Mother preserves son's military career with quilt

Evelyn Sherrill's latest quilt is a patchwork of patriotism and pride.

Sherrill's quilt is made from her son's old military uniforms and shoulder patches from his former units and others he collected during his 27-year Army career.

"It took a long time to come up with the idea," Sherrill said. "I wanted each patch to be highlighted in its own square."

The patches adorn each of the 25 squares of the 9-feet by 9-feet quilt that Sherrill has been working on for about a year.

"I machine sew it, then I serge it. I've still got enough patches to make two king-sized pillow shams to match the quilt," she said. "He used to bring them to me every time he visited."

The patches not only include the former units of Sherrill's son, Dennis Goode, who retired from the Army in 2010 as a sergeant major, but also some foreign units from Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Australia.

Two that catch the eye immediately are the POW/MIA patch and the Operation Iraqi Freedom patch.

"He's told me so many stories about what he did in the military that I am glad he waited until after he was done doing them to tell me because it would have scared me to death," said Sherrill, 79.

Goode, 48, was born in the Houston area and spent some time in Bay City before joining the Army in 1983.

Sherrill lived in Yoakum for 14 years and has been in Victoria about three years, she said.

"I put myself through beauty school after my first divorce," she said. "My second husband liked to travel and we went to 23 countries."

Sherrill is apprehensive about Goode, who lives in Georgetown, seeing the quilt.

"He knows about the quilt, but he hasn't seen it," Sherrill said. "I hope he likes it."

Goode isn't sure what to expect when he finally gets the special gift from his mother.

"I know I collected a lot of patches over the years, and she's pretty creative. I am sure it will be something special," he said.

Goode said his mother had made some quilts with military themes for some of his friends who went with him to Iraq.

Goode said he will likely display the large quilt on the wall.

"I don't know yet until I see it, but that's probably what I'll do. I am looking forward to seeing it," he said.

The patriotic quilt came naturally for Sherrill. She is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans auxiliaries.

A longtime quilter, she is known for her blue jeans quilts and has published a cookbook of collected recipes called "Through the Years with Evelyn and Friends."