My mom lives at the shore, so I made my first bed-sized quilt as her Christmas present this past December. It's a twin-sized quilt, as it's actually for her to cuddle up underneath while watching tv in the living room.
I got the basic layout ideas from Bonnie's 'Simply Strippy' at www.quiltville.com. I initally bought all the tan, blue, and brown sea-themed prints at Jo-Ann Fabrics, but when I started to play around with them I didn't think I had enough contrast or enough of 'me' in it. So I found some batiks for more variety: my mom's favorite color, teal, batiked in a way that looks like water to me, and polka dots of turquoise on brown for the sashing.
I cut all my prints into strips from selvege to selvedge, added strips of teal batik to the ends of each piece and then chain-pieced them into what seemed like a mile-long ribbon. Then I randomly cut that mile of fabric up and laid it out into the center piece, trimming and adding more teal where ever I felt it needed a break. I ran more of the mile around the inner sashing. I had to piece the outermost polka-dot sashing, because of course by then I was running out of fabric. I really just wanted to work with the flow, and not plan too much in advance (or go back to the fabric store), and that is when I start to have the most fun! The binding is a dark teal linen blend (not as royal blue as it photographed), and I love that texture right at the edge of the quilt where your fingers grip it.
The back is a length of Kona cotton in dark brown (it was my Thanksgiving tablecloth first!), split lengthwise & widened with more of the strips left-over from the front. I love sqeezing in as many of my scraps as possible. Making the scrappy pieced back was so much fun.
When I laid it out in my living room, I almost died laughing because it matches my color scheme even better than my mom's house! Fortunately, she loved it, so I have no qualms that it's not enriching *my* house!