9 11, the event that has had a huge impact on the world! Ten years on and it's still in everyone's memory like it happened yesterday. Seeing footage on the television brought back my memory of where I was ten years ago! We were living in the Middle East. It wasn't the best situation to be in. The expatriate community there was uneasy and worried. The school where my children went to had put up a barrack gate and there were armed guards patrolling the school. We didn't know what to think and what to do! We loved living there. I loved the desert landscape; I loved being on the Persian Gulf where the sea was a beautiful shade of turquoise. The men in their crisp white dishdasha, so crisp that you can hear the sound of the well pressed cotton rubbing together when they move, were everywhere. I miss the women with their full length black abayas moving around with no care in the world.
On 9 11 at the time world trade centre got hit I had just come home from work and my children told me that the World Trade Centre had been hit. We had world trade centre in Dubai as well so I thought right, a plane had accidently flown into the building! When I turned on the TV and saw what was really happening I was so shocked and stunned with the unbelievable, horrible, images. We were on top of those buildings only a few months previously while visiting New York on vacation. How could it be possible!
So many things happened following 9 11 and some expatriates left the Middle East fear for their safety. Some American fast food joints got bombs thrown at them. It wasn't a pleasant time, but we didn't leave. I always hoped for the best and worried about my children's education. DD was in her last year at high school and I wanted her to finish school there. Searching the Internet late one night I came upon a call for quilts to commemorate 9 11 that would be exhibited at the Houston's International Quilt Festival in November that year. I always believed in the healing power of quilts. If you are busy creating something for any event, whether it sad or happy, the process of making a quilt helps the healing process. I emailed Karey Bresenhan saying that I would like to make a quilt for it.
I was into printing images onto fabric at that time. So I decided to use the images of 911 for the setting of the quilt. I used Americana fabric I brought back from Houston a few years back as part of the blocks. I was so immersed into making these blocks that I didn't realize how many blocks I had made. The quilt ended up quite large, 77" x 63", I called it One for all and all for one. I got it finished just in time for the festival in Houston in November 2001. They were over 300 entries for that event. In 2002 these quilts travelled to Barcelona for the Europe Quilt Expo and I took my quilt there myself. Watching people viewing my quilt and what they were saying about it was so touching. Many people were in tears seeing the quilts.
A few months later Karey Bresenhan published the book America from the Heart: Quilters Remember September 11, 2001 with all the quilts made for 9 11 in it. All profits from the sale of this book are donated to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. 9 11 will always be a bitter sweet memory for me.