Instructions for Panelists

THANK YOU for agreeing to create a panel for The Mourning Project!  Your panel is one of only 225 pieces of the puzzle and it is crucial to the completing the final image. Each pair of booties represents a ‘pixel’ on the 38 square foot image.  You will receive both an image of the overall installation highlighting where your panel fits in the larger image, along with a 10 x 10 grid showing the bootie placement by color for your panel.  Email to request your panel pattern.

This is the pattern page for Panel 1-K of the installation plan.  It includes the panel number, shows where it is in the overall image, the number of booties by color, and their placement on the panel.

This is a very manageable task.  The two most important points in creating a panel are:

  1. Correct placement of the booties by color.
  2. Attaching the booties to your panel SECURELY.

Follow these guidelines when assembling your panel.  Click here for a video on the process.  

  1. Make or collect 100 pairs of handmade baby booties in the colors according to your panels’ instructions. Booties may be knit, crocheted, or sewn, and may be any size.  If others are helping you by making booties, be sure to assign colors accordingly.  Don’t worry if you assign someone to make 10 pairs of gray booties, and they come to you with light, medium and dark grays. Each pair is one of 23,000 and the different values will add interest to the final installation.  Even the occasional colored pair will work, (as long as there are not too many) just mix them in with the rest. See the website for links to free patterns and how to make 63 pairs in 6 hours. Be sure that each bootie is securely attached to its mate. 
  2. To start, cut a piece of strong, lightweight, light colored fabric 30” by 30”. A polyester mesh cargo utility fabric is perfect, for many reasons. Cargo fabric allows for yarn booties to be attached with small (4” or 6” cable zip ties), is easy to sew through and is widely available online and at Joann Fabrics.  Click here for a link.  It is also less distracting when it shows through the booties.
  3. Mark a grid of 3” squares on the fabric with a Sharpie marker. You may wish to mark your squares with W, B, or G for squares that will have white, black, and gray booties, but many patterns are simple enough that you won’t have to do this. If your panel is made up of booties entirely one color, you can skip this step. 
  4. Many panels are made of booties in one color only. In this case, you need only completely cover your fabric with 100 pairs of booties in whatever color is required.
  5. I like to lay out the booties on the grid according to the pattern provided before attaching booties to the mesh. I can make sure the mesh is covered as much as possible and the booties fit according to the pattern.  It is most important that your panel have accurate edges, as that is where it will join other panels.
  6. Attach approximately one pair of booties to each square. Larger booties may take more than one square, just put a small pair next to them to fill 2 squares.  A pair of large-ish flat booties can be stacked with one bootie on top of the other. Booties are not square, so we can expect that some mesh shows through on the panel.
    1. Hand sew felt and fabric booties to the fabric at the inner soles (where the arch of the foot would go) to the approximate center of each square. Stitch securely through one strand of mesh and knot it without distorting the fabric.  Just one stitch through both booties and one strand of web with a strong knot will do the trick.  Use a contrasting 6 strand embroidery thread when possible so that booties can be easily removed at the end of the project to deliver to babies in need.
    2. For booties that have been tied to the panel, please put a drop of glue or Fray Check on each knot.  This will prevent your booties from falling off the installation.  Click here for a link to Fray Check on Amazon, or buy it at Joann Fabrics.
    3. Knit/crocheted booties can be attached quickly with zip ties onto cargo mesh utility fabric. Try to attach the middle of the booties to the middle of the square. This prevents the booties from shifting and twisting.  Be sure to catch only one strand of mesh with your zip tie to avoid distorting the fabric.  4” zip ties are available online here.
    4. Resist the urge to apply a whole line of booties onto the panel at once. Each pair should be securely attached to the mesh.
    5. Attach the booties by sewing from the back of the panel through the booties on the front of the panel. Your knot or zip tie lock should be on the back of the panel.
    6. Be sure to attach all 100 booties to your panel. Your finished panel should measure 30” by 30.” If it does not, try to find the areas where it is distorted and remove and re-attach those booties.
    7. Hand-baste a large label on the back of your panel at the TOP CENTER of the back. INCLUDE THE PANEL NUMBER AND your name and the names of any other makers. If you are making the panel in honor or in memory of someone, note that too.
    8. Do a happy dance! Take a picture of your panel.  Put it on Ravelry and/or Facebook.
    9. Ship your panel with the Panelist Permissions Form below to Mary Vaneecke, 2000 S Hermosa, Tucson Arizona, 85713 by April 1 to be included in the March of Dimes March for Babies in Phoenix. More exhibitions are in the works and we need YOUR panel to complete the image.
Panelist Permissions Form

Keep in mind:

  • You are not alone.  Email me at if you have questions.  I will be in touch with you regularly until I receive your completed panel.
  • If you agreed to make a panel and realize for any reason that you cannot meet the deadline, it is ok.  Just let me know as soon as possible.
  • If you need help getting booties made for your panel, email me at and I will direct other makers to send their booties to you whenever possible.
  • Check online for videos on how to assemble the panels. A link will appear here when they are available.
  • Do you have a trick or tip that worked for you?  Let me know, and I will spread the word.
  • Join The Mourning Project groups on Ravalry and Facebook to be a part of the community around The Mourning Project.  Thank you for being such an important part of this project.  —-Mary Vaneecke
Prototypes made for Panels 4E and 4F.
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