The pixelated part took a lot of time, but was also quite interesting to make. Instead of taking each piece square by square, I experimented with bulk strip sets for longer color chains within the pattern, and creating loops of squares that could be separated at different points in the loop to provide different configurations to fit into the pattern. The individual fabrics I used also hopefully speak to Abe--- some golf fabric, lots of nature-inspired pieces, etc... to touch on some of his interests outside of football.
Once the pixelated centre section was finished, I squared it up and added three layers of border in team colors. I then decided to sandwich and turn the quilt, topstitched the border and then hand-tied all of the little squares in the football with a coordinating embroidery floss. Took a while to complete, but I like the texture and feel of it-- reminds me of the bumps of a football itself.
So that's it! A big-ish project done and gifted, and I enjoyed the experimentation I got to try out, and the personalization I was able to do. Other ideas I had was to surround the centre piece with fabric with faces/crowds on it to replicate a stadium but I was unable to find an appropriate fabric design. In the end, I think the team colors works well regardless. I also thought about hand-tying the green squares as well but in the end I liked that it was just the football re: texture, etc... Lots learned and hopefully he gets lots of footballishness enjoyment out of this piece!