The Michael C Rothberg
September 11th Memorial Scholarship
23 May 2003
I want to thank you for being so patient and kind. I don’t think I’ve ever taken quite so long to make a quilt before…
Let me tell you about the patterns on the quilt. On the front is a block called “Mariner’s Compass” surrounded by a “Storm-at-Sea” pattern. The border is a pattern called “Snail’s Trail” which gives the effect of waves. I was inspired to combine the three patterns after seeing a similar arrangement in a quilt by a Canadian quilter named Dianne Jansson.
Within the “Storm-at-Sea” blocks are images representing Michael’s life. Obviously, the runner, skier, cyclist, and kayaker silhouettes represent sports he loved. The maple leaf and McGill logos are for college years in Canada, the Cantor-Fitzgerald logo for the work he loved and excelled at, a music fabric represents love of music, dance, and fun. A “beach” fabric for love of ocean and beach, a heart-in-hand represents his compassionate nature and willingness to always help others in a loving way. The dogwood fabric represents his love of nature and the blooming of his spirit as other remember him.
On the back of the quilt I printed out the picture you sent me as well as one of the World Trade Center, and the tributes from the cantor Fitzgerald web site. I also found a tribute to the World Trade Center online, which I thought, was nice and hope you don’t mind being included. Unfortunately, when I washed the quilt the pictures faded quite a bit. I’m not sure why that happened, but think it might actually be OK considering what you said about Michael being “unassuming”. The pictures originally were quite vivid, and he probably wouldn’t have liked a big, bright picture of himself right in the middle of the quilt.
Thank you again for the opportunity to do this. It has given me the chance to do something productive with the grief I've felt since September 11th. It still breaks my heart that so many wonderful people were lost and that there are actually humans on this planet who could have done such a thing. I know I will never understand it.
I hope this quilt gives you comfort. Please wrap yourself in it and feel the love of a world full of people who grieve with you.
All my love,
Signed by, Margaret Williams
P.S. Please let me know if I can ever make anything else for you, or anyone else in your family