Get Away – Storm at Sea

Get Away is the Island Batik Blog Hop theme for January 2019. And, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make Storm at Sea, a traditional block–but I ended up altering it in a modern way.

First…the Fabrics! My fabrics are from the Soul Song Collection by Island Batik.

This collection goes from brights to muted black/cream.

I decided to use these fabrics shown below in the project–you’ll see why in a moment.

I used these Island Batik Soul Song fabrics and added an Island Batik neutral called Whip Cream.
I love the words in this fabric from the Island Batik Soul Song Collection. It comes in 3 different colorways.

My inspiration is an old poem that I remembered from my childhood. Since I’m from Maryland and now live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, sailing came to mind as one of the ways people like to Get Away. But, sailors must watch the weather. Here’s the poem that I decided to use –the 2nd line inspired my color placement.

Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning

Here is the traditional Storm at Sea block with solid colors. (EQ8)
Here is the traditional block as a mockup in EQ8. I downloaded the Island Batik fabric files and imported them into EQ8 to approximate the colors in the final quilt.
Here is a traditional layout for a Storm at Sea quilt. Notice the illusion of waves or curves? It’s a lovely effect, reminiscent of waves on the ocean. It’s amazing! Making this quilt requires very precise piecing using templates or machine paper piecing.

My Process

I decided that I wanted to play with scale, so instead of making a quilt with lots of Storm at Sea Blocks, I sent the gray scale image Staples and they enlarged and printed it large scale and it came out to about 30 inches square.

I printed the block in grayscale on white paper at Staples. It measures approximately 30 inches.

If you want to make your own version, here’s the file!

I cut out parts of the large scale version to make templates to cut my fabric patches. I cut out the block parts, pasted the sections to card stock and added a 1/4 inch seam allowance. However, to be extra certain, I cut each fabric patch slightly oversized. Please note that this is definitely NOT paper piecing or even very precise piecing. Although I was careful, I decided that I wasn’t aiming for a precisely pieced quilt.

Templates cut from the printout pasted on manila folder cardstock.
I cut away some of the blocks from the print out to make the templates. Here’s the center block in progress.
Notice that the red/orange center was made with free hand improvisational curves. I decided to imitate a sunrise or sunset with a red aura, just as the sun hovered over the horizon. I wanted to imply it…not make a literal landscape. The fabric for the corners of the center block looked like storm clouds and large waves at sea during a storm.
Another in progress view. But, another idea for the next step is taking hold for me.
Here is the final quilt. As I was constructing it, I decided that taking a traditional approach–precisely pieced–was really not interesting enough for me. Instead, I wanted the FEEL of a storm at sea with the red sky. It needed to be more irregular, more chaotic. To achieve that, I added improvisational piecing between the 3 rows. I also added a small irregular border to the outside of the middle row. Finally, I fractured the top diamond and the bottom 2 corner blocks by adding some ‘orange/red sunlight’ . I now love this piece–and I’ll be thinking about how to quilt it. I’ll use Hobbs batting–I have a silk batting that I’d like to experiment with or I’ll go with my standard wool. Hobbs is one of the generous sponsors for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors.

My Give Away

My Giveaway to celebrate the end of my tenure as an Island Batik Ambassador and as a thank you to my loyal readers will be a large bag of lovely batik fabric from the Soul Song collection. These are fabrics that I had left after making this project and it includes large scraps and half yard pieces. I’m also adding Aurifil thread to the Giveaway. Aurifil is one of the sponsors for the Island Batik Ambassadors for 2018.

Assorted fat quarter to half yard sizes approximately–and I’m adding a couple of other surprise fabrics from Island Batik!
Pile of large scraps
Sample size spools in different weights and colors
This is a deep purple Aurifil thread great for quilting.

COMMENTS CLOSED. WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL.

I’ll choose someone at random who comments on this post–USA addresses only please. I have to approve comments for many posters, so if you do NOT see it right away, please give me until the end of the day to catch up on approvals. Comment by February 3rd, 12 Noon US Eastern. One winner will be chosen and contacted by February 5th. DO NOT put your email address in the actual comment–the system logs it automatically when you complete the comment form. (USA only please–Sorry to my international friends).

Island Batik GiveAway

Island Batik Fabric company is also giving away wonderful prizes — click this link and scroll down to the end of their blog post to enter.


The Island Batik Ambassadors have a wonderful blog hop and giveaway this month. Go HERE for my earlier post showing all of the Ambassador links. Visit my friends on their blogs and you might win some fabulous giveaways.

56 thoughts on “Get Away – Storm at Sea”

  1. Love the storm at sea block but haven’t made one yet. Have just moved it up a bit on the “must do” list! Love the colors you used!

  2. thedarlingdogwood

    This is beautiful! I love how you altered the storm at sea block to create the storm itself. Lovely!

  3. I absolutely love the quilt you made with this gorgeous line! I made a simple two color storm at sea in a class on paper piecing and yours is totally outrageously wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your design progress. I’m loving it and am thrilled with the way you changed up the pattern.

  4. I love your quilt. The color placement is perfect. Storm at Sea is a wonderful pattern for this fabric.

  5. Maryellen McAuliffe

    So vibrant, and great inspiration and creation. Don’t enter me for the fabric. We’ll miss you!

  6. Wow, the improv piecing really added a lot of interest to the storm at sea pattern! I especially like the curves in the center square. And the bright bold colors are really gorgeous.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous quilt! I love the way you added the extra’s to make it really very interesting. I love it!
    Thank you so much for the wonderful giveaway.

  8. Carole, your quilt is so pretty! Great job. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this awesome prize! I remember hearing my grandmother quote that poem and it has always stuck with me! Thanks for that good memory!! I’m sorry you won’t be returning as an ambassador next year.

  9. Thanks for getting the comments fixed! As I mentioned, you have done a beautiful job! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Carole. Your Storm at Sea is beautiful! That pattern is on my quilting bucket list. Your color choices are excellent and your improv piecing is stunning!

  11. Great quilt! I do love your altered version and courage in going there. I don’t think I could ever do that, but who knows… Will miss you on the ambassador group, but will continue to follow your work.

  12. Your quilt is stunning! The improv piecing really make it. Thanks for the inspiration–Storm at Sea is on my quilt bucket list.

  13. Thank you so much for the beautiful pattern and for being willing to share your gorgeous fabrics!! Thanks also for fixing the comments!! New follower!

  14. I really like your improv idea! I have downloaded your block (although I think I have it already in my EQ7), and plan to try some improv of my own.

  15. Your color choices are wonderful and I like that you color outside the box when putting your blocks together. Like the others I’d like to have your leftovers. It gives me a chance to try something new in color and other types of thread that I have not been aware of .

  16. Nice as I said on instagram. ..love the colors you got and great idea for a quilt…tytyty for sharing your talents with us all….

  17. I love your version of this traditional block. It is lovely and so fun to look at. Thank you for the inspiration!

  18. What fun to see how you took this block to a new level. I like the improv twist! My dad was in the Navy and often quoted those lines from that poem. Brings back memories. Looking forward to taking a class from you in June.

  19. I love your modern interpretation of this block! And it is so you! The colors are a great representation of the poem too. The quilt is absolutely inspired. Thanks for sharing this. I will miss you as an Island Batik ambassador, and am looking forward to following your next adventures.

  20. What beautiful fabrics to work with!! I have never made a Storm At Sea quilt. After seeing your blog post, I think I should try. Thanks for your great blog post and all the pictures! Thanks too for such an excellent give away!!

  21. I have always loved the Storm at Sea pattern, but you have taken it up a notch with your version and the Soul Song fabrics make it “singL. Sorry to hear you are leaving us and will no longer be an Island Batik Ambassador. You will still be blogging won’t you? Now that I’ve found you I would miss seeing your beautiful work!
    Carol Andrews

  22. So happy the link is fixed! I’d LOVE to win your giveaway, but am thrilled with your take on this block! The colors are gorgeous! You’ve been an AMAZING Ambassador for Island Batik! Thank you for you generosity!

  23. I’m glad you’re link is fixed! You did an amazing job with this block! I love your choice of colors, and especially love the improv strips. You’ve been a wonderful Ambassador for Island Batiks, and I’ve enjoyed following your creations. Thank you for your generosity.

  24. Christine Wiseman

    I love your Storm at Sea! I started a quilt in this pattern once, but never finished. But I really like what you’ve done by enlarging the block and bringing in the storm!

  25. The Storm at Sea block is such a classic design and you have updated and contemporized it nicely. Love the fabrcs and color palette also. It has been a real joy and inspiration to see your creations this past year.

  26. I love your take on Storm at Sea and the improvisation you added! Beautiful fabrics I’d love to win!

  27. I love the Storm at Sea block and hope to make a quilt with it one day. I love your version though. So spirited and artistic. And the colors! perfection. I’ll miss you this year though. Your designs are always so fresh. Good luck on your next adventure!

  28. Oh…I love your version. When I was first into quilting, I joined a Guild. The first thing we did was a charity quilt “Storm at Sea”, for me at that time it as one of the hardest blocks ever. I promised myself I would never do another one. Yours is awesome.

  29. This is absolutely gorgeous! I loved reading about how you took a traditional block and made it your own contemporary style through a series of steps. I loved that you included why you did what you did. What you were thinking as you went along. This was very, very helpful to me as a quilt maker who likes to design her own quilts or tweak traditional blocks. Thank you!

  30. Carole, I continue to admire and be amazed by your keen eye for color and design! I love how this piece gives my eye the impression of curves, but there are none! I also love your improv piecing to involve the chaotic feeling of a true storm at sea. Bravo to you, as always!

  31. Chiquita Pearson

    Love how you ‘flip’ a traditional block. Your thought process is truly inspiring. Your year as an ambassador sure went fast.

  32. Beautiful fabric & quilt. Love how you used the colors to make it pop. Good choice of pattern used – I have made a Storm at Sea quilt, still in progress though. Love how it plays with shapes & movement to make the quilt what it is.

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