This project all started with some beautiful fat quarters from hobby craft’s Natural History Museum collection. The fabric is beautiful and has narwhals, blue whales, penguins and sharks – because of the large print I didn’t want to cut the pieces too small and lose the lovely design. I also wanted to keep the maritime elements the right way up. The fabric for the rest of the scene was scraps sourced from other quilt projects.
The voyage begins
I used a free pattern block for the boats, the dimensions of which ended up shaping the rest of the design. It works on a principle of 4 x 3 ½ inch horizontal strips that combine to make a 12 inch finished block. Once I’d made the first boat it was easy enough to fill in the rest of the scene continuing the use of 3 ½ inch strips to create the waves and beach.
I sketched a quick pattern based on 24 blocks in a 4 x 6 grid – this ultimately ended up being a 4 x 5 as I didn’t quite have enough fabric to do another row of sky, but the final dimensions still worked out ok.
Fun in the sun
The sun came next and is a classic saw tooth star with alternating shades of yellow on the flying geese to give the rays some texture.
To make the crab I did google ‘crab quilt block’ and came across an image that was based on a 5 x 5 grid. After a bit of maths I worked out that my squares would need to be 3 inch squares to collapse down to a 12 inch finished block. This was a bit of a headache as it was the last block I made and I was running very low on both pink and yellow fabric. Very glad I never throw anything away because I managed to find scraps from previous quilts and the offcuts from the flying geese in the sun to finish off his pincers and legs. Very happy with how this little guy turned out – particularly love his wonky eyes!
Bring me that horizon
The sea and the sky could very easily have just been big blocks of blue. So they looked different I opted for extra large pieces in the sky and 3 ½ inch strips for the sea. I think this helps to give them a different design feel while essentially still being big blue blocks.
Let’s build a lighthouse
The final look of the lighthouse was a bit serendipitous in concept. I had intended to make the lighthouse more sloping (see original sketch) then the straight up and down it ended up being, but I couldn’t get the angles right and opted to keep things more simple – and more vertical! Given that I had already cut my red, white and sea pieces with the ‘slope’ in mind I ended up with strips that were too short to make the desired 12 inch width. To fix this I pieced together alternating 3 ½ inch strips of white and red and then sewed these to corresponding strips of sea and sky. Luckily, I had enough spare red and white to create a contrasting stripe pattern for the edge, which was completely by accident but adds another graphic element to the lighthouse and – helps to take it to the next level!
To finish it off I added strips of grey at the top and bottom with half-square triangles to give more shape, and then used leftovers from another quilt of this lovely rose gold spot fabric for the lantern room. The whole scene was then framed using a scrappy boarder.
I opted for an all over wavy design to keep things simple and compliment the theme. I think it worked out nicely and because the quilting isn’t too dense it keeps it good n’ snuggly.
The backing fabric is very fun and has a super cute gulls wearing sunglasses design. This quilt was destined for a 2 year old’s birthday present so was finished off with embroidering the ‘HMS Oscar’ on the hull of one of the boats.
One very happy customer me thinks.