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



  1. Rosalie

    Glad you found a better way to do it. 70,273 is a lot. I have been sick and have not done any for awhile but have supplies handy when I can handle it again. Wondering about the number done. Love the blocks and quilts I have been seeing. Just read book called Lilac Girls. About a camp for girls where they were doing testing on sulfur. Awful thing went on.

    • whollyjeanne

      Hey Rosalie! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been sick and I sure do hope you’re feeling better soon. Thanks for telling me about the book, Lilac Girls. I’ve heard the title before, but had no idea what it is about. You take care of yourself. Hopefully by week’s end I’ll have everything reconstructed and can publish a current block count! Cross your fingers. xo

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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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