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New Flag Quilt for an Old Chum

I had to do it. I made yet another flag quilt. This quilt has been in the works for a little while and since it was finally delivered to it’s recipient, I am now at liberty to share the pictures without spoiling any surprises. 
You may remember my flag quilt blocks I started during the Olympics. They have been assembled into a quilt for one of my oldest friends (not that we’re old). E. and I have been friends for a long time – since we were 6 years old! And we’ve been obsessed with the Olympics ever since watching the Mary Lou Retton win the gymnastics gold medal in 1984. So it only seemed fitting to make a quilt, not only to commemorate our Olympic obsession, but also to commemorate countries we loved and visited together. 
Besides our Olympic obsession we also share a love of the UK – specifically London. (Here we are doing a very impressive Winston Churchill impression.)  We lived in London as University students on a semester abroad in 1993. A while ago. Which you could probably guess by the baggy faded-wash jeans we are wearing. While living in London we also visited France, Scotland and Ireland. It was an amazing part of my life made that much better by sharing it with a very good friend.
So I incorporated many of those countries’ flags into the quilt. The countries represented above are (l to r, top to bottom): the United Kingdom, Austria, Scotland, France, USA, England, Taiwan, Ireland, and the UK again. We never actually visited Austria together but E’s family has lots of connections in Austria and we were both raised on the Sound of Music and could probably quote entire scenes, so it seemed appropriate. Plus it fit the color scheme…

Here’s a little bit of flag trivia for you all: the UK flag is officially called the Union Jack only at sea, and other wise called the Union Flag. And the Union Flag is three different flags combined: the Cross of St. Andrew for Scotland (blue with the white X), the cross of St. George for England (white with the red cross), and the cross of St. Patrick (white with the red X).  Pretty neato, right? Now you’re all ready for final Jeopardy when that question comes. (Can you imagine if the US flag was a mash-up of all the States flags? Probably not this cool.)

I was excited to discover the Cross of St. Patrick (bottom center) because I really wanted Ireland represented in this quilt, but orange and green were going to throw-off the whole color scheme. (I’m desperately hoping I haven’t sparked an international crisis or unintentionally offended anyone by doing it this way. I have made a an Irish tri-color flag quilt too. I have equal appreciation for all Irish flags…) Let me repeat, no offense was meant to any of the flags or the people of the countries represented here.
Finally, this flag is for Taiwan (and yay! It also was the right colors!) I even dusted off some dormant paper-piecing skills to create that sun. I’m quite proud of it. (Just don’t look too closely.)
A little over a year after we came home from living in London, E and I both volunteered as missionaries for our Church for 18 months. I happened to go back to England and E went to Taiwan.  Even though we were far apart and in different cultures, it was neat to share that experience at the same time.
The back.
I’m so proud of myself, I even made a label for the quilt! I got this print during the London games from Spoonflower when they were having a fq promotion. Perfect in so many ways.
The adorable quilting was done by Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting.
And there it is, a happy, sentimental quilt for a dear old chum. (Not that we’re old.)  
I don’t have a pattern for this quilt. The Union Jack blocks are from the Victory Garden quilt pattern.  I drafted all the other flags and made them the same size (I think 15″ x 20″) and then added strips to the tops and bottoms of the flags to create (9) 20″ square blocks.  I did the same on the Norway flags quilt a few summers ago. 
I love to make quilts for people that I love. It’s one of my goals to be more proactive doing so.  It’s been three years since I lost my friend Sarah and I’ve vowed ever since then, not to wait for the “perfect time” or occasion to give a quilt, but to just do it as soon as I can get my act together and make one.

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Nedra
    November 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Wonderful job Amy! And I loved hearing the story behind the quilt. Your friend will LOVE her quilt, so symbolic of the times you have shared together. The variety of flags makes me think of a quilt Nanette made a few years back that represented her heritage. I would like to make some for my grandchildren.

  • Reply
    Leila
    November 15, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Beautiful! Now I am wanting to make a flag quilt with all of the places I have been!<br /><br />I went on the BYU Theatre Spring Study abroad in London in 1994. Amazing! I would love to go back.

  • Reply
    jlk
    November 15, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Oh my goodness. I love this! I&#39;m sure your friend will, too.

  • Reply
    Laurie, the girls and Scott
    November 15, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Love, love, love. Can&#39;t wait to go back with both of you!

  • Reply
    Debra
    November 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Oh my this is beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Shelly
    November 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I just adore your flag quilts. Maybe I&#39;ll make one too!! My sister and I visited Ireland (the only place I have been overseas.) I thing commemerating that into a quilt would be lovely. <br /><br />Thanks for the story too – always makes it that much more special!

  • Reply
    Melissa Corry
    November 15, 2012 at 11:01 am

    What an awesome quilt Amy!!! I love it!!!

  • Reply
    Michele
    November 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Absolutely wonderful. And I so agree, life is too short to wait to make a quilt for someone you care about.

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    November 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Fab gift, I&#39;m sure she loved it!

  • Reply
    Claire
    November 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Amy, that is so beautiful! I am sure she loves her quilt – I know that I would love it…if you ever want to make me one I glad accept (LOL). I love the photos too – it&#39;s fummy when you look back at old times and clothes, hair, shoes etc. For me it&#39;s usually about the really awful spiral perm, faded jeans and go-go ruffled skirts!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    that is so wonderful…and so full of memories…your friend must feel sooo special!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    November 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this quilt!

  • Reply
    Elisabeth Dibble
    November 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    The best quilt EVER! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it SO much, Amy!!!

  • Reply
    CathyK
    November 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    What a fantastic job, Amy!!! Looks like a gift that will be treasured forever!

  • Reply
    Token Asian Friend
    November 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Yay for the Taiwan Flag!!! Thank you for quilting that!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    November 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

    That quilt is gorgeous and so is the story that goes with it! Your &quot;old&quot; friend will love and cherish it!!! I had no idea that the UK flag is composed of three, that is really interesting. It was my country&#39;s (Canada) flag until I was 11 and we called it the Union Jack. It was such a difficult flag to draw because all the measurements are different. I love quilts with meaning.

  • Reply
    Derrith
    November 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I really LOVED this quilt. The colors and the graphic quality of the flags really popped. I really enjoy checking your blog every few days. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Ginette
    November 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    What an awesome quilt with a great story!! I am sure your friend appreciates it!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Arkison
    November 19, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I had the same Barn Jacket at that time! Exact same.<br />

    • Reply
      amy smart
      November 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Hah! I had that coat FOREVER. Barn jackets were all the rage back then…

  • Reply
    kat
    November 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Amazing! Just wanted to share though that the union jack at sea thing is a not-so-urban legend, aka a myth! <br /><br />Thank you for your inspiring post!

    • Reply
      amy smart
      November 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Really?? I was told that when I made my Union Jack quilt this summer and then I thought, &quot;Oh no! I&#39;ve offended all of Great Britain! So this time I need to get it right!&quot; Haha!

  • Reply
    kat
    November 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Amazing! Just wanted to share though that the union jack at sea thing is a not-so-urban legend, aka a myth! <br /><br />Thank you for your inspiring post!

  • Reply
    Quilting with a Purpose - Preserving Memories - Diary of a Quilter - a quilt blog
    June 27, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    […] other quilts with meaning that I’ve given away – likeย my Irish flags quiltย and other flag quilts for friends –ย but I need to do more for my own […]

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