Monday, July 26, 2010

Nautical Quilts

"I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life", wrote English poet John Masefield. These warm summer days lead us to daydream about a cottage nestled near an azure lake, or an ocean front home that provides us a great view of the world's ships passing by. This time, we're featuring some very pretty quilts that remind us of the joys of living near the water.

Red Sky At Night, 27 x 20, by Jean Baardsen

Here is a beautiful example of a mixed media quilt, where the sea glows with the magnificent colors of the sunset. Jean Baardsen painted white silk with textile paints and inks. She used one piece of fabric for the sky and water, then she used applique to fuse on the sailboat, island, and yellow strips for the reflection of the water. The rigging for the boat is done with thread painting. Jean writes, "A former sailor myself, this quilt was a delight to create."

Point Arena Lighthouse
, 9.75 x 9, by Sandra Kintz, at Sentries of Light

For over ten years, Sandra Kintz has been producing fantastic lighthouse quilt patterns, which attain their precision through foundation paper piecing. Sandra develops her patterns based on the true-to-life drawings done by her husband Don of lighthouses of the Pacific Coast. Sandra notes that these patterns make lovely single miniature quilts, or they can be combined into a larger block-of-the-month sampler quilt. We love the vibrant contrasting colors of the land and sea in this quilt, which shows the lighthouse in an ever-vigilant but peaceful solitude. To see more of Sandra's exquisite lighthouse patterns and California mission patterns, including her new fusible applique patterns for large blocks, please take a look at her Sentries of Light website.

Sailing-Sailing, 36 x 40,  by Glenna Hailey, at Hollyhock Quilts

Do you need some inspiration for a pattern that uses up smaller pieces of fabric ? Here's an awesome stashbuster ! This adorable quilt takes only 12 fat quarters and 1.5 yards of background fabric. Notice the whimsical pinwheel vertical sashing and the cheerful sawtooth horizontal sashing to symbolize the waves on which the boats bounce along. This looks like such fun to make, and the pattern is available for purchase at Glenna's Hollyhock Quilts website. (Also, take a peek at Glenna's Rick-Rack Baskets quilt, which we featured recently.)  On her blog, she writes about her busy life as a designer of retro "feedsack" fabric, a quilt designer, a traveler, and a teacher.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, 53 x 53, by Lynn Majidimehr, LAM Designs

Lynn Majidimehr makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, and it's easy to see that she draws inspiration from the beautiful landmarks there. Here is her charming design of the lighthouse in Mukilteo, Washington, which faces out onto the Puget Sound. (Interested in Northwest pronunciation? These names are pronounced as muck-il-TEE-o and PYOO-jit !) The lighthouse sparkles with realism, due to the perfect perspective in which it is designed. The crabs in each corner of the quilt provide a touch of whimsy to this very eye-catching scene with its starry border and neat picket fence. If you'd like to purchase the pattern, it's available at her website, LAM Designs. On Lynn's blog you can read about her own inspiration and designs. We're eagerly anticipating her new book to be published in October 2010, Flower Show Quilts: Stunning Applique on a Patchwork Canvas.

Sailboat Commission, 36 x 54, by Maggie Dillon

Using solid batiks with a hand-painted look, Maggie Dillon has created sailboats that look both stately and lively. This is one of Maggie's original designs in textile art, and it reveals her skillful use of color and pattern to portray the scene.  She has defined the line between the horizon and the ocean with a small strip of darker batik. She cut the strip with a gently rolling motion to portray the movement of the waves against a timeless sky. To see more of Maggie's original art quilts, including her fantastic portraits in fabric, please visit her site, The Artist's Treatise Portfolio. 

Image credits and links:  Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.


  1. As a friend of Jean Baardsen it is a pleasure to see some of her work listed here. That brilliant orange sky really draws you in.
    All of the work is wonderful--thank you to everyone for sharing.

  2. I love the first quilt you show - those orange colors really make the sky don't they!

  3. I really liked the Sailing-sailing quilt, somehow I have drawn to geometric type quilts, although the sails in the last quilt really look as if they are moving in the wind.

  4. Thanks, everyone, for taking time to view the blog ! We sure appreciate all your lovely comments.

  5. I received my prize, is a wonderful fabric, I love it. It would be possible to get some yards more of this fabric?
    Thank you so much

  6. I love the "Red Sky at Night". All of my favorite colors. You can feel the warmth!

  7. Kantia, we're so glad you are enjoying your giveaway prize! The Kona Bay chrysanthemum fabric is no longer in production, but you might be able to find some more of it on EBay (searching on fabric + "Kona Bay"). Here is one EBay seller you can look at: . Hope this is helpful.

  8. I love the way we all interpret our surroundings differently! Thanks for featuring Mukilteo Lighthouse!


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