I made a new quilt this year! Specifically it was a birthday gift for my boyfriend’s co-worker’s daughter, a sweet little girl who is currently in love with mermaids! Since I just had a few weeks until her birthday, I thought I could make something simple out of some Disney Little Mermaid fabric. But sadly I couldn’t find any at my local Joann’s. So immediately I got an artistic itch and said that I would just draw my own mermaids! So here we have the result 😀 a simple and modern quilt made of 9 blocks: 5 of mermaids in their own unique cameo frames and 4 of different sea life.
Now that the quilt-along is over, you can download the whole pattern via .pdf here:
All the images are appliqued in place – making this quilt nearly 90% applique xD With all that applique I thought once again it would be nice to split the project up into a quilt-along! It’ll be kind of like a block-of-the-month feature, except instead it’s block-of-the-week. So every week for the next few months I’ll introduce a new section of the quilt ^-^ So you have the choice of taking it slow so it’s less overwhelming, or just wait until the end so you can see the whole kitten kaboodle.
I gave this one a 7 because although quilts of themselves are a lot of work, I think applique tends to be easier than lots of detailed patchwork. But that’s just me! If you find applique to be tricky, just be forewarned.
Makes one quilt, about 60” x 60”
The true finished size will depend on the density of your quilting, whether you preshrunk your fabrics, or are using shrinkable cotton batting 🙂
WEEK 1: Supplies & cutting!
For all of your tools, you’ll need:
• Rotary cutter
• Cutting mat
• Other basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
And for your fabrics:
• Applique fabrics: at most 14 different quilting cotton fabrics totaling up to 1 yd. Each piece must be at least 15” x 10”
So you can choose to make all your applique from the same fabric (and get 1 yd. of fabric). Or get a different fabric for each applique piece as I’ve done. If so, make sure to collect pieces that are at least 15” x 10” in size. As you can see from the photo, I chose a combination of pink, fuchsia, coral, teal, and cyan.
• Background fabric: 3½ yards of quilting cotton (I’ve used white as you can see)
• Backing fabric: 4 yards of quilting cotton
• Binding fabric: ½ yard of quilting cotton
• Batting: one piece about 68” x 68” (I’ve used cotton batting)
Other notions you’ll need:
• Thread to match your applique fabric(s)
• Thread to match your background fabric
• 1 3/4 yards of 20” wide fusible web (I used regular Heat n Bond – not the ultra)
• Printer paper (for printing out the patterns — scrap paper is fine)
• Scotch tape (for joining the pattern pieces)
• Safety pins (for basting the quilt later in Week 12)
Basically all of the quilt is made up of your background fabric, so it makes sense to get all of the cutting out of the way at once. Here are the pieces you’ll need:
• The main blocks (A): 15½” x 15½” – x9 pieces
• The vertical sashing (B): 15½” x 2½” – x6 pieces
• The horizontal sashing (C): 49½” x 2½” – x2 pieces
• The vertical border (D): 49½” x 6½” – x2 pieces
• The horizontal border (E): 61½” x 6½” – x2 pieces
In order to make the most of your fabric, it’s important to cut some of your longest pieces, both C & E first. If you’re using standard 40-42” wide fabric, here’s a cutting layout to show what I mean:
The longest pieces, like E & C, need to be cut from the lengthwise grain of your fabric, so cut those first. There should be plenty of room to cut the rest of your pieces from what’s leftover after that.
So you know what you’re in for, this is where all of those pieces are headed:
But for now, just focus on gathering your fabrics and getting them cut 😀
In the next 9 weeks we’re going to dive into making the main blocks of the quilt – one block for each week. Since there’s so much applique it should make the journey nice and relaxing.
Hope to see you then!
8 thoughts on “Mermaid Quilt Quilt-along! It Begins!”
Choly!! Lovely quilt…you do such good work, so imaginative!!! 😉
Thanks so much! ♥
This is so awesome! I love your idea 🙂 But my nieces are BIG fairy and unicorn lovers, so no little mermaids for them 🙁 Maybe someday I will have a little girl or make it for myself 😀
Aw, thank you!
Now I just want to make new versions with fairies and unicorns instead! So cute! ♥
That would be really great! I love the design with the frames and already thought about replacing the appliques but I’m really bad at drawing them myself 😀 Maybe there could also be a version for boys in the future? With knights and dragons or Pirates perhaps 😀
You’re giving me too many awesome ideas! ♥ I’m going to be chained to my sewing machine forever! XD
OMG! Your tutorials are absolutely wonderful!! So organized and beautifully executed! I watch you on dA as well. You give me such inspiration and motivation! Thank you very much for taking the time to make these gorgeous “how-to”‘s!!! <3333
Aww, thank you so much! Kind words like that really brighten my day! I’m so glad my tutorials are able to help you out and motivate you ♥