Quilts for Sept.11 (2001)

Fireball, 2001
Fireball, 2001

I don’t think I have ever posted about the quilts I made around the events of September 11. I try not to think about the whole situation, because it is just depressing and senseless from so many angles. And the senselessness just seems to continue.

I decided to write about them this year, because my work is good and I still think the message I tried to send is good. I keep one of the quilts on my wall and look at the words and try to remember to walk the walk.

After September 11, Karey Bresenhan called for quilts to be made and sent for the Houston Quilt Market and Festival where they would be displayed 2 months later. Many, many quilts were made and displayed, including my quilt, Fireball.

The exhibit was followed up by a book. Fireball was included in the book. Fireball was successful, in a way (displayed at Houston and included in a book), but it wasn’t the quilt I wanted to make for 9/11. It was an immediate, viseral reaction to the horrifying images shown on TV.

What Comes Next
What Comes Next

What Comes Next is the quilt I wanted to make. What Comes Next has a message that I wanted everyone to hear and see and heed. I wanted politicians to take up the call and act in a way that would truly show the US as a world leader.

It took me much longer to make What Comes Next than the month or so I had to make Fireball. I worked on the beading in the car heading to L.A. I worked on the rubber stamping at my SIL’s house during craft night. It is one of the quilts I have quilted myself. I worked hard on the quilt to send a message of hope and peace and to encourage people to think about what comes next after September 11. Nobody heard or saw or heeded. It just makes me sad.


Update 9/12/2011: Based on my friend Kathy’s post, I have changed the name of this post to include the year, 2001. I want to move past this date. I want 9/11/2001 to become part of the past, which is not to say that we should forget those affected. From Kathy’s post:

“The Elder said the thing that would keep the tragedy alive was the fact that we keep referring to September 11th in the present tense. Every time we say 911 or September 11 without including the date 2001, it continues to work on our psyche as a current event. He said that unless we can collectively place the event firmly in the past it will continue to haunt our todays and true healing would not be possible.”

I do not want this day to haunt my life forever. I want to remember the people with joy, I want to learn from the mistakes we, collectively have made in the quest for justice, and remember the heroes with awe. I want us all to consider What Comes Next and move forward confidently in a positive direction.

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

2 thoughts on “Quilts for Sept.11 (2001)”

  1. Fireball shows the fear and horror and shock of the moment. Regardless of time constraints, you probably had to make Fireball before you could make What Comes Next. I dug out my journal from that time, and one of the things that I was most concerned about was what we would do after the shock wore off. It’s a variation on the stages of grief and I think too many people are still stuck at anger. Acceptance – of the loss, of our responsibilities to the rest of the world, of each other – is a long way off.

    1. Hi Sandi, Thanks for posting. I think you are right on all counts. For my own quilts, I think you are correct. There is always a process and that must have been the process in my work, though I never saw it. I also think you are right that leadership acted out of anger (re: the wars) and now our society is stuck at anger and paying for the anger. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

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