Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jean Ann with her Barbara Fritchie Star...

Editors note: I asked Jean Ann for something patriotic that would be ideal for our upcoming RED White and Blue Blog hop....Her block and story will no doubt inspire many of you..., perhaps inspire you to make a block from it....thanks Jean Ann...

Here is a star block with a patriotic story that is more fiction than truth, but it is still a favorite story in the USA. I will put the directions to make the quilt on my blog today. 

Barbara Fritchie Star

The center star in the quilt is 16", and the border stars are 8". Make 1 center star and 

The incident allegedly takes place during the American Civil War when the southern rebel troops were marching through Fredericksburg, Maryland. Barbara Fritchie, a 96 year old woman is the heroine of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem that describes an incident where it is said Barbara Fritchie waved a union flag at the enemy. The legend itself says that the flag was hanging out of an upstairs window and the Confederate troops shot it as they marched through town.

Here is an excerpt from the famous poem

"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;
The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word;
"Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.....

The house is still standing in Fredericksburg, the exterior fronts a downtown street with many tourists walking by to see the popular tourist destination and visitors can visit the Barbara Fritchie House and Museum at 154 West Patrick Street. http://www.fredericktourism.org

Fredericksburg is in Virginia.  correction...

Jean Ann Wright, Quilt Editor, Author, Designer


  1. Wonderful block, and such an emotional poem...thank you for sharing!

  2. That's actually in Frederick, Maryland, not Fredericksburg, which is in Virginia. It's an adorable little house and the city is a delightful place to walk around (my son was unexpectedly born there almost twelve years ago). Maryland was actually forced by President Lincoln to be a union state despite its many Southern sympathizers, so that Washington, DC would not be cut off from the north. Frederick is in the western part of the state and is geographically close to Gettysburg, Antietam and Harper's Ferry, with the Battle of Monocacy (a river running through Frederick) having been fought on its soil in 1864. There are numerous antique shops throughout Frederick with collectibles from both sides of the Civil War. Although the incident itself has been discredited by historians, Barbara Fritchie's legacy is nonetheless significant and she is buried in town.

    1. Wow Kristen..thanks for the additional facts..very interesting...

    2. My pleasure! I'm actually descended from Lord and Lady Calvert, whose coats of arms make up the rather hideously colored Maryland State flag, and have spent my entire life in the Pennsylvania - Delaware - Maryland - Virginia area, drinking in all the history that lives and breathes among us here. My favorite thing when I find an untouched area like a river or park field with no signs of modern life (power lines, vehicles, etc.) is to imagine its existence 100 or 200 years earlier. My son just loves history so we spend a lot of our summers finding new experiences around us like the battle reenactments, or living history exhibits such as Appomattox Court House. I love living in this area of the USA! Definitely visit Frederick and the Barbara Fritchie house when in that part of Maryland!

  3. What great history and poem and block...lol Love what Kristen here shared...our community is really amazing...

  4. Thank you for the great history lesson about Frederick and Barbara Fritchie!
    The block is perfect for a patriotic block!

  5. Wow... I love this star! I've got a barn quilt project I'm doing for a gift. This star would be perfect! Thanks for the idea!

  6. I am fascinated by the story and background info that Kristen shared. These historical antidotes bring the quilt star to life! Thanks, and I agree that this would make a wonderful barn Quilt! I've been looking for a block design to place on our farm's barn and I may just have found it!
    Gmama Jane

  7. I do a lot of genealogy, so I love stories like this--makes it so much more interesting. Thanks for sharing the story, poem, and block!

  8. Enjoyed the story behind this pretty block. Thanks Jean Ann.

  9. Wonderful block....it makes an awesome secondary pattern when you utilize it in a top! Living in the South, where so many of the battles were fought (lots of Revolutionary war battles, too -- some folks don't realize that!) it's easy for me to take some of these things for granted. Thank you Kristen, for your interesting comments!

  10. Loved the story, history and the gorgeous patriotic block. Thanks for sharing this!!!


You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...