Quilt House Unveils ‘United in Memory’ Collection

Quilt House Unveils ‘United in Memory’ Collection

International Quilt Study Center & Museum to Display Recent 9/11 Memorial Acquisition

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum (IQSCM) will soon showcase one of its recent acquisitions, a collection of quilts created to honor those who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Seven panels from “United in Memory 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt” will be on display at Quilt House, 1523 N. 33rd St., Aug. 26 – Oct. 9, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the attacks.

“The IQSCM is proud and honored to provide a home for this historic collection,” said Leslie Levy, Ardis and Robert James Executive Director of Quilt House. “The United in Memorial Quilt is an iconic reminder of a pivotal event in American history and it is important we preserve it for posterity.”

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. On account of its large size, only a selection of panels shows at any given time.

In addition to appearing at Quilt House this fall, 10 panels will be on display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Nov. 3 – 6. The world’s largest quilt expo, the festival typically draws more than 50,000 attendees during its run.

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. 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.

The IQSCM acquired the collection in September 2015.

“Quilts have always had the power of commemorating events, whether on a large scale or individual basis,” said Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections. “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.”

During the display at Quilt House, the museum will offer additional programming. Visit for more information about the show and programs.

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum is located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Sundays 1-4 p.m. April through October. Go online to to plan your visit.

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum's mission is to uncover the world through the cultural and artistic significance of quilts, and to research, acquire, and exhibit quilts in all their forms and expressions. Established in 1997, the International Quilt Study Center is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.