Ships At Sea Quilt Pattern

Ships at sea quilt

Ships at sea quilt

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.

Completed ships at sea quilt block

Completed ships at sea quilt block

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

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

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.

Ships at sea quilt block layout

Ships at sea quilt block layout

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.

Rows one and three

Rows one and three

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.

Rows two and four

Rows two and four

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.

Cutting red and white squares

Cutting red and white squares

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.

First border

First 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.

Second quilt border

Second quilt border

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:

Birmingham library

Birmingham library

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.

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  1. Hi Rose, I think you can tell that lady to get her patterns someplace else. We all love hearing about your travels and personal life. It makes it so much more friendly. Pay no mind to her.
    Please keep us informed, we love hearing from you. If she just wants a pattern, a robot can do that.

    • Thanks for the reassurance, Linda. It was ages ago that this happened, so I feel sure she’s probably long since left me. I’ve been surprised at how interested quilters have been in my Birmingham explorations, but it’s great being able to share.

  2. vani hegde says:

    hi Rose.Really its nice quilt design.Thanks for tutorials.

  3. Well Rose, I think this one pips the post. At least for me, I love love love it and will definitely have a go at this one. It so modern. Just a bit different from the traditional quilts. Thank you.

  4. Olive Procyshyn says:

    I personally enjoy what you design and think it is so nice that you tell us all about your travels, photos and last but not least your family.
    Rose some would complain about their own shadow!!
    Please keep up the good work.
    Olive in a very warm Suffolk

  5. Hi Rose, I can’t believe that a lady wrote to tell you that you talk too much. It’s so easy to criticize. Was she not aware that you were/are teaching us in detail on how to make the quilt from the pattern. I sincerely believe that she is/was alone in her thinking. I always enjoy watching and listening to your step-by-step instructions and today was another one of those days. I really like this pattern.

    • Thanks for that vote of confidence, Claire. I think the lady was referring to me writing about things other than the quilt pattern – like Birmingham.

  6. I for one am never bored by your emails. I am always excited to receive them and the quilts are always an inspiration for me. I will never be able to get to England so your stories and photos are wonderful.

    • Thanks so much, Jo. I had a lady once who wrote and said that I talked too much and she was only interested in quilt patterns. That’s why I put the personal bit at the end of the pattern.

  7. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Another great quilt. Love the colours and the ease with which you explained it.
    Congrats on the new granddaughter. You will end up spoiling her. Would love to see te quilt after you finish it.
    Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting.

    • thanks, Sandra. Grand daughter hasn’t actually made an appearance yet – she’s due mid October. I’ll certainly take plenty of photos of the quilt when I’ve finished it.

  8. I love your quilt Rose, I wish I had the time to make a lot of your quilts, I also love hearing your news and always make sure to page down. We are involved in something called Row By Row, here. My daughter in law and I spent a day traveling around the local country picking up free patterns and some kits from 8 different quilt stores .It was great fun and good bonding day. We covered 445 K’s with a 3yr old and 13 yr old who were surprisingly well behaved. lol !!

    • Thanks, Elizajane. What a lovely idea for a bonding day with your daughter in law – you were very brave taking the grand children but they’re obviously very well brought up! I think that I would have found it exhausting and I’m a quilter.

  9. Carol Tambourine says:

    This is gorgeous. Congratulations on the future granddaughter.

  10. Rose, the pattern is really nice and the name is very apt. Thank you!.
    I love going to the library. Unfortunately our local library isn’t very inviting.
    That building looks beautiful. happy sewing for the week-end.

    • Hi Mary. I think that’s often the case with libraries – great riches inside fairly nondescript outers. My local library in Quinton doesn’t look anything like the main Birmingham one.

  11. Love this quilt Rose – thank you so much!! I so enjoy hearing all your news and seeing the pictures of your surroundings. Very special. Enjoy making this quilt for your future grand child – very exciting. Have a great weekend.

    • Thanks, Monica. I’m never sure whether people will be bored by hearing about Birmingham, so thanks for the re assurance.