So, already in this process, I have learned two valuable lessons for the future:
1) Begin by reading the entire pattern--including the finished size.
2) Less can be more, and more can simply be too much.
Check and check. So, with my dissatisfaction at its peak for the quilt tops, I thought I'd try to do a little something special for the quilt backs. Like I said, I'm all about these roses, so I decided to try my hand at a little applique.
Following the lead of "Quilts, Baby!"--which I recieved for Christmas--I decided to go the route of just leaving the edges of the applique raw to fray a bit over time. Not only did this make the whole process sound incredibly easy, I also just thought it'd be cute. So, I carefully cut out a couple of roses from some of the scrap fabric I had left after cutting out my quilt pieces. In the absense of fusible interfacing, I applied a bit of temporary fabric glue to hold the appliques in place while I sewed them on. And then using a simple running stitch, I sewed them on. The book had instructed to only make one running stitch, but I just didn't trust that the edges wouldn't fray through the stitch and fall off over time. So, for an extra line of defense, I added a second running stitch. These guys will also get quilted over, so that will also help to keep them in place.
I love how they ended up!
In addition to the appliques, I also added some personalization by embroidering a name and year. I simply sketched out the name with a disappearing ink fabric marker and embroidered away using a simple stem stitch.
With these little extras, I am hoping that I will end up with a couple of quilts that I can feel proud of.