Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Anniversary

Hello Everyone,

Today marks an anniversary that I don't care to celebrate, however, I think it is important.  Do you know where you were 10 years ago today?  My daughter and I were living at Fort Bliss (El Paso) Texas and my husband was in Kuwait.  Ten years ago today began the war in Iraq.

My husband was over there with a Patriot Missile unit and remained in Kuwait, however, Saddam sent a few missiles their way, and they weren't able to intercept every one of them, but luckily no one was hurt. 

I can clearly remember taking my daughter to hockey practice.  As I sat waiting, I saw the other parents--Dads--hanging out and chatting away about their "regular" life and not even seeming to care that we were "at war."  I was sitting there thinking about my husband and all of our troops and friends who were now at risk and worrying.  At that time it really hit me how different military life is from civilian. 

But maybe you are wondering if this has anything to do with quilting?  Well, despite the fact that I use my husband's absences to plunge into some major quilting projects, there is something I wanted to share.  While the war was getting underway, I got a package in the mail from a dear Army/quilter friend.  She is big into "Dear Jane."  She had made me 18 paper-pieced Dear Jane blocks in patriotic colors.  I loved them!  It was such a thoughtful gift!  I couldn't think of how best to arrange them or put them together, so I put them away.  I would come across them every one in a while and try to think of "the perfect" way to arrange them, but I never got a brainwave.  Then a few years ago, I saw a picture of a quilt with an arrangement that I thought would work, so I book-marked it on my computer.  Finally a year ago, I pulled out those lovely blocks again and decided it was time to make them into a quilt.  The quilt I wanted to emulate had some great alternate blocks with a strong diagonal.  I drafted out a block in the size that I needed and  set about making them.  I loved that I could get an arrangement using all 18 of the blocks--that was one of the things that had prevented me from putting them together immediately.  Sixteen or 20 blocks would be easy to do, but 18 was a bit trickier.

I got the quilt together easily once I had a plan.  I even layered it and got it quilted and finished!  I love the way it turned out.  The blocks finish at 5 inches, by the way. 

I've had this completed for a year, but it was just now when I was looking at the photo that I see a big mistake.  Can you spot it? 

Have a great day!


  1. JoAnne it is just beautiful...what a wonderful setting. I'm working on Dear Jane blocks and really don't want to do the whole thing...this helps me see what I can do with less blocks...thank you! It's amazing!

  2. I am not good at picking out other people's mistakes ... but the only thing that I see on this GORGEOUS quilt is perhaps the red/blue 9 patches which form the chain through the quilt are the direction of the red/blue squares. You REALLY have to look to see it but if that's the "mistake" you're referring to I don't think it's a big one ... LOVE THIS QUILT! Makes me want to try my hand at a Dear Jane .... almost .... LOL Linda

  3. I'm with 45th Parallel.....if that's your mistake.....it's nothing! I really like the switch off in the blue/red lines.....gives more movement to the quilt! And those blocks are fantastic! What a wonderful gift she gave you!

    And I know exactly what you mean about military vs. civilian life. When the war started, my hubby was already retired from the Navy, but we had a son and DIL both serving. They've each made tours over there, and I'm so grateful they are safely home now. Life goes on day to day over here, but most folks don't have a clue what these brave souls do when they're serving. (And doesn't it make you crazy when there's some sort of scandal or uproar about something, and it taints there efforts in everyone's eyes?)

  4. It took me a while and I had to enlarge the photo... however, I like oopsies in quilts... adds character.

    I have family in the military so things like wars and shooting missiles get to me but I know it's much harder on military families, esp the separations. Thank YOU for your sacrifices as a military wife!

  5. The Dear Jane blocks looks great in the patriotic colors and I like the setting you chose. It works well for them. I come from a military family so I understand how different life is than for civilians. However, we were also so much closer because of it too!

  6. Live your DJ blocks and clever setting!

  7. I love DJs and this was a wonderful gift to get from a friend especially one that understood the sacrifices you were all making. I was a military Brat, Dad was in the Bataan Death March and a POW for 3 1/2 years. My oldest brother was in Vietnam. Most people don't get it at all unless they were also in the military and the changes it makes to your life before and after.

  8. Beautiful blocks and a fabulous setting. What a wonderful finish!

  9. Your quilt looks perfect to me. None of my immediate family have been in the military although I do have friends who are serving and uncles who served (one was MIA in Korea and never found) but I want you to know that I have the greatest respect and gratitude for you and your family along with the rest of our military. I am ashamed when our country does not support their efforts and sacrifices. I thank God every day for people like you!

  10. First of all, let me say that this quilt is wonderful. What a clever setting for such a generous gift. I can see what you mean about finding a good setting for the number of blocks you used. I do see the mistake but because the red and the blue are equal in strength, it is not glaring. It is so easy to flip a section and not notice it, I am sure more than one quilter has done exactly the same thing.(me included)
    What stands out most to me is the story behind the blocks and the memories it evokes. I am not from a military family, so I can't relate the way you do, but I do have respect for what soldiers and their families do. I seem so drawn to 1st and 2nd WW vets and their stories, but that is because it is what I am most familiar with as a Canadian. I cannot attend a Remembrance day ceremony and remain dry eyed. We will be in France for a month this summer and plan to visit the landing sites in Normandy...I suspect I will be an emotional mess, but it is something I have wanted to do for many years.
    Your quilt is a great way to honour your husband and many others like him. Bravo on a well thought out quilt!

  11. It took me several glances to see where the blue/red is flipped in a couple of rows and only YOU would notice it! It's beautiful and my family thanks you for your families sacrifice. I don't have any immediate family in the military and haven't for several years. Thank you!