Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

My quilt life has been put on hold for quite a few months as we packed, moved, unpacked and settled into our new home. Next week I hope to finally start to set up my quilt studio!

In 1976 we were living near Philadelphia. It was a wonderful time to be there! We spent all summer taking the train to downtown Philly, and walking from one historical sight to another. We saw the musical 1776 performed for free on Independence Mall. We wore buttons saying "Ask Me", declaring to the tourist that we knew our way around.

When several years ago I saw Bicentennial era embroidery patterns on eBay, I had to buy them. And I made my quilt, Bicentennial Memories.

The images include George Washington cutting down a cherry tree; Independence Hall, a George Washington medallion, the Liberty Bell, and  Betsy Ross sewing the flag. Thomas Jefferson was adapted from clip art. Martha Washington is a vintage Redwork pattern. The last two blocks are the American eagle and the flag of 1776. The red and white fabrics have a small cherry print on them.

In my collection is a hanky and scarf from the Bicentennial.

One of my favorite hanky designers was Tammis Keefe, and I have collected the Philadelphia souvenir handkerchiefs she designed in the 1960s. They feature famous landmarks. Here is her Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall.

Another souvenir hanky of Independence Hall:

I had always an interest in early American history, but being in Philadelphia during the Bicentennial really increased my interest. I have read such books as David McCullough's 1776, which details all the battles of that year...something I would never have considered previous to living so close to history!

Happy Birthday, America. And best wishes for many more to come.