Sunday, July 29, 2007

Virginia Tech Memorial Project

As you may already know, we've received a tremendous response to the Virginia Tech Memorial Block project. We've literally received hundreds of blocks for this project, an outpouring of love and concern for the everyone who has been touched by the tragedy of the Virginia Tech shootings. The project has moved solidly into its next phase, so now is perhaps a good opportunity to provide an update of its ongoing progress.

The first step of the project, the creation and submission of the blocks, has already been completed. As you have already seen in our previous posts, we have displayed many of these beautiful quilt blocks in the classroom area of Grandma's Attic to inspire others to participate and to generally give heart to all of those who have seen it. These individual blocks are already a moving testament to the power of quilts and the fiber arts to help people heal after a national tragedy.

The second stage of the project is in full-swing: the documenting and photographing of every block we have received. We feel that it is appropriate to honor and acknowledge each block submission by preserving both the names of the block creators and the images of the blocks they have created. As we are in fully in the midst of this second stage, we are perhaps better able offer some detail about its progress.

For example, we have compiled a large database containing both the name of the block and the person who created it. Furthermore, each block has been assigned a number so that it can be easily referenced in the database when necessary. In addition to this compilation of information, we have collected a large binder filled with the completed block submission forms and any other accompanying correspondence we may have received.

But, perhaps even more intensive than compiling the database in this second phase is photographing each individual block. This is the part of the project we are in now. The blocks are first pinned to a flat background as carefully as possible and any stray threads that have happened to have covered the block are carefully removed with a lint roller. The lighting and the camera settings are adjusted just so for each block and the picture is taken. As these are digital pictures, each block image must then be reviewed at a later point on the computer to see if it is a good image or needs be retaken.

We have already begun the initial part of the third stage of the project: the assemblage of the blocks into separate quilts. We're still planning how to organize this third stage, but we are already lining up the quilters who will be performing this important and emotional task.

As you can see, there is a lot of work that is still ahead of us. Above all, throughout all these first stages, throughout the project as a whole, our ultimate goal is to give the proper and appropriate respect that each block deserves on it's way to its final inclusion in quilts to be presented to Virginia Tech.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rachel, for the impressive information on the Memorial Blocks for the Virginia Tech quilts. I am so honored to have submitted a block for these special quilts. You and your staff are to be applauded for all the work you have and will put into these keepsakes! Thanks again, and God Bless you all....Patricia Fry, Jacksonville, FL

Anonymous said...

Are you still accepting blocks for this quilt. My husband graduated from VT and I would love to add a block in rememberence of him.

Sue Burnett, Madison County, VA

Grandma Rachel said...

There's still a tiny bit of time left for making blocks to include in this project. We need to receive them very soon though! Grandma Rachel

Anonymous said...

Are you still planning to do something with the blocks we sent in? It has been so long since there has been any news.
If not, I would like mine back. Let me know, I will send my address. thanks.
Joan, Richmond, VA

Grandma Rachel said...

Our Virginia Tech project is going strong. There are almost 600 blocks in this project and they are out being photographed and documented for posterity. This has been a very long and involved project. The response to this project has been huge and it has been a gigantic undertaking. When the blocks have all been properly documented, we will be sending them out to quilters to have them put into quilts very soon. We'll post more details on our blog in the near future.

Caroline said...

Thank you so much for such a wonderful project with such incredible sentiment. As a novice quilter and a survivor of the Virginia Tech tragedy, this project has a special place in my heart. The block for Professor Librescu especially touched me, I am glad to see my professor will not be forgotten. Over 6 months later, it still touches me to see how people reach out.

God Bless.