, Debra, for a wonderful, confidence-building workshop. Debra will be teaching a full-day workshop at QuitlCon 2020! Here are the particulars:
~ Go to the QuiltCon web site.
~ Find the QuiltCon 2020 Catalog and Schedule
~ Select the “View PDF Schedule”
~ Read about how to register, then scroll down to find Debra’s information on page 51: PIE001 / Sewing Tiny: Piecing with Tidbits / Thursday, February 20 from 9 am to 5 pm

70273 Quilts on Exhibit at Marbridge

On December 7, 2017, I told you about Lynn Woll, Founder of Create Whimsy, and her sisters Bobbie Gideon and Janet. Right in the thick of the holiday season, Lynn worked with Janet and 11 of Janet’s friends, helping each one create a Middling for The 70273 Project. Today, Marbridge posted this touching (warning: tissue alert) video about those quilts and their Makers, and be sure to check out the 6th annual CoAct Project being hosted by Marbridge Foundation in Austin Texas on April 18-20, 2018. The CoAct Project is a national executive symposium to discuss best care practices, industry challenges, and build better relationships to better care for individuals with intellectual disabilities, including Autism, Down Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, seizure disorder, and traumatic brain injury.

The photos in this slide show were taken at the Artists’ Reception at Marbridge where the twelve quilts were on display, each photographed with its Maker. The quilts will also be on display in the lobby of the Omni Hotel during the CoAct Project Symposium.

Thank you Lynn and Bobbie for taking The 70273 Project to Marbridge and sharing Marbridge with The 70273 Project. Thank you Marbridge for doing the good work and hosting what sounds like a wonderful symposium. And last but definitely not least, thank you to Janet, Bennett, Leslie, Julie, Jack, Max, Rick, Thomas, Lizzie, Scott, Megan, and Betsy for making these beautiful quilts.

(Did you know that there’s a You Tube channel for The 70273 Project?)

The 70273 Project Quilt 304

a long quilt - white background covered with pairs of red X's

Meet The 70273 Project Quilt #304. This beauty is a Long Skinny made of blocks created by kids in the Religious Education program at the First Unitarian Church in Toronto, Canada.

The quilt is dedicated to the memory of Mark Jorgensen, 43 years old, who died in the summer of 2017 after living with Rett Syndrome, a genetic brain disorder with increasing mental and physical decline. Writes The 70273 Project Ambassador Linda Heron, “Mark enjoyed coming to church and was an enthusiastic singer and an occasionally loud participant in the church service. He was always acknowledged by service leaders with a friendly nod and a smile. We will all miss him.”

three people sitting at a table using needle and thread to stitch red strips of fabric onto white fabric

The quilt measures 19″ x 40″ or 48cm x 102cm. Completed in  November 2017, Quilt 304 commemorates 18 people. It will hang in the Library at the  First Unitarian Church in Toronto, Canada  throughout the month of March, and anyone in the area is invited to stop in,  view the quilt, and make some blocks using materials available there.

Thank you, Linda Heron, for coordinating these beautiful commemorations, for sharing news of The 70273 Project,  and for sending these photos.

closeup photo of a white quilt covered with pairs of red X's

The 70273 Project Quilt #304

Pieced, Quilted, Finished by Linda Heron

Block Makers:
Nikita de Jonge
Chloe Macintosh Rideau
Samantha Ponic
Nathan Morrisey
Alex Stones
Sally Pfohl
Jack Pfohl

Adult helpers:
Wendy Dines
Judy Magny
Linda Heron

Quilt 55

a quilt with a white background covered with pairs of red X's

Photo Description: Quilt 55, a quilt with a white background covered with pairs of red X’s. Photo by Margaret Andrews.

Meet Quilt 55 of The 70273 Project. This beauty – measuring 60″ x 68″ or 152cm x 173cm – is made entirely (blocks, piecing, quilting, finishing) by The 70273 Project Ambassador, Margaret Andrews who hails from Missouri in the United States. Completed in January 2017, 121 lives are commemorated in this quilt.

closeup photo of a quilt - white background covered with pairs of red X's

Photo description: closeup of Quilt 55, white background covered with pairs of red X’s. Photo by Margaret Andrews.

Writes Margaret of this quilt . . . The 70273 Project grabbed my heart and pulled me in when I first became aware of it in late summer 2016. I have one precious grandchild, and he has been diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome, a rare disorder present from birth. I firmly believe that he, along with very other person I’ve met who has been labeled “handicapped” or “disabled” (lis Shawn and Janice and Jonathan and Josh and Dale) have added to the beauty of my life.

In working on this quilt representing 121 lives extinguished, I have had the opportunity to share the story of The 70273 Project with many people. I will continue to gather blocks (and Provenance Forms), piece, quilt, and finish quilts, and recruit others to join us until all 70,273 lives are commemorated.

closeup photo of a white quilt covered with pairs of red X's

Photo description: closeup photo of Quilt 55, white background covered with pairs of red X’s. Photo by Margaret Andrews.

Being a woman of her word, Margaret has made many quilts, recruited many stitchers to help commemorate, and is always sending me information about places to exhibit quilts. Thank you, Margaret, for your heartfelt contributions to The 70273 Project and all we stand for. Wishing your grandson the best. I know he’s a treasure in your life and the lives of all he touches.


Quilts at Durham Cathedral

a quilt made of pairs of red x's sewn onto a white background hands in Durham Cathedral

Today, January 27, is Holocaust Remembrance Day
– a day chosen because it marks the anniversary
of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white background fabric are displayed in Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background are draped over pews in Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto a white background are on display at Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

quilts made of pairs of red X's sewn onto white background fabric are on display at Durham Cathedral in the U.K.

At Durham Cathedral,
it is being observed with a display of quilts
of The 70273 Project.
You saw some of them yesterday.

Thank you, Margaret Jackson, for the photos.

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

students stitch pairs of red X's onto white cloth to commemorate one disabled person murdered under Aktion T4

A Holocaust Remembrance Day service was held,
and throughout the day,
students and adults stopped
to commemorate others
by making blocks.

a woman wearing a shirt identifying her as "police" stands to the left of a man wearing a badge

This Durham police officer and Constable
vow to organize an effort to encourage
Young Cadets to make blocks and quilts.

“Our hope for being a compassionate, caring world
lies with the children.”

~ Tari Vickery

Thank you, Tari Vickery, for these words and these photos.

And thank you Coxhoe Quilters for continuing
to commemorate the 70,273 people we honor
and for all the work you do with children.

Margaret Jackson created The 70273 Project Teacher’s Information Booklet.
Feel free to download and use, along with any other
information on the Resources for Educators page.

Find more about the efforts of Coxhoe Quilters:

Quilt 241

A large quilt with a white background covered with pairs of red X's is shown on the floor in a living room of someone who lives in the U.K.

Photo by Margaret Jackson

Meet The 70273 Project Quilt 241 that will soon hang in Durham Cathedral in observance of Holocaust Memorial Day. Though I can’t tell you the exact dimensions, I think you can tell that she’s a girl of sizable proportions.

395 people are commemorated in Quilt 241, and these are the people who made the blocks:
Julie Lovatt (Coxhoe, Durham, U.K.) (She commemorated 168 people in this amazing quilt!)
Painting for Pleasure Art Group (Trimdon, Durham, U.K.)
Ann Hewitt (Ferryhill, Durham, U.K.)
Emmajayne Saunders (County Durham, U.K.)
Marjorie Collins (County Durham, U.K.)
Mary Robinson (County Durham,U.K.)
Pauline Marr (County Durham, U.K.)
Lesley Snell (Kelloe, Durham, U.K.)
Alex Storey (County Durham, U.K.)
Matthew Storey (County Durham, U.K.)
Marcus Storey (County Durham, U.K.)
Margaret Jackson (Coxhoe, Durham, U.K.)
Valerie Collins (County Durham, U.K.)
C McLean (County Durham,U.K.)
Jenna Wilson (County Durham, U.K.)
Beryl (County Durham, U.K.)

Quilt 241 was Pieced, Quilted, and Finished by Margaret Jackson.

The Engineer and I will be headed across The Pond soon, and I am beyond excited at the prospect of seeing these quilts and meeting the people who made them. I’ll be able to spot the Makers in even the most crowded room because they’ll be the ones wearing bandages on their sore-from-stitching fingertips!

Thank you, Coxhoe Quilters and Neighbors, for your dedication in making sure the 70,273 people are not forgotten and that they did not die in vain as they help us celebrate the perfectly imperfect who live today.

You can read more about The Coxhoe Quilters here and here,

And if you’d like to make a quilt by yourself or with your group (think family, guild, club, school, colleagues, etc.), you can find more about that here. Or if you’re more inclined to make a Middling (fat-quarter sized art quilt), head this way. If a fabric postcard is more to your liking, go right over here and find out more about that. And of course we still accept blocks, if that’s what interests you. However you decide to participate and help us commemorate the 70,273 people who deserved to live, thank you.

The Quilts at Lacaze Speak Quietly

Andy – The Engineer – created this video minutes after the doors opened. The only sound was the exquisitely appropriate music Cecile Milhau chose for the occasion.  Watch it when you can shut the door on the world for about 2 minutes. Let them speak to you, let them sing you a lullaby. Feel it.

Quilt #187, a Middling made by Laurie Dunn

The 70273 Project Quilt #187, a Middling made by Laurie Dunn

Laurie writes . . .

“What is a middling?”  I asked. “made from fat quarter size fabric.” (Really–those little bundles tied up at the fabric store unfold?)   A small quilt. Someone shared a picture.  I was getting it. Remember I am not a quilter.  

Quilt #187, a Middling by Laurie Dunn

I cut fabric the required size plus a half inch. I grabbed my embroidery hoop and the spool of red sewing thread I had been using and began to stitch pairs of X’s. Always in pairs. I absent-mindedly follow the curve of the hoop. When it got awkward, I moved the hoop. Continued and removed the hoop. Hmmmm. Looks like a heart, sort of. So I tried to continue the heart idea. XX of various stitches, various sizes. My January project.

I took my thread and my hoop to visit my 91 year old Dad. “Are you going to finish it by Valentine’s Day?” he asked as I was still working on it after his February 3rd birthday. A new deadline.

Jeanne asked me how it felt to make a Middling. I started with trepidation. I am not a quilter. This is taking a lot of time if it is not right. I set it aside, picked it up, took it to work when I watched the grandkids.

Quilt #187, a Middling made by Laurie Dunn

One of the Monthly Mixer challenges was “a picture of the smallest pair of XX you can find.” That somehow gave me the freedom to make very small XX pairs. And that led me to thinking of small individuals – how young were the lives we are remembering. Some of the individuals I work with are adults but are of very small stature for their age. Some of my pairs were prickly, some stout. My pairs marched and meandered . . . is that how “our” individuals entered the gas chambers?

Quilt #187, a Middling by Laurie Dunn

When I got my decidedly wonky heart shape finished, I counted 200 pairs. Then I added 14 more larger ones from fabric – just because that is how many fit. I cut the back and the filling (an old felted waterbed pad – my mother-in-law always used old blankets for batting in her quilts.) I stitched around the edges – pillow case style – a term I learned form fellow participants in The 70273 Project. My plan had been to machine stitch between the rows of pairs of X’s. Around the inside of the heart I went. Then the inside of the inside row. I could not do more, the rows seemed too close together. I sent a picture to Chloe Grice asking if she thought it was “right”. She said to post it, so I did, and y’all (another term I’m learning from this group!), y’all hit “like”. No one said to add more quilting.

Laurie Dunn and Quilt #187, a Middling

Took it to show my dad. He got a big grin. Later on that evening, he suddenly said, “Don’t do any more quilting.” I have always tried to obey my dad.

I keep looking at it, moving it from place to place. I still need to put a sleeve on the back. It is very much like a baby blanket, like a baby I’m not ready to send into the world quite yet.


Laurie, your Middling and your words are tender and quite touching. I am moved by the fact that as you say, you are not a quilter, and yet you feel so deeply about the people you work with and the people we commemorate that you simply cut the fabric, thread the needle, and start. You may  have been working on it since January, but you’ll finish it in June, which as you know, is Middling Month! Please hug your dad for me next time you see him, and tell him what I always ask you to tell him: that I thank him for his service and for the daughter who is now my friend.

Would you like to make a Middling? Here are the important things to remember:
~ Middlings are sent to me as finished quilts.
~ finished size is approximately 18″ x 22″ (46cm x 56cm) .
~ The base must be white or slightly off white.
~ The binding is white.
~ Creativity is allowed in that you can create shapes but please, no words, letters, or numbers other than “70273” – and that one number can only be used on Middlings. Individual blocks can have only two red X’s.
~ The two red X’s must be presented as obvious pairs, not as an endless string of red X’s because each pair represents a person commemorated, and that’s what we’re about.
~ The Provenance Form must be completed, signed, and sent as usual – one for each person who helped create the quilt.
~ You must tell me on the Provenance Form how many people you’ve commemorated so I don’t have to stop and count.




Quilt #179, a Middling Made by Cindy Cavallo

The 70,273 Project Quilt #179 made by Cindy Cavallo

Dear Jeanne,

My name is Cindy Cavallo. I am a lifetime Reno, Nevada resident. I retired from University of Nevada-Reno in December of 2012, where I was an instructor of Interior Design for 11.5 years. I taught Residential Design, Housing, and Textiles, with Textiles being my first love. I learned of The 70,273 Project from my Quilt Guild – Truckee Meadows Quilters. I’ve been quilting on and off for the last 25 years. I’ve made many quilts, tried many blocks, and left many project unfinished out of lack of importance. I’ve wanted to “quilt with a purpose” for several years now, and The 70,273 Project seemed to speak straight to my heart!

One of the most moving experiences of my life was a trip to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C. I’m honored to be a part of this amazing movement – the remembrance of those whose lives were randomly cut so short. I think of what the world truly lost and imagine if the Steven Hawkings, Helen Kellers, the FDRs and Kim Peeks of the world were taken early – where would the world be today without their gifts?

The 70,273 Project Quilt #179, detail

My Middling (18.5″ x 22″) was made and finished in April of 2017 with fabrics from my stash. In my twenties I traveled to Europe. I collected fabrics and ribbons from France and Belgium, those are included in my quilt. The backing and some ribbon are from my mother’s collection. She passed at the age of 95 in 2015, and working with her things was a sweet reminder of her and learning to sew as a youngster on her old Singer! I wanted to use some traditional techniques (flying geese) and modern advancements of dye cutting fonts to recognize individuals. 33 lives are commemorated in all – each with love and the deepest respect.  

The 70,273 Project Quilt #179, detail

I honor family and friends who suffer from physical and mental diseases and realize they, too, would have most likely received the dreaded XX. Their love and compassion, not to mention individual talents, would have been taken from us. The very thought! Education is the only remedy for such atrocities. I want everyone to remember the past so we don’t repeat this mistake made by calloused individuals. I thank you for taking on the creation, responsibility, and the monumental task of The 70,273 Project. 

Kindest regards,



Cindy, thank your beautiful Middling and for your touching words. I can’t tell you how many time a day I think what a big empty hole would be in my life were there no Nancy. It’s unfathomable, really. I look forward to our paths crossing in person one day so I can call you Sugar to your face. xo


Would you like to make a Middling?
Would you like to make blocks?
Would you like to Piece a top or Quilt a quilt or both? Just let me know.

Quilt 10 Gets New Jewelry

Hundred of quilts on display at the East Cobb Quilt Show June 8-10, 2017

The 70273 Project™ Quilt #10 on display at the East Cobb Quilt Guild Show 2017

The 70273 Project™ Quilt #10

The 70273 Project™ Quilt #10, detail

The 70273 Project™ Quilt #10, detail

The 70273 Project™ Quilt #10 with Margaret Williams, Piecer and Quilter

Today is the first time I’ve seen Quilt #10 since she was a mere bundle of blocks held together with a red ribbon. Margaret Williams finished piecing her, then submitted her for the East Cobb Quilt Show in Marietta, GA Our Quilt #10 was juried in (big honor), and The Engineer and I dropped by on the last day to see Margaret and #10.

Do you like her new jewelry? (And yes, the quilt part of the ribbon is hand pieced!) Drum roll, please: Our quilt #10 won a ribbon for Third Place in the Group Quilt category – another big honor!  Congratulations to Margaret Williams, Piecer, Quilter, and Finisher of Quilt #10 and to those who have blocks in Quilt #10:

Ada Hewell (US)
Adalee Beasley (US)
Andy Grimaldi (US)
Andrew R. Chambers (US)
Barbara Atwell (US)
Bev Wiedeman (US)
Bobbi Penniman (US)
Brenda Shimshick (US)
Caroline Rudisill (US)
Carolyn Katzoff (US)
Chase Hughes (US)
David S Leader (US)
Deborah L. J. MacKinnon (US)
Debra Steinmann (US)
Denniele Bohannen (US)
Elizabeth Belcher (US)
Emily May (Milly) Grice (FR)
Faye Cook (AUS)
Frances Holliday Alford (US)
Glenda Williams (AUS)
Hylke and Marjolein Lootens
Janet Eidem (US)
Janet Hartje (US)
Janice Foy (US)
Janine Morrell (US)
Jeanne Hewell-Chambers (US)
Jennifer Eastment (AUS)
Jennifer Lario Moya (AUS)
Jennifer Shimshick (US)
Kimberly Kuhns (US)
Kitty Sorgen (US)
Laurie Dunn (US)
Lee Durbin (US)
Linda Heron (CAN)
Linda Isaacs (US)
Linda Smith (US)
Lori East (US)
Margaret Williams (US)
Marsha Hardan (US)
Maryellen “Graz” Grysewicz (US)
Michelle Banton (US)
Michelle Hughes (US)
Mildred S (Millie) Long (US)
MJ Kinman (US)
Mona Masters (US)
Pat Gaska (US)
Pauline (AUS)
Robin Welsh (US)
Rosemary Claus-Gray (US)
Sarah Noelle Ballantine (US)
Sue Beermann (US)
Susan Getchell (US)
Susan Graham (US)
Susan Guild (US)
Susan Leader (US)
Susie Wheelis (US)


L to R: The Engineer (a.k.a. Andy), moi, Quilt #10, Margaret Williams, Susan Williams

Bonus: Not only did we get a personalized tour of the quilt show from Margaret, but we got to meet her delightful daughter, Susan.

L to R: The Engineer, Phoebe, Susan, and Margaret (in front)

And they got to meet our elderly Corgi, Phoebe, who was along for the ride because we are headed even further away on family business. It was a good and glorious day.

Notes: In the background, I’m doing a site makeover, creating galleries for each quilt. And this week’s update/recap post might be delayed. We’ll have to see how my time goes this afternoon. I’m at Mother’s house . . . which may or may not have something to do with it.


Other places to gather around The 70273 Project water cooler:

Shop with Amazon Smile and support The 70273 Project.

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.

Get folks to help celebrate your birthday by making blocks and/or donating bucks.

Follow the pinterest board for visual information.

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

Tell your friends what you want for your birthday.

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.

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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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