love letter to ocean waves
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:
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:
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!