I have had the center fabric for these for quite a while, but apart from knowing I wanted to make something for my Uncle, I didn't know anything else. Eventually at the Houston Quilt Show I found a pattern for a octagonal table mat where the center fabric would be showcased - The Centerpiece Tablemat from Sweet Treasures/Terri Staats. Then I had to decide on the outside bits. The breakthrough happened at a quilt store in Nashville where I found the fabric with the train tracks. Once back in Austin I went to a local store and found the other fabrics. The blue and green were fairly easy to decide on, but the backing took a while. Eventually the shop assistant pulled out the brown one that reminded me of railcar sides and I was like 'yes, that's it', and because I'm lazy I folded it around the edges and sewed it down instead of using binding.
The finished pattern size is a fat quarter I believe, but I didn't want to waste any of the blueprint fabric, so I made the center as big as I could on the fat quarter, so the final size is a bit bigger than the pattern says. And since I actually had a half yard, I decided to make two rather than return the remainder to languishing in the drawer.
I aimed to finish them for Christmas but missed by a week, so they were finished at New Years weekend. Unfortunately they never then made it to the recipient until this week as on the Monday morning we were informed that we basically had two weeks to move back to NZ. So they got packed up and shipped with everything else. Finally being unpacked this week they were sent on their way.