At our last Guild meeting, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, writer, stitcher, storyteller and founder of The 70273 Project has introduced the Project 70273 and why she has started it. See more on her Blog, The Bare Foot Heart.
Between January 1940 and August 1941 (before the Holocaust began), 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls – were murdered by the Nazis.
Though they never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, the Nazi doctors read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society”, the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed.
I will commemorate these 70,273 voiceless, powerless people who were so callously and casually murdered by gathering 70,273 blocks of white fabric (representing innocence and the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing the Dr's marks for one person), and I will stitch them together into quilts.
Our Call For Blocks, for July is focusing on providing blocks and Middlings to the Project.
The blocks need to be:
- rectangles of white fabric (white represents the paper of the medical records)
- embellished with 2 red X. The red X’s can be made from a variety of red textile-related materials using a variety of techniques.
- the blocks should either be 3.5″x 6.5″, 6.5″x 9.5″ or 9.5″x12.5".
Important note: please leave a margin of 1/4″ – 1/2″ margin on all sides so your red X’s don’t get lost when we’re stitching the blocks together.
Middlings are finished quilts measuring 18x22" following the same criteria as the blocks:
- Background fabric must be white/white on white/off white, (representing the medical records, the only information assessing physicians used to make their life and death decisions).
- Red X’s MUST be presented as easily recognizable pairs because each pair of red X’s represents one person.
- Binding or facings (finished edges) must be white.
- Backing must be white with an official 70273 Project label. When you’ve completed your Middling, contact Jeanne, and she'll create a label and send it digitally. You’ll simply print and stitch.
- A hanging sleeve needs to be attached to the back of the quilt.
All blocks and Middlings must be accompanied by a Provenance Form which can be found here.
You may turn your blocks and/or Middlings in to Beth Schmidt at any meeting, or send them to Jeanne yourself. If you send them to Jeanne, please email Beth Schmidt with the number or blocks or Middlings you sent. Post your contributions on social media with pictures, or ask us to do it for you.