Scrappy Ocean Waves!
took me 2 years on and off to piece this beauty....
blocks are 6" finished, all the 1/2 square triangles finish at a tiny
Ocean Waves quilt: 91"X104"
Not for the faint of heart, this quilt contains 2,124 half-square
(and that doesn't include all the other pieces, just the half-square
Not including the solid borders, this quilt contains 5,884 pieces!
Did the desire to
this quilt ever strike you?
Did the 'inset' squares scare you off? With this two block method, you
can avoid inset seams and construct this quilt more easily than you
The main unit for this quilt is a 1/2 square triangle square that
finishes at 1.5" when it is sewn into the block. There are many ways
that you can construct your 1.5" finished 1/2 square triangle
square...from template cutting, to rotary cutting, to the use of
foundation papers like "Thangles"
or the use of special rulers like The
Wondercut Ruler or the Easy
Angle ruler by Ez International. Both of these rulers create 1/2
square triangles by cutting from strips without having to use the
"add 7/8" to the finished size" usual rotary cutting instructions.
I use both rulers equally for different projects.
This quilt also used "bonus" 1/2 square triangle squares that I
collected over time from
doing the "place a square on top of another square or rectangle, and
sew across the diagonal" dog-eared seams method, as described on my Star Struck Quilt
If you are "regular" rotary cutting, these blocks are made completely
from 2 3/8"
cut triangles. My quilt is made from scraps divided simply into
light/dark of every color. These diagrams are in 3 colors only to help
you envision the block construction. Click on the links for each block
to view the same blocks from my quilt.
Ocean waves block 1A
Ocean waves block 1B:
What was really intriguing about this
that it is a 'positive/negative' design graphically. Above you will see
block 1A and 1B. Do you see how they are made from 4 quarter
blocks...each with the darks all facing the same direction in each
quarter, and those quarters pinwheel around the center? Do you also see
that block 1A and block 1B are opposite from each other? It is
to see how the lights/darks fall in each block, and that each row
"pinwheels" around in the proper direction. If one row contains
block 1A, the next row will contain block 1B.
My quilt is queen size. It is 11 blocks X 13 blocks. Half of the blocks
blocks 1A and 1B. The other half are Block 2 (shown below)
Along with the full blocks as shown above, the outside of the quilt
center is made from half blocks that complete the pattern. The half
blocks for block 1 are like this:
half block 1A: make 14
half block 1B: make 12
ocean waves block 2
For this block you will need to piece 'wing' triangles onto your pieced
1/2 square triangle squares to make the corners that surround the
square. These wing triangles are also cut from 2 3/8" squares, cut once
from corner to corner diagonally. If you use the Easy
Angle ruler for cutting your wing triangles, they are easily cut
from 2" scrap strips, so you don't have to do the 3/8" measurement
thing. I really like this ruler for cutting the wing triangles. It has
the seam allowance added already, and one of the corners is already
nipped as you cut, so there are less dog ears to deal with. Give it a
The center square is rotary cut at 4 3/4". Cut 72 of these center
You will also notice with this block that there is a
positive/negative thing going on with the corners. 2 of the corners
have 3 darks around a light, and the other two corners have 3 lights
around a dark. This block can be rotated to go which way you need it to
in the rows to keep the positive/negative thing going.
You will need to also make 1/2 blocks of
Again the positive/negative thing will change depending on which row
you are working on. On one row, the dark wings will be sewn to the
right corner, and the light wings sewn to the left corner. In the
next row, it may be opposite, so watch your design wall carefully as
you lay these out. Here are your half blocks for block
ocean waves half-block 2a: make
waves half block 2b: make 12
With these 1/2 blocks the
triangle needs to have the straight of grain to the outside long edge
of the block. For the large triangles, cut 6 squares 7.25"
the squares twice from corner to corner with an X to get 4 large
triangles from each square. You need 22 triangles for the quilt, this
will give you 24 so you have 2 extra 'just in case'.
Corner quarter blocks:
Make 2 quarter blocks with DARK wings around a light triangle and
2 quarter blocks with light wings around a dark triangle.
For the large triangles for
corners, the straight grain needs to be on the outside edges of the
triangles. Cut 2 squares 3 7/8" square. Cut from corner to corner
diagonally once to give you 4 large corner triangles.
Now the fun part
out the blocks
and assembling them into the quilt top. I worked my quilt in
making enough of blocks 1 and 2 for each row, and starting and ending
each row with the half block that it needed for that row. I then sewed
the blocks into the row, and then added that row to the previous row. I
always checked when sewing the next row, that the pinwheels in the
center of the pinwheel blocks were turning the way I wanted them to.
Lay them out as you go, and be sure they are. If you find you made the
block spinning the wrong way, set it aside for the next row that spins
that way...I can't tell you the number of times that I did that!
Do you see how the block 1 A's fit with the block 2 corners turned the
way they are? This is correct.
This is NOT:
You would need to rotate the center block so that the light wings are
in the upper left corner for this row and work with the block 1 Bs.
This pic shows my top in progress...at the far left of the pic is the
half row that is the TOP of the quilt. after the top row 1/2 row, there
are 6 rows of blocks attached. See if you can find out where the block
1's and 2's are.
Can you see the difference in how block 1a spins from 1b? Find the
center of each pinwheel block....it will help you.
Here it is getting bigger yet! This time I have the row of half blocks
at the far right of the picture...see the large triangles on the edge?
Look also at the pic at the top of this page to find which way the
Close up of blocks and borders:
I finished off the quilt by floating it with a 1.5" (2" cut) inner
border, and then a border of more triangles sewn into pinwheels. A 6"
cut outer border frames the whole thing and gives the eyes a place to
rest. I'm looking forward to getting this one quilted!
know this pattern page is not complete without a complete quilt
Currently I am EQ5 challenged in getting this into the full
quilt layout to import a snapshot!
I hope this at least gets you
started on the way to cutting and sewing and planning your own ocean
I plan on updating this page with more pics as I learn to
set the various blocks and half blocks and quarter blocks correctly
or Comments? I would love to hear from you!! Bonnie@Quiltville.com
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