myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Far Across the Sea block Tutorial

I wrote all the way back here about the Do Good Stitches Charity Bee on Flickr. I am in the Cherish Circle and every month I stitch 2 blocks and send them off to that month’s quilter who puts them together and quilts them. I am happy being a stitcher and letting someone else do the designing and organising, but I thought it would be fun to have one month where I could choose the quilt and choose the charity it went to.
So this is my month.
I wanted to donate a quilt to the charity Autism Initiatives Scotland, a charity I used to volunteer for a few years back. 
So this month’s quilt will be for Kirsty, a 19 year old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, who the charity have identified as someone who would really benefit from having a quilt made specially for her.

Kirsty is at college and hoping to study travel and tourism soon. Her favourite colours are blue, green and turquoise.

So I immediately thought a ‘sea’ theme would fit in well!
I came across a block called ‘Across the Sea’. Ellison Lane Quilts were doing a Quiltalong last year. You can look at the Flickr group here.
I thought the crosses in this block would look great in the ‘sea’ colours on a white background. But the block looked a little easy for the clever ladies in the Cherish Circle…
So I have re-designed it to include 4 crosses in each block. 

I have decided to call it ‘Far Across The Sea’!
The finished quilt should look like this

As there was no specific tutorial to link to I decided to make a quick one for the Cherish Circle stitchers. And then I thought that you guys might like to share it too.

I have asked them to choose 4 prints (or throw in the odd solid) for each block in turquoise, green or blue, on a white background.

A = 2.5 x 2.5 inches
B = 2.5 x 1.5 inches
C = 4.5 x 4.5 inches
D = 4.5 x 2.5 inches

You will need to cut: 
8 x A in white
8 x B in white
8 x B in colour (2 of each print)
1 x C in white
4 x D in white
4 x D in colour (1 in each print)

I am really sorry about these photos! I was doing this at night so the light wasn’t very good and my iron had just broken – hence the very crumpled fabric!
I pieced the block in strips, but first I chain pieced together B’s to B’s, in row 1 and row 5, and B’s to A’s in the middle row. Hopefully you can see this in the photo above.

Then I pieced the 5 rows, and finally pieced these rows in to one block (top photo).
It should end up at 12.5 inches, however, despite using a 1/4 inch seam foot on my machine, my blocks always end up a wee bit smaller! The thing I like about this design is that this won’t matter when I am piecing the blocks as the crosses are ‘floating’. Perfect for a Bee block!

 I thought you might also like to see some of the recent Cherish Circle blocks I have completed.

 This month was all about orange, aqua and greys, but we had a free hand to do whatever we wanted!

 I will take any chance to practice a bit of embroidery at the moment!

More grey mixed with pink and red, and all we had to do this month was include hearts. some of the group made stunning pieced heart blocks,

 But I took the easy option and hand appliqued all mine.

And this was last month’s HST practice project! This is going to be such a gorgeous quilt, well they all are. I can’t wait to see the finished quilts and all the Far Across the Sea blocks I get sent!


  1. Applique is not the easy way! Besides I much prefer it to piecing as it has much more heart. Not keen on all the regimentation in complex pieced quilts myself as I find them less artistic.

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