Holm Sown: Whatever Floats Your Boat Porthole Quilt // reverse applique // Makower Marina Fabric and Kona Delft Blue

Whatever Floats Your Boat Porthole Quilt

Today I’m sharing my latest quilt which I’ve made as a sample for one of our new patchwork and quilting classes.  This is the ‘Whatever Floats Your Boat’ porthole quilt – the blocks are made using the reverse applique technique (or portholes if you are into modern quilting).  My Liberty Porthole Cushion is one of the most popular samples in the shop so I thought it was about time I included this technique in the new workshop schedule.

Holm Sown: Whatever Floats Your Boat Porthole Quilt // reverse applique // front and back

Holm Sown: Whatever Floats Your Boat Porthole Quilt // reverse applique // front

Holm Sown: Whatever Floats Your Boat Porthole Quilt // reverse applique // pieced backing with April Rhodes Sacred Seeds Tigerlily

Holm Sown: Whatever Floats Your Boat Porthole Quilt // reverse applique // porthole detail

Sincethe reverse applique technique is often used to create porthole quilts it seemed fitting to use this lovely Marina fabric by Makower to create a nautical quilt. I used five prints out of the range to create 20 circles.  The background is Kona Delft Blue which added to the nautical theme and let the colours in the porthole prints really stand out.

I really wanted something bold on the back to counteract the fairly muted front.  I picked this April Rhodes Wanderer Sacred Seeds which is buoy orange – really bright and vibrant!  I used some of the fat quarter leftovers to create a narrow insert as it wasn’t quite wide enough on its own.  The quilt is bound with Makower Linen Texture Navy.

The quilt is pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50wt thread.  I was a bit stumped on how to quilt it but a quick shout out on Instagram soon sorted me out!  The quilting was done with a variegated grey thread which helped add an extra element of movement to the side-to-side wavy quilting.  I used our Warm & Plush Cotton Wadding.

Holm Sown: Whatever Floats Your Boat Porthole Quilt // reverse applique // back detail


If you’d like to make your own porthole quilt: I used 10″ squares of the Kona Delft for the blocks (so you could use a layer cake if you liked) and the circles are 6.5″ in diameter.  The borders were cut 5.5″ wide.  The finished quilt is 48″ (1.2m) x 58″ (1.5m).

The workshop will teach the technique on how to do reverse applique to make the portholes.  I’ve done circles which are probably the easiest to start with, but this technique lends itself to many different shapes.  You could even freestyle your shapes if you wanted for a more improvisational quilt.  Take a look at my Reverse Applique board on pinterest to get some inspiration and stay tuned for new class dates coming very soon.


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