Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lobster Boat Quilt for a Special Person

Guess who's going to be a grandmother?

Lobster Boat quilt

How happy am I? VERY!

No names announced yet so we are calling him Little Tex.

Surely such avid sailors would want a sailboat quilt. Wrong-o. She Who Wore White wants a lobster boat. Fortunately she sent several photos. I got busy sketching different ideas. When finalized, templates are drafted by overlaying tissue paper. Sometimes I draft in reverse; other times I turn the tracing paper over after drawing because the freezer paper templates are always the opposite direction.

Lobster boat sketches and pattern.

Do you see those small cities of houses in the sketches? Thank goodness I came to my senses before piecing. The bottom two photos show the templates. I kept the gentle curve along the top of the hull because it will be easy to piece. But I did add a very small triangle on the front of the boat to make a pseudo-curve. It could have been been drawn as a curve, too.

Next I pulled fabrics that might work. Way more than I finally used but it all came from my stash.

Fabric possibilities for the lobster boat quilt

Fairly confident in my choices for the ocean and the boat's hull, I pieced those sections first. The bold red and white striped fabric adds emphasis (several boats had a band of color on the hull) but I especially liked the way the yellow and text fabric creates boards.

The lighter blue and white print and the dotted blue mimic reflections of the boat on water. Originally I planned to piece the lobster buoy from several small pieces. Then I found a Balinese wax print that worked excellently - a yellow teardrop on dark blue.

Piecing the lobster boat quilt

The blue fabrics get lighter with distance. Careful template placement on the blue and white stripe makes perfect shorelines and sandbars. How lucky is that? That's (my version of) the Brewster Island lighthouse in the distance.

Piecing the center of the lobster boat quilt

Throughout construction I was dreaming up more ways to personalize this quilt. So the trio of houses in the foreground are the school colors of parents and uncles. (In fact, that same yellow is in the Tiger Stripes Rail Fence.) To ensure no one else could claim them, each is labeled with the respective name in Metler Poly Sheen neon yellow or orange. More about writing in this post. None of these colors showed up well on the yellow house so I used dark purple cotton thread on it. Then I christened the boat with the grand-dog's name and added a Texas flag because he would always fly it.

Details of the lobster boat quilt

There were sailboats, fish, and lobster prints begging to be used but they never worked in the body of this quilt. I worked them into the border.

I intended to improvisationally piece the back from the scraps (honest) but these fabrics dropped next to each other. Now he will always be wrapped in the loving arms of Texas... and me.

Texas flag on the back of the Lobster Boat quilt.

Those directions for five-pointed stars came in handy again.

Lots of free motion quilting: still water, waves, stone houses, windshield, boards, and more. Even with all that quilting, it's still soft and cuddly once it was washed.

Quilting details from the back of the Lobster Boat quilt.

Quilt Details
Size: 50"(H) x 51"(W)
Pattern: Original design
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose 100% cotton
Thread: Metler and Auriful 50/2 cotton sewing threads, Metler Poly Sheen
Quilting: Free motion quilting

The next Ad Hoc Improv Quilters Linkup begins the Tuesday, October 27.

Enjoy the day, Ann