Well, I think this is the quickest little quilt top I've ever made. It finished at 40 x 52, which is a good size for a wheelchair lap quilt.
A big thanks will have to go out to Finn (who we all know and love, but I'll give the link to her blog anyway.) We were chatting on MSN this morning, and she suggested the piano key border instead of the nine patch or 4 patch. She'll have to consider herself the virtual gramma for this quilt. :) Thanks, Finn! It worked!
Of course, Bonnie would have to be the other relative to claim this quilt-child - the original inspiration for the 6 center blocks came from her site, the Hidden Spools pattern. I chose a bigger strip size to start with, so my blocks finished a little larger.
I think the original border I'd thought of, with 9 or 4 patch blocks would have been too busy. The piano keys, without the red fabric, worked better.
Since I was trying for a guy type quilt, I've only used four fabrics in this, navy&white plaid, navy; green&red plaid, red; but it doesn't look like a 4 fabric quilt, does it? This picture is probably closer to the correct colors, the red is from a line called 'quilt blenders' and has a lot of darker red blotches on it.
What I've Learned from my First Plaid Quilt:
1. Look for a better plaid fabric before using it on the bias like the center 6 blocks were. This was a loose weave and very stretchy. The red was a quilting fabric and handled the bias much better.
2. Plaids were easy to cut on the straight of grain. This whole quilt top was done with 2½ inch strips. I made sure to start cutting each length of fabric straight, and was easily able to check that nothing shifted.
3. A smaller strip would not have worked as well with a plaid this big. I'll have to remember that the size of the plaid dictates the size of the strips.
4. A little plaid goes a long way! Visually, I guess I should think of it the same way I would a large to medium floral.
Now I have enough plaid to back this one with - I will try to quilt this one on my machine tomorrow instead of sending it off to be done. THEN I have some 'girly' color plaids, with lavender and teals... hot pinks and oranges. That can be my next project. :)