Monday, June 10, 2019

Lars's Graduation and Quillow (Quilt) Sunday 2019: It's A Wrap!

You guys -- my firstborn baby just graduated from high school!!!  Lars's commencement ceremony was Saturday afternoon and then on Sunday morning we had the Quillow Service at Christ Lutheran Church for all of our high school graduates.  Our church has been doing this every year for the past 20 years, and if you're a quilter living in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, you ought to come check it out next year.  If you're interested in seeing what the Quillow Service is all about, the video is available online here and the Quillow Blessing begins about 45 minutes into the service.

From Left to Right: My Younger Son Anders, My Husband Bernie, My Graduate Lars, Me, and My Mother

First off, what's a quillow?  A quillow is a quilt with a pocket sewn on the back so it can be folded up into a pillow.  My quilt for Lars doesn't have one of these pockets because it would have limited and complicated my quilting options and Lars was never going to fold his up into a pillow anyway -- this quilt is going on the bed in his college dorm room in the Fall.  Most of the other kids have the kind of quilt that folds up into a pillow, those are the directions that were given out by the church, and that's why it's a Quillow Service and not a Quilt Service.  It wasn't a mandatory feature or anything, and I opted to disregard the instructions.

All of the high school seniors process into the sanctuary wearing their caps and gowns during our contemporary worship service.  They are all different colors because the kids from our church come from so many different high schools.  My kiddo and his classmates from Ardrey Kell High School are wearing purple.

Group Photo of the 2019 Graduates

Graduates Stretched Out Across the Sanctuary With Their Families and Their Quilts

At some point during all of this, there's a slideshow on the big screens with each child's baby picture and high school graduation picture, as well as their plans for the Fall.

Then the parents, grandparents and siblings come up and we wrap a QUILT around our graduate, lay our hands on him or her, and give them this blessing:

I come this day before God to bless you and thank Him for your life.  You have given my life a deeper meaning and calling.  Through you, I have experienced God's love, joy and forgiveness.  Wherever you go, whatever you do, my love goes with you, and you will always be a part of my heart.  May this quilt remind you of the warmth of my love, the care of this faith community, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  And on those nights when I cannot wrap you in my arms, wrap yourself in this quilt and know that in God's family you are never alone.

Lars, Me, My Husband Bernie Behind Me, My Mother Beside Me

Then we exchange places and our kids give their parents this blessing:

You have given of your heart and of your home.  You have loved and cared for me, even when it was difficult.  Today I honor and thank you for your courage, patience, wisdom and love.  Wherever I go and whatever I do, I will always be your child, blessed by your love.  I thank God for blessing my life with you.

By now most of the women in the sanctuary are bawling and the men are pretending they have something stuck in their eye.

Then the quilts are folded up and the graduates and their parents go back to their seats for the remainder of the service.  Lars and his best friend, Ashton, also sang a duet during the worship service, which was really nice.  (The photo below was taken during rehearsal PRIOR to worship, when they were hamming it up -- they were much more serious during the worship service.  :-). Can you tell these boys are glad to be done with high school?!)

Lars and His Best Friend Singing a Duet, and Me Cracking Up In the Choir

Out in the Narthex or the Upper Commons or whatever they're calling it these days, tables were set up with a spot for displaying a trifold display board full of photos and memorabilia for each graduate along with their quilt and their Bibles, which were turned in to the church office two weeks ago so that each of our pastors could sign them.  I love this picture of my husband and my son together:

Bernie and Lars

And here's one of Dad, Lars, and "Mother," as Lars likes to call me:

Bernie, Lars and Me

And downstairs in the Lower Commons area they had a reception set up with refreshments.  I missed out on most of that and didn't even get to see anyone else's quilt up close because I was singing at both services and warming up with the choir between services while the reception was going on.  I'm glad that other people were taking so many great photos and sharing them with me!  Have I ever told you guys how much I love our church family at Christ Lutheran?!

My Graduation Quilt for Lars, 68 x 90 "Mission Impossible"

Finished With Only Five Days to Spare!
So now you all finally understand why I had a hard deadline for finishing this graduation quilt!! I would have wanted to send Lars off to college with a Mom-made quilt anyway, but I probably would have put it off, thinking I had PLENTY of time before he reports to campus in August...  Honestly, it's great to have this finished now and not have it hanging over me all summer, or worse -- have it be the high school graduation quilt that didn't get finished until he was through with college!!

And now, a Question...

I shared this quilt on Facebook and Instagram after finishing it, and a number of people have been requesting that I write up a pattern for Mission Impossible.  I've never done that before -- what do you guys think?  Is this just a nice thing people say when they find out you designed a quilt pattern yourself, or do you think anyone would actually want to buy the pattern if I put in the time to write up all of the instructions and put them, along with traditional templates and foundation paper piecing patterns, into a downloadable PDF format?  I will say that this is not a beginner friendly pattern because there are too many different techniques involved (foundation paper piecing, traditional cutting with templates, traditional curved piecing, and invisible machine applique piecing).  I'd probably consider this quilt appropriate for an Intermediate quilter.  I would include a pressing plan for the seam allowances and tips and tricks for getting those bulky seam intersections nice and flat where the four geese arcs converge.  I'd also include a color key for the Kona Solids that I used to get the 3-D effect (I did not use any gradient fabrics, just solids) and I suppose I'd have to include a few other size options and an alternate colorway. So, lots of work involved to do it right, but it WOULD be cool to see other quilters' interpretations of my design.  What do you think?  If any of you have any experience writing, publishing, or selling patterns, please share your feedback in the comments or email me directly.  

I'm linking up with:
·      Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney Quilts
·      Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts 
·      Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
·      Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
·      Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag:
·      BOMs Away at Katie Mae Quilts: 
·      Colour and Inspiration Tuesday at
·       To-Do Tuesday at Stitch ALL the Things:

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