North Kent Embroiderers Guild

70,273 project

Click on pictures at the end of the text to see a larger picture

11 August 2017 - Quilt #189 is finally finished!

Yes, North Kent Embroiderers' Guild have finished their quilt as part of the 70,273 project. It has been something that we feel humbled and yet privileged to have participated in with the majority of members making a block or two (or in some cases 12!).
We found a host of ways to create blocks – stitched, appliqued fabric, ribbon, fabric paint, buttons, screen print … the only guidelines were that the background fabric needed to be white (cotton, poly blend, wool, felt – this is a great chance to upcycle shirts and sheets) and the crosses red.

What is the 70273 project?

70,273 blocks of fabric are being gathered together from across the world, marked with two red crosses, to commemorate the number of physically and mentally disabled men, women and children who were murdered between January 1940 and August 1941 in the Aktion T4 Programme - a largely unrecognised atrocity which only received a memorial to the victims in 2014.

The red crosses represent the marks made by the assessing Doctors as to whether the person was deemed ‘unfit’ or an economic burden on Nazi society.  It is such a simple symbol, and in this project, the simplicity with which someone could sign someone’s life away is turned into a symbol of love and strength.  The white fabric represents the sheet of paper that their death sentence was signed on. Seeing the crosses stitched together sends a powerful message of tolerance, community and love.  Its impact comes from the huge variety of these two red marks - each beautiful in their own perfectly imperfect way.

The blocks will be stitched into quilts and wall hangings and will be displayed in Rochester, Lincoln and Durham Cathedrals during January 2018, to mark National Holocaust Memorial Day.  Blocks will be on display throughout the world, in 77 countries. when the exhibition has finished in Rochester Cathedral, it is hoped that the quilts will be exhibited at one of the Concentration Camps in June before being finally shipped to America where all 70,273 blocks will be on dispaly, somewhere!

The overall coordinator for this project here in Rochester is Lucy Horner, Francis Iles, 103 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX and for more information and ideas about how to make blocks visit or contact

This project is the brainchild of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, who woke up one morning with this plan for global domination with Love.  You can read more about the project and its progress, and join the community at

Below are photographs of our quilted hanging as it progresses to being completed. The finished size will be 5' X 8' so that when it is hung in Rochester Cathedral in January 2018, it will show up!

This is the start of our quilted hanging in April. Blocks had been made using various techniques and sizes - if you look closely, you will see Hardanger, blackwork (using red thread) and applique
We are now at the end of May, and the hanging measures - 5' x 4' which means we are half the finished size! If you look carefully, you will see one block that has words in it - that is our machine embroiderer!



Still the end of May, and these are blocks ready to be sewn into the hanging, but we are waiting for more blocks to come so as a row can be sewn onto the main hanging.

On the left, having added the blocks above, our hanging measures 5' wide and 6' long - we are three quarters of the way there!!!

On the right - This is the final row of blocks to be added!!!

Today is the 19th June and the temperature is 30C plus outside so what I have I done this afternoon - I have added the final two rows of blocks. I had to hang it on my clothes line to take a photograph, which mean it is 8' by 5' - the wrong way round. It has to be 5' wide and 8' long. It will be that eventually! Almost every member of the Guild has particpated in this very worthwhile project and they have completed their crosses well ahead of time!




Here is the quilt with Lucy Horner from Francis Iles and Veronica Rees from NKEG holding it in all its glory! The next stage is to add the wadding and backing, tack it together and tie it before adding the binding!!! Members of NKEG though are offering to help with these stages!!!
Two more photographs of where we have got to with assembling the quilt - this is an update on 23 June 2017! The quilt, on the left, waiting to be spread out onto the batting and on the right - pinned and now waiting to tack it!!!

Here we are the quilt has been tacked and is now ready for tying. It is on our wall paper table as to keep kneeling on the floor to stitch it, was difficult to say the least!

Members of the Guild will help with the tying over a period of weeks - doing a little tying at a time accompanied by lots of chat and laughter!

Here we are another step to our quilt being finished. We have the offical 70,273 quilt label - #189 - and we have put our own label on it as well telling people that it has been made by members of the North Kent Embroiderers' Guild UK. Also, there is one block which says 'Lest we forget' and '70273' inside two crosses. This block is the signature block of all thse quilts that will be exhibited in Rochester Cathedral in the new year! The quilt is being tied rather than quilted and tying begins shortly.
Another day, another part of the 70273 quilt being closer to completion. Today, 31 July, saw Suzanne and Veronica add the binding to the edges of the quilt, as well as our labels. The next thing to do is to handstitch the reverse of the binding and then, it may be complete! We are almost there!
This is the bag for #189 ably made by one of our members whose husband digitilised the EG logo!
Here is #189 - finished. we have remembered and honoured 104 people who were murdered between January 1940 and August 1941. Lucy Horner and Veronica Rees on the left. Some of the memebrs who made red crosses on the right