In the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, journalism professor Sharon Bass spent weeks living with the visual coverage of the destruction.
She and some of her students at Kansas University created an exhibit showing the front pages of newspapers across the world on 9/11.
After spending so much time with those images, Bass noticed themes emerging. Photographers chose to capture people running from the wreckage, or firefighters walking toward it. What stuck with Bass was the image of the wrecked towers against the sky.
By January 2002, she decided she wanted to create something to honor the tragedy.
“Looking at all the ways people acted and responded to this — it was a powerful influence,” said Bass, now retired. “I think I did it to honor the loss, but also to honor the sacrifice and the spirit of survival, courage and generosity.”
Bass crafted a quilt, which depicts the wreckage of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
“The destruction is what really stuck with me,” Bass said.
She finished the quilt in time for the first anniversary of 9/11, and it was displayed in Sarah’s Fabrics, 925 Mass., in downtown Lawrence. Bass said she may eventually donate the piece to a firehouse, but for now it is on display in her home.
For Bass, creating the piece was a way to recognize the good with the bad.
“What moved me the most was all of the ways so many people responded, wanting to help,” Bass said. “The police. The firefighters. The ordinary people who were galvanized to do something for somebody else.”