I know I've written a few articles about the Bead Quilt already, but recently, I had the chance to see it at a local beadshow.
If you get a chance to see it in person, do! It's absolutely amazing. The overall impact of it is really stunning.
I thought I was ready for it, but I really wasn't. I don't think there is anything that really can prepare you for how amazing it is, hours of work, the time, the designs, the difference in what people found important to bead, in what imagery and colors were used to show the horror, shock and grief over September 11th. As my 7 year old daughter said "It's feelings. People beaded feelings."
The Bead Quilt was an international project originally concieved by Andrea Adams, and has involved a lot of work past just the making of the squares, working out transportation for the quilt, the boxes made to ship it, the assembly time of putting all the squares together into the panels that make up the quilt, working out insurance and safe shipping as it's traveled the country have all been a lot of work to the dedicated Bead Quilt Team.
I really wish I could find better words for expressing my feelings over seeing it. I understand now why people I asked for some of my past articles about it had such a hard time putting it into words. There were squares that made me cry, next to squares that made me smile with hope, there were squares that made me feel angry with the lives wasted. There were many squares that made me feel proud of my country, and it's strength and sense of hope.
Rosemary Ighel told me to bring tissue with me, that I would cry. She was right. She didn't tell me that I'd run that gamut of emotion walking down the row and seeing it all as a whole, then looking at the squares individually.
I ran into Teri Packel while I was looking at it, and she was quiet, she said "It's really special." and pointed out the square she made for it.
If you made a square for it, I'd like to thank you for being a part of something so special, if you have contributed to the costs of it's touring, I'd like to thank you for helping more people to see it. If your one of those amazing volunteers that have dedicated a lot of time to finding places for it to show, et cetra, you have my eternal gratitude.
If you want to support the Bead Quilt, please consider either a cash donation, or buying a set of postcards from the Bead Quilt site, contact Julia Pretl or Andrea Adams for more suggestions on ways you can help.
I'd like to thank Jeanette Shanigan and the Mat Su Valley Bead Society, and Alaska Airlines for helping to bring it up here so we could see it.
For past articles about the Bead Quilt, please check
The Bead Quilt
The Bead Quilt/San Diego, California