Tuesday, November 10, 2020

QAL By the Sea - A Finished Quilt!

The planning for the QAL By the SeaQAL By the Sea started way back in about March of this year, so this finish feels like a long time in the making!

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

All twelve blocks have been released, and are still available as free patterns (though the designers may switch them to paid once the QAL officially ends in a couple weeks). 

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If you're new here, hello! I'm Laura! I design quilt patterns, and I'm a self-proclaimed deal hunter! Be sure to join the popular Quilting & Sewing Deals Facebook group where I post sales, deals, and coupon codes from all around the web!
Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

If you'd like to make a QAL By the Sea quilt, here are the links to all of the block patterns!

Block 1 - Seashells - Becca at Pretty Piney Quilts
Block 2 - Sea Turtle - Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Block 3 - Signal Flags - April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Block 6 - Stars - Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
Block 7 - Waves - Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Block 8 - Mariner's Compass - Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Block 9 - Sailboat - Karen at Tu-Na Quilts
Block 10 - Sunset - Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Block 11 - Crab - Abbie at Sparkle On!
Block 12- Lighthouse - Karen at Tu-Na Quilts

And be sure to join the QAL By the Sea Facebook group. There are lots of people to cheer you on as you sew!

Kona solids in aqua, turquoise, and teal

I started my quilt with a stack of ombre aqua/turquoise/teal Kona solids and a coordinating stash of Aurifil 50wt thread. I had gotten one yard of each color, and I ended with just tiny scraps of most of them!

Kona solids and Aurifil thread in ombre aqua, turquoise, and teal

I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stick to the ombre fabrics for all of the blocks, but I did! I only added Kona White into the mix. You can read more about the fabrics and threads I used in this post.

Printed fabric on inkjet printer for DIY quilt panel

Once all the blocks were done, I decided I wanted to do something more interesting than just sewing them together with sashing. The very first quilt-along quilt I made was this one, and I made a large center panel to tie all the blocks together. I decided I really wanted to do the same for this quilt too, so I set off to hunt for a panel or image or saying or quote that would accentuate the blocks but not take away from them.

After lots of Google hunting and Pinterest surfing, I landed on this saying and immediately knew it was the one. My husband suggested printing it on our inkjet printer instead of applique, and I thought that was a brilliant idea!

You can read more about how I made the center panel on this post, but the short answer is freezer paper. I'd also highly recommend using printable fabric sheets or Bubble Jet Set 2000 to make the ink permanent.

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

I actually had a bolt of Kona Caribbean on hand which was the perfect addition to the ombre stack. I hadn't used that color in the blocks, but it really fit in well! I used the Caribbean color for the borders and backing of the quilt. The sashing color and size was picked based on the color I had the most left of from my stack, and the same was how I picked the binding color!

Aurifil 50wt thread for longarm quilting

I picked my lightest aqua color for the quilting - Aurifil 50wt #5006 Light Turquoise.

Quilting free-hand wavy lines on my 1989 Gammill longarm

I originally wanted to do straight horizontal lines, but my longarm does not have channel locks, and so I knew it would be a time commitment that I didn't really want. My husband suggested waves, which I loved that idea too. A computerized longarm would be perfect for doing that. Kramer (my 1989 Gammill) has some limitations, so I try to pick things that I know he'll be successful at. I knew some "wonky" waves would be exactly what he could do! 

Quilting free-hand wavy lines on my 1989 Gammill longarm

I aimed for the lines to be 1/2" to 1" apart, and just moved from one side to the other and back again in slight wavy lines. I had them overlap slightly in some areas. A glass of wine really helps this design work well!

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

I machine bound the quilt like always (tutorial here), and took it to the local lake for some pictures! (On a very cold and windy day!)

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

I absolutely love how the quilt turned out! The monochromatic color palette really speaks my love language! 

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

Even though a dozen different designers designed the blocks, the colors really tie them all together! 

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

And that center panel is another highlight for me. I have printed my own quilt labels before, but I have never considered the possibility of printing my own fabric like this! I feel like a new world just opened up to me!

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

My husband and I watch episodes of SV Delos on YouTube in the evenings and dream of sailing the world one day, so this has been a really fun project to work on!

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along

My favorite block is still Inquiring Quilter's Sea Turtle! I sure hope she decides to design a whole quilt of sea animals! Wouldn't that be amazing?!

If you're sewing along, be sure to visit THIS POST for how to enter your quilt in the grand prize giveaway!

Take me to the ocean
Let me sail the open sea
To breathe the warm & Salty air
And dream of things to be.

Ocean themed sampler quilt from QAL By the Sea quilt along


  1. I love the way this turned out....bold and calming at the same the sea. Great job, Laura!

  2. I have really enjoyed watching your quilt grow. The colors you chose have been soothing during our Time of Covid. The patterns, the colors, your saying you chose, the quilting, have all been a bright spot in my day when you post. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I absolutely love these words ... I am a water/ocean/river person and this is perfect!! What a super idea to use these words. Perfect!!

  4. Oh and I forgot to say how much I love the overall look of your quilt!! Words and Water ... Absolutely a great idea!

  5. Hello i so love what you did with your quilt and the colour WOW.

  6. I live Trinidad and Tobago I'm a beginner i have a passion for this type of quilting seeing your quilt has raise my passion overwhelmingly I would like to get the fabrics in a red tone to what you did in your blues. Can you help me Put it together Please?

  7. I love the limited color palette. This turned out beautiful!

  8. Such a beautifully finished quilt with great details that will help anyone wanting to finish off their quilts. The turquoise colors are so yummy...such a great palette. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  9. Your quilt is amazing! I really like the colors you chose. Thanks for the binding tutorial--I just sewed my first binding all by machine, and it was nice to be done so quickly!

  10. This is amazing quilt. I love the colour scheme. Well done!


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