By the Sea Sail Boats

I began designing sailboats for foundation paper piecing in the late 1990s when I was Special Projects Editor for Quilt Magazine. We made them tiny (can you say 3")! I remember Carol Doak's blocks were a mere 4" in size, but even that seemed small.

After making a few of these tiny things, I upsized them to a larger 6" size. Then when I received a collection of fabrics from Benartex that seemed to speak "sea and boats", I knew what to do with them. I created this By the Sea mini quilt in the early 2000s.

By the Sea: 21" x 21"

I actually designed well over a dozen of these small blocks and they sold very well. We also published them in various magazines. Then I upsized them last week to as large as I could get on a single piece of paper (8-1/2" x 11") and here are a few. The blocks are 7-1/2" finished size and then I added a strip of "water" to make it 7-1/2" x 9" (finished). This is pieced in one section (no sections).

Sailboat #1: 7-1/2" x 9"

And another, which I call Sailboat #2. This is 7-1/2" square (with the water strip). This also is pieced in one section.

Sailboat #2

Sailboat #3 needed to be split in 3 parts, paper pieced, and then stitched together. I think I got the water right on this one (notice that those side triangles next to the boat are "water" fabric and not "sky" fabric.) Do you think I should remake (or take apart) Boats #1 and #2?

Sailboat #3

Here are the 3 parts from the front. The sails and sky patches are sewn in two separate sections. Then they are stitched to the boat bottom with water.

Boat #3 in three parts

Here is what it looks like from the back. The paper pattern is cut apart and 1/4" seam allowances are added (or allowed). It was a challenge for me to orient the pattern in the masts in the same direction - whew! I got it right.

Sailboat #3

Then there is a variation on Sailboat #1 and a vertical mast pole was added. Again, this is pieced in one section. This is Sailboat #4 REVERSE (which is a mirror image of Sailboat #4). I got the water fabrics placed correctly in this one!

Sailboat #4 Reverse: 7-1/2" x 9"

And with the boat facing to the right. Water's not right; need to fix this!

Sailboat #4: 7-1/2" x 9"

I've added another large size boat, the Clipper Ship. I haven't sewn it yet, but here is a small image:

The Clipper Ship (in 7-1/2" size)

You can find these sweet little boats in my Etsy store, along with the pattern for the By the Sea quilt at the top of this page. Ahoy, skipper!