United in Memory 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt

September, 2016

United in Memory 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt

Various Makers

Panels 3, 53, 55, 67, 78, 98 and 101
Gift of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation, 2015.072.0003, 2015.072.0053, 2015.072.0055, 2015.072.0067, 2015.072.0078, 2015.072.0098 and 2015.072.0101

“Quilts have always had the power of commemorating events, whether on a large scale or individual basis. These are particularly important to document this significant, historic moment. They also bring to mind the individual lives that were lost. They are incredibly powerful for that reason.”
- Carolyn Ducey, International Quilt Museum Curator of Collections

The United in Memory 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt was created by a volunteer-based grassroots organization to keep the memories of the September 11, 2001, victims alive. The quilt consists of more than 140 individual quilts or panels, which consist of 25 blocks. Each block is dedicated to a victim of the attacks. The total square footage of the quilt is more than 15,500 feet and, if laid end to end, it would cover more than five football fields.

Corey Gammel and Peter Marquez of Long Beach, California, saw Ground Zero first-hand during a trip to New York City weeks after the attack. Based on this experience, they felt called to do something to help soothe the spiritual wounds of those affected.

After returning home from New York City, they founded United in Memory Memorial Quilt Inc., to create a memorial quilt that would serve as a lasting tribute similar to The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. They created a website and appealed to others to help them make the quilts. Blocks came in from across the country and around the world.

In May 2002, volunteers held workshops to assemble the blocks into panels. A group of about 40 women worked together that summer to create the panels. Since then, the panels have toured the country extensively.

The IQM acquired the collection in September 2015. Since then, a dedicated volunteer team has worked tirelessly to accession the panels into the collection. To date, more than 100 of the panels have been reviewed and added to the permanent collection. The remaining will be completed this fall. As the quilts are photographed and documented, the IQM hopes to learn more about the stories behind the victims memorialized on each panel