The Ships at Sea quilt pattern is intended to bring out thoughts of sailing, summer and sunshine. I’ve used the incredibly simple ships at sea quilt block and rotated the blocks to give the quilt design.
There are sixteen blocks which are all 12″ square finished size. The quilt measures 58″ square, using 1/2 yard of red fabric, 1 yard of dark blue and 1.1/4 yards of light blue and white fabrics. What I am calling light blue here is actually turquoise, and the dark blue fabric for the ships has a navy blue background even though it doesn’t look like that in the photos!
You can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for the ships at sea quilt
3.1/2″ squares: thirty two white, ninety six light blue
3,7/8″ squares: sixteen each in light blue and white, sixteen each in dark blue and light blue, twenty four each in dark blue and white
For the first border you will need sixty eight red 3.1/2″ squares and sixty either white 3.1/2″ squares
For the second border you will need six 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue, cut across the width of fabric
Making the ships at sea quilt
Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the colour combinations listed above. Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.
Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows of four.
I had intended to reduce the number of light blue squares by using rectangles, but I forgot and cut them all into squares. If you prefer, you could use a 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangle in place of two squares or a 9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangle in place of three squares – it just speeds up the stage of sewing all the squares together.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the quilt block. Make sixteen of these.
Assembling the ships at sea quilt
The blocks are sewn together in four rows of four, rotating them to create the illusion of waves. In rows one and three the blocks are placed to create two large triangles (waves) across the row.
In rows two and four the blocks are placed to form one wave in the middle, with the ships in the troughs between the waves.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows together.
For the first border I have used red and white 3.1/2″ squares alternating. This made me think of lighthouses and things nautical. You could just sew together the individual squares, but to save a bit of time I chose to sew together 3.1/2″ strips of red and white and cut this panel at 3.1/2″ intervals. This gives rectangles 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ which can be sewn together side by side to give the red and white strips for the border.
You need to make two strips of sixteen squares (eight red and eight white) for the top and bottom of the quilt. Make two strips of eighteen squares (nine red and nine white) for the sides of the quilt. Check the quilt photo to make sure whether to start each strip with red or white in order to continue the pattern around the corners.
For the second border I have simply used 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the ships at sea quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video:
Last week I promised a video of my visit to the Caribbean Festival in Birmingham centre, but I’ve just looked at the video that I took and I think it’s too crowded and noisy to make it worthwhile showing you, so instead I’m showing a photo of Birmingham Library. I don’t think that I’ve shown it to you before, but it’s a wonderful building – plenty of books as you’d expect, but also a gallery, roof garden, cafe and many quiet areas. In front of it is Centenary Square where the Caribbean festival took place – a wonderful setting, where there’s a wide open square surrounded by the Library, Rep Theatre and Symphony Hall. There was lots of noise, lots of people and some lovely smells of Caribbean cooking.