If you're anything like me, you have a lot of beautiful modern prints in your stash, some of which employ several colors and make for excellent focus fabrics.
Sometimes they feel just too perfect to cut into. This quilt will give you a wonderful look but still leave most of the precious yardage in your stash! Simply add a few inexpensive solids to the mix.
Choose your favorite (or second favorite, since you'll be giving it away) stash focus fabric. Pick a couple of analogous colors (those that are near each other on the color wheel) from the print, a single color you want to play up in the print and a shade (lighter) or tint (darker), or colors that would just look good with your focus print to use as your background fabrics. Then, choose a contrasting color for your frames.
Now comes the brave part. Take a deep breath and either take a single slice or fussy cut a few motifs. You can do it! (This design looks great in repeats of fabric or each square unique. Use your scraps, if you like, and have fun!)
I've cut my squares at 5.5", but if you have a larger or smaller print you're looking to highlight, do what is right for it. The framing strips are cut at 1.5".
Chain piece your squares (or rectangles) to the framing strip, leaving approximately 1/2" between for trimming later
Flip your chain-pieced strip around and add the frame to the other side, too.
Add framing strips only to the top of each square.
The bottom square will get an additional framing strip on the bottom. Press seams, trim the excess, and join all the framed squares together into one film strip.
Cut a strip 12.5" wide from one of your background fabrics and 18.5" wide from the other. Attach the narrower strip to the left of the film strip piece, the wider strip to the right, and your top is complete!
And how long did it take?
How's that for fast?! (This time includes cutting, piecing, pressing, trimming, piecing, pressing, trimming, piecing, and pressing.) Not bad, if I do say so myself.
My top finished at 37" x 43", a wonderful baby-sized quilt. There is plenty of negative space to play around in and utilize those free motion quilting skills.
If you need a larger quilt top (say twin sized), simply scale up. It will look great no matter how big you'd like to go.