NASA rocket to be wrapped with quilt

A quilt by Mercer Island resident Terry Pottmeyer is part of the international 2011 Dream Rocket project. - Contributed photo
A quilt by Mercer Island resident Terry Pottmeyer is part of the international 2011 Dream Rocket project.
— image credit: Contributed photo

A little more than a year from now, Terry Pottmeyer’s artwork will be exhibited on a 365-foot NASA rocket in Huntsville, Ala.

The Island mother has submitted a handcrafted quilt panel that reads “Our dream... a world where every child is cherished” as part of the international 2011 Dream Rocket project.

Pottmeyer’s textile will be combined with thousands of others into a massive quilt that wraps around a replica of NASA’s historic Saturn V Rocket, which stands in front of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The spectacle will be unveiled in May 2011, in commemoration of President John F. Kennedy’s May 25, 1961, pledge of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” The historic feat was accomplished eight years later on July 21, 1969, when American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.

The Dream Rocket project aims to “connect art and education through a global collaborative initiative” and “inspire individuals all over the world not only to dream, but also to recognize their power to pursue their dreams,” according to project founder Jennifer Marsh.

In less than 14 months, the 37-story-tall rocket will be covered with more than 8,000 fabric and mixed media panels that represent “dreams for our future and visionaries of our past,” Marsh explained. The rocket will show off its colorful patchwork for 60 days.

So far, Marsh has collected panels from across the United States and more than a dozen countries worldwide. Her goal is that the finished rocket will exhibit artwork from 100 nations and all 50 states.

Pottmeyer is helping Marsh reach this goal.

“I reserved a spot on the rocket in November and wanted to express a dream of a world where every child is cherished,” Pottmeyer said. “I asked a group of women that I know who have kind hearts for children to send me descriptors of what a child needs to thrive, then I condensed the input and created a panel for the rocket.”

Her 2-foot-by-2-foot panel, which was sent off to Huntsville last week, includes 18 colorful hearts with various words on “what a child needs to thrive” inside. The ideas, all of which were thought up by Pottmeyer and her friends, range from “mentoring, family and community” to “healthy food, freedom, faith and encouragement,” with the word “love” inscribed in every heart.

Islanders Renee Christenson, Cassie Benz, Myra Lupton, Mary Margaret Welch, Judy Witmer, Kim Schjelderup, Ruth Jacobson, Susan Kaplan, Carol Davis, Cindy Goodwin, Gene Robertson and Claire Jacobson Phillips contributed.

Before Pottmeyer’s quilt patch is added to the Saturn V rocket, it will be on exhibit at the Earlyworks Children’s Museum Show in Huntsville.

According to Marsh, once the Dream Rocket quilt is disassembled, the crafted panels will go on a three-year tour around the country, allowing citizens to view the art.

The panels can currently be viewed at the Dream Rocket flickr page:

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