Sunday, June 10, 2012

Coming of Age

Early in my years as a quilter, I read a passage somewhere about the tradition of presenting a young man with a special quilt on his twenty first birthday. The gift was meant to represent the breaking of bonds with home and family as the son ventured into adulthood and life on his own. Like cutting the proverbial “apron strings,“ the custom (Amish, perhaps), symbolized his emancipation.

As a quilt making mom, the idea stuck with me and even though our boys had several quilts of their own while growing up, I still liked the thought of making something special to commemorate their coming of age.

Our son, William, turned 21 recently and I remained true to my intention, presenting him with this Jacob’s Ladder quilt for his birthday. I pieced it about ten years ago and had it machine quilted last summer by Cheri Gabrielsen, who also quilted the wedding quilt.

The name Jacob’s Ladder comes from the Bible, (Genesis 28: 11-22). The pattern is also known as Underground Railroad. Either reference, seeking the Promised Land or finding the path to freedom, is appropriate for a “Coming of Age” quilt, don't you think?

My Jacob's Ladder blocks are 12". I like a large block in a masculine quilt.

It’s a bonus when the quilt blocks form a secondary pattern where they intersect.

Fan quilting again. It's my favorite design and seems to work well on most of my quilts.

Happy birthday to a son who’s been independent since the day he was born. You’re handling the responsibilities of adulthood with maturity and grace. Dad and I couldn’t be more proud!