Ship Ahoy

Materials

  • 50cm of Sky fabric
  • 60cm of Stripe fabric
  • 30cm of Map fabric
  • 20cm of Coins fabric
  • 15cm of Red print fabric for sails
  • 1 fat quarter of Pirates fabric
  • 15cm of Skull and Cross bone fabric
  • 25cm of Treasure chest fabric – a little extra is allowed for 'fussy' cutting
  • 25cm of Bond-a-web
  • 1.2m of wadding
  • 1.2m of backing fabric

Finished Size

108cm (42in) square

Skill Level

Beginner

You can download a copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Ship Ahoy

Cutting Requirements

Cut the following pieces. To make life easier, they can be cut as strips across the width and then cross-cut into the required shape.

  • One 3 3⁄8in strip across the width of the red print fabric and cross-cut this into eight 3 3⁄8in squares for the sails
  • One 3 3⁄8in strip across the width of the skull and cross bone fabric and cross-cut this into five 3 3⁄8in squares for the flags
  • One 3in strip across the width of the coins fabric and cross-cut this into five 5 1⁄2 x 3in rectangles for the boat bases
  • Cut one 3 3⁄8in strip across the width of the coin fabric and cross-cut this into five 3 3⁄8in squares for the boat bows and stern
  • Two 3 3⁄8in strips across the width of the sky fabric and cross-cut this into eighteen 3 3⁄8in squares
  • Three 3in strips across the width of the sky fabric and cross-cut this into five 3in squares and ten 3 x 8in rectangles
  • One strip 10 1⁄2in across the width of the treasure map fabric and cross-cut this into four 10 1⁄2in squares
  • Either fussy cut sixteen 3 1⁄2in squares of treasure chest fabric, keeping the treasure chest central or cut two 3 1⁄2in strips across the width of the fabric and cross-cut these into sixteen 3 1⁄2in squares
  • Six 3 1⁄2in strips across the width of the stripe fabric and cross-cut these into twenty-four 10 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2in rectangles

Block Construction

Figure 1
Figure 1: Boat Block
  1. To make half square triangles, mark a diagonal line with a pencil on the wrong side of two squares. Place the squares right sides together and stitch 1⁄4in along either side of the diagonal. Cut along the marked diagonal and open the units out. Press the seam allowance with an up and down movement towards the darker fabric and trim the 'ears' at the end of the seams.
  2. Following Figure 1, check you have your triangles in the right direction before joining. Take a red print square and a matching sky square and make half square triangles following the method above. This will form two 3in half square triangle squares. Stitch these two squares together. Repeat to make another two squares the same. Stitch these two strips together.
  3. Using the method above, take a skull and cross bone fabric square and a matching sky square and make a half square triangle block as above. This will result in two squares. Put one aside for another boat block.
  4. Stitch to a 3in sky square, then stitch to the upper edge of the sails. Sew a sky rectangle to each side of the sails.
  5. Using the half square triangle technique, take one 3 3⁄8in square of coins fabric and place it on top of a matching sky square. Stitch and cut to form two 3in squares. Place these either end of the boat base rectangle. Stitch in place.
  6. Sew the boat base to the sky and sails. Make three more blocks the same. Make the central block in the same way as the previous blocks but use skull and cross-bone fabric to make the entire sail.

Pirates

Pirates
  1. Either appliqué the pirates onto the boats or, following the manufacturers instructions, press bond-a-web to the reverse of the pirate fabric and cut out individual pirates as far as you are able. Place these onto the boats as desired.
  2. It would be tricky to satin stitch around these pirate figures due to the colour changes but to make it a bit more hard wearing you could use a blind hem stitch or small zigzag and invisible thread.

Quilt Assembly

Figure 2
Figure 2: Sashing Assembly
  1. Sew a treasure chest square to one end of three striped rectangles to form a striped sashing strip as shown in Figure 2. Repeat four times to make four rows. Press the seams towards the striped sashing fabric.
  2. Alternating the boat block with a treasure map block, arrange the blocks and sashing units as shown in the photo and join into rows. Press the seams away from the blocks towards the stripe fabric.
  3. Join all the rows together. You should find that because of the way you have pressed the quilt, the seams nestle together neatly at the corners. Press the whole quilt top well when you have finished.
Figure 2

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Layer the quilt top with the wadding and backing. Safety pin together about 4in apart. Hand or machine quilt. You could choose to follow some of the wiggly lines on the treasure map or just sew around the outline of the boat and the inside of each block and sashing square.
  2. Trim the edges of the wadding level with the quilt top. Leave the backing and top fabrics about 1⁄4in larger all round. Fold the top fabrics over the wadding and pin in place. Fold a hem on the backing fabric and oversew the edge or top stitch all round the quilt with two rows of stitching. This traditional edge was often used for wholecloth quilts where a binding would spoil the effect of the quilt. Alternatively, you could bind the quilt as usual using the stripe fabric. In this case you need to allow a bit extra. Add a label with your name and date and pass to a small child to enjoy.

First published in Popular Patchwork October 2006