Swept Away: Sewvivor Nautical Quilt and Tutorial

Being voted into the top 16 on Sewvivor was so exciting.  Under pressure, I chose to make something classic and simple. I boiled it down to just exactly what Nautical means to me. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-7 Bold stripes, navy blue and aqua, glittering water, and braided rope all mean summer on the water to me. Toss in a friendly beluga whale and you’ve got me sold. So that is exactly what I made. I bound this with my favorite navy blue stripe from the April Showers collection. These stripes are just the icing on the cake. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-8 I was able to use a friend’s long arm since this quilt finishes at about 75″ x 90″. It was my first time using a pantograph, but I’m pleased with the result. I traced a cord in the low volume section and free handed spiral waves in the navy sections. I love the contrast. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-2 I loved pulling this collection of fabric together (and broke out some of the ‘good stuff’ if you know what I mean). It can easily double as a nautical ‘I Spy’ quilt. Turtles, submarines, mermaids, crabs, and seahorses are just the start. I can’t wait to turn this over to my little ones to play with and discover. If you are interested in making a similar quilt, gather up your favorite dark navys and low volumes that tend towards white, aqua or a sandy cream. Sewvivor Nautical Stack The Tutorial: Cut about 15 fat quarters worth of dark blues into 5.5″, 3.75″ and 2.5″ strips. They can be any length you want as long as the widths are consistent. You will want numerically more of the smaller cuts, but about similar weight in each pile. That makes this an AMAZING scrap busting quilt (and it will go together pretty quick!). You’ll need at least 10 fat quarters of ‘low volume’ (tending towards white) prints. For the braid, cut 3.5″ strips from your fat quarters or scraps. Subcut these into 2″ pieces. You’ll use this technique to form the braid. Your braid for this quilt will need to be about 75″ wide. Press the braid, trim it carefully into a smooth strip, and set aside. From the low volume prints, only cut the 3.75″ and 2.5″ strips ***and 150″ of 2″ strips from 1 print or solid white. Sew these together until you have 2 pieces that are 2″ x 75″ and set aside*** securedownload-1 Sew all of the same-width navy strips together. Then, sew all of the same-width low volume strips together. Press seams so that strips lay flat. Cut each continuous strip into 75″ widths. When I was done with this step, I layed my quilt out and it looked like this. Nautical Quilt Layout You might notice the braid hasn’t been framed by the 2″ x 75″ pieces in the picture. I would do that first. Begin sewing your rows together in pairs, always from the same side. Then, sew the paired rows together starting your stitching always from the opposite side. Press and trim the edges even and you’re done with your top! The whale isn’t quite ready for prime time, but you could substitute anything you wanted if you want a focus right there :) Title Page Nautical Quilt It is a simple quilt, but definitely a statement piece. I’m incredibly happy with it, but I’ll be even more happy with it if I find myself in the next round of the competition. So pretty please hop over and vote for me here? They are sending half of the competitors home and I really *REALLY* want a chance to throw my hat in the ring for the handmade bag. I have plans, friends! As always, thank you for reading along! Your comments and support mean the world to me! If you are new here, I’d love to have you subscribe at the link at the top right. 

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26 Responses to Swept Away: Sewvivor Nautical Quilt and Tutorial

  1. 1

    This is gorgeous Amanda!!! The quilting is beautiful and the photos are fantastic!!

  2. 2
    Barbie Mills says:

    What a cute whale! I think the binding is just right too. How amazing that you got to photograph it in Hawaii! I hope you had a wonderful trip!

  3. 3
    Marci Girl says:

    Beautiful and the photography is so good too! Such a pretty nautical quilt!

  4. 4
    nicole says:

    So calm and pretty. I love the little pops of coral and the binding is just perfect! Good luck!

  5. 5

    Awesome Amanda!!! The colors are so perfect and your photos (as always) are gorgeous!!

  6. 6
    Sarah says:

    So pretty!

  7. 7
    Lorrie says:

    I love the quilt and your pics look amazing! Great job!

  8. 8
    Amy says:

    Very pretty. How did you do the whale? (love the addition of the braid.)

  9. 9
    Karen Ann says:

    Beautiful work….and thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  10. 10
    Fran says:

    Lovely idea for a quilt!

  11. 11
    pennydog says:

    The braids are a nice touch, it has great texture.

  12. 12
    Hilary says:

    This is really fantastic! I love the whale and the boldness of the thick stripes.

  13. 13
    Helby says:

    Simply beautiful. You got my vote!

  14. 14
    Katie says:


  15. 15
    Katie says:

    Love it!

  16. 16
    Crystal says:

    Gorgeous girl! Love the simplicity. Good luck x

  17. 17
    Mary Ann says:

    Great quilt! I love quilts with a bit of structure, a bit of improv and a bit of whimsy!

  18. 18
    Erica says:

    Love it! And the scenery doesn’t hurt either :)

  19. 19
    Nancy says:

    i love this classic representation of the nautical theme! the blues and whites are so crisp and clean and the little bits of coral are perfect. and i agree, the striped binding was the perfect choice. plus, i am very jealous of your photo shoot location! so beautiful! great job and good luck!

  20. 20

    I really love the crabs that you gave a sneak peek of during the week, or did I dream that I can’t seem to see them in any of the pictures above. They were cool. Love the white whale (just like Moby Dick!). Can’t wait to see what else you come up with – no pressure! 😉 :)

  21. 21
    Amy Harward says:

    Amanda, this quilt is the epitome of nautical. I love the beluga whale and you did such a great job on your quilting! Good luck!

  22. 22

    My husband and I just went to Kaui for our ten year anniversary back in November! Your pictures make me soooo jealous. That and your quilt is beautiful. I’m all about classic.

  23. 23

    Love it, and the photos set it off perfectly! Those two pops of shell pink really make the blues sing. And congrats on the top 16!

  24. 24
    phlegmfatale says:

    Wonderful work, and in a field of some exceptional work, yours was truly worthy of my vote. Good luck!

  25. 25

    Yes, I echo what every one has said. So lovely and classy!!! I’ve said it before, I love the little white whale. You did such a nice job!! And congrats using a long arm machine for the first time!

  26. 26
    Nancy says:

    Congratulations, I went to Vote and saw that you made it to the Next Round!! Waiting to see the Bag you want to create~

    Huggs, Nancy