1. Choose the focus fabric and the pattern. This pattern is called "Navajo."
2-3. Find the best highlight colors. Which of these four purples? Which blue?
4. The winners!
5-6. Cut the pieces--carefully, precisely. They have to be exact in order to fit together smoothly, especially in a pattern as complex as Navajo.
7-9. Lay out the pieces for each block in order, then machine-stitch them together. Be sure all the seams are exactly 1/4"--nice and straight, so the edges match.
10. One completed block of Navajo.
11. Back of the block. Look at all those seams!
12-14. More choices: 3 blocks or 9? With sashings (the fabric strips between the blocks) or without? Final decision: 9--5 of Navajo, 4 of the focus fabric--and with sashings. Once the blocks and sashings are stitched together, add a wide border of the focus fabric, with mitered corners for the most professional finish.
15-16. Cut the backing and batting, and baste all three layers together.
17-20. Still more choices: four possible quilting templates. The winner, #20. The rounded swirls contrast effectively with the straight lines of the piecing.
21-22. Trace the template on the first block with a chalk pencil (the lines wash out afterward), and begin quilting. Note the contrasting thread, so the stitches show. Careful! The qulting stitches all have to be the same size and evenly spaced. Is one too big? Too small? Too close? Too far apart? Pull it out and do it again!
23. When all nine blocks are quilted, it's time to attach the label on the back, and embroider the completion date.
24. Now add the binding: cut a 2" strip of fabric as long as the outer edge of the quilt, fold it, and machine stitch it to the front of the quilt.
25. Turn the binding to the back, pin it, and blind-stitch it by hand. Done!