Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Awesome Ocean

I have been sewing along with  Kathleen of Kathleen McMusing and her Awesome Ocean Sew-Along since December, and I'm so excited that I now have a finished quilt!  The Awesome Ocean pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman.  I've done her patterns before, but always a single pattern never the "habitat" ones--with lots of different animals in them.  This pattern is a challenge but Kathleen's Sew Along was perfectly paced--one animal every two weeks.

I knew from the beginning that I didn't want to use Hartman's layout.  I'm just not that fond of it, plus I don't like the kelp so I didn't make any, and I kinda wanted mine to look different.  Without a plan, I started making 4 of each animal.  I knew this would be too big for one quilt.  I ended up not making the last animal (Salty the Seahorse) because I already had too many blocks.  But I played around with what I did have and came up with a layout I liked.

The Back
As you might guess, I still had quite a few left over.  I contemplated another quilt but decided to put them on the back instead.  I had already earmarked a backing fabric, ABC Menagerie by Abi Hall for Moda, but I only had one yard so I would have needed to add something anyway.  I made a random cut down the middle and inserted the panel ocean animals into it.   I like the extra surprise on the back!

Close up of backing print
I used 2 different layer cakes of Kona solids, Pool Party & Lavender Fields, both of which I've had for several years without cutting into.  This seemed like a great time to use them.  I just randomly selected fabrics for each animal and just hoped I would use all the colors.  I double checked the finished top against my color card and I did!  In addition to the 14 colors of the layer cake,  The backing is Kona Tan, the eyes & noses are Kona Black, the accent in the Mr. Manatee blocks are Kona White, and noses in the Puffy the Puffer Fish blocks are Kona Plum, and the binding is Kona Hibiscus.  Lavender Fields includes: Orchid, Thistle, Lilac, Lavender, Amethyst, Wisteria, Dahlia, Morning Glory, Heliotrope, Crocus, Mulberry, & Tulip.  Pool Party includes: Baby Blue, Robin Egg, Bahama Blue, Azure, Capri, Jamaica, Peacock, Lagoon, Turquoise, Cyan, Oasis, & Mediterranean. So this has 29 different Kona solids!!

I quilted with wavy lines, hoping for an ocean/under water feel.  I space my starts 1" apart.  This is my favorite quilting motif at the moment!

Awesome Ocean is on my list of finished for achieving my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail.  I have now finished 4 of the needed 12 projects toward my PhD.  This is also my 12th finish of the year-my goal is 52 finished projects in 2020.

I do not know where this quilt will end up.  I originally planned it as the baby quilt for an expecting coworker, but my Teddy Bear's Picnic quilt told me really emphatically that it wanted to the quilt for Baby Michael.  I think I may hang on to this one until the right recipient or occasion appears. 

Thanks, Kathleen, for an Awesome Sew Along!  I don't think I would have had the courage or patience to tackle this pattern without you!


  1. Oh so cute, and just look at those checkerboard turtles!!

  2. Your AO turned out great, Emily, and I like the twist you put on it. Keeping the blocks you liked, and then adding the extras on the back is so fun! I'm sure this quilt will find it's perfect home at just the right time. Mine is heading back to Florida soon!

  3. This truly is an Awesome Ocean indeed! And you have put your own little spin on it. I love all of the Kona colors. And the backing is, also, awesome! I like your idea of obtaining a phD in 2020, too.

  4. Just love your color choices and the wavy quilting is perfect!

  5. I love your quilt! Thank you so much for quilting along with me. I really love your decision to make four and it is fun to see how you put them together. That backing fabric is so awesome, and the extra blocks are just perfect! Hooray!!!!

  6. How fun! Your layout worked out beautifully and the back is fun too. So a win/win. Congrats on finishing one more step towards your 2020 PHD.

  7. Love how it turned out, Emily!!! And I love the surprise on the back--those are the shy fish! You're doing great on finishes for the year--keep on quilting, through quarantine and all!