QAL By the Sea - Block 2

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The QAL by the Sea is off to a great start! Block 1 was released last week, and there's still plenty of time to join the fun!

Block 2 is an amazing sea turtle by The Inquiring Quilter! The pattern and tutorial are on her blog HERE.

Sea Turtle quilt block made with Kona aqua and teal solids and Aurifil thread

I absolutely LOVE this block and was so excited to make it in my monochromatic aqua palette!

QAL By the Sea

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For my version of the Terry the Turtle block, I used my ombre stack of Kona solids and coordinating 50wt Aurifil (read about those HERE), Lite Steam-A-Seam 2, a light pad, a pen, and my favorite Fiskars scissors.

Supplies for making the sea turtle quilt block

My most practical tip for figuring out what fabrics you want to use for a quilt is to look at it in black and white. I printed out the pattern in grayscale, which allowed me to easily see lights and darks. I am using six shades of aqua for my quilt, so I labeled each piece of the pattern with a 1-6, 1 for the lightest and 6 for the darkest.

Sea turtle quilt block pattern

Once I knew which fabric I would use for each piece, I used my light pad and pen to trace all the pattern pieces onto the Lite Steam-A-Seam 2.

Using a light pad to trace applique shapes

I rough cut the pieces and matched them with the planned fabric.

Applique shapes for sea turtle quilt block

A quick press and they were ready to cut out!

Applique shapes for sea turtle quilt block

I cut the pieces one weeknight, and couldn't wait to assemble them!

Oh! He is fabulous!

Sea turtle quilt block made using applique

Can you see that shadow there? It's there because the lighter fabric is on top of a darker fabric. I wanted to fix it.

I used my air-erasable fabric pen to trace along the top of the lightest shell piece. Because I used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2, the pieces were just stuck in place like stickers, but I could easily peel them up. I lifted the lightest shell piece up and carefully trimmed the piece underneath with my scissors so that it was only 1/8" bigger than the line. Then I carefully put the top pieces back in place. The shadow was gone!

I actually repeated this for all shell pieces that were under the arms, neck, and head. I opted against doing it for the individual pieces on the head and arms, as those pieces were smaller and would be much more complicated.

Sea turtle quilt block

I was so much happier with the large shadows being gone! Before pressing it down permanently, I laid my 12 1/2" square ruler on top to see how it would look after trimming. I moved a few pieces around that I didn't want cut off, like the arm on the left side of the block. I just moved the whole arm 1/2" away from the left edge of the block so I wouldn't trim it off. Then I pressed it.

Next was to applique down each piece.

Matching Aurifil thread to Kona cotton solids

It really makes me giddy that I have matching 50wt Aurifil for each of the aqua colors! I even match my bobbin thread to the top because it makes me smile. (You really don't have to change your bobbin colors each time though!)

I stitched around every piece with a straight stitch, 1/8" inside the raw edge.
Raw edge appliqueThis backlit view shows how I cut the extra fabric away that was under each large piece, leaving just 1/8" overlap.

Sea turtle quilt block

Once all the stitching was done (it took a couple hours), I trimmed the block to 12 1/2" square.Sea turtle quilt blockHere's a peek at the back!The back of the sea turtle quilt blockI headed to the lake as the sun was setting to grab a few pictures in the sand. (It's just a couple minutes from our house!)Close up of sea turtle quilt blockThe bright sunlight made the colors a bit off in the photos, but I had to keep with the tradition of photographing my blocks there!

Sea Turtle quilt block made with Kona aqua and teal solids and Aurifil thread

I tried the shade. Still off.

Blocks 1 and 2 of the QAL By the Sea - sea shells and a sea turtle

Well, here it is under my quilting light. He really makes me smile!

Sea Turtle quilt block made with Kona aqua and teal solids and Aurifil thread

Here is Block 1 and Block 2 together!

Blocks 1 and 2 of the QAL By the Sea

Want to quilt along?? Find the pattern for Block 2 HERE!

The QAL is divided into three segments. Complete all four blocks from Segment 1 by 7:59am on September 8th to be entered to win prizes! Be sure to share a picture of your finished blocks in the Facebook group!

Segment 1
August 4 - Block 1 - Becca at Pretty Piney Quilts
August 11 - Block 2 - Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
August 18 - Block 3 - April at JANDA Bend Quilts
August 25 - Block 4 - Sherry at Powered by Quilting
September 8 - Segment 1 winner announced!

Prizes for QAL By the Sea

There are prizes for both US and international participants!


Dream Green 60" x 60" batting from Quilter's Dream. An earth friendly polyester batting made from 100% recycled plastic bottles!
AndA Fat Quarter fabric bundle of Island Batik "Kismet."
This line by Tammy Silver of Tamarinis has a bohemian vibe with vibrant colors!

A 6 month subscription to the e-magazine Make Modern. A magazine for quilters, by quilters, filled with beautiful patterns and articles to inspire quilters like us to make more modern quilts!
AndA PDF pattern of your choice from these Designers! 
(a $10.00 shop credit)

Sea Turtle quilt block made with Kona aqua and teal solids and Aurifil thread

Join the fun! Let's all quilt along!


  1. So glad Terry makes you smile! Your version is a perfect example of how to use lights and darks throughout a block. Love it! Love your photos too. I'm going to have to take my Terry to the beach for his next photo shoot.

  2. Your turtle and tips are wonderful! Cutting away the seam allowance like that is a great idea. Thanks.

  3. They look SO pretty together! It gives me an idea what a great quilt you are going to have!

    1. I just had to tell you - I haven't made either block because I just didn't have the right fabrics that I wanted - blues like yours - or enough of what I do have. This morning, Fort Worth Fabric Studios had the perfect grunge collection in just the right colors - 8 FQs for $23! I snapped one right up and am so happy. Once they arrive, I'll start working on the seashells block. I'm behind, but I'm okay with that!

  4. Love the colors in your turtle. Appreciate all the tips you give in your block presentation. The photo session was great. Thanks soo much.

  5. Wow! Love the way this colorway is working out!


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