One of the issues that I always run into as a crafter is that anytime I see something even remotely handmade, I feel like instead of buying it - I should make it. I end up never making them, or making it and spending about three times the price. This is one of those times that I actually think I made out better. I had been browsing through the Pottery Barn Catalog a few years ago (~8) and saw a great quilt with a Hawaiian theme. I had been wanting to make a heavy duty quilt that we could take to the beach our use as a picnic blanket and wanted to replicate the look and feel of the one in the catalog.
I bought my fabrics at my first excursion to Mary Jo's, the fabric mecca of the Greater Charlotte Area, while visiting my parents. If you have never been to Mary Jo's it is quite an experience, and although I strongly support my local quilt shops, I love getting a good deal at Mary Jo's. Anyways, back to the quilt. This was the first time I didn't follow a pattern and decided to make my own. I used a few big square blocks, but mostly I cut thick strips of fabric and created a modified log cabin. Instead of ending with square log cabin blocks, I would stop one or two strips short with a rectangle. I sewed these together to make rows and then voila! A finished quilt top! I free-motion quilted it and outlined a few flowers in the fabrics to vary it a little. I am happy with the results, and even though I would pick different fabrics now, it has held up quite well. It isn't a beach vacation without it!