Patience Griffin is an award winning author who writes stories of home, heart, and community.
Double RITA® Finalist and award-winning author Patience Griffin has been writing and sewing her whole life but didn’t discover her love of quilting until her late thirties. She decided the best way to acquire her first quilt was to make one for herself.
At nearly the same time, she started commuting three and half hours a day for her dream engineering job. To pass the time on the long drive, she got hooked on audiobooks—especially books with love stories. Within a couple of years, she was writing stories of her own. It was no surprise to her family and friends when she combined her love of quilting, her small town roots, and her obsession with her Scottish heritage.
She has gained some recognition with her September 11th Story Quilt which has toured the country as the property of the Pentagon. She has teamed up with QT Fabrics for an extensive line of fabrics to accompany her novels and patterns. She has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering but spends her days writing stories about hearth and home, and dreaming about the fictional small towns of Gandiegow, Scotland and Sweet Home, Alaska.
Here’s some quilts Patience has made:
On September 11, 2001, I was home from work with my youngest child when the Twin Towers came down. Along with the rest of the country, I was devastated. Trying to make sense of the tragedy, I made a story quilt of the events of the day. When the quilt was completed, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I spoke with the owner of Iowa Star Quilts, Cynthia Stary Drajna, and she suggested I donate my September 11th quilt to the Pentagon.
You can’t imagine my shock when I called the Pentagon, told them I had a quilt to donate, and they said, “Yes, let me connect you with the person who oversees the quilts.” I wasn’t the only one who had used quilting as therapy to get through those early days.
The quilt went on tour across the country as the property of the Pentagon. The woman in charge would send me pictures of servicemen and servicewoman hanging the quilts in their location—Presidential libraries, big quilt shows, etc.
Because of my September 11th Story quilt, my family was invited to come to Washington D.C. and tour the Pentagon when few others could get in. We got to see my quilt hanging in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center while we were there. For many years, I lost track of the quilt. This last fall, while posting my quilts to Facebook, I came across a picture of the September 11th Story Quilt. I took a chance and made another call to the Pentagon. They immediately connected me to the right person. She said she thought it was hanging there in the Pentagon. I was shocked. An hour later, I received a confirmation email along with pictures that my was indeed hanging in a corridor along the tour route, and had been there for several years. I’m sure at some point, it will be packed away, but it makes me smile that so many people have been able to enjoy a quilt that gave me comfort to make.