09 August 2013

Finished! "Lost at Sea" a DNP Sampler

I've been referring to this project as the "Disappearing Nine Patch Sampler", the "seascapes quilt", or the "blue ocean one" but, since these are all excessively unimaginative names, I've officially decided to call it "Lost at Sea".

Get it? - ocean theme fabric, disappearing...

Aaaaand, moving on. Finishing this quilt was the second thing I did after getting home from Korea. The first thing was grocery shopping. I think my priorities are straight ^_^ It turned out that I only had an afternoon's worth of work remaining: 4 sea creatures to FMQ and one side left to bind. Maybe if I had known there was so little left I would have done it sooner!

The front. It's very blue ^_^

Pattern: Disappearing Nine Patch, Double Disappearing Nine Patch, and variations
Finished Size: 63" x 84"
Fabric: Seascapes by Deb Strain for Moda charm pack (my Christmas present!) with Kona Coal and Charcoal for the background in the nine patches and some blues and teals for sashing/borders/settings. The back is a light gray map/sailing novelty print, some of the stripes from the front with a super awesome quote block, a gray batik, a bright red strip to separate the grays, and some Kona Ash to fill it out. I went with a black print for the binding.

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." - Isak Dinesen

Batting: Quilter's Dream Wool - it's so cozy and fluffy!
Quilting: This is definitely the most complicated quilting I've done so far. I had to draw out a little map beforehand because I couldn't keep it all straight! I used a blue called marine for the top and a steel blue for the bobbin.
  • Middle panels: free motion meandering swirls of various sizes
  • Top and bottom panel: echo quilting of the diamond shape made by the two on point blocks but skipping the square blocks in the corners. There is also a seahorse in each on point block and a shell or starfish in each square that I FMQed using a freezer paper template

Seahorses! and the echo quilting

  • Stripes: a figure-8 thing for the middle one and nothing for the other two
  • Borders: just in the ditch between the two
  • Other: I also did some simple outlining of each panel and those corner squares
New Techniques: mitered corners (in the outer border), pieced backing, FMQing (swirls, figure 8's, and the sea creatures)

This quilt was born out of my extraordinary indecisiveness and need for symmetry. Why are there 2 different grays for the background? Because I got one, worried that it might be too dark, got another, and then couldn't decide which to use. So I made two of every block so that there would be equal amounts of light and dark gray. Why are some blocks set on point and others not? Probably because I couldn't decide which way looked better. Why are there DNPs, double DNPs, and other weird arrangements? Again, because I couldn't decide on one pattern. At least my indecision allowed me to use all 42 squares of the charm pack unlike in the baby blanket where I only used 40 out of 42.

I really like the back, but lining up that stripe across the middle was a nightmare.

The quilting for this was very difficult to decide on as well. I wanted something nautical, but when googling "nautical quilt motifs" everything seemed waaay too complicated. Of course the most obvious ocean thing would be waves but after some practice on paper I affirmed that I am physically incapable of drawing a pleasing wave. Seriously, it was pathetic. So I originally planned to make freezer paper templates but in the end left the waves out altogether. When I finally decided that I wanted "some kind of spiral" to cover the majority of the quilt I started a long process of finding just the right spiral. How big should it be? How sharp should it be? In the end I just sort of did whatever with the spirals and ignored any vision I may have started with.

Shell, seahorse, and echo quilting from the front. I'm real proud of this quilting, if you couldn't tell...

The only thing I ended up not liking was the center DNPs. I wanted them to look like they were emerging from the background but I didn't cut the corners off enough so it kind of just looks like I'm incompetent. Oh well. If I did it again I would make the the top and bottom points into HSTs and take an equally sized triangle off the sides. Not that I'm planning on ever making this quilt again, but I might want to attempt the emerging effect in the future.


  1. It looks awesome! I love you quilting!

  2. Really lovely quilt. Thanks for showing it.

  3. What a great quilt. I love the idea of including the quote... I will be borrowing that one.

  4. I really like this one! Where is it? I may steal it.... :P