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Quilt workshops – all things nautical

I have a love of nautical quilts, fabrics and all things nautical that goes back many years, perhaps to being brought up by the sea in Sussex. Over the years I’ve created a wide variety of different quilted items from small wall-hangings to the super-king-size quilt in our biggest B&B room which has more than 1600 pieces (shown below).

This would be too big to do in a weekend workshop (it took me well over a year!) but below are some of the projects that you could do on a day workshop or during a quilt retreat. Beach huts are a popular choice and I have seen some lovely variations on the ones I’ve made from guests on workshops here in the last few years. This first one is great for new quilters and can be almost finished in a half day workshop.

This next hanging I made when my football team were fighting one of their annual battles to avoid relegation. The first four beach huts have horizontal stripes and the final one has vertical red and white stripes that echo the kit of Sunderland AFC! It also explains the wording below the huts about sunny days in Sunderland!

You can have as many beach huts as you like and make a small wall-hanging, a large wall-hanging or a table runner.

Another great beginners project is a nine-patch quilt. This one I made from a nautical themed charm pack by Janet Clare (who also loves nautical fabrics) and I added some other nautical fabrics I had picked up on trips to the USA. In the centre of each nine patch I added a star made by English Paper Piecing diamond shapes together and then appliquéing them onto the block. I sewed the small diamonds whilst ‘back-packing’ around the west of Scotland by train. Sitting sewing and admiring the glorious, ever-changing scenery – my idea of bliss!

Another nine patch quilt this time made of left-over nautical squares that I had cut the wrong size for the super-king-size quilt at the top of this post. I off set the blocks to add interest to the layout and alternated blocks with dark and light corners.

The sister quilt (they are both in the twin bedded room in our holiday cottage) is made of one larger square of nautical fabric with smaller squares on two sides.

The quilts have been beautifully quilted by Jennifer Huish of Harmony Quilting, both with this pattern of shells and starfish. 

This is a quilt I made around 25 years ago. It is signal flags and somewhere I read that this design spells out the message that Nelson sent before the start of the Battle of Trafalgar ‘England expects that every man will do his duty’. I’m not sure if the flags do spell this but I liked the idea of putting it on a quilt. At the time we had decorated our hall and landing with nautical wallpaper and various nautical objects and the quilt hung there for many years until we moved from Sussex to Norfolk, Nelson’s county.

A couple of years ago both Mike and I did a screen printing workshop in our village hall and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Below are the prints Mike made from one beach hut stencil. I’ve quilted the single hut but I’m yet to decide what to make out of his row of beach huts (inspired by the huts at nearby Wells-next-the-sea).

If you fancy having a go at screen printing or making something nautical please get in touch at