Friday, April 24, 2020

Parade of Awesome Ocean QAL Quilts

It's been awhile since I posted (March 1st) and it's been even longer since I've had a Finally Finished Quilt to post.  So, it's good that the Parade of Awesome Ocean QAL quilts is happening on Saturday, because there would have been a good chance of my continuing my Flimsy Frenzy which started in February. Before this quilt and another quilt which you will see later in this post, I had ten flimsies which happened mainly because it was hard for me to focus during Miserable March and Awful April, I really wanted to make face masks but needed elastic and hard to believe I've been waiting for over a month for delivery, and the Squirrels were running rampant while reorganizing some of my stash and projects.

The Awesome Ocean Quilt Along, hosted by the Grand Marshall of the Parade, Kathleen McMusing, started last November, and I know two others besides myself, Wendy and Emily who participated in this QAL and we all happened to be Bee Sisters from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers group.  I posted about participating in this QAL with my Preppy the Whale post and I can tell you the mishaps and salty language continued with making the final three pair of sea creature blocks.  

There were nine pairs of sea creature/foilage blocks to be made and to assure that the colors were going to be distributed evenly on the quilt, I chose to make each pair in the same color range, sometimes making them exactly the same or using the same fabrics but alternating the positions which worked out well except with the Kelp and Tony the Turtle blocks which both happened to be green. I changed the layout on the bottom half of the quilt, which originally had both of these blocks next to each other, so the Manatee block was put in between the green blocks, thus avoiding having a green glob at the bottom.
All of the fabrics used in my Awesome Ocean Quilt were almost all from my stash, including the backing and binding which was a 15 year old batik-like print.  I ended having to purchase another 1.5 yard of the Regatta Blue Grunge which was needed for the sashing and border.  Normally I do not like to sew sashing but I have to say I never love sashing as much as I did for this quilt because it really made sewing the top together so easy--thankfully the sashing wasn't a crazy cut like 1-3/16" which would have really made me want to jump in the ocean.  As for the prints used, they were fat quarters from Lilly and Loom from Blueprint, a layer cake of V and Company Mixologie and Zen Chic for the perfect yellow print for one of the Sea Horses.

During the past two months it was easy to lose track of which day it was and I really thought I missed the AO parade and was surprised when I saw the AO QAL schedule and realized I still had time to put the blocks together and quilt it.  I machine quilted it with wavy lines like Wendy and my Wave Ruler came in handy for marking the quilt lines 2" apart.  I will admit I was not the happy participant in this QAL, being that I like to make quilts which are easy on my brain, easy cutting, cruise control sewing and I am angle-challenged so this quilt definitely made me focus on following the pattern/instruction. I now understand why my hubby and some men don't like to follow maps or listen to OnStar.; in my house, it's OnStar 10 and Hubby 1.  If there was anything awesome about this Quilt it's the feeling I had once the quilt was finally finished and hanging up on my design wall--I couldn't stop looking at it and smiling.  I know the darling granddaughter is going to love looking at it when she's in her bedroom at the Grandparent House.

While I was making this quilt, it was so easy for me to say that this was one pattern I would definitely not sew again and was ready to send this pattern off. (After the top was done I couldn't find the pattern for several days until I realized I filed it in my pattern files; I thought I needed it because I couldn't remember some of the "proper" names of the blocks).  But after enjoying the awesomeness of it's finish I would make it again only if the other Son, Demando, would grace me with a Grandchild.  I'm not going to make the collecting the State Quarters mistake again which for some reason, I filled up only one collector book and realizing once I was finished collecting quarters during the course of several years, I realized I should have done two books since I had two sons.  But in my defense, only one son showed any interest in them and I'm pretty sure the darling granddaughter's father has them.

Thanks Kathleen for hosting this QAL and giving me a sense of awesomeness during these days where we are trying to stay positive.  This pattern has given me another descriptor for "hard" patterns, there is "fear of Jen Kingwell patterns" and now "faint of Hartman" both meaning shivers at the remembrance of that sewing experience.  Be sure to check out Kathleen's post on April 25th to see the other Awesome Ocean quilts made by brave quilters and their posts.
And speaking of the darling granddaughter, I mentioned that I had another Finally Finished for this week and it's her Shine Bright Unicorn quilt and it's her bonus birthday quilt.  When I was talking to her mother about not being able to come down for there 3rd Birthday celebration, she asked me if I had made her a birthday quilt which I thought I didn't so I started making this quilt, but then remember later after I started this quilt, the AO quilt was to be her birthday quilt.  Earlier this year, I bought a fat quarter bundle with panel of the Shine Bright by Katie Webb/Clothworks and made this quilt using these fabrics and some from my stash.
The design of this quilt was based on whatever blocks I could make from the panel and fat quarters which were five Star blocks with four Rail Fence blocks, all 15" finished,  set in a nine-patch layout.  Luckily I had fabrics in my stash which worked well with the Shine Bright collection and even more lucky, I had just purchased a yard of the purple multi-dot fabric from Bernie, Needle and Foot, thinking this print would come in handy one day and it sure did.  I don't think I could have come up with this design had I not had this purple print.  In order to make this quilt 54" square so it could be a another wallhanging for the darling granddaughter's bedroom, I wanted a border in just the right color and print scale, and three-times lucky, I found the pink gingham in the backing vault and forgot I had it--it was just perfect to showcase the many prints and colors in this quilt.  I did simple wavy lines and in the ditch quilting for this quilt and am happy with the way it looks.
The Shine Bright Quilt will replace the quilt that is currently hanging over the darling granddaughter's bed; I think it will go perfect with the ginormous Unicorn laying on her queen size bed, right?

I was hoping by me finally finishing the Awesome Ocean and Shine Quilts that it would be good quilt karma and it would mean we could soon go to the Grandparent House but the quarantine in Illinois has been extended thru May 30th.  Hubby and I keep going back and forth on whether we could go to the Grandparent House and resist having the darling granddaughter over. There's been much discussion on whether this is okay and doable.  For now, we're still staying home until at least the end of April.
Before finally finishing these two quilts, I had ten flimsies hanging on the rod and now I have eight.  Although I should keep the machine quilting vibe going, I am more tempted to keep the Flimsy Frenzy going.  But I am so willing to put this aside, once my elastic finally arrives and I can sew mucho face masks for family and friends now that it's required.

I wish you well during theses days of quarantine and pray for "normal" days to return and saying not having enough time to quilt is really true.


  1. Love the way your AO turned out, Rose! That unicorn quilt will look great over her bed - she's going to love that room. You'll just have to think about all the fun visits once this sheltering is over. Love to read your posts, although admittedly I sit here and giggle/snort while I'm reading them (quite unladylike for someone as refined as me - ha). You've been busy!

  2. Wow, I love your Awesome Ocean, Rose!!! Such great colors! If I ever do it again (doubtful, though maybe some individual animal blocks) I would do a dark background with bright colors like yours. It is indeed a LOT of tiny pieces and complicated piecing! Congrats!

    Love the Unicorn quilt, too!! So cute! Hope you are doing well and staying healthy. I know it's hard to be far from Darling Granddaughter. We live 20 minutes from my MIL but haven't seen her since the first weekend in March--hard on her and my son, I know.

  3. That Awesome Ocean is certainly AWESOME;))) just beautiful work on this...
    lovely creatures and that deep marine blue background is perfect...
    ~ ~ ~ waving from afar Julierose

  4. Rose, you and your quilts are totally awesome!!! I love the navy background on your ocean quilt. I know Micah will love looking at it because I can't stop looking at it! The unicorn quilt and the unicorn are both adorbs! Your stay home has been extended to May 30?! Ours is extended to May 13th for now. Just keep quilting. And praying. I love your flimsy closet!!! They. Are. Beautiful!

  5. Rose the navy is a perfect background. I love the Flimsy Frenzy. You 8 in waiting would make me itchy, I would need to get quilting. Hope you both stay safe and stay in until the end of May.

  6. Such an awesome version of Awesome Ocean! Of course, your turn of phrase "faint of Hartman" has me laughing hysterically here. Doing another grows on you, in the oddest of ways. I have to look and see if I want to go back to Fancy Forest or another theme or another quilt for the next baby, coming in July! Hope you get to grandparent's house soon....this is getting old (and so am I)!

  7. Hi Rose! I am a whole week behind in my reading, but I save your email so I didn't forget. It is so nice to see a post from you - I hope you are all doing well. Miserable March and Awful April are in our rearview mirror - and good riddance, I say. Longest.months.ever. Of course, I have enjoyed the quilt parade shared by Kathleen but I still need to compliment the maker herself. Good job! Is that backing not just THE best fabric for this?? Talk about looking just like waves in the ocean - the whole thing is sweet. I knew this quilt was for Micah and she is going to adore it so much! It's a small miracle is was completed at all . . . just saying. YOU HAVE ALL THE QUARTERS???!!! I'm still missing some AND I have three books. Why three, I can't say. Hmm. One was mine, one was my mom's, and the third beats me. Ooh, Bonus Birthday Quilts. That tradition needs to be adopted here immediately. And the Shine quilt is just perfect to launch this new trend. It's May now so you may already be three doors down from the darling GD, but I think being that close and not being able to see her would be awful!! Horrible. This will pass by quickly, and I wish you stay healthy and safe. I heard there will be a meeting of some quilter friends sooner than later when this is behind us. ~smile~ Roseanne


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