you could also do a slanted diamond. I used about the same size squares for this one. http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-153249-1.htm
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I love the Irish Chain quilt...you could use a different solid in between the 9-patches to make them similar, but different!
What about an I Spy kind of quilt? I have seen them with 2 1/2" squares and 4 1/2" rectangles, but I bet you could come up with something like that. :thumbup:
Love that idea above of the ticker tape quilt. They have that homemade , natural look that I love and so easy to make.
Personally I would not cut them to square them off. I would just start sewing them together and make a scrappy with it than cut them off into larger squares. I do this alot and folks around here that are experienced quilters love them so much so many are now duplicating it. Also it would be nice since you want to make it for the relatives of that lady. They woud have something of her designed cuts in each block rather than just having someone else just trim it nicely. You would be amazed at how nice scrappies come by just free form sewing.