Frequently Asked Questions

What are you going to do with 20,000 baby booties? 

We are creating an art installation to draw attention to the problem of infant mortality in America and advocate for policy changes that can save babies’ lives.  Booties are going to be sewn on panels like quilt blocks in groups of 100 according to the diagram below.  Each panel is a critical piece of the puzzle that is infant mortality in this country.  The complete installation will be 38′ x 38′.  When the exhibitions are complete, booties will be donated to charities and agencies that serve infants.

Each one of the 23,000 pairs of booties is one pixel of the 38′ by 38′ overall design. Each square of the grid represents 100 pairs of booties.

I want to make some booties, where do I start? 

The collection phase of The Project is complete, but we will include a pair of your baby booties in the installation if you like.  Make a pair and send it to Mary Vaneecke, 2000 S Hermosa, Tucson, Arizona 85716.

Can I make a panel or pair of baby booties anonymously?

Yes.  Just note that when you send the booties.

Elephant booties by Nancy Elf

Does this project have anything to do with abortion?

No.  Infant mortality concerns wanted children who are born alive and die before their first birthday.  Whatever side of the abortion issue you are on, you are welcome to support  My hope is that whatever our respective political leanings are, we can all be United Against Infant Mortality.

Does it cost anything to be a part of

There is no application fee.  The Project will be expensive to ship and record.  The Mourning Project is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Mourning Project must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Cash donations are not deductible. To make a secure online donation, go to

Can I participate even if I live outside the U.S.?

Of course.  The project focuses on the US infant mortality rate, but all are welcome to contribute panels to the project.

What are you doing with the money you collect?

I will donate all the time I spend on the Project.  There are significant costs related to the ultimate art installation, storage, postage, appropriate shipping containers, insurance, travel and other costs related to  I am seeking grant funding, and possible sponsorships to cover these costs.    This will allow me to take advantage of exhibition opportunities as soon as they present themselves, and plan ahead as much as possible.  Any monies left over at the end of the project will be donated to the March of Dimes. To make a secure online donation, go to Donation made through the website are tax deductible as allowed by law.  

First two submissions-by-mail to!


Where will this art installation appear?

Bootie panels will be exhibited at events throughout the year.  Click here for the most current list.    Click here for info on that.  Do you have a suggestion for an exhibition venue?  Contact me at   Follow this website, my blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. to find out where the exhibition will appear.

Booties can be knit, sewn, or crocheted.

What will you do with all those baby booties when the Project is over? 

After the installations, the booties will be donated to charities serving infants and children.  These agencies might include the March of Dimes, local health departments, birth centers and hospitals, crisis pregnancy centers, family-nurse partnerships, etc.  It’s possible some small portion of the Project may become part of a museum collection.   Do you know of a charity that would be interested in receiving these items?   Contact me at

Have another question not answered here?  Email me at


Mary Vaneecke



8 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I sew the booties with sewing machine? I haven’t tried it but think it might be faster for me.
    How to mark the 3″ square grid. I tried a sample using a sharpie and it really stands out. What would you suggest or how would you mark the 3″ squares.
    Do all the pairs of booties need to be sewn in the same direction – toes facing up or down.

    1. You can stitch the booties with a sewing machine. It will be harder to stitch them onto the panel with a machine, however. I use a sharpie to mark my grids on the webbing. It is ok if the grid shows through. Perhaps you can try a ball point pen for a lighter line.

  2. I recently heard of this project and want to know if it will continue past Mother’s Day 2019.

    1. We are just a few days from Mother’s Day, and have about 5,000 booties. Yes! We will continue to collect booties until we have 23,000. Watch our Baby Bootie Progress Report for the most current count. Thanks for asking, Ruth! Hope you will participate!

  3. My felting study group will make booties on Thursday, Oct. 18. so I am studying your website so I can answer any questions that might come up. I see you are asking that they are sent to you by May 19, 2019, but your first installation is scheduled for April 2019. Could you clarify?


    1. Thanks for this, Kathryn! Be sure the booties are in the colors of mourning–black, white, and gray. I am asking for people to send their booties as they are made. This way I know (and the exhibition venues know) that there will be booties to display. It also avoids the possibility that I get 40,000 baby booties all at once. If I get the goal of 23,000 ahead of time, that is great, I will let the fiber art community know. The first exhibition will be in Tucson, AZ, and I am planning for April to give people an incentive to send their booties early. It also leaves open the possibility for a Mothers Day 2019 exhibition in Washington D.C. (unconfirmed at this point). Thank you for asking!

  4. Hello, Mary,
    Our mutual friend Deborah Weir infomred me about this project, which I whole-heartedly support. At her suggestion, I posted it on, which has over 6 million members of knitters and crocheters! In the thread that I started, some folks were asking if you would join so that they can ask you questions directly. It is free to do so, at and then the thread is at
    Thanks for considering this!

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