The Keys of Creativity.

On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem that was later set to music and, in 1931, became America’s national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. Key’s inspiration was a lone U.S. flag flying over Fort Henry after bombardment by the British during the War of 1812: “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

Mary Tayloe Lloyd Key, wife of Frances Scott Key, hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand embellished this 109” x 109” counterpane titled “Mariner’s Compass and Chips and Whetstones” between 1835-1850. The quilt is now in the permanent collection of the DAR Museum.  The quilt was included in an exhibit titled “Quilts from a Young Country” at the 2008 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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