Saturday, March 13, 2021

Seahorse With No Name

... Do you see what I did with the post title? A play on the song “Horse With No Name” ?!?  I guess if I  have to explain it then it isn’t that clever. But I’ve been working on seahorse-themed quilts for Quilts for Kids (QFK) all week, and that song has been going through my brain. 

In the fall of 2019 I found a great estate sale and bought a lot of fabric, which I talked about in this post.  After giving some to Cousin Kim and a lot to QFK, I only had 40” left of the cute seahorse border print, and I was determined to get two quilts out of it.  Since the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for March is green, the seahorses were a top priority! 

Here is the finished quilt, which measures 39x46”. I do want to back up, however, and talk a bit about its construction.  So, I had the two border panels allocated for this quilt, as well as a lot of Kona Iced Frappe - a lighter green than these pictures show -  for the background. After hunting my stash, I found a Kaffe Fassett print that looked like swirly ocean depths. 

I wasn’t sure how to do the seahorse. Sally has a great seahorse tutorial here, but I didn’t want to use a .75 inch grid. I found a picture of a cute pieced seahorse in a quilt online and just decided I could do my own. When I graphed it out, it was meant to be pieced with 1.5” squares (a finished 1” grid) with the seahorse measuring 6x12”. Unfortunately, I cut the batik fabric I was using into 2.5” strips by misssssssnake, and I was stuck moving forward with a seahorse that was going to measure 12x24”. In other words, a single seahorse was going to be the focal point instead of 3 smaller motifs swimming around. 

So what to do with all that space to the right of Mr. Seahorse? I pulled blue and green QFK scraps that looked “sea-worthy”, along with plenty from my own green scrap bin, and decided to make a color-wash type coral reef for him. I’ve never really done that before, but the scraps varied in color and intensity enough that they almost helped me place them. It still needed some pizzaz, however, so I took a cue from the border print and just drew a sea-weedy shape on some fusible web backing, applied it to the purple fabric and I had seaweed. Or is it coral? Whatever. Then I placed it in front of the reef and voila! 

Then came the quilting. Obviously it needed a watery effect, but I’d never done that before either. However, for better or worse I just forged ahead. While the results aren’t professional, I think they get the idea across.

The binding and backing fabric is a piece that Sally sent me a couple years ago. I’ve made several International Sisters blocks from it, and still had enough to back and bind the two seahorse quilts. Yes, two. Just hold your seahorses and I’ll show the other one momentarily. Anyway, here’s the fabric. I just totally love it and am sad that after backing these two quilts, there were only a few skinny strings left.


It sure was a fun project! I still had two more border panels and scraps for quilt #2. For this one, I had traced a cute seahorse image twice (using the last of my fusible; I guess a trip to JoAnn’s is in order) and they’re included in the second seahorse flimsy.

Seahorse Quilt #2 (needs a name) is now basted and ready for quilting, which will happen this weekend. After the first one, this is totally underwhelming, but it used up the border print, and lots of strips and scraps. Some kid will like it. 

And the pregnant Momcat I showed last week had her kittens. *cough*. I delivered them myself.

My chief mindless sewing for the week was making green string blocks. I knew I had a crap ton of green strings between my stash (I love green) and the gender-neutral green scraps from QFK. The pile I started with was huge (should’ve taken a picture), and I knew I’d get at least 30 blocks from it. But they kept going, and I ended up with 56.  Fifty! Six! 

That’s enough to make a 42x48” green string quilt if I wanted to. But I don’t. So I’ll probably use some of these when I start playing with all the green squares, HSTs, wider strips and little bits to make a “Creature” or “Thang” quilt. And I could use some for a green table runner. Oh! And I’ll definitely mix some with my never-ending pile of multi-colored string blocks. All I need is more time. (*cackles maniacally*).

Bruce got his second Covid vaccine yesterday. YAY! My second one is next week. This weekend is my birthday, and I decided to exercise my shopping finger to buy some stuff I wanted. In addition to the fabric shown below, I got an Accuquilt Go full-size cutter (all I had was the smaller one before). 

The splatter fabric on the left is a wide backing for future quilts (RSC quilts that go to QFK). The orange fabric on the right depicts actual circuits for a crystal radio, so naturally Bruce loves it. It’ll eventually be incorporated into a quilt for him. 

Spring is trying its hardest to spring, and we’ve seen crocuses on our walks. I’m sure tulips and hyacinths will be following shortly. Bruce is non-committal about whether he wants to do a vegetable garden this year. He hasn’t ordered any seeds yet, so if we have one the size will be greatly reduced and we’ll need to buy seeds at a local nursery. I’m pretty sure I can get him to decide on 2-3 growing beds. Fresh tomatoes, spaghetti squash, peas.  

Utah is opening up the Covid vaccinations to everyone as of April 1. Wow! We’ll be “safe” by then (after our last dose waiting period) I’m looking forward to actually visiting a restaurant in April (if Bruce will agree and we feel it’s safe) and then doing some clothes shopping for spring and summer. But the best part is that we have tentative plans for Mother’s Day with my son Ryan, DIL Kim and DGD Lauren. We’re hoping to snag an outdoor table at one of our favorite restaurants, The Bohemian. 

That’s it from here. Talk to you next week! Stay safe! xo


  1. Love your seahorse! You did a great job making some lemonade out of your slip-up.

  2. Happy Birthday:))) My hubby's birthday is today (13th)..all you Pisces people;)))
    Loving both the Seahorse pieces--you did a super job on the piecing and i love that is perfect for a watery feel. Lovely work. I am stringing some blocks for Ann's Tulip SAL--but can't get the hang of wedges--oh well--we shall see how it comes out...
    Cold again here only 31 degrees--and after yesterday's 61 degrees it is a shock to realize that winter hasn't left quite yet;((( hugs, Julierose

  3. You packed a lot in there, but happy birthday! The single seahorse quilt is great and your quilting looks wonderful. No idea on a name for the second seahorse quilt, but I've never been good with naming things. Well, maybe my cats, but that is different. My state is also opening vaccines up to everyone on the first, but I scored an appointment for Monday in accordance with my "essential" status. I'm hoping for a single dose, so I don't have to wait as long to do a proper visit with my (also vaccinated) parents. But I'll take what I can get! I enjoy watching your quilts come together and admire your ability to make what you have work. I struggle with that, but always think of you and try to push forward with what I have!

  4. What a terrific job on that first seahorse quilt. Very creative solution. And what a collection of green string blocks. I know they are supposed to mindless sewing, but I don't enjoy to making them, probably because I overthink every addition and never seem to have the right length piece.
    Happy Birthday. Mine was March 2 and I decided that since the government keeps sending me these stimulus checks, I should splurge and buy myself a few things instead of just socking the money in Vanguard. So I bought 2 tee shirts from Life is Good. Of course, now every page I open online has a Life is Good ad, but I guess there are worse things to have to by-pass all the time.
    I'm wondering what the restaurants will do for Mother's Day. Most of the ones around here always have a buffet style meal which I would think would still be problematic, vaccinations or not. I'm looking forward to shopping for a new lamp for my bedside table and a new microwave. Well, not exactly looking forward to it, but I'll be happy to be able to do it without fearing for my life.
    We had two glorious days in the 60's (hit 70 on Thurs), but we're back to reality in the 30's. At least the sun has been shining way more than usual for us. Enjoy your birthday weekend.

  5. Happy birthday! I know just how you feel-- it seems unreal that we can think about going to restaurants again. Utah has done a great job! I got my vaccine and hubby got his yesterday, so just waiting for the second dose now. I love the two seahorse quilts, but especially the top one with the giant seahorse. Such cuties!

  6. That seahorse quilt with no name if fabulous! The quilting swirls finish it perfectly. Congratulations an getting ready to be finished with your vaccine! I am seeing a light at the end of this long dark year of COVID. Enjoy the spring planting. Sounds like fun!

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  8. Fabulous seahorse quilts! Both of them! I like your nod to "Horse With No Name"! And for the second quilt...Dancing Seahorses. They and the ones in the border look like they are dancing. I may have been in isolation too long! haha! I hope that we can celebrate Mother's Day, but I'm reluctant still to venture out into the crowds! Our state just lifted all restrictions on large gatherings and restaurant capacity. Too soon I think. We didn't have any new deaths for a week, now 2 more! And I bather on! Apologies!!

  9. I love your seahorse quilt! The extra corner section with that seaweed/coral in it is perfect to balance with the seahorse. Those green string blocks are so fresh and appealing, too! I bet they will find their way inyo lots of fun quilts. I got my second vaccine dose this past Monday, and Mike is all set, too. So thankful to be at this point!

  10. wow! pretty great SH quilt- and everyone else seems to think so, too! great job on the "color wash coral"! and i like the green string quilt, too.

  11. Happy birthday! I love the seahorse - it's adorable and such beautiful colors.

  12. My goodness, you are so creative coming up with not one, but two seahorse quilts, clever you! I'm pleased you helped your mother cat have a safe delivery, guess those kittens will be running around getting under your feet now.

  13. Hi Cathy! You didn't need to explain the title!! I got it right away. HAHA! Happy Happy Birthday to you!! I hope you have a fabulous day. Getting the second dose of the vaccine is the best gift you could possibly get, in my opinion. I'm SO glad to hear that Bruce has his and you are close behind. I got my second dose on March 3rd so St. Patrick's Day will be my fully vaccinated date with the two-week after window. Anyhoo - love your seahorse with the coral added. It does add a lovely burst of color and balance to the piece. I also love the Momma cat and her kittens. Fifty-six green string blocks - how fab is that plus a dent in stash is another win. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  14. Happy birthday!
    (And holy cats, that's a lotta string blocks!)

  15. I got the title immediately...I think we think alike.
    Loving the seahorse quilts!
    I haven't even begun to plan out any RSC sewing. Spring around here means, "Quick! Do what you can while it's not raining!" Then with the grandson getting more mobile my daughter decided that my deck needs a railing. I agreed, so she and I proceeded to build that. It's not quite done, but by golly, it's looking rather fancy. We just need a few more things added to it and then a gate and new steps leading up to it and we have a grand deck!
    Next week a friend is coming with a logging crew to take out some of our trees. There are just too many and the house rarely gets much sun on it. Plus we are afraid of the ones close to the buildings. I don't need that big expense of repairs due to a tree falling (Or worse!)
    So onward and upward. Tomorrow I sew. It's the law! heh heh!

  16. Adorable!!!You did a great job with the Seahorse quilt, Cathy. LOVE all those GREEN String blocks!

  17. The seahorse improv quilt is so much fun! Thanks for describing your process, I felt like I was right there with you. The new kittens are adorable! Hmmm, there's a family friend who loves cats; maybe I need to make her a cats 'n kittenz quilt...
    Love the green string blocks. I imagine you'll have more fun thinking up ways to use them all!
    Congrats on another trip around the sun - may there be many more!!

  18. Great job on that Seahorse quilt. Reminds me of some of those Under the Sea CQ RRs.

    Any kind of cat/kitten quilt is sure to be a hit.

    Oh, I thought you were thinking of moving?? So was thinking you would not have a garden this year. I'll bet Bruce decides to have one!

    I get my second dose of vaccine on St. Paddy's day. Lucky me! And then I get stuck for some blood work the following day. Oh joy!

    And have a Happy Birthday!

  19. Lovely Seahorses! Great job and looks wonderful BIG with seaweeds and coral reef. Happy Birthday, looks like you enjoyed your shopping trip via the internet!

  20. Great projects, I love your seahorse!

  21. Oh, so cute! I just love seahorses; their curly tails are so whimsical. "Shopping finger" made me laugh! I've been using mine, too, for a really exotic product: a box to cover the Kleenex box. Livin' the high life, I tell you :)

  22. Your seahorse quilt is show-worthy. Enter it! (Here's on opportunity:

  23. Getting caught up on your blog always leaves me itching to stitch! You play with so many wonderful colors and combinations that it really inspires me. And that sweet pic of Darla. What a cutie! Thanks for entertaining and inspiring me this morning (but most especially for the giggle or two!)

  24. I have never encountered an accident with a seahorse (or any horse) but then this is such a handsome seahorse and this accident has such a positive outcome. So all's well that ends well. I love how to turned this mistake into an art quilt. You are amazing and I love the final outcome.

  25. Love, Love, Love your seahorse with no name! (And I got the reference from the subject line!) I like the one big seahorse, and I think your coral focus area (like a focus wall?) looks great!

    We have started a list of things we want to do once we're vaccinated! Husband gets his first shot tomorrow; I get my second at the end of the month. Our list has 3 items: our favorite sushi restaurant, the zoo, and out for ice cream. (Can you tell we have a 7 year old?) So glad you & Bruce are close to fully vaccinated!


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