Women’s Memorial (WIMSA) and Quilts

In early May I travelled to the Washington DC metro area to house hunt with my daughter.  I only live about 2 1/2 hours away, but haven’t been there since I went for the Cherry Blossoms about 6 years or more ago, with my other daughter.

There was a time when I could get nearly anywhere in the Capital with a quick glance at the map.  I had a job once, in the early 90’s, where I ran tours for military folks from our base in Delaware and I fancied myself as quite the expert.  I used to know a lot about the tourist sites.  My kids were in elementary school, and I often took them with me on the excursions. I think they grew up knowing the “layout”, just like I did, of the city.  We each had our favorite Smithsonian museum, and we could all navigate the metro system well, and knew where to find a cold drink and public restrooms, and all the best places to cool off on a hot day, and where to have lunch.  That area has sure changed.

This recent trip for house hunting availed a little time off, and we hopped on the metro with one specific destination.  I have never been to the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA).  Often called the Women’s Memorial, it stands at the gates of Arlington Cemetery and is accessible by the Metro. It was a great place to go with my daughter.  We are both US Air Force Veterans, and I am a registrant of the museum. (I have to dig out a photo to add to my original registration).

When this museum was just a dream, I supported it financially through the Combined Federal Campaign, and did so for more than 20 years while I was still working.  Now, that I am retired, I support them through the Amazon Smile charity app.  Anytime I shop on Amazon, they get a percentage of the sale.

I was excited to go, because even though the museum has been open since the mid 1990’s, I had never visited!  (I think back to when it opened, and the dates coincide with when I started working shift work) There was a huge gap of years between my visits to Washington DC.  Now that my one daughter is going to live in the Washington DC metro area, I can look forward to revisiting the city, and maybe find some new places too.

We spent several hours in the museum, reading all the placards near the items on display.

I was pleased to find quilts to share with you too. This “Trip Around the World” was one of the first things I saw as we came into the museum.  Be sure to check out the placard below the quilt photo.

Free Spirit of Massachusetts

Free Spirit of Massachusetts Quilt description

Near the desk where you enroll as a  WIMSA member I saw this stunning quilt.  It is called the “COMFORT QUILT”.

Operation Iraqi Freedom quilt at WIMSA

Too bad the museum curators blocked 1/3 of the quilt with the description boards.  I of course had my head leaning over the back of the boards to read and study the blocks.  I did shoot some detail shots, though they didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

Signature blocks on quilt at WIMSA

Blocks on quilt at WIMSA

Statistic block on the quilt at WIMSA

and now the story behind this great quilt –

Comfort Quilt story

Comfort quilt description

If you are ever in the Washington DC Metro area, and have a chance, a visit to the Women in Military Service for America Museum is worth the stop and the time. The museum is “hidden” behind those fantastic walls at the “gate” to Arlington National Cemetery. You have to really “look” for the signs once you have gone through security.  Ask a guard to point you in the proper direction.

Funny how I manage to make travel and quilting interweave.  What do you keep your eyes “open” for when traveling??

Disclaimer….there is MUCH to see in this museum….beyond these 2 quilts!!!


11 thoughts on “Women’s Memorial (WIMSA) and Quilts

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of history. It must have been so rewarding to actually see the museum you supported all of these years. You are a remarkable quilter and woman. Thank you for your service to our country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary, what a great America story, and little known facts, about our Women in the Military
    Our two daughters are Air Force & Retired Army Veterans. Love your story telling skills. You are my shero. Blessings


  3. The capital has so many wonderful free museums and monuments to visit, you could spend several weeks, or make multiple trips. Some museums I have visited numerous times, others, well, like the Holocaust are so somber, it is hard to visit again. Worthy of a trip!


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