Chessboard Quilt

Last summer my girls and I worked on the top of a chessboard picnic quilt.  The kids sewed together most of the top and then were working on making the pieces to play.  That project got lost in the shuffle, but I when I was sorting through all my unfinished projects I found the top and thought it would be fun to quilt it up to use this spring and summer.  Maybe it will inspire the girls to work on chess pieces so that we can play a game with it.  

I’ve prepared a backing and have begun to work on the quilting.  I was tempted to just quilt it in a grid and call it done, but I've been putting off opportunities to work on free motion quilting and thought this was a perfect time to try something different.  I looked around online for some ideas and found this tutorial on cartoon trees that kind of nest together and thought it would be good for this quilt.  The quilting will be dense which will help to protect it while we abuse it on our picnics.    

I actually think the design looks more like tiger stripes than trees, but I like them, and think it will work well over the quilt, so that's good news.
Right now I'm sharing my machine with my nine year old daughter who is working on this project.

Lucia's Project
So my progress is even slower than normal.  Lucia needs a zigzag stitch for the circles and I need my darning foot for the free motion quilting, so neither of us can use my other machine, which has only a straight stitch.  Even so, I've been able to get a few columns finished.  I think it is looking pretty good, but I think this design depends on how well you can nest the columns together.  Lucia pointed out that all the points were different.  I mentioned to her that that was one of the beautiful things about this design, because if they were all the same it would be very boring, not to mention much more difficult.  

Also, while thinking about quilting, I thought I'd share this picture I took at the Safari Park.  I think there are some good ideas for quilting designs here.