Tag: 70273 systems

Wanna’ See Some 70273 Project Quilts?

a monthly calendar

Do you love road trips? We now have an Events Calendar, thanks to the generosity of The Events Calendar folks, so now it’s easier than ever to find where 70273 quilts will be near you, pack a bag, and head on out.

If you’ll look at the the top row on the menu bar at the top of this page, you’ll see “Home” then just to the right “Events”. Click on Events, and you’ll be whisked to The 70273 Project Events Calendar. I am waiting for information on some exhibits. I’ve requested it and will add it to the cavendar when I receive it. Promise me faithfully that when you can, you’ll go see the quilts and support the show organizers.

On the Events page, you can search for specific events by date, keyword, or location. Or you can click on an event in the date box of the monthly calendar and be whisked to specific information – including a map, admission fees, hours, and more – about that exhibit. If you’ll note the Categories, you’ll be able to tell whether it’s a single quilt in a quilt show, a Special Exhibit in a quilt show, or a  Featured Exhibit. You’ll also be able to tell which events I will be attending by looking in the Category section, so you can come by and say Hey and let me call you Sugar to your face.

Please help people know about scheduled exhibits by sending messages and links out in social media, being sure to use #the70273project on Twitter or Instagram, linking to the Facebook page or the Facebook group so they can obtain more information about the entire project as well as a specific exhibit, And please tag me, too (@whollyjeanne on Twiter and Instagram and @Jeanne Hewell-Chambers on Facebook) so that I can retweet and repost your posts and save them for the scrapbook I keep for The 70273 Project. The more we post about an exhibit, the more exposure and attendance the exhibit will enjoy!

Would you like to host an exhibit? Do you know an organization that might like to exhibit some of the quilts? Help us grow! Because The 70273 Project is growing in all directions and because there is so much going on, please contact me and let’s talk about it before you make plans and commit quilts. To reach me, click the envelope icon in the upper righthand corner of this page and like magic, a ready-to-use email form will present itself. Or send me a private message on Facebook or Instagram – whichever is most convenient for you. I’ll need this information:
~ dates of the exhibit
~ location of the exhibit (city/state/country/facility)
~ organizer of the exhibit
~ contact information (url, email, phone)
~ # of quilts you’d like to exhibit or submit to the exhibit

On we grow, y’all.




Backstage Pass: Checking Blocks In

From the get-go, I’ve numbered the blocks, tagging them and logging them in. At first, I wrote the block number on a small strip of fabric (drawing a little line under the last digit in the number because numbers like 698 are easy to misread if you don’t know which end is up.) and used a safety pin to attach it to the block. Can we say time consuming? Then one day The Engineer walked in, watched for a few minutes, and suggested I find a gizmo like they use to attach price tags to clothing. A visit to a nearby quilting store yielded just such a gizmo that saved time, but writing the block number on fabric still ate up some clock, so I wrote the numbers on paper then began typing out the numbers, spending a lot of time figuring out the spacing so that once I cut off the edges, I could make one horizontal cut then snip off each number. I attached these with the gizmo, and it was good – especially once I asked if somebody would do that and not one, not two, but three volunteers – Debbie Burchell, Vonnie Grant, and Janet Hickey – raised their digital hands and took this chore over.

That worked well for several months, then I discovered how well painter’s tape sticks to fabric, so I began using a red marker to write the block numbers on the back of blocks with X’s dark enough and wide enough to keep the ink from showing through, and write the number on painter’s tape and stick it to the back of other blocks with smaller red X’s.

In the beginning I scanned every block as part of the cataloguing system. (Actually, in the very beginning I took photos of every block, moving the scanner in only when I figured it would shave some time off the cataloguing process.)

Let me say that again: in the beginning I scanned EVERY block. Every. Single. Block. (imagine me thunking myself upside the head) before entering all the information into a database, and by “all the information”, I mean the information for every block. Every. Single. Block.

I want y’all to know that Diane Dresdner has commemorated more than 500 people so far! I love her.

Nowadays I scan blocks randomly, making notes on the Provenance Forms, then scan the Provenance Form, titling the file with the block numbers (using the word in its plural form so that the files will fall in line by block number. The singular form – block – is used to title files of photos or stories to go with specific photos.), week received, envelope number (it’s a purposeful quirk of mine), and the Maker’s name. One day, when I’m looking for something to do, I’ll enter all the information on the Provenance Forms into a database.

Every envelope is labeled by the week it was received, bagged, then every bag is labeled by week of envelopes and boxes it contains.

Current day tagging kit. It goes with me everywhere. I attach a strip of tape to the inside of the bag telling me which block # and envelope # to start with when I begin another cataloguing session.

Last week, for the first time since the first week in February, I unpacked my suitcase and stored it away. In the past several months, whenever we made a quick run up to the mountain to check on the bees and fetch the mail, I divided the mail into weeks, put each week’s mail in a separate bag, then schlepped it back down the mountain where I worked on checking blocks in as time allowed. Not only are the envelopes labeled by the week number received, I label the bag by the week number because a girl like me can never have too many ways to check, double check, and triple check herself. Checks and balances are at the heart of every one of my systems, and I’ve used them more than once. You know I have.

When the blocks have been numbered and the Provenance Form scanned, the blocks are put into a holding box where they will stay until its time to bundle them to send to Piecers. I’ll tell you that part of the system later.

Now listen, y’all remember how my computer had a meltdown several weeks ago? Well, it’s taken a good, long while to figure out what information was lost by sifting through emails, social media posts, and journal entries to reconstruct it. (Remember what I said about ways to check, double check, and triple check things?) I hope I’m not being overly optimistic when I say give me another 2 days, and I think I’ll have Humpty Dumpty put back together again and we’ll get back to our Sunday recap posts and a whole bunch of other goodness.


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.

What happens to the quilts once they’re made?

quilt1kittysorgenmjkinmanQuilt 1: Pieced by Kitty Sorgen (l), Quilted by MJ Kinman (r)

I am frequently asked, “What will happen to the quilts when they’re all finished?”

Quilt 1 is already going out into the world, and once they get their labels, Quilts 3 and 5 will find their way out of The Dissenter’s Chapel & Snug (my studio), too. And as they are completed and sent back to me, other quilts will be packed up and find their way out into the world. And so on and so on and so on.

quilt3margaretwilliamsQuilt 3: Pieced and Quilted by Margaret Williams

I created The 70273 Project, Inc. (a 501(c)3 organization) as a vessel to hold every quilt that’s part of The 70273 Project. I don’t own the quilts, the organization owns them . . .  though I must admit that it’s hard to think of them as being owned at all. The 70273 Project, Inc. is more of a caretaker, a guardian for The 70273 Project quilts.

The plan is that these quilts – all 1100-1200 of them – will travel the world, sometimes going solo, sometimes in small groups, and occasionally – whenever possible – all traveling together. They’ll rack up frequent flyer miles, finding their way into any exhibit space that will invite them in to hang out for a spell. And everywhere they go, they will commemorate the 70,273 disabled people who died, celebrate the countless numbers of people with special needs who live among us today, and educate everybody who will pause long enough to read about Aktion T4 and take it all in.

quilt18inprogresslorettaforestandfriendsQuilt 18: Created by Loretta Forest and Friends at a Recent Retreat

Yes, we will make sure the 70,273 people are not forgotten.
Yes, we will raise awareness of special needs and move us forward to a time when we talk not of disabled people, but simply of people.
Yes, we will do everything we can to make sure that an atrocity like T4 never, ever, ever happens again.

quilt11janethartjeQuilt 11: Pieced and Quilted by Janet Hartje

The quilts will do that. They are up to the task. And they will do it as far as the calendar can see.

Oh yes, you know they will.


How can you help get The Quilts out into the world?
~ Let me know if you’re willing to consider becoming The 70273 Project Travel Agent (a.k.a. Exhibit Coordinator).
~ Donate to the needs of the quilts: storage, shipping, mending and tending, etc.
~ Let me know whenever you think of a place that might be willing to put a quilt or two up on exhibit.


Other hangouts for The 70273 Project (be sure to tell your friends and family, y’all):
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.
Follow the pinterest board for visual information.
Post using #the70273project on Instagram. (Please tag me, too, @whollyjeanne, so I don’t miss anything.)
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 together and make a group quilt.

Why I Catalogue Every Single Block

Block 1600 made by a student who attends the day program with Nancy

Block 1600
made by a student who attends the day program
with Nancy

You mean to tell me that you’re cataloguing every? single? block? you ask.

Yep, that’s right. I catalogue every single block that is created for The 70273 Project. Everything you put on the Provenance Form and lots, lots more goes into the catalogue entry for each and every block. Even though it would be easier if I didn’t. Even though I would have more time if I didn’t. Even though my dropbox wouldn’t be bulging and costing me extra money if I didn’t. To do all the things I’m about to tell you about (and more that I’ll tell you about as we go along), I need the information on the Provenance Form along with the dimensions and a photo or scanned image of each and every block.  With other countries stepping forward with blocks (Bonjour, France! Hello, New Zealand! Welcome, Morocco and Belgium! Greetings, Canada! Glad you’re here, Columbia! G’day, Australia. How do, United Kingdom! Welcome, y’all. We’re all glad you’re here.) it gets more and more costly to mail blocks to me then to Piecers then to Quilters and back to me. So we’re  busy setting up Gatherers in these continents and countries and asking that Makers and/or Gatherers (whichever they decide or whoever might happen along and volunteer) help me out by emailing scanned images of photos of each block along with the dimensions, so I can add them to our block count and assign them block numbers, which the Gatherers will attach to each block just like I do here. From there, blocks will go to Piecers and Quilters per usual and the Provenance Forms will come back to me with the finished quilts.

So why bother?, you ask. Why can’t you just count them then send them on to be pieced into tops and made into quilts? I’m glad you asked. I’ll tell you . . .

In terms of “right now”, cataloguing each block individually gives me a current block count, which I share with you, dear readers, every Sunday in the Week in Review post. We always know where we stand and are assured that we’re moving forward. (There hasn’t been a single week in the past 6 months that I haven’t received new blocks for The 70273 Project. Thank y’all for that.)




If I didn’t catalogue the blocks, how could I tell you, for example, that Debra Baker Steinmann made these evocative blocks from her mother’s old linens. Writes Debra, “She fought depression for much of her life and would be pleased where these are headed.”

Yes, I keep more than just contact information and block numbers, I keep stories, too. I promise to  tell you about my collecting and filing system one day cause I know there are other systems lovers out there, and besides that, you might very well know something I don’t know that could make my cataloguing life easier.


I also refer back to the information – especially the scanned image and sizing information – when checking, double checking, triple checking information before bundles of blocks head out to our Piecers. (Hold that thought. I’ll tell you more about the bundling process soon.) (Maybe tomorrow, depending on what Calder Ray wants to do.) (He’s my 3 month old grandson. Wait. I forgot to say “adorable.” He’s my adorable 3-month old grandson.  I’m babysitting him this week and next, and as you might imagine, he’s clearly the director of this show, and he may not want to write another blog post tomorrow. We’ll see.)

Soon enough, I’m gonna’ get around to penning some technique posts showing you how different people are making those two red X’s. Photos of and information about the blocks will come in mighty handy for that (and mean that I don’t have to re-create them all by myself.)

It’s also handy to keep track of how many different people have participated in The 70273 Project, how many countries and continents are represented, how many families, schools, organizations are taking part. Information like that is not only interesting and inspiring for us, but sponsors find it interesting, too, and MJ Kinman and I are working on applying for some grants and sponsorships to defray the costs of The 70273 Project. Stay tuned (not tomorrow or next week, even, but soon) for a list of expenses. Postage, you know about, but there are many other expenses you may not have thought of. So if you can think of anybody who might like to be a sponsor or where we might apply for a grant, please let me know.

And the label for each quilt is a sketch of the quilt top showing the block placement and each block’s number, along with a legend giving the name of the Piecer, the Quilter, and each Maker with the identifying block number.

But that’s not all . . .

Down the road,  this information is gonna’ come in mighty handy to do the things that are on My List, things I think you’re gonna’ really enjoy and be proud of – things I can’t tell you about right now because I need to lay a little bit more foundation for them and besides, I don’t want to tell you everything at once. I like to surprise you every now and then. I can, however, tell you this:  part of my vision is to have an online database where y’all, as  members of The 70273 Project Tribe (and even folks who aren’t part of The 70273 Project Tribe, but we’re talking about y’all right now) can come to find your name, your block numbers, which quilts your blocks are in, and from there, where in the world those quilts are  on any given day.

Why on earth do such a tedious, time-consuming thing, you ask? (My goodness, you’re just full of questions today!)

Because it is my deepest, most fervent hope that The 70273 Project is important enough to you, Dear Makers, Piecers, Quilters, Donors, and Sponsors, that years – maybe even decades – from now, you’ll want to take your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren or nieces and nephews to see these quilts. With my whole body, I imagine you standing there, looking, looking, looking to find the block you made with your own two hands and how proud you feel and how proud your family feels knowing that you had a part in commemorating these 70,273 people, in making sure they aren’t forgotten, of doing your part to make sure such an atrocity as the T4 program never, ever happens again. To the deepest part of my bones, I imagine your quiet satisfaction knowing that you, with a piece of cloth and your own two hands, stand shoulder to shoulder with people from all around the world to take a stand against discrimination against disabilities and those who are different.


And those, my friends, are just a few of the reasons I ask for all sorts of information, photos, sizes and catalogue each and every block.  Have more questions? Just holler . . .
Subscribe to the blog (where all information is shared).
Join the Facebook group, our e-campfire, where you can talk to other members of The 70273 Project Tribe.
Like the Facebook page where you can check in for frequent updates.
Follow the pinterest board for visual information.
Post using #the70273project on Instagram.
And if you haven’t yet made some blocks, perhaps you’d like to put some cloth in your hands and join us.


Part 1, Take Readers to Work
Part 2, Take Readers to Work
Part 3, Take Readers to Work
Part 4, Take Readers to Work


Take Your Readers to Work, Part 4: Cataloguing, Etc.


Now that the blocks have been received, checkedphotographed, and numbered,  it’s time to:

6. Catalogue.

After auditioning several different programs and apps, I opted to use a program called Records (because I can use drag-and-drop to design the form, plus there’s a one-time charge for the software instead of a monthly fee to use another program I liked – a fee that we all know will increase over time, and I’ll have to pay up or else) to create a record for each quilt block, entering the following information for every block:

Block #
Envelope #
Maker’s Name
Maker’s Email Address
Maker’s Mailing Address
Maker’s Phone Number
Maker’s Social Media Links
Quilt # the Block Appears In
Date the Block was Received
Date the Block was Profiled in Social Media
Date the Thank You note was sent
Size of Block
Date Email Confirmation of Receipt was Sent
Does the Maker wish to remain anonymous?
Is the block made In Honor Of or In Memory Of anyone in particular
and if so, whom?
Then I attach a photo of the block and a scanned copy of The Provenance Form accompanying the block then enter any notes about the block and its Maker gleaned from emails, facebook, instagram, or other social media outlets.

An aside: I have similar databases for Prospective Piecers and Prospective Quilters where I note who has raised their hand to piece a quilt top and/or quilt a quilt and how to get in touch with them. And there’s a  databases for Piecers and one for Quilters – those who actually do the work. The Piecers database contains things like contact info, social media links for giving them some love, block numbers sent, along with dates sent and received, and any photos the Piecers send along the way. The Quilters database contains similar things: contact info for the Quilter, the finished quilt number, social media links so I can point others in their direction, what block numbers are contained in the quilt, who pieced the quilt, date the quilt top was sent and the date the quilt was received, and photos of the finished quilt.

This seems a fine time to say if you’re interested and willing to become a Piecer and/or Quilter, please let me know cause it won’t be long till I’m shooing bundles of blocks out the door.

Step 7: Tag.

Once everything is in the computer, I attach the numbers to each block using my shiny new basting gun.

Step 8: Backup.

Because I am – say it with me: paranoid safety conscious, I built in some redundancy by saving copies of everything – photos, scans, databases – in multiple places. Four places, to be exact.

Step 9: Send.

Once everything is documented and catalogued to my paranoid safety conscious satisfaction, I bundle up a batch of blocks and send to the Piecers, people who have offered to piece the quilt tops together. The idea is that each Piecer will send the top directly on to the Quilter, the person who’s offered to add the batting, backing, and binding (or facing), and do the quilting.

I’m just about ready to send the first bundle of blocks to the gracious and talented woman who will piece our first quilt top – drum roll, please – Kitty SorgenKitty has been vital to the success of The 70273 Project from the get-go, helping me figure things out, soothing my furrowed brow when I get anxious and tired, telling others about the project, and hogtying visitors to her machine providing materials and time for friends and family to use her sewing machine to make blocks when they come to visit. And who will do the quilting for the first quilt? None other than our very own MJ Kinman who is, as I’ve told you, our resident energizer bunny. When the idea first came to call, I immediately messaged MJ because no idea is too big for her, and she’s the kind of girl who will say “Okay, you’ve really gone too far this time” or something to that effect if she thinks it’s true. I’ll tell you more about MJ in an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, trot over to Facebook and find photos of her diamond quilts. They are nothing short of mesmerizing.


Well, y’all, this concludes our tour of What Happens Behind the Scenes at The 70273 Project Heartquarters. We know you had other options, so we appreciate you flying with us. If you would please take a minute to remove any trash from the seat pocket in front of you, we’d really appreciate it cause that allows us to continue scanning, stitching, cataloguing, etc. And if you would please slide the seat belt adjustor/clicker mechanism to the very end of its belt, the person taking the seat after you will love you forever for making them feel fit and skinny when they have to reduce the size of the belt so drastically.


Part 1, Take Readers to Work
Part 2, Take Readers to Work
Part 3, Take Readers to Work
Why I Catalogue Every Single Block


Take Your Readers to Work, part 3: Numbering & Scanning


We’ve received and opened the envelopes containing blocks for The 70273 Project, and we’ve photographed the blocks, so you might think it’s time to bundle up a batch of blocks and send to the Piecer who’s going to create the quilt top . . . but we’re not quite to that point yet. I still have a few miles to go before I ship, like:

Step 4: Numbering.



BlocksNumberedBlocks made by Michelle Banton

This is where that old familiar expect-the-worst mindset finally becomes more helpful than embarrassing. . . I write numbers on strips of fabric, making a mark to indicate the bottom of the number because when working with numbers up to 70273, all kinds of rather disastrous things could happen. Numbers like 666 could read 999 when turned upside down and 119 could become 611. You get the picture.

UPDATE: On 4/24/2016, a light bulb went off, and now I print numbers on a sheet of yardstick paper and cut them with scissors.

Once the block is photographed scanned (see below), I snip the lowest number off the strip and pin it to a spot on one of the red X’s. Later (after cataloguing – stay tuned, that’s tomorrow) I’ll go back and stitch the numbers down – lightbulb moment – Yesterday The Engineer said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if you had one of those things they use in stores to attach the price tag to clothes?” and you know what: THEY DO! I ordered myself a basting gun that will be here at the end of the week, and I’m thinking it will take much less time than stitching down each number on each block. (And I ordered the shortest tags so the numbers will remain out of the way of Piecers and Quilters.)

5. Step 5: Scan.

I scan the Provenance Form, which doesn’t need any more explanation . . . except to say that I had yet another lightbulb moment a couple of days ago, and I’ve shaved about 5-7 minutes off photographing because I now scan blocks, too! No more photographing with the phone, editing, airdropping, etc. Now it’s scan and zap, image in the proper folder on the computer and titled, to boot. I love when my brain works.

Just one more day on the Behind the Scenes Tour. See y’all tomorrow.


Part 1, Take Readers to Work
Part 2, Take Readers to Work
Part 4, Take Readers to Work
Why I Catalogue Every Single Block


Take Your Readers to Work Day, part 2: Photograph


Getting, opening, and smoking over the mail goes pretty fast. Then things slow down a bit as we move to . . .

Step 3: Photograph.
When I first began receiving envelopes, I worked on my cutting/project table to open the envelopes, then crossed to the desk to get to the computer to log them in, but even though this is a little ole’ bitty spot of studio, that still ate up minutes which add up. So Plan B was to create a photography cart that I can roll right up alongside my desk, substituting a quarter turn in my chair for the steps across the floor. UPDATE: Insert a thunk up side the head as I realize I can streamline this process by scanning each block instead of photographing it. So I’ve transformed that photography cart into a scanning cart.

Note: That red table? it’s my Writing Nest, and it once belonged to a library then to my paternal grandmother. I have photos (at least in my mind) of eating at this table while Granddaddy fed Grandmother after a stroke rendered her hands completely useless. Sweet, right?

Another note: The green chair? It belonged to my paternal granddaddy who was the town’s banker. I’m finishing up research to write a book about the fateful weekend in May, 1933 when 5 bandits came knocking at Granddaddy’s door, wanting to rob the bank. Even back then the vault door was on a time lock, so they did what made sense to the Bonnie & Clyde wannabes at the time: they held Granddaddy, Grandmother, my Great-Grandmother, my Daddy (who was 5 years old), my Uncle Gene (who’d just been born. I’m named after him, charged with  keeping his memory alive because he was killed before I was born.) (It’s not a burden but an honor.), and Miss Josie, the midwife (who’d just help deliver Uncle Gene) hostage overnight. This green leather chair is the very one Granddaddy sat in at the bank till the day he died, making loans to folks who forgot to bring their checkbook when they came to town to get groceries (without making them sign anything, mind you because trust ruled back then), initialing 50-cent deposits of adorable granddaughters, and other stuff like ordering money that was delivered through the U. S. Postal Service (and explains why the bandits didn’t get as much loot as they’d hoped for).

Back to our current story,  already in progress . . .

Block312NancyBurch6.5x9.5 copy

The top of the photography scanning cart is covered with a white placemat Delta Airlines once used for first class passengers.  I purchased it at a thrift shop for a quarter, just knowing I’d find a use for it, and I did. I also bought several of the thin blankets Delta offered to first class passengers, paying a quarter a piece for them and using them as batting in some quilts. Again, back to the story . . . I snap a photo of scan each block, then edit it, cropping it and throwing a little more light on it as needed.

Once the editing is done, I make the aforementioned quarter turn in my chair and use the magic of Airdrop to shoo the photo into the downloads folder on my computer. When Airdrop doesn’t work, I have to email the photo to myself, open the email, download the photo, then . . . Using the downloads folder as a holding tank, I label each photo thusly: “Block312NancyBurch6.5×9.5.jpg” (which is the block above). I do this for each block, one at a time, so I don’t get anything mixed up. It’s not that any two blocks look alike, it’s that there are a lot of moving parts to this, and I don’t want to lose or mix up anything.



Sometimes my four-legged Studio Assistant is a big help offers comments and suggestions.

But wait –  we’re not done yet. More tomorrow, so check back or subscribe so you don’t miss a bit of this riveting tale I’m weaving . . .

Take Your Readers to Work Day, part 1: Receive

Today, I thought we’d take a tour of The 70273 Project  Heartquarters and see what happens around here when I’m not eating bonbons and watching tv.


Step 1: Go to the post office.
First thing after breakfast, The Engineer heads into town to make the Cashiers Circuit – grocery store, bank, library, and post office. It’s much more fun picking up the mail, he tells me, when you know that everything tucked under your arm isn’t a bill.

Cataloguing1Step 2: Open and make notes.
Once the envelopes are deposited on the project table in The Dissenter’s Chapel & Snug (my studio), I open the envelopes and check certain things. I make sure the Provenance Form is completed and legible, for example, and read the notes (if any) attached about who the block is in honor or memory of – which is always so touching.  I check the blocks to make sure there are two red X’s on a white background and that they are in one of the three required sizes. (Most are, thank goodness!) Then in the upper righthand corner of the form, I note the date the envelope was received, the number in which the envelope was received, how many blocks are in the envelope, and the block numbers.

Why do I number the envelopes, you ask? Because I’m a nut sometimes people send blocks in batches, and well, it just seems like a good idea to number the envelopes, too. And it’s another bit of information I might need somewhere along the road, so best to capture it now. (I have actually needed the envelope numbers for 2 reasons: one is for revealing and profiling in blog posts and another time I had 2 Provenance Forms and blocks I couldn’t mentally place. But I saw they were in an envelope with another Maker’s blocks, and question answered. You just never know.


I declare, many of the envelopes y’all use are pretty enough to be a quilt. And some of y’all really know how to make a girl chortle and cheer right out loud what with the little notes y’all tuck in with the blocks.

Well, that’s enough for today cause I have envelopes to open and blocks to catalogue, so our tour will continue tomorrow same time, same place. No need to buy another ticket, you’re good for the entire tour however long it takes. See y’all tomorrow . . .


Part 2, Take Readers to Work
Part 3, Take Readers to Work
Part 4, Take Readers to Work
Why I Catalogue Every Single Block


Pop Quiz (but You Get to Check Your Own Paper)


More blocks created by Kitty Sorgen

The bad news: Today we’re having a pop quiz on The 70273 Project. Even if you’re already making blocks, even if you’ve already sent blocks, even if you’re already scheduled to speak to a group – however involved you are with this project, you need to take this test. It’s really important to the success of this project.
The good news: You get to check your own paper.

Q: True or False: This is a project with only a few rules/guidelines.
A: True, and here are the few Very Important guidelines.
~ White – just white, though it can be white-on-white fabric, but nothing else – blocks of fabric cut in one of 3 sizes: 3.5×6.5″ or 6.5 x 9.5″ or 9.5 x 12.5″
~ Two – and only two, no more and no less – red X’s laid down on the white fabric
~ Download, print, complete, and use a safety pin to attach the Provenance Form to the blocks, then mail.
~ Email photos (at least 300 dpi resolution, please) and a short bio or a story about why you’ve become a part of this project.

Q: Why does the base have to be white?
A: The white (and it can be white on white prints, it just can’t have anything else on it) represents the paper – the medical records – of the physically and mentally disabled people. The German Nazi doctors were not required to ever so much as lay eyes on the people, just to read their medical records. This is significant.

Q: Why two red X’s?
A: When two of the three German Nazi doctors placed a red X at the bottom of any medical record, the disabled person was rounded up and murdered, often within a few hours. The two red X’s represent the death sentence. This, too, is significant.

Q: I want to stitch more than two red X’s – maybe lay down one big red X then fill the white block with lots of smaller red X’s. Is that okay? It’d be so much cuter, really.
A: Well, um, no. The white needs to remain white – just white – and each white block needs to bear two red X’s. That’s all.
Q: Why?
A: Because when the idea initially came to whisper in my ear, this is the image it brought to show me: 70,273 white blocks with 2 red X’s. The visual impact of 70,273 quilt blocks made of a white base with 2 red X’s is nothing short of powerful – powerful, I tell you – because each block commemorates one of the 70,273 disabled people who were murdered.

Q: How can I be creative with such limitations?
A: Actually, creativity blossoms within boundaries. Get as creative as you want with the two red X’s – that’s wonderful, actually, because no two blocks will be exactly the same, just as no two of these murdered people were exactly the same. And while the two red X’s vary, the white background remains the same  – just white – and that’s significant, too, because these people were not seen as human beings, just a piece of paper bearing their name. You might want to click right this way to get some kindling by looking over the shoulder of some very creative folks to see how they’re making their two red X’s.

Q: I’m gonna’ stitch the name of a student or a friend or a family member who has physical or mental disabilities. M’kay?
A: Well, remember: we want to maximize the visual impact of an unadorned white base with 2 red X’s. Stitching names, initials, words, numbers or any other kind of text, to use a theatre phrase, pulls focus. I really don’t want people getting distracted by trying to read what the stitching says. Susan Graham and I did hatch a way to include the names of loved ones and remain true to the initial vision. Susan taught special needs children, and several of them claimed a spot on her heart, and she wanted to honor them somehow, so she cut the white base, laid down the two red X’s, then, using a fabric marker, wrote the student’s name behind the red X so that it’s a permanent part of the block but not visible from the front.

There’s also a place on the Provenance Form to tell me that you made the block in honor or in memory of someone. You can give their name, and if you want me to send them a note alerting them to your block, you can give me their address. Provided you don’t request that they remain anonymous, these names will be mentioned on the quilt blocks that will forever accompany each quilt, and to the extend possible, they will be mentioned in exhibit literature that will accompany the quilts. If anonymity isn’t request, they will also be celebrated on the blog.

Me, I’m availing myself of all those options to celebrate my disabled sister-in-love Nancy.

Q: Look, I’m just gonna’ send you a block and you can cut it down to the size you want. How ’bout that?
A: I’m begging you to cut blocks to one of the three sizes – 3.5×6.5: or 6.5×9.5″ or 9.5×12.5″ – before sending. Imagine one woman coordinating this on project top of an already full life. Blocks come in, and I catalogue them in the database, feature them on the blog, keep the facebook page humming, respond to the numerous emails and comments and tweets that come in throughout the day, find ways to get the word out, and look ahead to other things that will need tending. Then think of one woman doing all that PLUS cutting 70,273 blocks to size. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask of me when you think that you’re just one person sending a few blocks that need cutting, but remember that there are actually going to be 70,273 blocks, and imagine doing everything that has to be done and cutting that many blocks to size.

Q: How ’bout I put one red X on each of my blocks and you can stitch them together?
A: I refer you to the above answer and beg you to think how much time it might take to stitch 70,273 blocks together. Remember, there 70,273 of you and one of me. That’s the kind of math that can break a person’s back;)

Q: Why do you want us to mail you our basic info and email you the photo and bio?
A: It already takes several minutes to enter all the basic information into the computer for each block. Imagine, if you will, me scanning 70,273 photos and retyping 70,273 bios. Then there’s the whole handwriting thing to consider.

Q: Why do I have to use a safety pin? Why can’t I just staple my Provenance Form to my block?
A: I ask for the safety pin for several reasons. For one, a safety pin is much quicker and easier to remove than a staple. (Let’s review: one minute times 70,273 equals a lot of time.) Then there’s the fact that I have to find safety pins to replace each staple.

Q: Why are there only three sizes?
A: One: visual impact. Two: It’s the way The Idea wants it. Three: These sizes will fit together nicely to make quilt tops.

Q: How many quilts will there be?
A: It’s hard to say at this point because we don’t know how many blocks of each size we will have, so we don’t have all the info we need to do the math. But The Engineer (my husband) calculates we’ll wind up with at least 700 quilts.

Q: Are you going to quilt them all yourself?
A: Bahahahahaha, no. Pretty soon, I’m gonna’ be asking folks to raise their hand if their their quilt guild are willing to do the quilting. And know this: it’s never too soon to raise your hand for that. Just sayin’.

Q: What will you do with the quilts?
A: The quilts will be sent around and to the far corners of the world to commemorate the 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people who were murdered and to celebrate the countless numbers of physically and mentally challenged people who live among us today.

Q: There’s a lot going on with this good project. Do you post the same thing everywhere? How can I keep up?
A: My brain now jiggles more than it juggles, so no, I don’t post the same thing everywhere cause I can’t remember what I posted where. To keep up, you might want to like the Facebook page, send me a friend request on Facebook, follow The 70273 Project pinterest board, subscribe to the blog, follow me on twitter and/or look for #The70273Project or #70273.

Q: Why do you always put a link to the introductory post somewhere in each blog post about The 70273 Project? I’m kinda’ tired of reading it, myself.
A: I do it because (a) my son tells me I need to and (b) new people are stopping by all the time, and because they’re kinda’ starting in the middle, I like to let them know what we’re doing here. As for re-reading it, try this: let your cursor hover over the words The 70273 Project when you can tell there’s a link there, and if you see a link with the word “introducing” in it, you’ve already read the post. Better?

Q: What if I have another question or an idea?
A: You just holler.

Thank y’all for being a part of this project, for following the guidelines, and for helping spread the word. And pretty please keep those blocks and stories coming.




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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