Free Ocean Waves Quilt Pattern

  • 01 of 02

    Make an Ocean Waves Quilt

    Ocean Waves Quilt Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    The Ocean Waves quilt pattern isn't difficult, but it is time-consuming.

    Individual Ocean Waves quilt blocks are constructed from a group of four smaller blocks that are rotated to create an (angular) "O" opening where blocks meet.

    Ocean Waves Quilt blocks are made from a combination of half square triangle units (HST) and individual half square triangles -- lots of them. This quilt has a total of 800 half square triangle units and bunches of singly cut triangles.

    Ocean Waves Quilt Size

    The smaller...MORE sub-blocks in the pattern finish at 10" x 10". Groups of four blocks measure 20" x 20" finished.roups of four blocks measure 20" x 20" finished.

    The entire quilt measures 80-1/2" x 100-1/2". Alter size by changing the number of blocks across and/or down.

    Keep the Quilt Accurate as You Work

    Check your unit and block sizes as you work so that everything fits together as it should when it's time to assemble the quilt. Tutorials that can help include:

    Make a Scrap Quilt or Sew an Orderly Layout

    Ocean Waves quilts look good sewn in an orderly fashion, with just a few fabrics, but scrap quilt versions are stellar.

    Background areas in this quilt are the same, but those patches can be scrappy, too, just like the dark triangles. Read Color Value Basics if you would like to use a variety of background fabrics in similar values that flow together nicely.

    One way to approach this quilt is to assemble small batches of half square triangle units whenever you have the time, accumulating them until you have enough patches for a quilt.

    Quilting Fabrics & Other Materials

    It's difficult to estimate fabrics for a scrap quilt. Yardages assume you will construct your quilt in an orderly fashion but can be used to estimate scrap needs.

    The single small triangles that fill in the gaps around half square triangle units are cut by slicing squares in half once diagonally.

    Instructions assume you will use an easy quick piecing method to make HSTs. Alter cutting instructions if you plan to use another method, such as the magic 8 technique​. HSTs should finish at 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" (in other words, measure 3" x 3" before sewing them together).

    Dark Fabric(s) for HSTs: 4-1/2 yards (estimate)

    Light Fabric(s) for HSTs: 4-1/2 yards (estimate)

    Medium-Light Fabric(s) for Block Corners: 2-1/4 yards

    Backing: 6-3/4 yards will allow for about 4" excess on quilt sides. Make it wider if you plan to do extensive quilting. A single piece of wide backing fabric might be more economical. (Quilt Backing Instructions)

    Batting: approximately 90" x 110"

    Binding: About 390 running inches of doublefold binding to finish at 1/4" wide (Binding Strip Instructions)

    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
  • 02 of 02

    Sew the Ocean Waves Quilt

    Ocean Waves Quilt Block Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    Make the Ocean Waves Quilt Blocks

    To begin with, cut only enough fabric for a sample block (for this pattern and any other you make, mine or a pattern by someone else).

    Let's take it one (4-part) Ocean Waves block at a time.

    1. Cut four 5-7/8" x 5-7/8" squares of medium light fabric for corners of individual blocks. Cut each square in half once diagonally. You'll find it easier to align the triangles later if you trim their tips now. (You'll need 80 squares for the entire quilt; cut...MORE from (12) 5-7/8" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage.)
    2. Cut (20) 3-3/8" x 3-3/8" dark squares and (20) light squares of the same size. Pair a dark square and a light square. Use the easy sandwich method to turn the pair into two half square triangle units (HSTs). When complete, each of the 40 units should measure 3" x 3".
    3. Cut (4) 3-3/8" x 3-3/8" dark squares and (4) light squares of the same size. Cut each square in half once diagonally. It isn't necessary to trim the tips of these triangles.
    4. Arrange (10) HST units, two dark triangles, and two light triangles into four rows as illustrated, upper left. Individual dark triangles are on the left ends of the first and second rows; individual light triangles are on the right ends of third and fourth rows.
    5. Sew the components of each row together. Press the rows. Clip the "dog ears" where individual triangles were joined to HST units.
    6. Join the rows. Trim new dog ears.
    7. Center and sew a large triangle (cut by dividing a 5-7/8" x 5-7/8" square) to the angled edge of each partial block as shown top right. Press seam allowances towards the larger triangles. the block should measure 10-1/2" x 10-1/2" square. If it does not, square it up.
    8. Repeat, making three more sub-blocks.
    9. Arrange the four sub-blocks into two rows as shown, lower left. Sew small blocks in each row together, matching seam intersections carefully. Press. Join the rows. Press. The Ocean Waves quilt block should measure 20-1/2" x 20-1/2". If it does not, use my methods or a method of your own to square it up.
    10. Make 19 more Ocean Waves quilt blocks (from 76 smaller sub-blocks).

    Assemble the Ocean Waves Quilt

    1. Arrange the large quilt blocks in five rows, each row containing four blocks. Sew the blocks in each row together, matching seam intersections.
    2. Join the rows, again matching seam intersections. Press the quilt carefully, checking to make sure it is not skewed. Add a border if desired (Quilt Border Instructions).
    3. Mark for quilting if necessary. Sandwich with batting and backing and quilt. Bind the quilt with doublefold binding. (Quilt Binding Instructions)