Ann Kreutz of Aurelia created "America, 9-11-01, "A New Day of Infamy" for the America; From the Heart exhibition at the International Quilt Festival, which was on view at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas from October 31 through November 4.
Ann Kreutz is one of hundreds of quilt artists who responded to a heart-felt request for art quilts by Karey Bresenhan, the director of the Festival. She was compelled to organize this special tribute to honor those who died in the September 11 tragedy, recognize the nation's grief, and provide a message of healing and strength for the country.
Viewers of this amazing collection of art quilts have commented, "You mean they made these quilts since "IT" happened?"
Ninety Four of these exhibited quilts were available through a Silent Auction, held both at Festival, and through and Internet Auction. $26,615 was raised through this silent auction with the highest bid being $2010 for "Resolute" by Caryl Gaubatz, Tx. All proceeds will go to the families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. If you would like to view the auctioned America: From the Heart quilts, visit the web site www.clvquilts.com.
Kreutz remembers the date well.
"On September 11, I was on a "Quilt Shop Hop" with three of my friends. At the first shop on our list, we saw, on the tiny TV screen, what had happened. With shock and horror, I watched and listened to the details. I prayed for the victims, their families, and for my niece, who works near the Pentagon. All through the day, we kept up on the latest at each shop we stopped at. The comfort of fabrics and quilting friends kept us going that fateful day," Kreutz said.
"When designing my quilt for this exhibit, I decided to use some of the fabrics that I purchased on that shop hop. Ten of the fabrics in this quilt are from that trip. I wanted to catalog the events of that day, as well as commemorate some of the people and slogans that have become well-known since September 11.
"The cross is the primary means of comfort for not only me, but for many of the accounts of the families I have read about."
The families of Freedom Scholarship Fund goal is to raise $100 million in scholarship funds to provide for the children and spouses of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the attacks on September 11. This help will extend to the families of firefighters and police officers, flight crews and passengers, and any worker/employees in the Pentagon or in any company housed in the former World Trade Center.
One hundred percent of all donations will be used for scholarships. To learn more about the fund or make a direct donation, visit www.familiesoffreedom.org.
A book will be produced by C & T Publishing, due out in spring. All the 250 plus quilts from the special exhibit, America: From the Heart, will be included in this book. All the proceeds from the book will also be given to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. Sponsorship for the book is being requested in order to have it printed in the USA. This would mean it would be ready for sale sooner. Needed are individuals and companies who have a compassion for charity and patriotism to donate a total of $25,000 to help this cause. If you are interested in more information, or would like to contribute to this sponsorship, please send to: Karey Bresenhan, c/o AMERICA book, International Quilt Festival, 7660 Woodway, Suite 550, Houston, TX, 77063.
Karey Bresenhan, founder of the International Quilt Festival, reflects on the quilts from artists like Kreutz.
"Many people could only view one 16 foot stretch at a time, because they would be overcome with emotion and have to do something else before they could absorb any more of the exhibit. Others would stand and weep quietly. You could see others visibly straighten their shoulders and lift their chins - the quilts truly spoke to them of the need for strength, courage, and determination. In 27 years of running Quilt Festival, I have honestly never before seen such reactions. Even now, I get goose bumps at the memories of what this exhibit meant. I believe that , in years to come, this will be seen as one of those unforgettable exhibits that live forever in the quilt world."