Last Christmas I treated myself to a beautiful strip pieced quilting book called Lovely Landscape Quilts. It was full of inspiration and I’ve been really wanting to have a go at sewing a strip pieced quilt ever since.

I spotted the Timeless Treasures Tonga Treat Squares on the Minerva Crafts website which are 40 x 10 inch squares of batik fabrics in a particular colourway. One of the packs featured turquoise and yellow fabrics which were ideal for a sea scape.

I used my Stripology ruler to cut 1.5 inch strips and then I laid them out on my cutting table until I found a layout I liked. I tried to make sure I didn’t put any of the same print too close to each other. The one downside with these fabrics is they are so vibrant it was sometimes hard to tell the front from the back.

I stitched them together one row at a time, pressed all the seams and then joined the rows. I added an offcut of wadding and backed it with a turquoise fat quarter from my stash. Then I quilted waves using a few different coloured threads, including Gutermann Metallic Threads to give it a bit of sparkle.

I decided to applique a turtle onto the sea. I drew the design free hand on a sheet of paper to get my template, then cut around it. I drew around that template onto an offcut of light weight interfacing and a piece of turquoise Oakshott fabric. I thought I would try reverse applique, so I put a piece of blue Organza Fabric face down onto the interfacing, then the Oakshott fabric. I stitched around the edge of the turtle shape, trimmed off the edges of the organza and then cut a hole in the centre of the interfacing. I cut out the middle of the interfacing and turned through the turtle (so there were no raw edges.) The inch or so of interfacing left around the edges helped to stabilise them.

I appliqued the turtle onto the quilted sea, a bit of the white interfacing showed around the edges so I did a thick blue satin stitch to try and hide that. Then I stitched the lines of the turtle shell and cut back the organza so there was only a little left near the stitching. It was only my second time doing reverse applique so it was a bit nerve wracking. It was tricky cutting the organza off without cutting the Oakshott underneath but I managed it in the end and really love the effect it gives.

My son is trying to claim this quilt to go on his bedroom wall (just like he claims everything I make!) but I’m hoping to use it for an exhibition my quilt guild, The South West Modern Quilt Guild, are holding next year.