“9.11.2001 represents our national tragedy through a series of imagery,” writes quilter Claire Gardner. “Nine blue fabrics, for the ninth month, with dark to light blue fabrics signify rising to hope from darkness. Standing together as an eleven are the Twin Towers, using 3,052 different fabrics representing each person who died at the WTC, Pentagon, and on the four airplanes. Floating the sky, surrounding and supporting the eleven, are stars, with 50 different white fabrics for each state. The pearl buttons spell 2001 in Braille. The imagery is used to represent our nation's overall blindness to the attack, the pearls for all the journalists killed while working. The red and blue borders represent the fearless firefighters and police officers who responded. The rope signifies the many knots of friendship tied across our country since 9.11.2001.” Half inch squares made for the Towers to be VERY dense. We could not quilt through them, only around the Towers."
50 citizens sent fabrics for the image of the eleven/twin towers within three weeks of being asked. Almost every step of the construction process was helped by Claire's family and friends. She writes, "There were many 12 to 18 hour days, even a few days for me without sleep." Aunt Erna, her sister Julie, her Mary friends, Patti, her mother-in-law Marcie, and others, all contributed their time and talent.
Claire writes, “This project is a reminder that with perseverance, family, and friends, we can accomplish our goals. Hopefully no quilter will have to do another commemorative quilt of this magnitude. And let it be known that this quilt, alongside the hundreds of other September 11th quilts worldwide, is a reminder that we will forever honor and remember the innocent and brave.”
From the Collection of the National Quilt Museum.