So what did I try? First of all, I wanted to try my hand at making crazy quilt blocks. I liked the idea of starting with a pentagon and working my way around it with strips, but I didn't want to use a foundation and do piecing. So I decided to compromise and do the block log cabin style, but with a pentagonal center.
The three center blocks came together pretty easily. All of the fabrics for the top were pulled from my scrap bins. I pulled out reds, blues, and creams/tans as a nod towards the approaching holiday, and added golds and browns for interest.
The next technique I wanted to try was sashing, but to make it tougher I wanted to add contrasting cornerstones. So after spending some time on the Internet surfing for techniques, I added a neutral sashing and red cornerstones, and was pleased at how they turned out.
Next up, what to do about a border? I'd never tried a piano key border, but decided to give it a whirl. I loved it, but didn't realize at the time it would have been better to put 4x4 blocks in the corners, rather than trying to do the piano keys all the way around. And if I did that, then the cornerstones in the sashing wouldn't really work. Oh well, lesson learned for next time!
Once the top was done, I selected a nice gold solid for the back, layered it up, and was ready to quilt. I'd just done some free motion meandering and felt comfortable with that, so this time I wanted to do something different. So I pulled out my ruler, my chalk pen, and started drawing.
Before long, I had the entire runner quilted with primitive hearts with echoes around center circles, and leafy vines along the sashing. For the border, I made single connected hearts. It was a ton of fun!
Here's how the completed runner finished:
And here's the back:
It's not perfect, but I learned a lot and had fun. And that's what it's all about, right? So be fearless and try new things. You'll be glad you did!