My oldest brother called me on the phone and said, “I have a great idea for you – a new project!” The red flag went up right away; I knew this was going to be trouble.
He suggested that I make a quilt for a retiring two-star Admiral. He recommended that I make a block for each place the Admiral served during nearly 34 years of service in the United States Navy. His first suggestion was to applique the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, and then make a block of the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco. He added, “Maybe you can do a block with the Navy War College in Rhode Island and the US Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.”
I told you this was going to be a trouble.
Oh…and I wasn’t going to get paid for this quilt. I was going to do it for free because I ADORE the Admiral. Really, I do. I love the Admiral. She is my ever amazing sister-in-law who has proven you can be a successful military officer AND be an outstanding wife, mother of three fabulous kids, and grandmother of three precious grand-babies. And, to boot, she’s the best sister-in-law I could ever hope to have. I got started right away.
I began secretly stealing photos from the Admiral’s Facebook page from the various locations she had served. I did a lot of internet research finding images via Google searches. I was relieved when I got her Transcript of Naval Service to see that she had served in multiple locations twice. That meant I really only had to make ten individual blocks. Yay!
I didn’t applique the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco. However, I did do the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island where they lived when she served at Treasure Island. And I did applique the Vincent Thomas Bridge representing her service in Long Beach, California. And yes…I did the Acropolis of Athens Greece as a reminder of her service at the Greek Embassy and her command of the Greek language. (Oh…did I mention my sister-in-law is one of the smartest women I know? She really is amazing. And she runs marathons.)
The end result is that I got the quilt done today. It’s a surprise, and I’ll give it to her at the Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony one week from today. (See, I’m not procrastinating. I got it done early.) It was a labor of love even though I was sure I couldn’t possibly create such a quilt in the very beginning when my brother suggested it. My oldest brother…he pushed me to my limits. I did it because I adore him, too. Military spouses play a big role in the career success of every member of the military.
I love and appreciate ALL of our military members and the families that support them! Hats off to all of you!
This is our Admiral: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=486
Here is the Admiral’s quilt named, “Fair Winds and Following Seas.” Shhh… it’s a surprise!
(Photos of individual blocks were taken before the quilt was assembled and quilted.)