North Kent Embroiderers Guild

70,273 project

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

North Kent Embroiderers' Guild heard about the 70,273 project and decided to particpate with the majority of members making blocks with two red crosses on them.

What is the 70272 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.

We have found a host of ways to create blocks – stitched, appliqued fabric, ribbon, fabric paint, buttons, screen print … the only guidelines are that the fabric needs to be white (cotton, poly blend, wool, felt – this is a great chance to upcycle shirts and sheets) and the crosses red.

The overall coordinator for this project here in Rchester 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 phtographs 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
This is our quilted hanging in May, members have made more blocks and new techniques have been incorporated - basically machine embroidery.
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.
This is the block which has words in it. 'Lest we forget' and 70,273.
I was given more blocks on Saturday and here they are waiting to be added to the hanging!
Here, having added the blocks above, our hanging measures 5' wide and 6' long - we are three quarters of the way there!!!
Another load of blocks waiting to be added!!!!
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 togatehr 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!!!
Watch this space for the next photograph!