Trio of Friendly Seas Quilts

A trio of quilts, inspired by a trio of blogs!

quilts for kids

kids' quilts

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.

baby quilt

The smallest of the three.

child's quilt

Same design, more squares, wider spaces between quilting lines.

middle-sized quilt

I just couldn’t bear to cut all of this cute fabric into little pieces.

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.

panel detail

patchwork detail

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:

child's quilt

I realize that some people find this a little too cheerful.

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.