Four years ago today, I gave myself the best birthday present ever when I mashed the “publish” button and launched The 70273 Project. What an incredible, amazing, astonishing four years it has been.
Our first blocks came from Kitty Sorgen less than 2 weeks of that first post. News of the project spread like wildfire, confirming that the kind, compassionate people in the world outnumber the bad folks, something I’d long suspected. Three days later, Margaret Williams did some experimenting and tutorials. And we were off! Throughout the four years, we received blocks from quilt guilds, schools, churches, families, and communities around the world.
Our first major European exhibit – in Lacaze, France, curated by Katell Renon and Cecile Milhau – was a mere 16 months after launch. We’ve had exhibits literally around the world – in Munich, Celle, and Dachau Germany, Durham Cathedral (U.K.); Rochester Cathedral (U.K.); the Channel Islands, throughout America, in Canada, Scotland, at the International Quilt Festival, in Charleville, France (I can’t wait to tell you more about this one!) curated by Annie Labruyere, and many more I’ve not yet written about. But I will.
Our quilts have been on exhibit – which means our stories have been told – literally around the world. Working together with hundreds of thousands of people, we’ve made the world smaller and become friends – often dear friends – with people on the other side of the globe from us. We’ve made the world a kinder, more compassionate place.
Now and When
I would like to be able to tell you exactly how many block and quilts we have today, but the truth of the matter is that I’m behind on the record keeping side of the project. As y’all may know, The Engineer and I were home only 4 non-consecutive weeks in 2018 while traveling for The 70273 Project (a big bouquet of gratitude to everyone who made it such an amazing, memorable year). Then in 2019 I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, and took what amounts to an unscheduled sabbatical as I surrendered to the depression that followed.
I am delighted to tell you that we are learning to live together, my new vision and I, and though I still have my low vision/low spirit days, I now feel ready to push up my sleeves and lead us to the finish line. And just like in the very beginning when I asked for help because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could not commemorate these 70,273 precious souls without assistance, I am going to need help to get us to the Finish Line.
When I put out the call on 14 February 2016, y’all responded immediately with great enthusiasm and dedication. In the coming weeks, I will once again be posting Help Needed opportunities. I thank you in advance for stepping up and stepping in to help complete our commemorations in ways that will allow these important stories to continue to be told throughout the land and to ensure that those we commemorate and those we celebrate are never forgotten or overlooked again.
One Thing You Can Do Today
Yesterday I opened registration for the online life story writing gathering I’m offering called Keepsake Writers. We’ll gather weekly beginning 09 March 2020 to capture and preserve our life stories. I hope you’ll join in and create something you and future generations will treasure. If you can’t participate right now, perhaps you’d be willing to share the link with your friends and family in case they are interested. All proceeds go directly into The 70273 Project to help fund the things I’ll be telling you about soon.