Monday, November 9, 2009

The Comfort that Comes from Creation

Last week I was in NYC at the American Folk Art Museum. Thought you'd love to see this beautiful quilt, The National Tribute Quilt, which is on continuous display at the museum. It represents the response of the Steel Quilters of United States Steel Corporation to the events of September 11, 2001. This small quilt club conceived the monumental undertaking, ultimately receiving quilt blocks from all fifty states as well as Canada, Spain, Australia, and Denmark. The quilt measures eight feet high by 30 feet wide, and is constructed of 3,466 blocks in six panels. The four central panels form a montage of the twin towers of the World Trade Center against the New York City skyline. These are flanked by panels dedicated to the lives lost on the four flights and at the Pentagon. Each three-inch-square block bears the name of one person who perished in the disaster. This project started on Sept. 13, 2001 and was completed on July 4, 2002.
It truly is a beautiful piece of work that surprisingly took less than a year to complete. You can tell that the ladies put their heart and soul into this quilt as well as probably worked through their pain of the events that occurred.
As I took in this impressive and moving work, I thought about the times that I have turned to my craft to help me through challenging times. As crafters, or artisans, we sometimes take for granted the comfort that comes from creation. So often we make a card, a quilt, or a painting, to make others feel good - rarely do the recipients realize how good it makes us feel. With the season of gratitude and good cheer upon us, I'm asking you to tell me what you've made over the years that made you feel better. What have you gifted that gave you something as well?
Wishing you a peaceful day...


  1. One of the best memories I have concerning how art can gift the artist as well as the recipient was an event that happened in the early days of my rubber stamping hobby. In the beginning, I had decided that I wouldn’t do condolence cards: it just seemed to skate too closely to a bid for personal attention at a time when all of the focus should go to the family of the bereaved. So when someone very dear from my church died, I was left with that helpless feeling that always comes with the death of a loved one – the knowledge that there really isn’t a lot one can DO to make things any better. But I was led to go to my stamping area and make a card in spite of my own prohibition. I was astounded to find out how much it helped ME! I poured all of my love into it, and I later was told that my friend was moved to tears when she got it. It wasn’t because of the artistry – it was because I had taken the time to give her some of my heart. Needless to say, I learned a lot from that and yes, today I do make condolence cards whenever they are needed.

  2. Hey, are you in the right business? Looks pretty impressive with the rolling credits!