Friday, September 10, 2010

Quilters Remember September 11, 2001

In response to 9-11, many quilters expressed their sorrow, compassion and love, in words and in cloth. We feel privileged to be able to share some inspired and inspiring works with you, on the eve of 9-11.

Flight 93 Memorial Quilt, by 911 Memorial Quilts, including detail of the Flight 93 block, below

"Days after September 11, 2001, Jeannie Ammermann founded America’s 9-11 Memorial Quilts Organization. Jeannie began her quest with a few people who believed in her mission, and today, more than 500 volunteers across America have joined in this thread-of-life memorial. It is our hope to memorialize those we lost in a compassionate and uplifting way, with great respect, dignity and honor, to heal hearts and preserve memories for years to come. ~Teri Jahn

Editor's note: To learn more, visit the 911 Memorial Quilts site. Also, see these articles: Monumental Quilt Honors 9/11 Victims, and America's 9-11 Memorial Quilts: Quilters Pay Tribute to 9-11 Victims, their Friends and Families.

9-11 Quilt, by Jennifer Myers, at Art Quilts by Jen

"The background for this quilt was designed and completed about a year before 9/11 happened. It sat on my design wall all of that time because I didn't know how to finish it. Then when 9/11 happened, it finished itself. The twin towers are hand beaded with hundreds of tiny beads. The blue streaks represent the blue lights that shone in the New York sky following the disaster, and the windows and doors at the bottom of the quilt represent the debris." ~Jennifer Myers

Editor's note: The 9-11 quilt by Jennifer Myers is in the private collection of Susan Wildemuth, who recently wrote about the quilt on her own blog, Eye of the Needle. For more works by Jennifer Myers, see Little Store Quilts & Fiber Arts.

River of Tears, by Helen Simon, at Helen's Harvest

"This quilt, published in America from the Heart, expresses my anguish and hope for America." ~Helen Simon

Editor's note: The book America from the Heart is a powerful tribute to September 11. All of the quilts were made in the five short weeks following the tragedy so they could be displayed at the 2001 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. "River of Tears", by Helen Simon, perfectly captures the emotions of the day; the quilt was purchased by an anonymous collector at the 2001 show. Helen Simon's art is now focused on melted glass; for more information visit Helen's Harvest of Lampwork Beads.

Ground Zero Quilt, by Lois Jarvis, at Lois Jarvis Quilts

"I hope (the quilt) will show the viewer that the individual people on this quilt, the happy smiling people at work and at play, the brides and grooms, the fathers and mothers, the young so full of promise and the old with so much still to offer, who all perished that day, are the important things to remember." ~ Lois Jarvis

Editor's note: The Ground Zero Quilt has been viewed by over 2,000,000 visitors through Lois Jarvis' website, and installed at 90 group and solo exhibitions nationwide. The quilt traveled with the American Spirit Quilt Collection, which was a collection of twelve quilts that showed how the American spirit triumphed over the events of September 11, 2001. For more information, visit the Ground Zero Quilt website and the Rust-Tex website.

New Tears, by Kim Ritter, at Kim

"Tears that burst from my eyes were unlike any I had ever shed before - sad, angry, jagged, unbelieving." ~Kim Ritter (published in America from the Heart)

Editors note: Kim Ritter's fabulous art quilts can be seen in her online galleries. She recently retired from art quilting to focus on her interests in art cars, costumes, fused glass and metalworking; for more information, visit Kim's weblog.

Waves 1, by Beth Carney, at Beth Carney Studio

"I looked out my window and saw the candles flickering as flags waved in the wind. Our colors were standing strong and proud. Wave after wave." ~Beth Ann Carney (for the full quotation, see America from the Heart)

Editor's note: Beth Carney is a dancer, choreographer, director and art quilter.  Her art quilts have been exhibited at Quilt National, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, and many other venues. Her sense of movement is clearly communicated in the magnificent "Waves" shown above. For more visual inspiration, visit Beth Carney's online galleries.

Twin Towers Quilt and Pattern, by BJ Reed, at Piecemaking, LLC

"The three dimensional design represents the Twin Towers in New York City and, on reflection, how our lives in the USA will forever be changed." ~BJ Reed

Editor's note: We first featured BJ Reed's stunning Twin Towers quilt in our special article on tumbling blocks quilts, called Cubic Construction. To see BJ's beautiful pink, black and white version of the design, visit her online gallery. The pattern for Twin Towers can be obtained at Piecemaking, LLC.

Lady Liberty, by Gretchen Crozier, based on the design by Linda Hibbert at Silver Linings Originals

Editor's note: Some of the most enduring images of 9-11 were those of the Statue of Liberty, holding her torch high, amidst the smoke and destruction. We will never forget those who lost their lives, or their families and friends who will always mourn their loss. The Lady Liberty quilt by Gretchen Crozier, shown above, was not specifically designed as a tribute to 9-11, but we think that the quilt is a beautiful rendition of the statue and its symbolism. The pattern is available at Silver Linings Originals, where you can see Linda Hibbert's original red, white and blue version of Lady Liberty.

Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.


  1. The work is amazing. The memories are heartbreaking.

    My tribute to 9-11 is here.



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