Frequently Asked Questions

What are you going to do with 23,000 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 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′.  To get your panel pattern, email mary@maryvaneecke.com.  When the exhibitions are complete, wearable 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. Request your panel pattern today by emailing mary@maryvaneecke.com.

I want to make a panel. Where do I start? 

You are awesome!  Thank you!  The first thing you should do is email mary@maryvaneecke.com to get your panel’s pattern and instructions.  Start making your booties according to the color scheme on the panel pattern.  Attach your booties to cargo netting and label it.  Send your panel to Mary Vaneecke at 2000 S. Hermosa, Tucson, Arizona, 85713 by April 1 so that it can be a part of the March of Dimes March for Babies at the State Capital in Phoenix.  Complete instructions for making a panel are here.

This is the pattern page for Panel 1-K of the installation plan. It shows the placement of the panel within the installation (pink square), a detail of the panel, and the number of booties by color that the panel requires.

Do I have to limit the colors of the baby booties to black/white/gray?

Please do.  This is called TheMourningProject.com.  Each panel calls for a specific number of black/white/gray booties.  Email mary@maryvaneecke.com to get your piece of the installation image.  The Project is about uniting to mourn and right a tragic wrong.  That said, if you have some beautiful black yarn or fabric with a tiny red thread or dot (for instance), and it ‘reads’ black, feel free to include that in the Project if your panel calls for black booties.  Embellish to your heart’s content.   You may choose to put a very dark gray in the black areas of your panel.  The gray parts of the panels will contain a range of gray values.  Just be sure to mail all panels to Mary Vaneecke, 2000 South Hermosa, Tucson, AZ 85713 by April 1, 2020.   

This gorgeous hand-dyed yarn, called Chalk in the Rain by Kitty Pride Fibers, is not entirely gray, but made some stunning booties for TheMourningProject.com

Do I have to make a whole panel of booties?

If you do not wish to make a whole panel of booties, get a group of makers together to put a panel together.  The process is fun and easy.  We will need 225 panels to complete the image.  Before you start, email mary@maryvaneecke to get the pattern for your panel.  One hundred booties seems like a lot, but you can sew 63 pairs of felt booties in about 6 hours.  Click here for that video.

If you can’t find anyone to help put together a panel, make your booties white, and email mary@maryvaneecke.com for an address of a panel maker near you.  The pattern calls for 15,000 pairs of white booties.  This will save postage and can help someone

Can I make a panel of booties in memory or honor of someone?

Yes!  Make a note on the donation form and write it in permanent fabric marker on the label on the back of the panel.  To make booties in memory or honor of someone, write it on a white ribbon, strip of fabric, interfacing, Tyvek, or other durable paper or fabric.  Stitch the ribbon or strip together with your pair of baby booties.  This donation checklist has a diagram.  Please mail panels to Mary Vaneecke, 2000 South Hermosa, Tucson, AZ 85713 by April 1 to be a part of the exhibition at the March of Dimes March for Babies in Phoenix.  

Little Chickadees, in memory of baby Sarah, by Nanci Elf.

I don’t know how to sew, knit, or crochet.  Do I have to hand-make the baby booties?

My vision for TheMourningProject.com is that each of the 23,000 babies lost annually will be remembered by a unique, handmade, heartfelt little ‘elegy.’  If you do not sew, knit, felt, or crochet, consider asking a crafty friend to help.  Sewing a simple pair of booties can be done in about a half hour (links to some free patterns here).  Your gift does NOT have to be technically perfect or lavish, though you are welcome to make it as fancy as you like.  What matters is you care enough to make this little elegy.  As an alternative, you could purchase a black/gray/white pair of infant booties and embellish them yourself with contrasting white, gray, or black marker, paint, sequins, lace, etc.  And of course, advocacy is a critical part of this project.  You don’t have to be creative or crafty to write a letter or contact an elected official, arrange an exhibition, or make another donation to the project.

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

Yes.  Just note that on the donation form. Link here to the form.

Do you know where I can get a nice free pattern?

There are loads of free patterns online.  Click here for links to some of my favorites.

Gansie booties by Kathie Popadin. All her patterns are free for use on this project. Just message her at shakeyourbooties on Ravely.

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 TheMourningProject.com.  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  TheMourningProject.com?

There is no application fee.  I am asking each maker to consider contributing $1 for each pair of baby booties made.  While I take no salary as founder of the Project, I expect to incur costs related to shipping, storing, and exhibiting the installation.  We’ll need at least 15 shipping crates to ship the entire installation.

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 TheMourningProject.com.  I am seeking grant funding, and possible sponsorships to cover these costs.   Right now, I am requesting that baby bootie makers consider making a donation of $1 for each pair of booties they make.  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.

First two submissions-by-mail to TheMourningProject.com!

When do you need these panels?

Don’t wait until the last minute to send your panel(s).  Your piece of the pattern is critical! Please mail panels to Mary Vaneecke, 2000 South Hermosa, Tucson, AZ 85713 by April 1, 2020 to prepare for the installation at the March of Dimes March for Babies in Phoenix.  

Where will this art installation appear?

Bootie panels will be exhibited at events throughout the year.  Click here for the most current list.  The next installation will be at the March of Dimes March for Babies in Phoenix at the Arizona State Capital in Phoenix.  Click here for info on that.  Do you have a suggestion for an exhibition venue?  Contact me at mary@maryvaneecke.com.   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? 

That’s a good question.  Some of these baby booties–particularly those made in memory of someone–may find their way to elected officials as part of an advocacy campaign.  Many will be donated to charities serving infants and children.  It’s possible some small portion of the Project may become part of a museum collection.  Whatever happens, final disposition of the baby booties will be in keeping with the spirit of the Project.  Do you know of a charity or museum that would be interested in receiving these items?  Have another idea about how they will ultimately be used?  Contact me at mary@maryvaneecke.com.

Have another question not answered here?  Email me at mary@maryvaneecke.com

 

Mary Vaneecke

Founder, TheMourningProject.com


 

6 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

    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!

  1. 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?

    Thanks!

    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!

  2. Hello, Mary,
    Our mutual friend Deborah Weir infomred me about this project, which I whole-heartedly support. At her suggestion, I posted it on Ravelry.com, 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 ravelry.com and then the thread is at https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/needlework-on-the-net/3826422/1-25?jump=2#2
    Thanks for considering this!

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