Tag: IOOL 3

A Single Sheet of Paper

She stops me, this incredible woman and artist I now know as Miki Willa, and tells me a story . . . this story:

“I knew what to do,” says Miki, “because I’ve watched Nancy express herself through pen and paper, though art.”

The Little Paper That Could

These are Vanessa’s marks. These size of the paper is about 3″ x 5″, while the size of the meaning is limitless, unmeasurable.

As Though That Isn’t Amazing In and Of Itself 

In 2014, when Kathy Loomis mentioned that there were still spots available in the Dorothy Caldwell workshop in Louisville. I put my name on a chair. Never one to sit still, I took In Our Own Language 3 along to work on during “down times”. Dorothy saw me stitching and asked me to kick the next day off by talking about In Our Own Language 3..

After the following morning’s impromptu presentation, a woman sitting behind me my now-friend Rosemary Claus-Gray suggested I write a book about my collaboration with Nancy to give other families hope and encouragement to find ways to communicate with their loved ones that don’t involve the spoken word. She even wrote the foreword to nudge me to get started.  Though I haven’t written the first word, I hold Rosemary’s foreward in a safe, special place so I can find it when I do shove all else aside and write this book. It will happen, Rosemary, I promise, Thank you for listening to your intuition and making the suggestion. And thank you, Miki, for changing lives with a single sheet of paper.

Quilts on Display at Sacred Threads 2019

2 women stand beside a quilt of the Buddha

Miki and Jeanne stand in front of Miki’s quilt Meeting the Buddha on the Path (48″ x 34″) on display at Sacred Threads 2019. When arranging ourselves for the photo, Miki placed me so that the Buddha’s hand touched my shoulder because the Buddha’s raised hand is a blessing offered. (And you thought the Buddha was doing “rabbit ears” behind me!) Ever since Miki told me that, I offer a silent blessing when waving to someone.

2 women stand beside a black quilt covered with colorful doodles and a little girl's white pinafore (dress)

Miki and Jeanne stand with Jeanne and Nancy’s quilt, Playground of Her Soul.

Isn’t it astonishing how much goodness happens when we pay attention?

~~~~~~~

Right this way for more 70273 Project videos.

Bits of Interest

Interviews, sending information, formatting and sending photos, answering questions – as always, life is like a crazy quilt with much going on behind the scenes and filling my days at The 70273 Project, and many things are now coming to fruition . . .

Curated Quilts Magazine

cover of Curated Quilts magazine with words sewn into quilts
Every issue of Curated Quilts is an opportunity to attend a juried exhibit from the comfort of your own home. Each quarterly issue – available in print or digital versions – features a central theme and images of quilts selected for inclusion in the gallery, along with interviews, inspiration, techniques, and patterns. The magazine is printed on heavy stock paper that’s a delight to touch, the page layouts are beautifully designed, and the quilts in the gallery are a delight to behold. It’s more like a coffee table book that you’ll enjoy looking at over and over.
In early April, Amy Ellis, one half of the Curated quilts team, emailed to ask permission to include one of The 70273 Project quilts in issue #8 featuring Well Said quilts. “Specifically, we would like to feature your quilt in our gallery. A quilt from your 70273 Project would make a beautiful addition to our group of quilts curated to feature Well Said quilts,” writes Amy. I’m delighted to tell y’all that Curated Quilts Issue #8 is out, and The 70273 Project Quilt #10 is on page 13! Thank you, Amy and Christine for thinking of The 70273 Project. It’s an honor to be included.
a page in a magazine containing a photo of and an article about Quilt #10 of The 70273 Project. The quilt is a rectangular white quilt covered with pairs of red X's.

Quilts #649 and #650 at AHEAD Conference

two women stand in front of two white quilts covered in pairs of red X's

(L ro R) Tree Kuharich, Jane Brown stand in front of (L to R) Quilts 650 and 649 at the AHEAD Conference in Boston 2019

Thanks to the encouragement of Gladys Loewen and the generous hospitality of the AHEAD – Association on Higher Education and Disabilities – leadership, The 70273 Project (Gladys Lowen, Peggy Thomas, Kevin Thomas, Andy Chambers, and I) hosted a block drive at the AHEAD 2018 conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Members of AHEAD – eople who work to make life on college and university campuses throughout the United States accessible and accommodating for students with disabilities – embraced The 70273 Project, and I continue to be invited to make presentations to group, deliver lectures to classes, make studio visits, and host block drives on campuses near and far. It is a thrill and an honor to talk with faculty and students who study history, art, social work, and disabilities.

Both quilts were on display in the registration area of this year’s AHEAD conference. The 119 blocks made at last year’s conference were divided into bundles for two quilts and sent to Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D. who pieced both tops, channeling her family history as she arranged and stitched, remembered and reflected.
woman stands besides two white quilts covered with pairs of red X's

Tree Kuharich stands beside Quilt #649 on display at the 2019 AHEAD conference in Boston. 53 lives are commemorated in this quilt that was pieced by Jane Brown and quilted by Tree.

The top for Quilt #649 (53 lives commemorated) was sent to Tree Kuharich who volunteered to quilt and finish it with a mere 3 months notice. Tree and her husband drove to Boston to view the quilts and attend one of Jane’s presentations on neurodiversity in higher education.
two white quilts covered in pairs of red X's hang between two women

Jane Brown (L) stands besides The 70273 Project Quilt #650 and Tree Kuharich (R) stands beside Quilt #649.

The top for Quilt #650 (66 lives commemorated) was sent to Gladys Loewen who quilted it using drapery fabric that once belonged to the mother-in-law of Tari Vickery as the backing. Tari hand delivered the repurposed fabric to Gladys this spring and even though she’s not a quilter, she nevertheless enthusiastically helped Gladys baste the quilt.
Thank you to all who were involved in the making of these two quilts, to those who invite me to take The 70273 Project to their campus; to AHEAD for having us host a block drive last year and displayed the quilts this year; to Kim Richards of AHEAD for taking photos, answering questions, and distributing information about the project; and to  Gladys, Jane, Tree, Tari, Peggy, Kevin, Andy, and everyone who made a block in Quilts 649 and 650.

University of Central Missouri

I spoke with Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D., Director of the McClure Archives and University Museum last week, and she says people continue to stream in to see the more than 100 quilts that are on display at The McClure. Due to the success and positive reception of The 70273 Project exhibit at the University of Central Missouri, the exhibit has been extended to the end of the year. The exhibit is open to visitors from 9 am to 5 pm  Monday through Thursday. Thank you, Dr. Clifford-Napoleone for all you continue to do to share this historical story, and thank you for these striking photos. I look forward to being back on campus this fall to talk to classes and your quilt guild and host a block drive.

Sacred Threads

5 white quilts covered in pairs of red X's hanging on a black background

The 70273 Project Special Exhibit at Sacred Threads 2019. Thank you, Sacred Threads, for including us and for this photo.

The Sacred Threads Exhibit opened last week, and The 70273 Project is honored to have a small Special exhibit amid some of the most amazing and powerful quilts I’ve seen in a long while. I’ll be there this week, so if you’re in the area and can come by, let me know when you’ll be there and we’ll make arrangements to meet. Oh, and my quilt Playground of Her Soul will be there, too! Can’t remember if it’s in the Grief or Joy section. I asked Curator Barbara Hollinger to decide on which side of the fine line she wanted to include it. I also created my eyes in cloth, and that piece is part of the Eye Connections exhibit.
For specific information about the exhibit – like where it’s located, the hours, and registration – visit The 70273 Project Calendar

KC Studio Article

2-page spread of magazine article featuring a quilt from The 70273 Project

KC Studio / July/August 2019 edition

The 70273 Project is the subject of an article on page 26 in the July/August 2019 edition of KC Studio – an online periodical covering the Kansas City art scene. Bryan LeBeau interviewed Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D., Director of the McClure Archives and Museum on the campus of the University of Central Missouri, he interviewed me, and he visited the exhibit.  Thank you, Bryan, for being so thorough in your research, and thank you KC Studio for including us.

MoFA Stories of Importance Exhibit

Nancy and I are plum tickled to have two pieces juried into the Stories of Importance Exhibit at the Missouri Museum of Fiber Arts.  Playground of Her Soul and In Our Own Language 3 will soon be on their way to Missouri for the exhibit that runs October 31, 2019 to December 13, 2019. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be there for the opening reception and Juror’s Talk from 5 to 7 pm on Thursday, October 31. If you can come, give me something to look forward to by letting me know.

That’s All for Now, Y’all

pair of eyes made of fabric
I had my fourth eye treatment last week (July 10, 2019), and though there’s some improvement, impaired vision continues to slow me down. It’s true that we exceeded our goal of 70,273 commemorations before our third anniversary – Y’all are AMAZING – and it’s also true that  there’s still much happening in The 70273 Project, so stay tuned cause you’ll want to be part of things we’ve got coming up. I just know you will. Here are some of the ways you can stay in the know . . .

Nancy Responds to Our Collaboration

A question I am frequently asked  is “What does Nancy think about you stitching her drawings?” And the answer is: “I haven’t a clue, not an inkling.”

She doesn’t give any verbal or physical indication that she understands or even recognizes that I am stitching her marks, that we are in collaboration. My only indicator is how our relationship has changed since June 2012 when she began drawing and I began stitching her drawings. In the 39 years I’d known and loved Nancy prior to June 2012, I was an aside existing in the shadow of The Engineer (a.k.a. Andy) because you see, Nancy has always loved Andy more than I love pocketbooks. “Andy, Andy, Andy,” she would say through her face-sized smile, her love and adoration due in part to the natural bond of affection and in part from her Mother’s influence. Mrs. Chambers – or Mama C as I often called her – talked adoringly of Andy, and Nancy followed suit. Though it stung at times, I always understood that Mrs. C’s first concern was for Nancy’s well being. She knew that Andy would always be in Nancy’s life, and regardless of how many years we had on the books, I was still a question mark that she couldn’t afford to invest in wholeheartedly.

Nevertheless, Mama C knew I loved Nancy with every nano-inch of my heart. She made that obvious. When the institution where Nancy lived contacted Mrs. C asking permission to sterilize Nancy (at least they asked, right?), she invited me to lunch to talk about it. When it was time to move Nancy to another facility, she asked me to go down and have a look then let her know my thoughts. When she was in the hospital and couldn’t attend Nancy’s Parents’ Day, I assured her we would go, and when she was on her deathbed, I told Andy that the best gift we could give his mother was to go visit Nancy, take her some strawberries and cookies “for the friends” like Mrs. C. always did, then go back to the hospital with reassurances, stories, and photos of Nancy’s well being. Yes, it didn’t take all that long for Mrs. C. to believe my assurances that Nancy would always be taken care of (something Mr. C. didn’t invest in until he was on his dying bed), and while maybe there was no doubt about that, I would never be blood kin. I get that.

So Nancy was obvious in her love for Andy and tolerated me. That’s how it went for the longest time. Then came June 2012 when the drawings and stitchings began, and since then there are signs that Nancy, too,  believes I do and always will love her. I am included in her love talk. I am now considered a “pretty good girl” (Nancy’s highest compliment). She wants to hold my hand when we go walking. She turns to talk to me when we’re in the car. Our togetherness is decorated with signs that I have gained her trust and love, and I credit it all to art.

As to what she thinks about our collaboration, as to her response to seeing her drawings in stitch, I haven’t a clue, so yesterday I asked Andy to show her In Our Own Language 3 on exhibit at the Ross Art Museum on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University while I recorded her reaction. Have a look, and let me turn the question back on you. What do you see? What’s your interpretation of her reaction? What do you think she thinks / how do you think she feels about our collaboration?