Keep in mind your dark and light fabrics have two have good contrast and they need to read as solid, or your quilt will blend. Your quilt will probably turn out pretty cool if it blends, but it won't have the same illusion quality.
Now, the construction is fairly straightforward, but I'm not the best at butting seams. So I used a cheater method and some Quilt-Fuse, which is used for watercolor and grid quilting. I pieced the entire quilt in an afternoon. See a product review here. It's a great shortcut, and it works like this:
- Cut your squares (in my case, squares and rectangles) to size.
- Line them up, right sides up (pin them in place if desired) on the Quilt-Fuse background (Quilt-Fuse is fusible lightweight interfacing with a printed grid, so it's easy to line up the rows).
- Fuse in place with an iron.
- Fold the fused quilt over on itself (with the interfacing on the outside, right sides together), and sew each horizontal seam. Be careful to keep an even seam allowance, using your 1/4" seam guide. Don't press yet.
- Clip your seams at the intersection of the grids before making the vertical seams. This will allow you to to butt the seam allowances, alternating one allowance up and one down, at each intersection.
- Now sew the vertical seams, maintaining the same 1/4" inch allowance, and being careful at each intersection that the seam allowances are butting as planned, as it goes under the presser foot (the top and bottom allowances should be going in opposite directions).
- Finally, press the entire quilt.
I added thin dark, medium and light borders, and then one larger medium border, and rounded the corners. I've never done this before--I used a rotary cutter and dinner plate, and pre-done binding by Moda (so easy it feels like cheating!).
It was also hard to figure out how to quilt this thing, without blending it too much. So I found some Sulky variegated thread and quilted a straight starburst pattern off-center throughout. You can see the center in the large, lower, left, light square. (And you get extra points if you can say that out loud.)