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.
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.
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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