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Wandering Quilt – Sea Aquarium, Alissa’s

Just in case you are not familiar with traveling quilts here is the idea:  Each member of your group creates a starter block and usually writes a journal with details, theme and style they would like their quilt to end up.  You send your starter block to another member in your group (usually there is a list, and you send it to the next lady on the list), they have a month to add on to your starter block and get your quilt going.  Then, they send it to the next woman on the list and so on and so on until your quilt arrives back to you.  In the meantime, as your quilt is traveling to each member of your group, their quilts are as well, so you will be adding to their quilts.

We have 10 women in our group.  That means that 9 ladies besides me will be working on my quilt and I will be working on 9 different quilts.  All themed.  Here is my wandering quilt.

Our group runs January 2017 – October 2017.

In my last Wandering Quilt post, I was undecided on what I would add to Alissa’s quilt.

I proceeded to stay undecided for two weeks.  The scrappy background and the scrappy turtle was throwing me off and in my original idea there was A LOT going on.

I made just the turtle from that idea, and then decided to make only water surround the turtle.  Alissa wanted the background to stay scrappy, and I thought I’d give the quilt some space or “water”.

Pattern for the turtle available here.

The turtle paper piece pattern came together in about two hours.  I loved the colors I chose for the shell, but looking back I wish I’d chosen one single color.  I’m worrying that the turtle is getting lost.  Or maybe I just didn’t make his head, arms, and legs a bold enough color.

Do you always second guess yourself?  Heaven knows I always do!

I was inspired to make a turtle out of all the other sea life that was given for inspiration.  I went to Maui about eight years ago and we went snorkeling on this big boat with about 100 other people.  The whole goal on that trip was to see sea turtles in there natural habitat and also watch for whales.  We ended up only seeing the turtles, lots of fish, and I was even able to hold an urchin.  Even without seeing the whales if was an incredible experience that I am very, very grateful to have had.

My turtle block measured 12.5″ square,  and I needed my piece to measure about 44″ long, so I added some improv pieced water.  I basically just pieced turquoise fabric after turquoise fabric and then trimmed it up to size.

I really like the like the Heather Ross fish I added.


The only fish fabric in all of my stash.

It continued to sit up on my design wall for another two days.  And that solid on the left side kept bugging me and I wanted to add something there to make it not look so solid.

 So I interfaced a Sarah Jane fabric I had and cut these ladies out.  I just LOVE them!

    I always interface the fabric and then fussy cut what I need from it.  It makes things easier.

They are so tiny, I think they get a little lost, but when Alissa has this finished quilt draped over her one day, she might see my tiny mermaids and smile.  Hopefully!

  And finally, here is my journal entry.  I told my snorkeling story and included some Heather Ross mermaids glued down in the corner.  I also included some sweet quotes about the sea.  I like writing in journals.  If quilting didn’t take up most of my time, I would definitely try to make time for art journaling. But as is, I have too many hobbies.

This is due to ship out next week.  All I’ve got left to do is complete some finishing touches on a little gift for the next quilter bee who is in line for this quilt top and it will be heading north to Connecticut.  A long way from the 70 degrees it’s been enjoying here with me.

I hope to see what my bee quilt is looking like soon and will definitely share that.  These traveling quilt groups do take up some time, but they are so worth it.  The experience is a grand one.  This is the second traveling one I’ve been in and they were both miles of fun.  You are getting outside your comfort zone and trying new things and the camaraderie is the best part.  We have an active IG conversation going and every morning I awake to silly little messages and lots of fun conversations.  Our group is very chatty which makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

If you are looking to join a traveling group, just post something on IG to get the ball rolling or put together a little group yourself of a few online friends.  The first group I was in I started just by saying I wanted to be in a traveling group and one formed the same day I posted.  This group, I was invited to by an online friend of a group she had formed.

Til next time!



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