Trio of Friendly Seas Quilts
A trio of quilts, inspired by a trio of blogs!
These quilts were built around the turquoise fabric, “Friendly Seas,” designed by Cynthia Frenette for Robert Kaufmann.
The two on the sides were inspired by a photo on Treadlemusic, and the one in the center was my idea – when fabrics are so cute I love to use big chunks of them to show off all the detail. I was trying to capture the feeling of going to Sea World or an aquarium and watching the sea creatures through the glass. I thought that such big pieces would go together quickly, but this quilt took much longer to piece than the other two. Maybe it was the borders I put around the blocks.
I originally wanted to quilt these with rectangular outlines, but my practice piece didn’t look anything like I had imagined. So the quilts sat there for a while, until I saw the wave quilting on the Snarky Quilter. Since the fabric was full of sea creatures, waves seemed the obvious choice for quilting lines. I played around with variations – on two of the quilts the lines are less than an inch apart, and on one they’re more like an inch and a half apart.
The largest of these quilts has a faux piping binding that I learned about on Color Me Quilty. This binding technique is very popular in my quilt group, and people who are more precise than I am get great results. I have trouble getting everything consistent, but I still love the spark of contrasting color from the faux piping. (I am experimenting with other ways to get the same basic effect, and if I get a good method, I will let you know.)
So! these three blogs led to these three quilts, and I think they will spark many more.
I used size 40/3 Mettler cotton thread and an 80/12 topstitch needle. In the past I have had trouble with Mettler breaking, but that was in free motion quilting and I was changing direction a lot. On these quilts the thread held up fine – it may be because I only stitched in one direction. I used a walking foot, started at one side of the quilt, and stitched all the way across to the other side with just gentle curves. I used either the Mettler or Coats and Clark in the bobbin and both worked well.
These are all intended as donations to some local charities, which is one reason I am striving for a consistent routine. Lots of people need quilts – if I’m agonizing over every design choice, I’m not making good use of my volunteer time.
I myself love quilts like this one below, very scrappy and unplanned:
but when quilts are going out in the world for other people, I try to tone down my exuberance a little.
I have just a little of the Friendly Sea fabric left – it may appear here again in the future.