I got quite a bit of feedback on the different possibilities for backgrounds on this little mini, and of course the opinions varied as much as they possibly could. I think this is a good sign that my instincts are generally good, since all of them could have led to nice results, albeit all quite different in their overall effect.
In the end, I went back to my partner's profile and tried to get a holistic sense of what she would like. She wasn't very involved in commenting on the photos or in the discussion threads, but from her description of her likes and dislikes, I finally went with the Nicey Jane yellow fabric. I used a narrowish zigzag to quilt the segments of the flower, and I think it looks nice.
Just to recap, I used Johanna's Royal Bloom tutorial for this flower, but instead of English paper piecing, I used raw edge applique and added a couple of die-cut flowers for the centre motif. It was relatively quick and easy, and the impact is all bang for the buck. I think I'll have to try this one again, for myself this time!
I've never made a mini quilt for myself, although I've been involved in quite a few swaps. It's a fun format to work in, it doesn't take too long and you get to do things that would be prohibitive in a larger quilt. Currently, I'm completing one for the Fab Little Quilt Swap on Flickr. I used the pattern pieces that Joanna kindly made available, but while she used hers for EPP (in a gorgeous pillow that I have to make for myself one of these days), I chose to fuse them to use for raw edge applique. I fused the petals to a fat quarter of pale pink Art Gallery oval elements, and then trimmed off the excess and left an edging of the pink.
The aqua petals didn't come together perfectly in the middle, so I used my Sizzix dies to make a couple of flowers to place over the centre.
I set my machine to a narrow zigzag to applique the pieces down. It was fairly tedious!
I auditioned a number of different backgrounds, and it was interesting to see how the effect of the central motif altered as a function of background colour.
I really liked this red one.
And I also liked this blue one - although my husband hated it.
I liked the idea of this print with the pale aqua text, but I felt like I lost the pale pink border entirely.
Then there was this gold one, which is from Tula Pink's Parisville line, but I ended up going for the one at the top of the post. It's a Nicey Jane print, and the little purple dots just make it perfect, I feel.
Again, I have a partner that is pretty silent on the discussion boards and doesn't make comments on the photos, so all I have to go on is the few words about her likes and dislikes that she wrote when she signed up. She likes purple and bright colours, so I hope she likes this!