My 17yo daughter decided she would learn to quilt as her senior graduation challenge project. She knew how to use a sewing machine so she was sure she could tackle making a quilt. She likes batiks so she started collecting them last summer (a good excuse to check out all the quilt shops we could find on vacation!) without any pattern in mind. She decided she wanted to make star blocks. Then she saw a quilt with stars on point and decided she wanted to put her blocks on point. Without a pattern, she drafted her own design using Ohio stars, sawtooth stars, pinwheel stars and party-hat stars using block directions she found on-line. With minimal help from Mom (after all it was her project) she learned to match points, calculate setting triangles, and measure for borders. It finished 65 inches square.
She quilted it freehand on the LA after practicing on a baby quilt panel and on a lap quilt that I pieced (she used that one as a gift for her BFF). She quilted it in a meandering loop with Ohio stars scattered in, a large Ohio star in the middle block and Ohio stars in the corners of the borders (all freehand). I'm so proud of her - my first quilt was certainly not this ambitious but when you're young you aren't afraid to try something new.
As part of the challenge project, she also made an appliqued wall hanging with fmq on the DSM that used metallic and specialty threads.