(This week's BOMs Away link-up is here~~>)
My OMG for April is a very, very special quilt, and while I have a wonderful customer quilt on the frame for a couple of weeks, I can't wait for this one's turn to come up.
Do you know about The 70,273 Project? Conceived by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, it is now a global movement to make quilts representing the number of people murdered by the NAZIs because their physical or mental disabilities rendered them "unfit to eat," even "unfit to live," in their minds.
Each block with a pair of Xs represents a person who was taken from their family and killed. These were any families - German or otherwise. So you can see how insipid the evil of campaigning against "others" becomes: Soon, even your own segment of society is targeted.
I have been frustrated for a couple of years at the rapid increase in animosity against "others" in our own society. I often feel helpless to do anything about this - being nice in my own sphere and doing what little I can to spread positive living and respect for every being is good, but can only reach so far. This made a movement that has become larger than life very appealing to me.
Years ago, I took our youngest daughter to New York City for spring break, and we just happened to get to see the Red & White Exhibit at The Armory. You cannot imagine how emotionally powerful that exhibit was in person. And those were "just" normal quilts from antique to modern!!
So I can well imagine the intensity of the emotional impact these quilts would have on exhibit in cathedrals and other sites. The ones that have been finished so far have already been displayed. I hope to be able to attend a special exhibit in person.
People all around the world contribute to the construction of the blocks for these quilts, even if they are not quilters. I volunteered to quilt some tops up, and number 392 was mailed to me. It was assembled by a woman in North Carolina. All of the blocks and tops are meticulously labeled and catalogued so that each finished quilt has a chart of which blocks and work were made by whom.
I admit that I completely burst into tears when I opened the package and held that material representation of several wronged individuals in my hands.
The most powerful one for me has velvet Xs that you know should be beautiful and lovely to touch, but they are hidden away under a white semi-opaque organdy, taked away from us as the person was taken away from their family. But memory remains. And souls whisper.
Have you experienced Quilter's Serendipity? If you have, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's difficult to explain what I mean by it. It amazes me sometimes, like when this 70,273 quilt top arrived, and later THE VERY SAME DAY I met for the first time with a customer who has a bonanza of WW2 vintage tops she wants rescued, she gave me a top she doesn't care for.
It was foundation pieced on newspaper. Dolly opened it up, and the very first visible newsprint had headlines about Hitler and other war happenings. It was a powerful moment of affirmation that I was doing what I needed to be doing.
Spiritual projects are good for the soul. I am glad I found this movement, and I will do more for it over time until the project is fulfilled.
The Patchwork Times UFO Challenge number for April is 5 (which is also on my 18 in 2018 list), so I will be working on this project immediately following the OMG: