Save our Oceans II

Save Our Oceans II: How do I quilt it?

"How do I quilt Save Our Oceans II?" is the second in the series where I show you what I would do with some of the printed quilt tops available from the online shop.  A video is also available on YouTube.

Save Our Oceans II is part of the Earth Day 2020 series.  The printed quilt tops all have a similar look and feel, with different sea creatures featured on them, other than Elephantom.

Save Our Oceans II features two whales, and come in a variety of colours.  The one I chose to quilt is Yellow.  The background is water with a subtle change in colour to show light reflecting through it.

Where to start

Where to start?

As with all quilts, a few things need to be considered before you get going:

  1. Theme of the quilt - well that is easy, the ocean!
  2. Anything you want to focus on - the whales for me.
  3. Rulers?  Not on this one, it's curvy and less structured than e.g. Cityscape.  You could use a wavy ruler in the water if you like, but personally I'd use that space to go with the flow.
  4. Thread colour.  I chose to change my thread for the whales, but only used two colours over the entire quilt.  The lines in the background determined my thread colour for the background, and the dominant colour on the whales in this case was yellow.

Save Our Oceans II can also be done on a domestic sewing machine.  Baste it as you would normally, and start in the middle working your way out.  I would start with the whales, and do the background last, still starting in the middle.

The hippie style of the whales makes it a lovely spot to experiment with different designs.  The lines in the whales do not dictate what you can quilt, since essentially it could simply be a fabric appliqué.  I did like the way that it gave me ideas of what to quilt on the whales.

Shelly, curvy stuff

The water

The water background gives you an idea of what to quilt.  I chose to follow some of the lines, but not get restricted by them.  As you can see in the photograph, I added curls and curves between the blue lines, adding additional texture, and extending the quilting.

Having learned from Cityscape, I did make sure that I tied off my stitches when I got to the whales.  Now a quick tip with the writing:  Once I had decided that I was going to do couching over the letters, the water didn't have to stop at the writing, so I just quilted all over it.  The yarn of the couching will cover all of that up.

Save Our Oceans

I did not start the quilt with the intention of doing couching over the letters.  I had at first thought that I will give it a corally, shelly texture.  Once I started doing the curves over the letters, I decided that it did not do justice to what I wanted to draw attention to: Save Our Oceans.  It seemed to get lost on the quilt.  So I gave it some thought, chose glimmer yarn, spread it over the quilt to "audition" it, but somehow I still wasn't sure.  So I continued with the water - I was sure about that.  And the thought of unpicking all that curve over "Save Our Oceans" gave me the heeby-jeebies.

But the glimmer was a bit overwhelming, so back to the stash I went and found this pink yarn.  At first I was a bit hesitent, not certain that I'm doing the right thing.  And since I had already made a mess with the shell curvy thing, I stepped away and had a cup of coffee.

Yip, when you're not sure you're doing the right thing, rather take a break.  Go do something else: talk to the cats and dogs, feed the birds, look for the frog in the pond.  Then go back, and take another look - and yes, the yarn will work!


"Save Our Oceans" is in relatively straight lines, so you could just go up and down until you have the letters filled.  Not this quilter though, nope, I have to make sure that it is ALL covered up, so I go up, down, maybe a bit curved, back over that spot, and just for extra measure, do it again.  It's fun though!

I would suggest that you use a couching foot on your machine, a domestic machine too, though with the hopping/darning foot you should have enough control over the yarn to get away with it.  Slip it through the hole, and make sure you catch the yarn with your stitches.  You can use the couching foot that comes with some sewing machines, but they limit you to straight lines only, you may end up having to turn the quilt this way and that way to keep a continuous line going.  This will frustrate me to no end.

Save Our Oceans II
Save Our Oceans II
Save Our Oceans II couching

The whales

The whales on "Save Our Oceans II" have a hippie type design.  In saying this I mean curves, flowers, more curves and some zentangle stuff.  Use the outlines for these shapes by all means if you want to practise your moves, or use the shapes to inspire your own quilting.

I feathered some of the stuff that looks like branches with leaves.  I feathered some of the flowers, and then I curved and flowered others.  I bubbled a mouth, and the other I just curved.  I went over areas multiple times to travel to other places.  This design is just so forgiving, you can literally do whatever you want!

Save Our Oceans II

And then it was done!

I was kinda disappointed when I got to the end, because that meant it was time for binding - I don't like binding.  It's boring and simple, nothing exciting in binding.

Anyway, I made my label (yes, label your quilt!), and a slip to hang it up.  And then added the binding.

It's a beautiful piece, and I don't think I'm going to sell it - nope, gonna keep it for that beach house coming in the future - don't know when!

Happy quilting!


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