When I was young, I remember my Grandmother explaining to me why she still proudly hung a small banner with 4 blue stars in her window. This, she said, was a banner honoring her sons who served in WWII. As each of her boys volunteered for service, another star was added to the banner. She also spoke of each family she knew whose banner had a gold star, sons who gave their lives during the war. I remember how proud she was and how important she felt it was to honor those who were sacrificing for all of us.
That memory struck a cord with me. My sister-in-law is a retired physician in NYC. She has come out of retirement to volunteer at several local hospitals, helping to care for the many Covid-19 patients swamping the health care system in New York. Her wife is a Physician’s Assistant who also on the front lines working to save lives. They, like many people in our lives, are the everyday heroes who are risking their lives and sacrificing much to help us all.
So I decided to sew a Red Star to honor these two women in my life. Red is the color most often associated with the corona virus. Some how it felt apt in the midst of my sewing cotton face masks also to create Red Star blocks — a visual symbol honoring the many people who are sacrificing for the greater good. Health care workers, first responders, grocery store workers, delivery workers…. the many people who are supporting us to stay home.
As more people each day lose their fight against the corona virus, I also felt it important to honor their memories with Gold Hearts. My first Gold Heart honors the bus driver whose video highlighted the danger of becoming infected that transit workers face each day. Tragically, this bus driver lost his fight against this terrible disease.
In these days of staying together by staying apart, I am reminded who we are as quilters ….. a community of individuals who selflessly offer help and compassion to others. It it this thought that has inspired me to start the Red Star / Gold Heart Campaign. I am hoping you will join me in sewing Red Stars to honor family members, friends, neighbors, and others who are sacrificing so much to help us all.
Sew blocks of Red Stars. Share your block designs with others. Support your local quilt shop by asking them to kit out star and heart blocks. Start block exchanges to create quilts for healthcare workers and first responders and grocery workers and delivery men. Make Red Start quilts to give to neighbors who need assistance. Make quilts for hospitals and care facilities to let me them know how much we appreciate them. Reach out to those who have lost loved ones and friends. Honor those who have been lost with Gold Heart quilts. Raffle Red Star quilts to raise money for local food banks or other important causes in your neighborhood.
Lets do what we do as quilters ……. create beautiful quilts to honor and bring comfort to others.
I would love to see a sea of Red Star/ Gold Heart quilts blanket our country during this time of great need. We make quilts to comfort others, and in doing so we comfort ourselves.
Please share with me what your are doing on my AnnShawQuilting accounts on FaceBook and Instagram. You can email me at this special Red Star / Gold Heart email address: RedStarGoldHeart@gmail.com
I am honored to be a part of such a giving. caring community. Join me in honoring others.