Partial seam block & straight line quilting

Who knew that making a partial seam block would be so easy?  This particular block finishes to 9" square.  I wanted to show off the Oriental fabrics I was using to their best advantage so best to use a simple block.  As you can see, this block has only 5 pieces.  I chose to use 2 light and two dark of the same two colors for the frame around the center square.  The center is 4 1/2"  sq. and the rectangles are 3" x 7".  To make the block, place the center square at the top of one of the rectangles, RST (right sides together).  Sew, starting at the top corner of the square and stopping 1" from the bottom corner of the square.  Press the seam allowance towards the strip (top left large photo).  I then stitched the lighter hued rectangle of the same color to the top of the unit and pressed as before.  You continue along in the same way until all 4 rectangles are attached.  To complete the block, sew the open portion of the first seam and press.....wahla, and like I said, does it get any easier than this?  Plus, it makes a very interesting looking block.  I made 4 of these blocks and stitched them together in a line and to add some visual interest, I flipped every other block so that the vertical green and brown would alternate.  I added the border (a dark gray of the same print as the red) and now it was time to decided how I was going to quilt this puppy.  I'll sleep on it.  

I have never done straight line quilting this piece seemed to be crying out for this...the squares and the rectangles and the general look of the quilt top so the next question was what color thread.  The thread I chose did not completely blend in but also  did not jump out at you, a medium brawn which was a slightly different tone than the medium brown fabric.  I skimmed through a could of log entries about doing this type of quilting.  The most important thing I read was that it doesn't need to be perfectly straight (one could drive oneself completely crazy wit that.  I keep the quilting lines aprox. 1/4" apart.  I set my stitch length to 3.5 when quilting and preceded to go back and forth quilting the daylights out of this piece.  Straight line quilting is considered best for modern looking quilts and I must admit it looks really night and does kind of give it a modern flair.  To keep with this modern look, I did not bind the quilt.  I really took my time doing this which is what I do whenever I am trying something new.  Here's hoping the next time I do straight line all over quilting I can speed up a bit but I certainly do like the looks of it!