To be perfectly honest, I don't think that this quilt was initially intended to be a graduation quilt. I had intended to make this quilt earlier in his high school career. At that time in my life, I was also pursuing my third degree while working full time. Spare time for sewing wasn't exactly in abundance. I also made this quilt while we were still living at our previous home. I didn't have dedicated sewing space so I needed to limit my endeavors to a table in a corner of the family room or even a small table in a back bedroom that more or less served as a storage room and study space for me.
In some ways, this quilt marks the occasion of my efforts in creating full size quilts. In previous years, I had tied a few quilts and sewn binding around quilted panels for baby quilts. This one gave me my first opportunity of piecing multiple blocks and then arranging them into a quilt. This quilt features a couple of classic quilt blocks - the 9-patch and the sawtooth star. As you can see from these pictures, in creating these blocks, I took a little liberty in combining different colors to create the blocks - particularly with the star blocks.
This first quilt was also an occasion to develop my piecing skills, including making flying geese blocks. Unfortunately, I ended up with more chopped triangle points than I would have preferred - all part of this occasion of learning new piecing techniques.
Another occasion that I marked in creating this quilt was working with a professional quilter to determine the machine quilting design. When she asked me how I wanted it quilted, I think I just stood there a bit slack-jawed and said, "I don't know." The notion that I would have to decide on a design as well as the density of the quilting pattern had not occurred to me in the slightest. Fortunately, the quilter was understanding and helped me select a stippled pattern for the main portion of the quilt and then a looped pattern for the border. I was quite pleased with the outcome.
During the past 10 years, our family has marked many other occasions. These include three, soon to be four, additional graduations; a wedding; the birth of a grandchild; and the forthcoming arrival of a second. Before this year comes to a close we will be marking the occasions of sending one of our children to a new job in the Pacific Northwest, and moving our third to a college dorm.
Through all of these occasions, God has been truly faithful. We have experienced His sovereign grace and sufficiency over and over. I will close this post with a reflection from the psalmist regarding the reason for marking occasions and numbering our days.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.