As you can see, I used muted tones and matching fabrics ... ;-) Ha!
Oh well, I like bright colours and it looks coordinated to me anyway. (... and I actually find the pictures make the quilt look more pale than it is in person)
I like to free-piece without a pattern because then I can make it up as I go along and throw in anything I want (also, mistakes can just be called design decisions instead, perfect!). Plus it gives me lots of opportunities to fussy cut, which I love. See my daughter and me up there in that tower? (It is amazing how much that little fabric girl looks like my daughter. Me? My fabric lady is more of a flattering approximation, but my daughter knows it represents me so that's what counts.)
The flags are the provincial flag of New Brunswick. I was able to cut them out of fabric that showed flags of all the Canadian provinces. I love, love them ... castles always have flags and we are proud New Brunswickers.
One of the first things I made for the quilt was the door. Those birds are of course another fussy cut, from some Jennifer Paganelli fabric. I just thought they looked regal and elegant. I was also able to use some of the same fabric for window trim which worked well.
The birds also guard the corners of the quilt. At first I made free-pieced princess crowns for the corners but it just didn't look right. The birds are way better.
The back of the quilt got the royal treatment with some Flea Market Fancy fabric. Most of the back is the yellow seeds fabric. The other portion shown in the photo is a strip down the back. I don't sign my quilts, but I use that I Love You fabric somewhere on the back of the kids' quilts. And see the fussy-cut me there again?
Blooper reel ... That's my husband under there. He rests the quilt on his head when his arms get tired and I am still insisting on more photos. It is to appease me as I am saying "Don't let it get on the ground!" You understand, right? I mean, it had even rained earlier ... the grass was still damp!
This quilt definitely had its frustrations, but was worth it. I am glad I stuck to my idea of making fabric bricks for the castle. I sewed strips, then sliced them up, then lined them back up in a staggered pattern, then sewed. It worked well! The trickiest thing was trying to get the whole castle and background neatly put together using the least amount of pieces and knowing I could only sew straight lines. Any angled pieces were big, big annoyances. I am still new at this (5 months since I got my first rotary cutter) so I figure I will eventually learn how to do angles easily ... or I hope so anyway.
The next most challenging thing was choosing fabrics. I rejected many of my early choices. Honest.
Speaking of fabrics, a few others that are in there include Michael Miller Speckled Bird for the fantastical bird-filled sky. Rainbow Print from The Rainbow Garden by Prints Charming was used for the mountains. Others are Kaffe Fassett Stencil Carnation, more Michael Miller, more Jennifer Paganelli, Bubblegum Basics flowers, Henry Glass Fandango in turquoise and magenta, a Moda fabric that looks like bricks for the front step ... and on and on. The binding is Woodgrain in pink by Joel Dewberry.
The quilting is a simple overall stipple done by long-arm at my local quilt store (Thanks Tina!). Thank goodness someone else did it as I would have been petrified to wreck it.