Land of the Free?

July 3, 2015

I’m thinking about the meaning of freedom on this Independence Day.

Patriotism in the Skagit Valley

Patriotism in the Skagit Valley

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”  — Abraham Lincoln

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  — Nelson Mandela

“. . .  my liberty depends on you being free, too.”  — Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President in Eulogy for the Honorable Clementa Pinckney”


Of Thee I Sing

July 4, 2013

The kitchen window at my Dad's house

The kitchen window at my Dad’s house

Embroidery by my sister Margaret

Embroidery by my sister Margaret

Happy Fourth of July!  This is my fifth Fourth of July post, and it’s fun to look back on my past posts to see which thoughts and images I chose to celebrate this quintessential summer holiday.  Here are links to my old posts:  2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  Enjoy!



“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
— The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Red, white, and blue

Vintage canning jar with small flags

Fourth of July patchwork

Flag in felted wool

When you consider today’s contentious and polarized political climate, it truly seems a marvel that the delegates of the thirteen colonies came together to unanimously declare their independence.  And we descendents are very gratified that they did. We too often take these rights for granted and seldom ponder what they mean until we feel they are threatened.

Marilynn Robinson talks a bit about rights in When I Was a Child I Read Books:

“Jefferson says that we are endowed with ‘certain’ rights, and that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are ‘among these.’  He does not claim to offer and exhaustive list.  Indeed, he draws attention to the possibility that other ‘unalienable’ rights might be added to it.”

Robinson points out that the framers of our Declaration of Independence were quite clear where these rights come from: “Each person is divinely created and given rights as a gift from God.  And since these rights are given to him by God, he can never be deprived of them without defying divine intent.”

Life.  Liberty.  The pursuit of happiness.  What other God-given rights might you add to the list?

Lady Liberty appliqued wall-hanging, pieced by my sister, quilted by me, in 2000

In celebration of our nation’s birthday, this Fourth of July, I will share with you my collection of handmade quilted items in red, white, and blue.  I’ve made these over the years from fabric scraps.  They’ve become treasured holiday keepsakes.

Star Soup quilted wall hanging, made in 1995

Glory Be quilted wall hanging, made in 1998

Pledge of Allegiance, embroidered and hand-quilted while on a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1999

Red, beige and blue scrap quilt made in 1999

Midnight Sky quilt made from old blue jean scraps, 1998