Shoal (the Shark Quilt)

I started the bee quilt when my sons got twin-sized bunk-beds. (Obviously this new need for twin sized blankets had to be met in the most time-consuming-possible way!) So Julian’s quilt, Apiary, was always destined to be one of a pair, the other of which would feature his brother Simon’s favorite animal and color.

This past weekend, I finished Simon’s quilt, which features sharks and the color blue. The timing was perfect, too, as it was the weekend of Simon’s fifth birthday. (I may have, cough, started the quilts when Julian was five, but that’s just a rumor.) Simon and I are very pleased with the results.


I used the same approach that I did with the bee quilt, arranging sharks and sea plants so that they formed a composite image of a water droplet. I’m a little unhappy that I changed the spacing between the appliqués at the last minute–I think the tighter original placement would have made the droplet shape clearer, but it still comes across in this version.


I cut the appliqués from a combination of quilting cottons and classic menswear fabrics, including linen, wool suiting, and madras plaid (all prewashed to prevent uneven shrinkage–this quilt will get a lot of use and needs to be washable). I hand appliquéd them using invisible thread and a blanket stitch, then outlined each one with a chain stitch and matching embroidery floss to finish the raw edges.


I particularly like this shark, fussy-cut from Heather Ross’s Mendocino fabric collection.


I handquilted it using Aurifil 40 wt  in white in a wave pattern, and echoed the droplet shape in between the appliqués. (And now I’ve just learned that Aurifil makes embroidery floss and I’m itching to try it! Stay tuned…)

I used the remainders of the appliqué fabrics to make the pieced back. I found the perfect fabric for the focal print, from Tula Pink’s Full Moon Forest collection–I was lucky to find enough since it was out of print when I decided it had to be part of this quilt.


Over the last couple of days, Simon has rewarded me generously for his quilt by snuggling under it and proclaiming how cozy he is. He’s also generously allowed me to steal his quilt this coming weekend for display in the Thimble and Thread quilt expo here in St. Louis–please stop by and see it in person if you happen to be in the area!


I’m linking up with Quilt Story for their Fabric Tuesday feature, and will also be linking to Amanda Jean’s Finish-it-up-Friday at CrazyMomQuilts. Thanks again, ladies, for hosting!


21 thoughts on “Shoal (the Shark Quilt)

  1. Casey, you never cease to amaze me! All that hand stitching just blows me away! Great job! I hadn’t realized it was going to be in the show! I sure hope I get there this weekend.
    Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  2. I love it! And I have to ask…since my 12 year old nephew is fascinated with sharks…where did you find the shark applique? Inquiring minds NEED to know! ;-)

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  6. I love this I have made 2 of these using different quilting. IT is a real hit for boys quilts
    Love the pattern i bought.

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