Friday, November 12, 2021

I miss the ocean - so I made a quilt

I spent my teens and early adulthood in Nova Scotia, never too far from the ocean.  There's nothing like the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves breaking on the shore.  Since moving to Iowa, I have learned to appreciate a different kind of natural beauty, but I still miss the waves.  

The summer of 2020 was supposed to take me back to Nova Scotia for a visit. I had the plane reservations all set,  but we all know what happened with 2020!  The trip was cancelled, and I didn't get to see family or the shore.  Maybe that influenced my designing that fall.  I missed the sea and I missed family, and though I wasn't dwelling on that, my mind still created this:

Patchwork quilt.  Blue and red on a light background.  Sailboat blocks and squares arranged in a wave pattern.
Sailing School by Canuck Quilter Designs

I am so happy to finally share this finish, because it's one of my favourite recent quilts.  I had to wait a whole year to share this finish, until the Island Batik Sail Away collection I used was available in stores.  Island Batik sent me advance sampling to make the quilt for their Spring/Summer 2021 catalog.  I love that the collection has a range of blues, as well as prints in different scales to add visual interest.  that pop of red is great too!

Patchwork quilt made of blue and red fabrics on a light background. combination of sailboat blocks and squares  arranged in a wave pattern.

There's a bit of a wave in there, and did I mention my dad loves to sail?  (If you've been following this blog for  a while you might remember this quilt I made for him, also with a sailboat theme.) 

Those waves units are strip-pieced, so it didn't take very long to make this quilt.  I didn't even have to shuffle pieces around on the design wall in search of the perfect arrangement.  If you look closely, you'll see they are in a particular repeating order, listed in the pattern, but I think at first glance the pieces look pretty well distributed in a faux-random kind of way.

Closeup of a sailboat quilt block in a quilt, photographed  on a beach near the water.  Quilt features red and blue fabrics on a light background.
Closeup of Sailing School by Canuck Quilter Designs

I learned all about half rectangle triangles to design this sailboat block.  I wanted to be able to make it without paper piecing and without specialty tools.  In the end, I made them oversized, and added  templates to trim them properly.  (Spoiler alert: you can't trim with the diagonal running directly through the corners, or you'll end up wit cut off points.)  I do have a tutorial in the works.  It's much later than anticipated, as other priorities popped up, as they often do.  I promise it's coming, though!  It's about 3/4 ready, so how much longer could it possibly take?  Now I've jinxed it!

Sailing School by Canuck Quilter Designs. 
Photo by Jerry Khiev of Island Batik.

 I didn't have much time to make this before they needed to be at the Island Batik warehouse so they could take the photo above for the catalog.  I had two other quilts to make for them on the same deadline, so I didn't have time to quilt them myself.  Liz Meimann helped me out with a really quick turnaround time for longarm quilting. 

Did I just pique your curiosity about the other two quilts?  I'll share those soon!  

Happy quilting!


Sailing School is listed in my Etsy shop as a PDF download.  If you prefer a print copy, ask your favourite quilt shop to order one for you.  I sell wholesale to shops through my website and through major distributors.


  1. I love this! The sailboats all floating with the waves, well done!

  2. What a fresh, lively quilt ! Love those batik fabrics on the white fabrics, so bright and contrasting. Looking forward to the tutorial on the half rectangles.

  3. I absolutely love everything about your quilt!!!

  4. Very cool quilt! What a change moving from so near the ocean to state with, what, one lake?! (Okay, maybe two...)

  5. Terrific quilt! I love being near the ocean and feel very fortunate to live part time on an island off the coast of Maine. That is a fabulous pattern!

  6. Indeed that is a beautiful quilt! Very restful to the eye, and the mind too.. I'm sure your father loved the one you made for him too! ---"Love"

  7. This is a really fun design. I like the rolling waves, and the quilting design enhances the effect.

  8. love that pattern. I have two greatgrands I haven't made big boy quilts for yet. So I have been looking for a great boys pattern, thanks for the idea

  9. Congrats. It's a great pattern. The Nova Scotia ocean is waiting for you. ☺

  10. I love how this turned out. Pretty colors, great design.


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