I was really excited when the Fed-Ex delivery man came up our drive to deliver a package that I had been waiting to arrive sometime this month. I had received an email earlier this month announcing that this quilt would be returning home soon. Let me go back about 1 1/2 years and tell you the story. I had been reading one of my quilt magazines one day when I ran across this article about a quilt challenge that was looking for quilts that honored naval aviation. If accepted, they would travel for 1 year to different venues. The name of the challenge was "Thread Tails to Vapor Trails." The purpose was to promote awareness of naval aviation and to raise funds to help send kids to summer flight camps. The quilts were to be 40", it had to depict naval aviation in some manner. The quilts would be divided into smaller traveling shows to be sent out where ever requests were received from and also they would hang as a whole group at as many Blue Angel Air Shows as possible. The quilts could be donated, to be auctioned off at the end, to raise additional funds for the cause. I chose not to donate mine as I intended to give it to DH to honor his 20+ years serving as a fighter pilot in the United States Navy. So are you ready to see the photos yet? First of all the title of my quilt was "Blissful Ignorance" taken from the quote of the same title by George Will. As I was thinking about ideas for this quilt I visited DH's classroom at school and I read this quote that was pinned to his bulletin board. So that is where the idea came from for this quilt. No further ado, I will reveal the photos now. The first one is of the whole quilt.
This photo shows the panel that I printed out on fabric via my computer with the "Blissful Ignorance" quote.
I hope you are able to read the quote, if not you can google it. I would post a link to it but I have been having trouble with linking up sites so that is on my list of things to figure out.
The next photo is a detail of the carrier, and it is based on a photo of the USS Stennis, I chose that carrier as my model since our youngest son was stationed aboard the Stennis at the time I was creating the quilt. The detail also shows the eagle and the shadows of F-18's on the deck of the carrier as they were flying over head. The eagle represents all of our naval air forces and our country.
Here is a detail of just the eagle. I love to include eagles in my quilts and to quilt them.
The other things in this quilt that I included for symbolism are, 1. the map fabric, it represents the far reaching influence that our Navy has. My husband was assigned overseas twice with the French Navy as a means to foster good relations and share ideas and knowledge. (Our 2 youngest children were born in France.) 2. The eagle is to represent the strength of our Navy and our country. 3. The uneven bottom border represents the limitless boundries that are available to anyone serving their country and once again the far reaching influence we have. You can go many places and do many things that are not possible otherwise, you can also give up your life for your country and it's causes, unfortunately. 4. I also wanted to make a statement in this day when there are many in this free country who are opposed to keeping "IN GOD WE TRUST" on our currency. I wanted to tie the mission of naval aviation, power projection, together with the belief that this great country was founded on. In God we Trust + Power Projection. If we ever forget that it is our loving Father in Heaven who gives us the ability, or the power to do anything, then we will truly be a country that will fall faster than the World Trade Center Towers on that dreadful day of Sept 11, 2001.
I am off my soap box now and I hope that you have enjoyed the photos of this quilt that I am so proud of. Perhaps someday, in 100 years, it will be regarded as a statement just as quilts that the women made during the Civil War are for us today. One last photo, this letter was included with the quilt when it was returned. It is from Vice Admiral Gerald Hoewing, my husband had the honor to fly with him.