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Ocean quilt ideas ???

LinT76 | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

I’m making a quilt for my stepson who loves the ocean.  I have collected fabric ranging from aqua, turquoise, and blues intending on the quilt to go from one to another as the ocean would.  Lights to darks, head to foot of the quilt.  I was thinking of using 4″ squares to do this.  Any other ideas would be helpful. I’m ready to start cutting………  thanks Lin                        Need to hurry, my quilter lady is starting to backup for Christmas……


  1. rjf | | #1

    How about arrange the colors in order in crosswise strips.  Then cut lengthwise leaving the strips in place.  When they're all cut, pull them down individually  so the colors are offset an inch or so.  Then pull the next bunch back up and you should have a wave effect.

    x x x x x x x x x      x

    x x x x x x x x x      x x

    x x x x x x x x x      x x x              x x x

                                                 x x x         x x x

                                     x x x    x x x

                                        x x x x

    I hope that makes sense.        rjf

  2. rjf | | #2

    The word I was trying to come up with is "bargello".  It was the rage of needlepoint some years ago and the technique was borrowed by quilters. It looks terrific and I'm guessing it's not hard to piece since you always work with strips rather than blocks.  rjf

    1. Jean | | #3

      There's an online bargello design shareware here.  http://www.ayersoft.com/bargello/howto.html

      1. sarahkayla | | #4

        In addition to the piecing idea, i would quilt in a wave pattern.


  3. kai230 | | #5

    Hi Lin, 

    Something in between plain squares and bargello would be to substitute some squares w/two triangles (squares will need to be cut slightly larger for these). The purpose of this would be to randomly intersperse some of the adjacent colors, particularly as it fades to darkest, to mimic light on whitecaps or more active water, vs. the calmer light sea at top.

    Another touch would be to simply add a triangle (or any shape) here and there on top of the chosen squares. Place the lighter color on the darker for added 3D.

    I’ve only made two quilts myself, both w/6” squares of abt 6 different remnant pieces. Very rewarding.

    1. LinT76 | | #6

      I think I will try the triangle thing.  Right now I am using    4 1/2" sq. and 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 sq. to ease on the sewing.  It's working well but do need a change here and there.  Having trouble connecting the aquas and turquoise.  Amazing how much different they are.   I went to 4 quilt shops today trying to find that miracle color but it just isn't out there.  I did get my flannel backing off the internet.   equilter.com   It is wonderful.  I was very surprised at the quality of fabric and vibrent color.    thank you for your idea.   Lin

      1. kai230 | | #8

        Lin, both my quilts were from patterned fabrics. Perhaps that might help in the color transition/accent if you can't find the exact in between color (nor do you need to worry about integrating it everywhere). Also, you don't need to stick w/just the adjacent color--you can pull from some of the lighter colors, too.

        Of course, you can still do this same treatment w/the lighter colors up top, but not as frequently because you are, presumably, not trying to evoke a wild sea. (You can make clouds within the lighter colors, or even add some shades of grey.)

        I think it will be beautiful and look f/w to seeing a pic!

        Reading Barb's great ideas made me think you could place puffy applique shells at the "shore", where the water could still be dark (or not) but will show off the shells. Using that same idea, you could applique a minimalist sailboat/s, cloud/s, etc., here and there. Even an island shore w/palm, etc. on one edge.

        The main thing is that you want to lay it out to make sure the "light" looks like it's coming from the same direction. What this means is that the lighter triangles will generally face the same way (e.g., long side toward the light source). Gosh, I hope that is right. I know the true artists will correct me!

        Your post has SO inspired me, thanks! :-)

  4. Barbaran8 | | #7

    Perhaps an edging of appliqued fish and seastars and shells?

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