Thursday, December 14, 2017

Spreading the News—70,273 Project

Have you ever “gone down the rabbit hole” while surfing the Internet? Well, I have done it many times. The last time I did this I discovered a project in which I am VERY interested (and I hope you are too). It is called the 70,273 Project.

Let me give you a quick description. This is a project that will use white quilts with red Xs to commemorate the lives of the 70,273 physically and/or mentally disabled people that were murdered between January 1940 and August 1941 by the Nazis. Each pair of red Xs on the quilts represent one life. To explain—after three Nazi doctors read the medical files of a disabled person being evaluated, it only took two of them to make a red X on the medical form to condem that person to death. The 20,273 website says that “most were murdered within hours.” 

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers decided she wanted to 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 one person) and stitch them together into quilts. She knew she couldn’t do this alone, so she has created a world-wide project in which you can participate.

This past weekend I was at an art retreat and made some blocks to contribute to this project. I used recycled sari silk strips and stitched them down with red embroidery thread. I stitched Xs to hold the strips down. I thought that was both meaningful and attrative—adding a nice texture to the blocks.
I am an Amazon Prime subscriber and have enjoyed some of their original programming. One of the programs I have watched is “Man in the High Castle.” “Man in the High Castle” is described on the Internet as a “series, loosely based on Philip K. Dick's novel of the same name. It takes a look at what the world might look like had the outcome of World War II turned out differently. In this dystopian scenario, the Axis powers won the war, leading to the United States being divided into three parts, an area controlled by the Japanese, a Nazi-controlled section, and a buffer zone between the two.” 

One of the episodes in Season 2 is about a child who has a disability. The child’s father is a Nazi officer and is asked to give his son a shot that will kill him simply because he has a dibilitating disease. (I won’t tell you what happens so as not to spoil the story for those of you who haven’t yet watched the show.) That episode was SO heart wrenching for me that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. When I saw this project, I knew I HAD to participate. 

As you can see above, I have made some blocks so far, but I am thinking the REAL need will be putting the blocks together into quilt tops and quilting these quilts. I’m hoping, at some point in time, I can help with that too.

Check it out. You can read more about the project here Maybe you will feel moved to participate too. (You don’t even have to be a “quilter” to contribute. There are LOTS of ways to participate.)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Story in Stitches

While I was in Auburn, NY, for the opening of Quilts=Art=Quilts, I got to see another exhibit at the Schweinfurth Art Center. Drawn and Stitched Spaces (Amanda McCavour) was exhibited in their upstairs gallery.
I’m not sure you can tell from the picture, but the hands you see are stitched (as is the entire exhibit). The work is amazingly detailed.
This was my favorite part of the exhibit. This “flower garden” was suspended from the ceiling by almost invisible threads. The completely stitched “flower garden” floated and swayed as viewers passed by.
These two different “rooms” were totally made of stitches and suspended. The viewer could walk around the exhibits and see both the front and the back of the different works. I have NO idea how she did it, but I really enjoyed seeing it.