painted paddles


I’m so happy to have this one finished! It seems it was a long time coming, so I’m extra excited to see it completed. The blocks were inspired by an image of a painted oar, and I thoroughly enjoyed pairing colors and coming up with other designs that fit this nautical look.


I’m reminded how much I love quilts made out of solids (in fact, I keep thinking about another quilt to use up some of my solid scraps, so maybe that’ll be up soon!). These solids are the Hawthorne Hues from Hawthorne Threads.


Anyway, I made up a stack of blocks, then it took me forever to decide on fabric for sashing. I ultimately went with Carolyn Friedlander’s black crosshatch, which was one of my first options (isn’t that always the way?). I’m pleased with the decision – I didn’t really want to add in another solid, but I love that this gives the look of a solid from afar, but adds extra interest as you get closer.


I used one of my other sashing options for a majority of the backing (a floral Lotta Jansdotter print), along with a pieced strip made out of the leftover solids.


Things didn’t get easier/faster once I had the quilt top and backing finished. I got it sandwiched and ready, but then couldn’t decide on quilting. I drew lines for some diagonal quilting, then added lines for something else, and then thought I should change it all up and tried to draw lines for a vertical quilting design. After it all, I had no idea what lines I was meant to follow, so set it aside rather than try to figure it out. My sewing machine needs a trip to the sewing machine doctor (it sews fine, but starts to make an awful noise after any amount of quilting…probably not good). Luckily my mom has the same machine, which I borrowed in order to quilt my Umbrella Prints Trimmings quilt. Before returning it, I took the opportunity to get one additional quilt quilted. I picked the darkest quilting lines to follow (what a way to decide, right?!), which gave me this diagonal grid.


Being forced to just go for it kept me from second guessing the quilting, which is good, because as I said, I’m really happy that it’s finally finished!

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23 Responses to painted paddles

  1. 1
    Diane Harris says:

    This is such a great post. I loved your description of the quilting process, because you sound like such a free spirit. No matter how you made the decisions, the quilt turned out beautifully! Thanks for some wonderful entertainment over my morning coffee. Quilt on!

  2. 2
    Fran says:

    What a fabulous idea! Love the originality 🙂

  3. 3
    Janequiltsslowly says:

    What a great idea for a quilt! I really love the quilting. I also struggle with the ‘how do I quilt this’ decision. Finished feels so good.

  4. 4
    Rochelle says:

    This is such a bright quilt. Love it.

  5. 5
    Tiffany says:

    So beautiful! I love the subtle crosshatch with the solids.

  6. 6
    Ieverytime I see this quilt over the years I still absolutely love it .....I don't know why as I don't usually go for all solids but you've obviously struck something with me ! Thankyou ...... And I would love to make one if you published the pattern! says:

    Thanks for all your inspiration …please keep it up …your quilts are a joy xx

  7. 7
    Linn says:

    My brother would have loved this quilt — he loved to sail and was out on the lake every chance he got. When I asked him what colors he wanted in the quilt I wanted to make him, he said — every color in the rainbow! Sadly he passed away before I finished it.

  8. 8
    Chris Hart says:

    Great colors! Love this one.

  9. 9
    Cassandra says:

    Wow! This quilt is gorgeous! The texture of the background print really does highlight all of those beautiful solids.

  10. 10
    Liz says:

    Your work is so original and vibrant! Thank you for the inspiration.

  11. 11
    Sandra says:

    This is gorgeous. I like the diagonal quilting, particularly the dense stitching you used in part of it. It breaks up the design.
    The design is interesting. Bravo!

  12. 12
    Carla says:

    It’s so amazing! The colours pop!!

  13. 13
    Camilla says:

    This is one of my recent favourites of your quilts. It’s come together beautiful and the cross hatch is perfect for the background to complement and offset those colourful blocks!

  14. 14
    Whitney L says:

    Love this quilt – so creative and interesting! I’m sorry to hear about your machine. Just thought I’d share – I was having a similar problem with my Brother recently. Regular sewing was fine, but quilting with my walking foot was not going well. The machine would creak and squeal. The walking foot would jump occasionally and sometimes skip stitches. It was terrible. I would pull the walking foot off, do some regular sewing, and everything was perfectly fine. Turned out to be the walking foot that came with my machine that was causing the problem. The arm mechanism inside was grating/sticking with each stitch. I took it into a dealer – they pulled it apart and found metal shavings inside! They added a little sewing machine oil/grease and put it back together. That helped enough that I was able to finish the quilt I was working on, but it was starting to cause problems again. After that, I bought a new, more expensive open-toed walking foot and have had no problems! I think the foot that came with the machine was just supremely cheap, and poorly made. 🙁

  15. 15

    This is perfection. I love that you nailed nautical without being predictable. It’s like a modern sampler. I adore this.

  16. 16
    Heather Mallady says:

    I love love love this quilt!

  17. 17
    beatrijs says:

    Beautiful! What color thread did you use for the quilting? I have a quilt planned with bright colors on a similar background and I’m not sure what thread color to use.

  18. 18
    Claudia says:

    I have been watching you make this quilt and now that it is finished I can tell you how much i love it. Beautiful blocks, pretty fabrics and altogether a perfect match! Such a charming beautiful quilt!

  19. 19
    Kate says:

    Outstanding! I’ve loved this since you first showed us the top (or was it the blocks, even?). Gosh it looks good. I so enjoy reading the story of your quilts; I guess it’s a big part of every quiltmaker’s enjoyment of the long, involved process and why it’s a craft so suited to sharing with words as well as pictures. You remind me that I need to spend less time looking at Instagram and more time sewing with a dash of quality blog reading instead. (The writing a quilt blog bit — I salute you for finding the time to do it. My almost-two year old and her big sisters won’t let me tap out a comment on my iPad without many interruptions so I can only imagine how organised you must be to fit in writing a blog amongst other responsibilities.)

  20. 20
    Ginny says:

    Love this take on nautical! The solids are so beautiful and I love that spoke about your challenges with quilting it – I always have a hard time deciding! Great finish!

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    Please oh please make this into a pattern! I would love to make it!!! It is so gorgeous and inspiring. Very very well done. Thank you for remaining and active quilt blogger and sharing your passion with us.

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