Most of us over the age of 30 vividly remember the detail of their day on September 11, 2001. I was on a plane that safely landed at its destination. I flew to St. Louis, MO for a day to investigate a property and was supposed to fly back home the same day. Obviously, that did not happen. I did arrive home (Delaware, OH) safely the next day via a Greyhound bus. It was a fifteen hour bus ride full of people who had planned to fly that day. We all shared our stories in that moment of tragedy and were anxious to get home to our loved ones.
A few years later, I was working with a hospital system in New York City with a team of fire fighters. Both the hospital personnel and the fire fighters told their own traumatic stories. They talked of the patients they prepared to receive but never arrived. Or they tearfully shared their survival stories and memories of brothers and sisters that answered the call and never came home again.
Patriot Day should be a time for all of us to remember that we need to pull together to preserve our wonderful country and not allow petty differences, irresponsible behavior and intolerance to pull us apart. With this in mind, after a day at my long arm quilter, I sat down to design a Patriot Day Quilt.
Quilt has includes blocks to commemorate the sites of the attacks. The center block is called Washington’s Own (Finley, 1929) and celebrate the brave people who both survived and gave their lives at the Pentagon. The corner blocks , which look like a quarter of a sun, and the diamond border are called New York Beauty (Home Art Studios, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1933). These blocks are for victims of the World Trade Center. The cross-hatched blocks in the center of each side are Pennsylvania Cross Roads (Clara Stone, Practical Needlework, 1906). These four blocks on each side honor those passengers that fought the hijackers that crashed the plane in Stoney Creek, PA. The stars throughout the quilt are for all of our patriots on this day – those who survive, those who mourn and those still trying to cope with the event.
Maybe for the twentieth anniversary, I will turn this design into a quilt. I will use the time to reflect and count my blessings… Will you join me in that quest? In the meantime, hug those you love and cherish your time with them.
I would like to thank Jinny Beyer for her book The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, which allowed me to research these blocks.