Several bloggers have already posted about this inspired project from Jeanne Hewell-Chambers. I will add my voice, and encourage any who feel they are able, to join in. The project badge is on my right sidebar, and you can click that to go to Jeanne's blog for details about the different ways you can participate. But to introduce you to the project, I quote from Jeanne:
Between January 1940 and August 1941, Nazis murdered 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls. 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 the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing one person), and I will stitch them together into quilts.
Is there any one of us that does not know and love someone that would have fallen into the same category as those 70273 who lost their lives in such a heartless manner? Whether it is a mental or physical challenge, or just the declining abilities brought on by aging, we would all have lost people we cared about, if not our own lives.
What an opportunity to take part in this art project with a purpose, to commemorate those whose lives were cut short, and see that this sad episode of history is not forgotten, or repeated!
Jeanne is about 2/3 of the way to her goal, and is displaying the work wherever she can. If you explore her blog you can find several of the displays she has already done.
I had sent in 5 blocks last month that I had made by piecing. I always start with fabric a bit larger than the finished block is to be. Then I cut them twice on the diagonal and pieced in the red strips, repeating the process going in the opposite direction, to form the Xs. I tried to make each X just a little bit different from the one beside it.
Once they were made I trimmed them and added a white border all around.
They looked far too neat and precise, not at all the way I imagined those Xs would appear as they were thoughtlessly slashed onto those papers.
In trying to salvage what I had made, I trimmed them again (good thing I had made them oversized), but this time I made them a bit wonky.
I just have to hope that all of those extra seams won't be so obvious when there is white batting and backing behind them.
This project was on my mind off and on throughout Thanksgiving Day. I wanted to come home from our family feast and make more blocks, but I was up very late the night before making these...
...so I crashed when we returned home and I had somewhat tamed the mountain of dishes I had left behind.
Friday was mostly spent out and about in birthday celebrations, but I had prepped some white blocks and red strips of fabric before leaving home. I stitched my first X block by hand as we drove to and from our destinations.
The other 6 were quickly stitched down by machine in the evening as hubby watched a football game and I kept him company. You can faintly see in the photo above that I cut my blocks larger, and draw pencil lines for the final size, keeping my work well within those lines. That way any fraying that takes place while I work won't shrink the block to an unusable size.
I pressed the edges of the red fabric strips under, pinned them in place, and stitched them down very close to the edge with a straight stitch. No fancy applique involved (thank goodness). It went very quickly, and I am much happier with this second set of blocks.
There are many ways the blocks can be assembled--even as simply as stitching down red ribbon or ric-rac.
And, making blocks is just one way to be involved. You can make small quilts, help piece blocks together into a quilt top, offer your services as a quilter, get your guild involved in making a quilt or having a block making meeting. You can make hanging sleeves, or fabric postcards with Xs. Or if you don't have time to make anything, but want to help, you can donate. Money is always an option, but they also need red and/or white fabrics, batting, and red and white thread.
Finally, you could invite Jeanne to do a guest post on your blog, or speak to your guild. You can contact her here.
I think I have covered the subject. I hope I haven't been overbearing. For many reasons it is close to my heart, and this is just one of them. Ben is my youngest grandson, and he has a severe, intractable seizure disorder. Though he is 9, he appears about half that age, and has very little language, sign or verbal. He is so precious, and "Bapa" is his favorite person. What reason might you have for wanting to be involved?
Until next time,