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.


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 Responses to Get Away – Storm at Sea

  1. Sandy Allen January 18, 2019 at 6:09 pm #

    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!

    • Carole Lyles Shaw January 19, 2019 at 12:57 am #

      This project was fun–especially when I decided to move into improvisational piecing.

  2. thedarlingdogwood January 18, 2019 at 7:26 pm #

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

  3. Gene Black January 18, 2019 at 8:46 pm #

    I love the quilt you made with these lovely Island Batik fabrics. I think you captured both the block and the feeling of “Storm at Sea.”

  4. Dawn Kelly January 18, 2019 at 9:33 pm #

    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.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw January 19, 2019 at 12:54 am #

      Thanks Dawn for your very kind words. It was fun to move away from the traditional piecing into improvisation.

  5. Christi January 18, 2019 at 11:49 pm #

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

  6. Maryellen McAuliffe January 19, 2019 at 1:15 am #

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

  7. Lisa Marie January 19, 2019 at 8:56 am #

    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.

  8. Joyce Carter January 19, 2019 at 12:17 pm #

    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.

  9. zippyquilts January 19, 2019 at 8:29 pm #

    I recently made a Storm at Sea quilt, but in more conventional colors. I really like your choices!

  10. Brenda January 19, 2019 at 10:05 pm #

    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.

  11. quilterpt January 20, 2019 at 1:35 pm #

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

  12. Allison Evrard January 20, 2019 at 2:01 pm #

    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!

  13. Kathleen McCormick January 20, 2019 at 2:02 pm #

    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.

  14. Cecilia January 20, 2019 at 2:05 pm #

    Your quilt is beautiful! I love the colors and the movement!

  15. Allison Evrard January 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm #

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

  16. farmquilter January 20, 2019 at 3:25 pm #

    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!

  17. Verna A. January 20, 2019 at 4:39 pm #

    Your quilt is simply gorgeous! I always like reading about how a quilt comes together.

  18. myzbarb January 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm #

    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.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw January 20, 2019 at 10:22 pm #

      I’m sure you have a few versions of the Storm at Sea in EQ7. Have fun!

  19. Alicia F Addie January 20, 2019 at 7:50 pm #

    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 .

  20. annalutzbrown January 20, 2019 at 8:16 pm #

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

  21. Pam Jolly January 20, 2019 at 8:20 pm #

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

  22. piecefulwendy January 20, 2019 at 9:37 pm #

    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.

  23. Vicki H January 20, 2019 at 10:25 pm #

    I like how you made your Storm at Sea quilt ‘stormy’. Great, creative idea.
    Thanks for sharing.

  24. Pam January 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm #

    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.

  25. Anita January 21, 2019 at 4:40 am #

    A great version of the Storm at Sea quilt block, love it!

  26. spierssusan January 21, 2019 at 7:32 am #

    What wonderful fabric! Love your quilt & a generous giveaway! Thank you, Susan

  27. Quilting Tangent January 21, 2019 at 9:57 am #

    I never seen a storm at sea block reflecting the sky, very different and interesting.

  28. Deb M January 21, 2019 at 10:01 am #

    Beautiful quilt!!!

  29. Angela J Short January 21, 2019 at 11:27 am #

    Your quilt is beautiful! I love the colors! Enjoy your day!

  30. J. Warner January 21, 2019 at 6:17 pm #

    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!!

  31. Quilt Schmilt January 21, 2019 at 7:36 pm #

    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

  32. Kathy Cummings January 21, 2019 at 10:39 pm #

    Your quilt is beautiful!!! I would love to make that!!!
    Thank you!!

  33. Juanda G January 21, 2019 at 11:21 pm #

    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!

  34. Leanne Parsons January 22, 2019 at 7:32 am #

    Your quilt is wonderful, Carole! I love how you added the improv red pieces throughout the blue to emphasize the sunrise feel. Beautifully done!

  35. Julie January 22, 2019 at 11:42 am #

    I’m sure loving this Island Batik blog hop! So many creative things! Fingers crossed for the win!

  36. dhowardvt January 22, 2019 at 12:12 pm #

    I like that block – and how you took it and improvised! The fabrics are beautiful, too!

  37. Juanda Gikandi January 22, 2019 at 12:29 pm #

    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.

  38. Christine Wiseman January 22, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

    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!

  39. Mary D January 22, 2019 at 5:52 pm #

    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.

  40. cindy m January 22, 2019 at 9:35 pm #

    I absolutely love the wording on the red Soul Song, it speaks to my heart!

  41. Cathy L Wilson January 22, 2019 at 11:29 pm #

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

  42. SarahC January 23, 2019 at 1:45 pm #

    Love the storm at sea block definitely on my to do list generous giveaway

  43. inquiringquilter January 24, 2019 at 12:32 am #

    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!

  44. Barbara Gaddy January 24, 2019 at 7:35 am #

    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.

  45. Mary January 24, 2019 at 7:50 pm #

    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!

  46. Kathy E. January 26, 2019 at 10:08 pm #

    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!

  47. Leah January 26, 2019 at 10:26 pm #

    Beautiful! Love the storm at sea block and you showcased the fabrics well. Lovely!

  48. Jeanne Brown January 28, 2019 at 10:38 am #

    Carole , I think that your storm at sea is just great. Love the way you changed the blocks.

  49. Chiquita Pearson January 30, 2019 at 7:14 pm #

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

  50. Jennene Gibby January 31, 2019 at 8:38 pm #

    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.