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love letter to ocean waves
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love letter to ocean waves

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When I first started quilting as a teenybopper, I used to love flipping through my sampler book of quilt blocks (these were the days before cell phones and I had to keep myself entertained somehow!). My absolute favorite part of the individual blocks’ pages was the mock-ups of what a quilt made with just that block repeating would look like. 

I used to stare, mesmerized by all the different repeating patters, but I especially loved the Storm At Sea quilt block: it felt like a magic eye optical illusion in fabric form.  But, I never worked up the confidence (or energy) to make a Storm at Sea quilt, or even a block: it was always just little a bit too complicated for my liking (I like a good assembly line if I can swing it, and, let’s be honest, I’ve never really enjoyed diamond piecing).

So, imagine my excitement when years later I discovered Ocean Waves: it had all the energy and movement of Storm At Sea, but was so much more approachable with its simple HST piecing! When I think about it, it is actually kind of the perfect pattern for me: two squares, a rectangle, plus 12 HSTs and boom, you’ve got a block (the only tricky thing to my mind is figuring out how to spin all those seams, but that’s doable with a little planning!).

Ocean Waves ticks all the boxes for me:

  • Timeless design (doesn’t it feel just so modern and fresh?)
  • Straightforward pattern
  • Simple piecing components
  • Easy to implement four-at-a-time HSTs (my favorite method!)
  • Just jam packed with energy and movement
  • Looks good monochrome, scrappy, ombre, color blocked…basically every which way

If I was going to make this quilt today, here are some color layouts that I would be serious contenders:

Love Letter Ocean Waves Example 1

Love Letter Ocean Waves Example 2

Love Letter Ocean Waves Example 3

Love Letter Ocean Waves Example 4

Love Letter Ocean Waves Example 5

In order to make a 10” block, you’ll need the following pieces:

  • Accent Fabric: 5¼” x 5¼” (3)
  • Background Fabric: 5¼” x 5¼” (3); 3” x 5½” (1); 3” x 3” (2)

First, take your Accent and Background 5¼” squares and using the four-at-a-time HST method, make 12 HSTs. Trim them down to 3” square. Following the diagram below, assemble your four rows before assembling the block:

Love Letter Ocean Waves Diagram 1

For a 60” throw, you’ll need 36 blocks total.  And the only real trick (besides spinning seams!) is to make sure to orient each block correctly to make sure the waves, well, wave!