18 quilt blocks that are inspired by the sea
Could this be the most soothing quilt to sew ever? Janet Clare’s new Spoondrift series was launched in Autumn 2019 in issue 55 of Today’s Quilter. We’re sharing her beautiful, seashore-inspired quilt blocks in this gallery post, and you can also find all the fabric requirements and issues you need to collect to make this project.
“I grew up on the coast, not far from the white cliffs of Dover, and I’m very familiar with ‘spoondrift’,” explains Janet, “although I didn’t know there was an actual name for it until very recently. I have always loved being by the sea; not on hot, busy days, but on the blustery, windswept and bracing ones when we have the place to ourselves and come home feeling exhilarated with rosy cheeks and cold toes.”
More quilts to explore…
The blocks in this gallery below are all designed by Janet Clare and made by Pippa Cockhead.
Every few seasons, I design a fabric collection full of boats, whales and gulls in my favourite indigo, blue and cream colour palette, and so here is ‘Ebb and Flow’, all ready to be made into ‘Spoondrift’, a quilt inspired by our cherished, carefree days by the seaJanet Clare
Want to make Janet’s Spoondrift quilt?
Spoondrift is made with a variety of techniques, including hand and machine piecing, fusible appliqué and embroidery. Some blocks will be easy and some not so much! The designs for these quilt blocks are featured across several issues of Today’s Quilter magazine. We’ve included links to buy the issues for your favourite blocks, or to complete your set, below. You can also get the issues digitally for your phone, tablet or computer.
How many blocks will there be?
There will be two blocks a month for twelve months, with the setting shown in month thirteen. One setting for the finished quilt will be approximately 65” x 72”. Janet’s quilt features indigo, blue, grey, cream and sand coloured fabrics from her collection Ebb and Flow for Moda, but you can easily choose your own using the colour swatches below.
About the finished quilt
- Block size: 12” square
- Finished quilt size: approximately 65” x 72”
You will need
The fabric requirements that follow are for the main quilt setting. Be as thrifty as possible when cutting your fabrics and keep all your scraps, as they may well be useful in later blocks!
Ebb and Flow fabric from Moda is available to buy in Janet’s Etsy shop.
To piece the blocks
- ¼ yard Woven Texture – Dark Ocean (1357-11)
- ¼ yard Cowes – Dark Ocean (1480-20)
- ½ yard Cowes – Ocean (1480-21)
- 3⁄8 yard Cowes – Sky (1480-23)
- ¼ yard Cowes – Sand (1480-24)
- 2⁄3 yard Seabirds– Pearl (1481-19)
- ¼ yard Seabirds – Sky (1481-23)
- ¼ yard Seabirds – Sand (1481-24)
- 3⁄8 yard Seaweed – Pearl (1483-19)
- 3⁄8 yard Seaweed – Ocean (1483-21)
- ¼ yard Seaweed – Sand (1483-24)
- 2⁄3 yard Starfish – Pearl (1484-19)
- 1⁄3 yard Starfish – Dark Ocean (1484-20)
- 1⁄3 yard Starfish – Ocean (1484-22)
- 1 yard Stripe – Pearl (1485-21)
- 1⁄3 yard Stripe – Dark Ocean (1485-23)
- ¼ yard Stripe – Sand (1485-25)
- 1 yard Ships – Pearl (1486-11)
- ½ yard Ships – Dark Ocean (1486-12)
To piece sashing and bind
- 1½ yards Woven Texture – Dark Ocean (1357-11)
- 1⁄3 yard Woven Texture – Pearl (1357-17)
Backing and wadding
- 43⁄8 yards backing fabric (one horizontal seam)
- 73in x 80in wadding
Spoondrift Quilt Block library
Find this design in issue 55 of Today’s Quilter.
Sail away and follow Janet’s fabric choices or pave your own palette with a mix match of fabrics from the collection. Find this Diamonds block in issue 55 of Today’s Quilter.
Appliqué a trio of seagulls with the third block in Janet’s Spoondrift series. Find the instructions for how to make it in issue 56 of Today’s Quilter magazine.
I do have a soft spot for gulls, even though they can be irritating when you’re sitting on the beach trying to eat your fish and chips in peace!
Star Quilt Block
Use up the rest of those leftover scraps for some halfsquare triangles to create this simple yet stellar star block. Find out how to piece it in issue 56 of Today’s Quilter.
Hope Anchors the Soul
“I’m fond of the quote ‘Hope anchors the soul’ as it reminds me to focus on the positives; hope holds us steady and keeps us feeling settled, which is just what we need.” You can find the pattern in issue 57 of Today’s Quilter.
Square Knot chequerboard quilt block
If you’re using directional prints for this block, featured in issue 57 of Today’s Quilter, refer to the image to determine whether to cut rectangles horizontally or vertically.
Beach huts quilt block
“Ah, beach huts… somewhere to eat cake with a lovely cup of tea and an uninterrupted view of the sea. Long summer days at the seaside are even more splendid!” Find the instructions for how to make this quilt block in issue 58 of Today’s Quilter magazine.
Time and Tide
This block sings in Ebb and Flow fabric and captures the feeling of swelling and receding tides. Find out how to make it in issue 58 of Today’s Quilter.
Sew this whimsical quilt block that evokes memories of beach-combing and rock-pooling. Find the instructions for how to sew this soothing seaweed quilt block in issue 59 of Today’s Quilter.
Morse Code Block
Leave a message for someone special and embroider your own secret message in morse code with issue 59’s quilt block.
British Isles, issue 60
British Isles Block
Just two prints are needed for this applique map of the British Isles. Why not make it a treasure map with a touch of embroidery – X marks the spot! Issue 60 of Today’s Quilter features this block.
Every sailor needs a compass, and every quilter needs to make a Mariner’s Compass block. Use foundation piecing to create those sharp points. Issue 60 of Today’s Quilter features this block.
I’ve never actually seen a whale in real life but they fascinate me and seeing one would be a dream come true. Maybe one day? However, we do have a nice family tradition of visiting the whale in the Natural History museum every single time we are there. Block in issue 61 of Today’s Quilter.
Use the quick and easy ‘stitch and flip’ method to create this unique block from issue 61 of Today’s Quilter.
I can only imagine the reassurance a lighthouse gives to those at sea. Use fusible applique to stitch your own lighthouse. Featured in issue 62 of Today’s Quilter.
Young Man’s Fancy Block
Combine four-patches, half-square triangle and rectangles for this interesting block. Featured in issue 62 of Today’s Quilter.
Land ahoy! Combine appliqué shapes with nautical fabrics to piece this fishing boats quilt bloc, featured in issue 65 of Today’s Quilter.
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Building the Modern Family
Western Fertility Institute firmly believes that any person who wishes to have a family has the right to pursue their dreams of becoming a family, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. We offer the opportunity to choose from various family building options in a continuously attentive and welcoming environment. We are proud of our ability to professionally and compassionately facilitate the pursuit of our patients’ dreams of becoming a family.
Sea of Squares is a simple-to-piece quilt made entirely from charm packs. The bold design is enhanced with (mostly) straight line quilting, done entirely with a walking foot.
Sea of Squares by Christa Watson
Sea of Squares Stats:
- Designed, pieced and quilted by Christa on my Bernina 1630
- Finished Size: 51″ x 58″
- Designed in EQ7
- Completed: February, 2013
- Fabrics: Deb Strain Seascapes, Bella Solids white charm packs, blue scraps for pieced backing
- Piecing Thread: Superior Masterpiece, 50wt cotton
- Quilting Thread: Superior Highlights, 40wt polyester, white
- Batting: Warm and Natural 100% cotton, with 1/2 layer of Legacy wool
- Piecing time 3.5 hours
- Quilting and finishing 18.5 hours
Sea of Squares Backing
Quilt Along Tutorials:
Click here for an EQ7 download of this pattern.
Copyright © 2013 ChristaQuilts Inc., for personal use only.
Koi, 40 x 68 (or miniature Koi, 11 x 13), by Lydia Russell Albers and Carol Morrissey, at O Carol Designs
Carol Morrissey is renowned for her vibrant, artistic designs. We love the classic "Koi", above, by Lydia Russell Albers and Carol Morrissey, with its orange and red fish cavorting among stylized blue waves. The miniature version(11 x 13) features a single koi, which would make a beautiful motif within an Asian-inspired quilt. Another stunning aquatic quilt is "Follow Me", below, which measures 40" x 50". The giant green sea turtles are so realistic...the turtle in the foreground appears to be swimming right towards us!
For more fabulous aquatic designs by Carol Morrissey, check out Swim Party, Clown School(with a school of clownfish, of course), and Standing Room Only, to mention just a few ... we're particularly fond of The Toad( formerly known as Prince) (!) This spring we also featured some of Carol's glorious flower quilts in an article called In Full Bloom... take a peek at that article to see her luscious orange poppies. The patterns can all be found on the patterns pageat O Carol Designs.
Seascape Iand Seascape II, by Marjan Kluepfel
Marjan Kluepfel is a fabric artist whose work has been shown in galleries around the world. The inspiration for her magnificent seascape quilts comes from her scuba diving trips on reefs around the Hawaiian islands, and Australia. Seascape I is in a private collection, but Marjan offers a pattern for the dreamy Seascape II, which is shown above. The brightly colored hand-dyed fabric, which blends from blue-green up to yellow, creates the impression of the sun penetrating the ocean depths; and the textural embellishments really bring the reef to life. Marjan teaches some wonderful workshops, including a workshop devoted just to seascapes! Her work can be viewed in her online gallerieswhere you can feast your eyes on all of her extraordinary art quilts.
Blue Lagoon, 41 x 41, and Sandhill Cranes, 67 x 63, by Louisa L. Smith, at Quilt Escapes LLC
Louisa L. Smith is a fabric artist, designer, and teacher, whose innovative work has been described as "painting with fabric". The radiant Blue Lagoon is an example of a "creative nine-patch" quilt, while Sandhill Cranes uses a special curved diamond template; these are just two of the projects in the One Patch Plusbook by Louisa L. Smith and Lisa Harris. In these gorgeous quilts, a few dramatic elements are appliqued on top of pieced backgrounds that evoke the sea and sky. As in all of Louisa L. Smith's art quilts, the colors and values of the fabrics are expertly blended to create a sense of depth and movement (witness the beautiful blue Cycloid II). If you would like to learn more, check out her classesand lectures, which include such subjects as "The Wonderful Art of Stripping"!
Beach Walk, 59 x 73, including Whale Watch, by McKenna Ryan, at Pine Needles
NEW! Beach Walkis McKenna Ryan's brand newseries quilt, and we're so pleased to have the opportunity to showcase this design. We especially like the Water Ballet(jellyfish) and the Whale Watchblock, shown above...okay, we like 'em all. The kits for Beach Walk will be released this month, and you can get all the details at the Pine Needles website- the home of McKenna Ryan Designs. Another delightful aquatic series by McKenna Ryan is Sea Breeze, which includes a cute pufferfish (Koo Koo Puff) and other denizens of the deep. And here is something fun about the Pine Needles site: you can send a free electronic postcard of any quilt block to a friend (how cool is that?) Check it out by clicking on any of the above links, or click on the exquisite LOVEquilt block (it's on our sidebar this week). (p.s. If you happen to know someone who is snooty, you might want to send her The Snooty Sisterse-card... be sure to type in "just kidding" in the message line!)
Quiz Question 1: In quilting, what is a "sushi roll"?
Quiz Question 2: What, or who, is a "surf quilter"?
If you know the answers to either of our quiz questions, leave us a comment below, and stay tuned... the correct answers will be posted later this week!
Image credits and links: Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.
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