I debated the blues and purples, but went with the traditional red and black instead. I chose four prints and some black flannel to coordinate. I went for some simple patchwork with 12" squares and added a 12" strip of black in the middle. I appliquéd Canada with a maple leaf on either side. I used my Mom's fancy new sewing machine for this, as my Grandma was using mine. She bought a Pfaff Expressions 3.5 and it has a few more features than mine. The highlight for me was that it automatically pulls your thread to the bottom and cuts it when you're done stitching. Very convenient for appliqué!
I used a thick and super soft chenille fabric for the backing, which eliminated the need for batting. I kept the quilting minimal and simple, just stitching in the ditch horizontally between each row. There's no batting to keep in place anyway and the chenille hides the sewing lines. I bound hers in the black flannel and my own in a grey microsuede. I like the texture it added.
When my sister was home in November, I sent the quilt with her to be unwrapped at Christmas. I didn't get a chance to take pictures, so I requested that she take advantage of her beautiful scenery to get photos for me. The weather wasn't cooperating with her, but she was able to get some nice photos of the quilt with the frozen lake and snow-covered mountains in the background. She even got a few kind co-workers to hold the quilt for her.
My quilt is very cozy and if you haven't worked with chenille/cuddle fabric/minky before, I would recommend giving it a try!