Tag: 70273 stories

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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You Just Never Know . . .

The 70273 Project Quilt 34, a Long Skinny made by Gisele Therezien from Jersey, Channel Islands, UK

Did your mama always tell you to wear clean underwear so you wouldn’t bring disgrace to the family should you be in an accident and be caught wearing dirty underwear? Well, this story isn’t about that – it’s more about 6 degrees of separation – but I was thinking about that so I wrote it down. Now you a little peephole into the way my brain works these days as I tend to all sorts of big 70273 projects that I’m behind on.

But I digress.

March was filled with amazingly wonderful people and places as I traveled to present quilts, make blocks, and speak with amazingly wonderful people about The 70273 Project. Friday, March 17 found me standing in front of a group of wicked good writers at The Writers High Retreat founded by my friend Mari Ann Stephanelli. One of the delightful women I met that night is Kyle Ann Robertson, and let me tell y’all, it didn’t take me long to realize that she is a real dynamo of a woman who can tell a story like you wouldn’t believe.

Now Kyle Ann lives in Sarasota, and last week I received a facebook message from her saying that she was recently at The Four Pillars in San Marco’s Circle when  she heard a woman’s poem that began with the line “In AWARENESS lies answers.”

That particular line stuck with Kyle Ann like spinach on a front tooth, so later that day, when she happened by the Sarasota library to return a book and spied some quilters there, I want y’all to know she just walked right up to them and told them about The 70273 Project.

She gave me Lenore’s name, saying she thought I might be hearing from her and others because they sure did seem interested. And hearing from them I have been. I’d already received a friend request from Lenore, along with a request to join The 70273 Project Campfire Facebook group.

And listen to this, y’all: today I received a message on the blog from Nan who said “It was the strangest thing. We were meeting in the Sarasota Library when this woman came in to return a book, saw us, and took center stage to tell us about your project.” Nan goes on to say that she’s working with a local reporter to get something in the papers there, and that there are already several groups in the area working on blocks.

And that’s not all.

Nan lives in a place where my in-laws lived for years and years, and by “place”, I mean subdivision. Yes, she lives in the very subdivision my in-laws called home for I don’t know how long. Shoot, she could even be living in their house, for all we know. We just never know, do we? When we follow our Bones and step up to speak to a group of strangers who happen to be quilting, and tell them about The 70273 Project, who knows where our words will lead? Who knows how many will follow the breadcrumbs trail? I know one thing, though: you can bet your bottom dollar it’s no coincidence.

Today, in the wake of Nan’s email, I’ve been sending silent Thank you’s to Kyle Ann, to Lenore, to Nan, to those who are making blocks, to the Sweet Spirit of Surprise, and to Mama C and Mr. C, parents to Nancy and The Engineer. Not only do I miss them and enjoy the memories we made together, I never, ever forget that were it not for them . . .

there would no The Engineer in my life, and without The Engineer . . .

there would be no Nancy in my life, and without Nancy . . .

In Our Own Language 3, detail

. . . I would have nothing to stitch, and with nothing to stitch, I might’ve missed the documentary in January 2016, and without the documentary, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure and the honor of meeting y’all as we work together to commemorate these 70,273 people.

Can y’all believe it? It really is a small world after all.


Now when you go out there and tell people about The 70273 Project and they ask for more information, direct them here:

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.

Story Time: Block #3771

Block #3771 Made by Margaret Williams

These X’s are made from the seams of a sweatshirt worn by my best friend’s father. He died a few years ago, and I was making a quilt for her mama from his clothing. Mr. Evans was a huge World War II history buff, and he would’ve loved this project.

Do your blocks have a story? Please share.



Where in the world is The 70273 Project? Please add a pin to show us where you are in the world. (1) Click the + sign in upper righthand corner of map. (2) Enter your first name only. (3) Enter your city/state. (4) Using the pins at the bottom of the map, select a marker based on how you are involved. (5) Select preview to see before posting. (6) Select submit to post. Please add a marker for each role you serve in The 70273 Project.

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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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