I stuck with a very simple design to showcase the fabric, and I even had some coordinating Kona blue on hand for the back. I did my first freehand FMQ, a wavy crosshatch.
Unfortunately, when I washed the quilt, I had my first experience with bearding. I almost cried when it came out of the washer looking like this:
I had to do some googling, and ran across this article that says it is caused by static and the dye in the fabric. I’m not sure if it was because of the dry weather, or because I chose wool batting (another first), but either way, there was no quick fix. I spent maybe half a dozen sessions painstakingly pulling wool fibers off both sides, using a spray bottle with some dryer sheets in water to keep any further static at bay. (I have since invested in some anti-static spray; otherwise, I’d never be brave enough to wash this quilt again!)
I’m still finding little pills of batting on the quilt, but nothing too horrible. My son likes his hot air balloons, and the quilt keeps him warm on our bitter Minnesota winter nights. 🙂