The Union Square Quilt Block.

posted in: Art, Luv, Quilting 18
This one finished 6” — that’s pretty small! Block and photo: Me.


The election is over, and Grand Canyon seems tiny in comparison to the divide between US citizens today. I’m at Midway Airport, headed to the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. The airport is a strange place right now.

A very close friend of mine supported the candidate that I did not support in the election. There came a terrible day when I told him I didn’t want to talk to him anymore because of his position. I straight-up stonewalled him, told him I couldn’t be his friend. I was wrong to do that.

Thankfully, I figured out how dumb that was — there are benefits to being in one’s late thirties —and about a day later (okay, maybe two), I called him up, apologized, and listened to him. I really, really listened. I learned why he felt the way he felt. Then I asked him if he would listen to me. He listened. He disagreed but understood a lot more about how I felt by the time we were done with the conversation. We hung up saying, “I love you,” and we meant it. We still mean it.

The quilt block up there is a Union Square quilt block, but I actually am dubious about this; a google search of the Union Square block will yield a different-looking block but I swear, that’s what the thing was listed as when I made it some years ago for a Quilty episode.

It’s a good one. Three fabrics. Forty-five pieces. Geometry. Harmony. With effort, concentration, choices, and interest, I made that block. A lot of people helped me get to the place where I was able to make that block: teachers, mentors, helpers, students, designers. Lots of folks.

Union. The word looks weirdly like “Onion,” come to think of it. And “union” is not dissimilar to an actual onion: complex, multi-layered, useful, problematic if you have an allergy or something…and yes, my analogy ran out but I am very tired.

I meet so many people on the road. I love you and all those beautiful quilts.

Union Square.

18 Responses

  1. Tim Latimer
    | Reply

    You got it right it was called Union Square in The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America. by Carrie Hall , 1935.

  2. Beth Grambo
    | Reply

    Thank you for your thoughtful words.

  3. Pip
    | Reply

    I rather like that block, it is called Union Square (and Union, Union Block, Four Crowns, and An Effective Square) in my BlockBase software.

  4. Sandra Weimer
    | Reply

    And your points are awesome!

  5. Melody A.
    | Reply

    Yes, thank you for an insightful post . I think this may a long divide to navigate though. Sleep well.

  6. jean morton
    | Reply

    Great post,makes me think about listening to both sides of the story.

  7. Carol
    | Reply

    Very great analogy. Yes, we are a union of states and hopefully the healing will start. We all need it after this election season.

  8. Christine
    | Reply

    I love how you take a situation and make it so relatable with your analogies and personal experiences. Thanks for peeling the onion and giving us a better sniff!

  9. Beverly Gozzarino
    | Reply

    You have always shared your emotions so freely and openly. I think you should come out and say that you are shaken and disappointed in good people who made such a divisive decision. I so sincerely wish that admiring a new block was enough to forget the grief that I feel for our future..

  10. Tierney Davis Hogan
    | Reply

    Another wonderful post Mary, thank you.

  11. Barbara
    | Reply

    Mary, you don’t realize how very special you are. I do. We do.

  12. Chris K.
    | Reply

    I would have left it at “you’re dead to me now.” Voting for Trump is like voting for Nixon, but this time knowing what he’s like in advance.

  13. Veronica
    | Reply

    Hi from Ireland Mary , & thank you so much for sharing your view in such a gentle ,dignified & thoughtful way. I think I might make a union square quilt . Help to remind me that the United States is still one wonderful country ,
    Warmest wishes & huge thanks,

  14. […] may have noticed the past few posts offer scanned-in quilt blocks as the featured image. What can it […]

  15. Denise
    | Reply

    We love you too. Thanks for all you do for us and our minds

  16. Valerie
    | Reply

    Lovely. The block. The analogy. The reconciliation. (Praying my brother reflects as you did and decides he’s not “done” with our mother, after all.)

  17. […] instead, I did X or Y. Even Z, the ol’ caboose, got done several times over. Also, I went to Kansas City and Houston and stuff and had […]

  18. […] tell you who to vote for. I just told you to vote. When he was elected and I felt panic and shame, I wrote about quilt blocks. When he signed the order for the Mexico wall, I didn’t blog at all, didn’t tell you […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *