Remembering September 11

September 11 comes around every year. This year feels different. Victim deaths of the pandemic have surpassed September 11 victims by leaps and bounds, though perhaps not in the numbers of the victims of the aftermath of 9/11. Still, that day is seared into my mind.

I was home alone that morning as DH was out of town and I was trying to get the YM to pre-school and get to my job. If anyone says ‘September 11’, I think about my mom calling me and sort of screeching at me to turn on the TV. My mom doesn’t really screech, so this is probably my imagination. I also remember how turning on the TV made the whole situation real. I was in my house getting ready to go to work, getting my almost 5YO YM ready for school, minding my own business and as soon as I turned on the TV, the world was different – meaner, more revenge oriented, less tolerant and more violent. Everything changed that morning even though I didn’t know it.

I couldn’t process those planes crashing into the World Trade Center. I couldn’t process the passengers taking over the flight that eventually crashed in the field in Pennsylvania or the flight that eventually affected the Pentagon. I can’t help but think of how quiet the skies were for days after. Now that I think about, it reminds me of how quiet everything was at the end of March 2020 when everyone was sheltering-in-place.  I remember watching TV for hours with DH (once he returned) and seeing the same images over and over. I think of the years of violence that make up our lives today.


I ended up making two quilts as a reaction to OR to do something to mark-commemorate-remember (I don’t know the right word. Send a message?) the day and my feelings. The first was done very quickly and sent off to Houston to be displayed in a commemorative display at Quilt Festival and Market.

Fireball is a reaction to all the fire that was shown on TV. It is a woven quilt and messy looking. The strips are raw edge so the whole piece reflects the chaos of the day and the aftermath.

What Comes Next, 2011-2012
What Comes Next, 2011-2012

The second quilt is also an art quilt. It took me longer and was my wish/prayer for the future. It is called What Comes Next. Clearly my wishes were not acknowledged because the things I wanted to come out of that terrible day were the exact opposite of what actually came out of it.

This quilt has similarities to my Blood and Oil quilt and the more recent, Down the Drain quilt. Someday I’d like to use those paper doll motifs again.

Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.