Making Quilts for the 70,273 Project at Marbridge
The project acknowledges the 70,273 people with disabilities whose lives didn’t matter to the Nazis and were sent to the gas chambers. Being a sister to an amazing Down’s syndrome woman, with an undergraduate degree in Special Education, people with special needs have been a big part of my life, for most of my life. Here is our story about making quilts for the 70273 project at Marbridge.
When I first saw the display of quilts for the 70273 project at the International Quilt Show in Houston fall of 2017, I knew I needed to participate, making quilts for the 70,273 Project at Marbridge.
My sister Janet lives at an amazing community for people with special needs, Marbridge, outside of Austin. When I saw the exhibit at the International Quilt Show, I chatted with the founder Jeanne Hewell-Chambers and had the idea to involve the residents at Marbridge to make quilts to travel with the 70,273 exhibit.
On a Saturday morning in December (that’s why there are Christmas decorations and accessories in the photos) 12 residents joined us to help make 12 quilt tops.
My sister Bobbie and I brought red fabrics and ribbons. I decided to have a common theme, to show the unity of the quilts being made by this amazing group of people, but encouraged them to be creative in how they translated the sets of two red X’s on each piece. I used different white-on-white fabrics and outlined two large X’s on each piece, to be filled in by residents with sets of two red X’s, signifying the two X’s each disabled person’s records received by doctors, that sent them to the gas chamber.
When talking to the residents about the project, I explained that before they were born, there was a man who didn’t like people who were different and murdered them. They all understood why they were making the quilt tops, and we had great conversations about how it just isn’t right to murder someone just because they are different.
Huge thanks to Haley Koop for organizing the time and space, and for securing two volunteers to help that day.
Making Quilts for the 70273 Project at Marbridge:
And, pictures of the finished quilts and the artist reception held at Marbridge.