Team BeadQuilt

Guestbook Excerpts

What is The Bead Quilt Project?

The Bead Quilt Project is a work of collaborative art in response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. It reflects the ideas of nearly 500 bead artists from around the globe, who joined together to express feelings of hope and solidarity.

The project began on 9/12/01 when Andrea Adams posted to an internet beading forum with the idea to create a collective work in honor of the families and rescue workers. The premise was simple: Art Heals.
She hoped that the creative process would be healing for the artists involved, and that the finished work might offer comfort to the many people whose lives were changed.

The response to this idea was overwhelming, and a group of women quickly volunteered to coordinate the effort. With their help, the idea for a 9/11 bead quilt became a reality. By May of 2002, they had collected and assembled 576 beaded squares from artists around the world.

The resulting quilts are impressive in size, measuring approximately 9 ft. square when displayed all together. The individual squares are incredibly diverse, and reflect a wide array of skill levels, techniques, and emotions. Each square has a unique voice which joins to express our collective anger, grief, compassion and hope.

How did it evolve over time?

When we launched the project, our goal was to create 3 quilts, and donate one each to New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville, PA. The primary objective was to honor the affected areas, and to make the quilts accessible to the people for whom they were made. We believed that would be simple to achieve, but as time progressed, we learned just how challenging it would be:

* We could not have imagined how many artists would choose to get involved! The size, scope, and overall impact of the completed quilts was far greater than we were prepared for.

* So many people created art in response to the attacks, that many of the museums in the affected areas were inundated with donations and did not have the resources to house, process or care-take any more.

* Most of the official memorial sites are still being built:
The NYC Memorial expects to open in fall of 2011
The PA Memorial is slated for completion in 2011
The Pentagon Memorial has been completed.

* After exhibiting them together for so long, we saw that their impact is far greater as a group. It's quite clear that different sections pay tribute to different cities, so that distinction remains; However, the sight of all three quilts together is truly powerful. It conveys the enormity of the 9/11 tragedies, as well as the outpouring of support from around the world.

These factors caused us to adjust our original goal in a way that we hope our contributing artists will appreciate:
The 9/11 Bead Quilts will all be donated as a group to the The National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site. We feel that this choice best honors the original spirit of the project, and showcases the resulting artwork in an optimal way.