A Smooth Sea: Quilt #3

quilting

Over the last year, I’ve started to get into quilting. I recently completed my first two quilts and while I enjoyed the experience, my Pinterest board of scrap quilt ideas is a little overflowing. So by the time the binding was on Quilt #2, I had three or five ideas ready to go for the next one. One problem with following my quilter mother on Pinterest is that many of our quilt related pins are the same. We had both been eyeing a design, unbeknownst to the other, of a boat floating through strips of blue water. She wasn’t quick enough, so I got to take on that challenge first.

The quilt we were both inspired by is called Seafarer and after some math to determine its size, we acknowledged that the quilt would work well to get rid of some of the blue scrap strips that had made it through Scrap Quilt 1 and Scrap Quilt 2 unused, but we also realized I’d need to learn to paper piece.

Paper piecing is a type of sewing that using a piece of paper (in our case a bunch of old phonebook pages and newspaper) to build the piece. Essentially, I used the phonebook page as a guide to keep each strip straight diagonally across the square. I spent many a weekend sewing blue strips to blue strips to blue strips until we eventually got 40-something squares of diagonal blue strips.

I’m saying “we” because despite being in charge of sewing this quilt, my kind mother assisted me by acknowledging every time I forgot the seam allowance and then kindly assisted in strategic cuts that meant I wouldn’t need to get out the handy-dandy seam ripper.

After all the big blocks were built, the same idea was used to build the side “half” blocks and the two corner blocks. The last task was to create the boat that would be sailing through the sea. With a little more paper piecing and some wiggling, we had a little boat. The last step in the paper piecing journey, was sewing all the blocks together and then removing the paper. If you think quilters are covered in threads, let me tell you about the little pieces of ripped newspaper and phone book that I am still finding weeks later. The satisfaction of pealing the paper off was completely overshadowed by the itty-bitty scraps of paper that just would not let go. But once it was done, it looked good.

With the front of the quilt done, it was time for quilting. I’m planning to use my mother’s massive retirement present and then bound the quilt on the little machine. (After all the quilting this little machine has been through this year with both my projects and my mother’s, it might need a vacation.) Instead of using a pattern to quilt on the long-arm machine, I’m planning to free style it. But I don’t quite have the skills or the confidence to do it yet. But soon!

After the bright colors of the last two quilts, I was looking to work with more calming colors, but still wanted a quilt that would be visually interesting. I think it turned out pretty alright. I’m sure the corners don’t match up perfectly and that there are ways I could have quilted or organized the quilt for better visual, but for a scrap quilt, I’m proud of it.

And like any good quilter, I’ve already got Quilt #4 started. Wish me luck!