Making a beach art quilt

As the fall arrives and summer winds down, I find myself thinking about images that relax me.  I just finished this art quilt in early September.  It transports me back to quiet afternoons at Long Beach Island in NJ with my family or visits to the Outer Banks in NC.  Beaches are universal.  

After creating art quilts for many years, I have collected more fabric than I ever thought possible.  I have several bins of just these colors for beach quilts!  Big bins!!  The colors of water and sky explore many different blues.  The colors of the sky do the same.  It is so much fun to experiment with different combinations and different perspectives.

This year I have made quite a few very large quilts, the size you need over a fireplace or Queen/King bed.  With this quilt I went with a more normal wall art size of 24″H x 25.5″W.  My design and piecing is all curved piecing (see previous blog posts for how to do curved piecing).  The layering of color and design of the different fabrics gives depth and texture to these otherwise two dimensional art quilts.

As you can tell from the number on this quilt, this is my 20th ocean/dunes quilt.  Usually I quilt this design with a lazy free motion wavy line over most if not all of the quilt.  This time I decided to use different free motion designs in the foreground beach/sand part of the quilt.  I also used a different free motion design for the sky.  You can see these different stitches in the second photo in this blog post.

3 Responses

  1. Hi Sharon
    I really love the quilt above and would like to try making a similar one myself. I’m quite new to quilting so I’m not really sure how to start. Do you start with a piece of fabric and put pieces on the top? Do you cut curved pieces of fabric & stitch them together before placing, or do you use the over stitching to hold them in place?
    I don’t have lots of fabric so am planning to buy some, but I wondered if I could paint some cotton fabric to get a variety of tones of blue/ sand colours.
    I’d be very grateful for any advice.
    Kind regards, Louise.

    1. I make my quilts by sewing curved strips together using a wallpaper cut technique. Google on line for sewing curved piecing. For beach quilts I usually piece the water, the sky, and the beach separately and then join them. Often I lay out the different fabrics in the order I want to use them though I often amend my plan as I go. I work with wider strips, usually 2-3 inches. I do one wallpaper cut between two fabrics, sew together, press, then cut the curved edge of the second piece and lay it on top of the next piece and do the wallpaper cut, sew, press and repeat.

      Try a few pieces to get the feel for curved piecing.

  2. Hi Sharon
    Thank you so much for your speedy response. I’ll try what you recommend.

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