One winter, several years ago, I decided to use left over fleece to make us a throw for the couch. I had gotten the fleece to make ponchos for the girls the previous winter, and had enough of it, along with a solid blue fleece, to make a simple patchwork quilt, this:
I cut the fleece into 5-inch squares, tossed them on the floor, and started sewing them into strips, without planning the order. The backing is flannel I'd bought for a project that never happened, and the whole thing here was ridiculously quick and easy to make. I did it in a weekend. When I presented it to the girls they immediately declared it was the best throw in the house and started fighting over it. It fit them better than their baby blankets, but was too small to share.
Trying to keep the peace in the house, I set to make another throw. I knew I wanted to use up fabric I already had, and knew it needed to be warm, to give the same cuddly feeling as the fleece. Corduroy came to the rescue. This time I used fabric left over from dresses I'd made all the girls a couple of years previously (I make the kids things for winter presents...). I cut the fabric into 6 inch strips and started laying it down on the floor. I put a bit more thought into this one. It looked too....uniform somehow, even though the strips were different. To break this up I suddenly had the idea of sewing some stripes perpendicular to the others. The backing is a length of fleece I'd bought at a garage sale years before.
Here it is:
And a detail, the better to see the perpendicular stripes:
When this second one was presented to the girls, the fighting stopped. Both girls were happy. The throws have worked great over the years, being big enough for the girls to grow with them. On cold nights each girl will still take one of these to her bed, throwing it on the bed, sometimes between them and the regular blanket.
These throws are some of my first attempts at working without a pattern. I found it so liberating I began to do more quilts like that.