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The Patriotic Quilt

Recently I made a patriotic themed quilt for my partner John to go next to his framed U.S. flag from a mission in Iraq his adopted son Kyle, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, dedicated in his honor.

When I purchased the panel a month or so ago from Missouri Star Quilt Company I was feeling strangely patriotic. Now I have mixed feelings but I like the way the quilt came out and how it looks next to the mission flag, which I will show you later in this post.

Here is the panel with the piecing in progress:

2020-08-25_18-35-37_061I made a lot of “flying geese” using the quick method for flying geese and had a lot of little trimmings to throw out but it was better then the slower way to may flying geese!

2020-08-24_11-09-42_2842020-08-24_11-10-25_9322020-08-24_11-10-01_225Here is the finished quilt next to the framed mission flag:

IMG_20200826_1600492020-08-26_16-15-39_6822020-08-26_16-15-29_378As you can tell, I machine quilted it myself (smile).

I mentioned earlier in this post, when I purchased this panel (thanks to a lovely birthday Missouri Star Quilt Company gift certificate from my friend Michele) I was feeling strangely patriotic.

I think I am still feeling patriotic but I am also feeling fairly discouraged and a little sad about the state of  my country. However, I am trying to focus on all the good people here and not the “less good” (and I am not talking politics as I am fairly disillusioned by both sides of the U.S. political parties).

My parents raised us to be patriotic, my father was even born on the 4th of July (Independence Day) and served his country is the U.S. Army.

Even though as people of African decent our ancestors were brought to the country against their will, I came from a family who tried to make the best they could of a not so good situation (Stories My Father Told Me). We focused on education (I come from a long line of teachers) and did not let racial discrimination hold us down. I was taught to keep moving forward and to focus on raising others up (for example my father worked as a social worker with gangs in New York City after finishing his Masters Degree in the early 1960s and then was the head of the Urban League in several major cities; and my mother worked as a Director of  a Head Start Program).

The 4th of July used to be an important holiday for me, always celebrated (plus it was my father’s birthday!). I loved wearing red, white and blue in honor of the U.S. flag. As a kid I loved standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each morning at school; and I loved to sing the National Anthem at the top of my lungs.

But I’ve been struggling over the past 4 years and I’ve been embarrassed by this country’s leadership (both sides of the political spectrum) who seem to be overall very “self-serving”, intentionally polarizing this country, and spending most of their time “pointing fingers”.  I feel like my heart is broken…at times actually shattered.

However, this is the only country I have, and to hate it just makes me even sadder and more heart broken. So I’ve decided despite all the strife and unhappy stuff going on in the U.S. to remain patriotic and still believe in my country.

I am just sharing my feelings and I am not making any particular political point. I respect that others may feel quite different and thanks for reading my musings.

We should really love each other in peace and harmony, instead we're  fussin' n ... | PureLoveQuotes

55 thoughts on “The Patriotic Quilt”

  1. Hi Tierney, Your patriotic quilt is amazing and it accents the mission flag so well! I can totally relate to how you’re feeling about our country right now…it seems as though everyone is more worried about being ‘right’ and everyone else being ‘wrong’ 😦 What ever happened to good old COMPROMISE? The constant name calling (from both sides) is both juvenile and dangerous and I don’t see things getting better after the election…no matter who wins 😦 It’s a very unsettling time…

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  2. Tierney, I totally understand how you are feeling! This country is a giant mess right now and can only hope that things improve drastically when November rolls around( yes, I am pointing fingers!). Your quilt panel looks great with your stars surrounding it and I’m sure your partner was super pleased with it. Peace to you.

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  3. It is certainly unsettling. I have tears in my eyes reading your post. I can only keep hoping we will get off this path of winner take all and turning the “other” side into the evil bad guys.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this “peace” Tierney. I feel the same way this time in history. We have to stay positive and keep moving forward like you said. I love the patriotic quilt and I love flying geese especially using the Lock block system.:)

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  5. I think the quilt is lovely – particularly as it’s in subdued shades of blue and red. I hope your partner’s son appreciates it. As for your comment about current times, I think many leaders are challenging our views. I am British, sometimes embarrassed to be.

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    1. Thank you Knitnkwilt for reminding us! That is exactly what happened in 1776. Despite the fact that only white male landowners were actually going to benefit from our independence from Britain at that time, it started a process. The process is far from over and we are just going through a particularly ugly part of it, but the process continues if we don’t flee from its responsibilities. And thank you Tierney for sharing your feelings about our current state. I largely share them although I do not hesitate to point fingers on my own platform.

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    2. Yeah they were microscopic so it would’ve been a really tiny HST quilt ha ha Ha… Your comment is making me laugh so hard that’s awesome… But I guess I could’ve glued the HST’s together 🙂

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  6. Great work, Tierney! Thanks for sharing your reflections — I share your heartbreak at current events. My great-grandad & grandad were Black soldiers who served in/with the US Army. I understand and empathize with what serving in the army, and the flag, meant to them (and the strength and hope it took for them to serve, given the discrimination they had experienced). Your thoughts on loving the only country we have is really profound. I hope the country can acknowledge its history, make changes, and heal. Sending you hugs and solidarity. ❤


  7. I love your quilt and thank you for this very positive and well-written post! I too am hoping for a return to a more sane and decent way of relating to each other. I am likewise not thrilled with either side of our political spectrum right now, but I believe in this country! Thank you also for sharing some of your family history – it’s always good to get to know blog friends 🙂

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  8. I love your quilt and your message. I had a teacher tell us once the trimmings you had are quilt seeds. She puts them in mason jars and gives them to the quilt recipient. She tells them they are quilt seeds. If you plant them they will grow another quilt. The recipients love it.

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  9. I feel your ‘patriotic angst’. We are certainly being tested as a nation. Your quilt reminds me of that and that it MUST be “United We Stand”. It’s a beautiful quilt and fortuitously timed, your work is, as always, amazing. I’m/we’re with you – stay strong.

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  10. You have traditions that I do not have, although right now my country (NZ) is coming up to our political elections which have already been postponed because of C/19 – so besides C/19 there is political jousting – fairly minor considering we are a country the size of Colorado (land size) and 5 million people.

    I note your difficulties and wonder if you should focus on you and your family traditions of honor…uphold them for you and so forth. Your quilt panel looks well – beside another family memento of a time when life was different (I’m not making much sense, methinks)

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  11. Your star blocks are so amazing and sharp! Beautiful.
    I also grew up in a patriotic family. I understand your hearbreak over what is currently happening. It makes me sad to hear people tear down our country, and each other. It was built by flawed people (the only kind of people I’ve ever met) but it is the only country I know of that left so many opportunities for self-correction. Limited terms instead of monarchs or dictatorial regimes that require deaths to overturn, not to mention the continual amending of what we already have in place. Even though it was not always interpretted for women and people of color, the original writings have allowed us to constantly refine as we grow in understanding. I think it is beautiful! It seems like your post has struck a chord with a lot of people; I hope that all the positive responses have given you hope. 🙂

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  12. Absolutely beautiful quilt Tierney! I made a patriotic quilt years ago. There is something about the red, white and blue that is so wonderful! I wish I could show you the quilt I paper pieced for my mom, a piano teacher for about 50 years. It was all black and white and paper pieced with musical notes, grand piano, scale, music stand etc. It was the most fun I ever had making a quilt. My parents just moved back home from Florida and she had someone hang it up on the wall in her music studio. It brought back so many memories.

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    1. That sounds like an amazing quilt that you worked on! I bet it is well cherished! Thanks so much for your comments and I don’t know if I realize that you are a Quilter besides an excellent cook 🙂

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  13. I’m weighing in late, but I’m right there with you in terms of your comments on our country. You patriotic quilt is amazing! I absolutely love it! Loved learning about you and your family. I too am a “military brat.” Most of the men in my family have served (or are currently serving) in the armed forces representing every branch. Also like you, I’m disillusioned with both sides of US politics. I think your choice of choosing to believe in our country is a good one…our core values seem to have gone underground, but I believe they are still there. I’m actually a Christian and I’ve found that it’s helpful to get our eyes off of each other and on to God. It’s also quite helpful to get ourselves off of each other and look for ways to serve others and/or give back. You continue to inspire others not only with your art, but also with your words, thoughts, and actions.

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