Well, it's taken about a year and LOTS of mistakes, but our quilt is finally finished! The front:
It's definitely not perfect - there are some wonky seams, a few more wrinkles than I'd like, and some serious piecing issues, but I love it, and I'm so proud of it.
As I've mentioned before, I tend to jump into projects assuming I'll learn as I go and it will all work out. This quilt was no exception and the learning curve was very steep! I cut all the pieces using cardboard templates traced from the ones in the book. If I was doing it over again, I'd take the time to use a heavier material as the template, and I'd use an exacto knife to cut it out - scissors are not the best tool for everything! I'd also use a much better rotary cutter (which I now have) to cut out the pieces of fabric so that they'd be more precise; I assumed when I started that a lot of mistakes could be worked out when piecing it together. What I learned was that accurate (and therefore pretty) piecing depends quite a bit on how accurate your cutting is.
I'd also use a bit more seam allowance; I used the "scant 1/4 of an inch" method and I've since figured out that I'm just more comfortable with a little more clearance.
I'm particularly proud of the actual quilting that I did. This is the biggest quilt I've made to date, and I free motion quilted the whole thing. I was so intimidated to start it that after it was all basted, the thing just sat there, mocking me. It mocked me from our old house, mocked me from the box it was moved in, and mocked me from my brand new sewing space in our new house. Finally, one Monday morning I woke up and decided it was time to get it done. I used Leah Day's recommendation of mentally splitting the quilt into fourths, and working each quarter from the inside (middle) out. This made it much more manageable and I was able to complete all the quilting in about a week and a half (off and on, because of course I have about 10 other projects going :P).
I finished it with hand sewing the white binding. I always try to convince myself to do it by machine because it's so much quicker, but hand binding is just so pretty. I knew if I machine stitched it, I'd look at it and be bothered every day. So, in the spirit of doing it right the first time, I spent a couple of days with some quality needle and thimble time. I forget how much I actually enjoy finishing off a quilt that way; it's just so peaceful and satisfying.
It looks amazing in our new room, which has tons of natural light, and with the headboard that Kyle's grandfather made.
Next up on the list is a bed skirt to hide our ugly box spring. I probably should have made that before I took pictures, but I was too excited!