Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Gentle Lapping of Ocean Waves

After reading my title
did you think I had escaped to some
exotic warm tropical island?

I could only wish, but instead
with the busy holiday season and
a dilly of a holiday season cold,
I've been working on my 
vintage ocean wave blocks.

Minus one block
the center blocks for the quilt 
have been stitched.

You can tell right away 
these 30's and 40's prints
do not create the same graphic design
that you typically see with this pattern.
 The fabrics are not very high contrast.
So there isn't the dramatic distinction between lights and darks. 

As compared to
  this antique Ocean Wave 
with early 1900's fabrics
I repieced and quilted in 2011.

The 30's fabrics make more
of a mosaic pattern with all
of the prints and colors meshing together.

I have more half blocks to piece
and then I think I'll have enough leftover pieces
for a simple border.

Hand piecing has proved for me the only
way to handle the inconsistent seam allowances.
After marking the finished size triangle
on the wrong side of the fabric 

the seams have varied from 1/16th to 3/8".

It's simple been the matter of 
carefully matching and pinning 
the marked sewing lines and
stitching on the line on both triangles.

I don't stitch the seam allowances down,
but rather allow them to flip
 to one direction or the other.
This allows me to get right up to the spot where
I need to match points.
I'm in the habit of making a couple small
back stitches with a knot on one side of the seam, 

passing through to the other side, 

 doing two back stitches with a knot
 and then continuing on sewing.

It may seem like a lot of extra steps
but it adds some extra security that it
won't come undone at the seams and it
keeps the seams snugged up tight together.

It's the rhythm of my hand piecing.
Just like the soothing sound of the waves
lapping on that warm sandy beach.
Until Next Time-


  1. So sorry to hear that you are dealing with a nasty cold Kyle, but happy that it is giving you time to work on your Ocean Waves. You are doing a beautiful job and are so wise to re-enforce the corners. It's such a soft, cozy looking quilt.

  2. I'm so sorry you have a cold. There is a bit of good news in that you probably won't have it at Christmas time!!! Feel better soon. I love your hand piecing. Those points are perfect. You have put so much love into this project. It is beautiful.

  3. Hope your wonderful hands on stitching is helping to chase that cold away! Wonderful close up photos of the process - and your results show the attention to detail. When you are done, go find a beach chair and relax like those 2 ladies - pure bliss!
    Take care.

  4. Hope that cold is gone soon! I hand pieced as you do, it is very relaxing! Enjoy every stitch.

  5. I love the subtle designs created within the blocks of this. The gorgeous vintage fabrics will be the focus rather than the typical ocean waves pattern, and that is good. There is a lush softness to your hand-pieced blocks. Good tips too on corner reinforcement stitches. Now, find some homemade chicken soup and send those sniffles on their way!

  6. The effect of these fabrics may be different, but it is still pleasing. Very nice work, Kyle!'
    Love that last photo!! : )

  7. This Ocean Waves quilt will have more of a watercolor look. Different from the very graphic look design but still pretty.

  8. Such meticulous care here with this project ; I enjoy seeing the progress and I hope that cold is over asap!

  9. Beautiful to see your work in progress!
    I love seeing the pictures of your detailed stitch methods as well.
    The 1900's version of this quilt you made earlier is just Stunning!
    I hope you get over that cold quickly!

  10. So lovely to see your progress :0) I like both of your ocean waves. I hope you're feeling better soon!

  11. You are making wonderful progress on your Ocean Waves project. I find hand piecing very relaxing. I hope are feeling better soon! By the way, I wouldn't mind being on a warm tropical island right about now, our cold weather is still here.

  12. What a good reminder that fast and machine stitched is not necessarily better! Your points are perfect, I will keep those tips in mind if I ever want to undertake a Oceans Wave quilt, thank you!

  13. I think I may have mentioned it before, but you have the patience of Job! I love hand piecing, but NOT hand picking out! Your title did indeed surprise me. I am indeed the lucky one whose husband is sailing off to the islands for a week (working at a boat show) while I stay at home and quilt! I do love my husband (honestly) but isn't it nice to have nights free to sew without cooking, cleaning or the wrong kind of television!

  14. Yep, this 'new' old quilt has a very different feel from the one you made earlier, but it's very pleasing nonetheless! I'm SO impressed with your hand piecing. I've done EPP before, but it doesn't seem as intimidating to me as what you've done - BRAVO! (boo on your cold!)

  15. You have such patience to not only remake one Ocean Waves quilt but two! Great piecing technique, too. Hope you feel better soon!

  16. Not funny to have a cold and I hope you feel better very soon.... You've got time to sew and your work is beautiful as usual...

  17. Your stitching is amazing . . . I love that you do so much by hand . . . that is becoming a lost art. Do get better soon . . . best wishes,
    Connie :)

  18. I'm sure the hand piecing was just the thing when you were feeling poorly. Take care of yourself! The holidays are just getting started. :D

  19. Beautiful Kyle. It's great you are taking the time to bring this quilt to life and it's nearly done except for that last block. What a labour of love. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  20. I've know so many people who've had a bad cold - feel better soon!
    your tutorial is great and so are the photos. It's looking good!
    I love to doze at the beach ;)

  21. I love to hand piece. It is such a relaxing thing to do! Love the pattern you are working with. So different with the use of those vintage fabrics!

  22. Love those fabrics!! You can come visit me and hear the real lapping of the ocean waves ;)

  23. I love your quilts. I too have taken apart a few old quilt tops but have not attempted to hand sew them. Hugs

  24. I really admire your dedication to this project. It is going to be so worth it in the end.