Piecing together memorial to victims


October 22, 2001|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SINCE SEPT. 11, memorial quilt projects have been almost as popular throughout this county and across the nation as flying the American flag or purchasing patriotic bumper stickers and T-shirts.

"Many folks have found that they are healing one stitch at a time," said quilter Cheryl Musselman of Westminster.

Quilters in Carroll County are being asked to sew a few squares for an international project that will lead to the creation of a quilt to commemorate those who died in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania.

The finished quilt will span more than the length of a football field and travel around the world, much as the AIDS quilt does, project organizers said.

At the heart of this ambitious undertaking are Musselman and her daughter-in-law Kelly Brennen, who lives in Arizona. Musselman is in charge of a database that logs names and addresses of folks who quilt squares. Brennen is in charge of promoting and coordinating the project in five states, including Maryland.

Brennen also is coordinating a Children's Memorial Quilt to honor victims of the Sept. 11 attacks that will be stitched by children nationwide.

Directions, patterns and pictures of completed blocks can be found online at www.wtcmemorial quilt.com.

"We are asking quilters around the world to follow the simple directions on the Web site and create one or more 12-inch-by-12-inch squares, called blocks, and send them to us," Musselman said. "Once we record, organize and document every block, they will be sent to a quilting guild that will complete quilt sections and send them back to us.

After the quilt is complete, organizers will assign a block to every victim of the tragedy.

"I was down at Kelly's in Arizona working on the database when the mailman walked up the driveway with the first 25 squares. It was around 12:30 in the afternoon," Musselman said.

"By 3 p.m., the first section was finished by a woman who is a long-arm quilter. When I saw the quilt, I touched every piece of fabric. My jaw dropped. It is so beautiful," she said.

Organizers estimate that they received more that 1,200 handmade blocks during the first few weeks of the project's promotion. In addition to contributions from many states, blocks have poured in from France, England, South America, Japan, Australia, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

"Even people who can't sew are trying to find someone to sew for them so they can participate," said Dave Snodgrass, media relations coordinator for the project and an Arizona resident.

"As the quilt is constructed, those who build it, contribute to it, transport it and view it will have time of silent reflection to remember those who have fallen," Snodgrass added. "This project is communication of the fact that even in horrific events, something beautiful can happen."

Quilters' contributions are due by Oct. 31. No date has been set for kids to send squares.

Information: 410-239-2147.

West Side group meets

The West Side Community Organization will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Paul's Church to discuss several projects for Westminster's West Main Street.

"We'll have three people at the meeting who can answer questions about everything from the renovations of the old movie theater to questions about the property maintenance code," said Robin Kable, who founded the group with Main Street resident Debbie Finch.

Katrina T. Tucker, Westminster's town planner; B. Scott Jeznach, code enforcer; and Stanley T. Ruchlewicz, economic development specialist, will share their visions for Westminster and field questions.

The church is at Bond and Green streets.

Information: 410-848-6108.

Living treasure honored

Western Maryland College sophomore Kathleen Miller honors her brother Michael Miller as her living treasure this week.

"Although I honor all the members of my family, this week I want to pay tribute to my brother," she said. "His unfailing courage and optimism in the face of personal hardships both inspires and amazes me. He is my hero."

Living Treasures in Carroll County are featured at the end of this column each week. Send in a few lines honoring someone who has made a difference in your life.

Their gesture of kindness may be big or small. What matters is that it made a positive difference. Send to: Lisa Breslin, 35 Ridge Road, Westminster 21157.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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