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Quilt at the beach

A few weeks ago, we went on a crazy, almost spur-of-the-moment road trip to the beach. My sister-in-law invited us to come stay with them at a beach house in southern California during part of their spring break. At first I wasn’t sure it was a good idea. We had a lot going on and our kids would miss a couple days of school since it wasn’t our spring break yet. Fortunately we threw caution to the wind and did it anyway. And it turned out to be the very best kind of idea.
We went from this the week before…
…to this.
Not too shabby.
Since we were going to be in a nice change of scenery, I decided to finally photograph this project somewhere besides my backyard. (Although, I wouldn’t mind if this was my new backyard.) I started this quilt exactly a year ago. I wanted to play with fabrics and create a kind of ombre look using different shades of fabric. I love each of the fabrics that I used.
Then I decided I wanted to quilt it myself using an echo quilting in the white space. And it took. For. Evah.  I would work on it for a little bit and then get sick of it and put it away for a while. And then pull it out again for a few more rounds, and then put it away again. Finally I finished it during Season 3 of Downton Abby. Whew. 

And now it is finally ready to share.  I was originally going to write a pattern for this one. Still deciding if that will happen or if it will just be a nice experiment in fabrics, color, and a lot of straight line quilting. Also still trying to come up with a name for it. Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

And nowI will leave you with some dreamy, summery shots to get you through these last winter days (if it’s still like that where you are.)

Breaks are good things – I didn’t realize how much I needed one until we went away. It was so nice to just sit and visit with siblings (my sister and her husband drove a couple of hours to come visit for the day and another brother-in-law and his wife were able to visit another day. I love my family!) I loved just sitting, doing a little hand-sewing, watching the cousins play together, listening to the waves, and eating fresh fish tacos.

And now we’re back in the middle of school plays, registering for next year, birthdays, and the busy-ness of regular life. Next time I get an invite to the beach, I definitely won’t drag my feet before I get there. That’s for sure.

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80 Comments

  • Reply
    Mama Bell
    March 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Lots of quilting has been finished thanks to Downton Abby! That's for sure. Great job and thanks for the warm sunny pictures! Gives me hope.

  • Reply
    Jan
    March 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    So glad you had a wonderful trip. Love, love the quilt.

  • Reply
    Carolyn Lewis
    March 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Beautiful quilt….given your story of your love/hate relationship with finishing, for a name Cross to Bear quickly came to mind. Enjoy your posts!

  • Reply
    Lucy @ Charm About You
    March 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Gorgeous pictures and the quilt is great! I love the ombre. Maybe 'Tracks'? tracks in the snow or sand 😉

  • Reply
    hilary
    March 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Bautiful quilt! And lovely pictures capturing that wonderful time with your family, little things are great!

  • Reply
    LynCC
    March 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Love your quilt, Amy!

  • Reply
    jlk
    March 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Your getaway sounds fantastic. I could use a trip to the beach about now.

  • Reply
    ~Diana
    March 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Lovely quilt…poor Matthew! 🙂

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      I'm still ticked off! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kevin the Quilter
    March 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Great quilt, and great get away!

  • Reply
    Jessica Christensen
    March 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I don't know about names — I have enough trouble naming my own — but I love this quilt. I love the cool colors and the ombre look to it. Great work!

  • Reply
    valentinegirl
    March 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I love your quilt…..Railroad Tracks come to mind. Making tracks? Down the line? Railway? If you pick my name I would be totally open to getting a copy of your pattern…..I'm just sayin'!!

  • Reply
    Mary on Lake Pulaski
    March 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    What a beautiful post Amy! So happy you enjoyed your beach time with family. I did too. The quilt is fabulous!

  • Reply
    Andy
    March 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    What??? You? Quilting?? I don't know why you don't do it more often my dear. you did a lovely job – love the echo lines!

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      I even surprise myself sometimes. But notice, I'm still only capable of straight lines and it takes me almost a year to finish it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa
    March 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    It looks like the old timey light poles with the steps on them. I would call it ladder to the light!

  • Reply
    Ali Hogg
    March 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    what a lovely setting for your quilt photo shoot. sounds like a great break, ali

  • Reply
    Melissa Corry
    March 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    What a fabulous get away!! Looks so nice and sunny!! The quilt is fabulous and not that you would ever name it after this, but it reminds me of my sons's braces when he gets different color bands put on 🙂

    • Reply
      trish
      March 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Ha ha ha. My son chooses blue! :o)

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Haha! Why do kids want those crazy colors in their mouth? When I had braces last year I went with clear elastics every time. I didn't want any more attention drawn to my ugly mouth.

  • Reply
    trish
    March 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Hi Amy. Your getaway looks and sounds wonderful! I am so glad that you had a chance to relax and enjoy your family. :o) Trish xo

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Beautiful quilt and use of color! I love it! I&#39;d call it &quot;Add it Up&quot;. :)<br />

  • Reply
    Gale, Ky quilter
    March 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Your getaway looks perfect! Still snowing in Kentucky. 🙁 Love the quilt and as soon as I saw it I thought &quot;Railroad Ties&quot;.

  • Reply
    Chris S
    March 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Train Tracks first came to mind. I love this, hope you make a pattern! 🙂

  • Reply
    Happier Than A Bird Quilts
    March 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I really love the quilt! I&#39;d buy a pattern. Your vacation looks wonderful.

  • Reply
    Farmummy
    March 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Love the quilt and the surrounds. I would call it Ebb &amp; Flow

  • Reply
    Elise Lea
    March 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Beautiful quilt love the colors. I think this would make a great pattern, it would definitely sell if you made one.

  • Reply
    Terry
    March 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    It&#39;s a beautiful quilt and I love the play with the colors. How about calling it &quot;Detours?&quot; As in, sometimes we need to take them for a little change of perspective… a good thing!

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    March 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I could live with going there for a quilt shoot :oD<br /><br />How about Quilt To A &#39;T&#39;

  • Reply
    NW Patchwork
    March 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Beautiful! It reminds me of the ladder we built as kids that went up to our tree house 🙂

  • Reply
    Cathy
    March 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I would name it Tree House Ladder….as it also reminds me of the ladder to our childhood tree house. You need to write this pattern because I need it!!…LOL

  • Reply
    familyhammond
    March 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I LOVE this quilt! I want to make one for our bed someday…soooo if you want to make a pattern for it I will buy it 🙂

  • Reply
    Sharon Dawn
    March 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    It sounds like wonderful memories to have forever! I love your dancer on the beach!

  • Reply
    Wendy L
    March 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Beautiful quilt! I don&#39;t have any cute name suggestions, but it reminds me of zipper teeth. 🙂 It&#39;s only the first day of spring, but your photos made me realize how ready I am for summer to get here.

  • Reply
    shari
    March 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Amy, what a lovey story about your outing. Got a little chuckle about you quilting your quilt. Love, Love, Love your blog, I will surely be back to visit and I am now your newest follower! <br />Shari @ Kashmere Kisses

  • Reply
    Karen
    March 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    So glad you took advantage of the wonderful break, and I sure hope you create a pattern for that great quilt! The photo of your leaping little one is fantastic and inspiring on its own.

  • Reply
    Nedra
    March 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    You could name the quilt Downton 5 (because it has 5 rows). And I&#39;m sure season 5 will be here before we know it! Your beach pictures look so inviting 🙂

  • Reply
    Christie
    March 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Maybe Crossroads? Made me think of a tiny town…minus the houses!

  • Reply
    UKMUMINUSA
    March 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I could really do with a break from the cold snowy winter we are having. this winter seems to be dragging on and I cannot wait for spring. Lovely to see your quilt at the beach.

  • Reply
    Cory
    March 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I would name this quilt Stacked Ladders. It reminds me of a ladder to a treehouse. What about Treetop Ladder? Sounds like you had a great vacation. Take care and God bless, Cory

  • Reply
    CathyK
    March 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Isn&#39;t it wonderful to get together with family, especially if it isn&#39;t planned ahead of time? The whole trip kind of takes on a relaxed feel with nothing planned down to the minute. I am glad you were able to get away and enjoy family and a gorgeous beach!

  • Reply
    Melissa {polkadot chair}
    March 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I would call it giant stitches. It reminds me of stitches on a football. <br />We are going to the beach for Spring Break too! I&#39;m taking stuff to photograph now!

  • Reply
    amy smart
    March 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks so much for the love!! You know when you&#39;ve looked at something so long that you can&#39;t decide if you even like it anymore? That&#39;s how I was feeling about this quilt. Now I&#39;m feeling a renewed love as well. Sounds like I need to write the pattern…

  • Reply
    neubiewaters
    March 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Well, it kind of looks like T&#39;s sitting one on top of the other, so if I had made it I&#39;d be calling it my &quot;Mr. T&quot; quilt

  • Reply
    Lluisa Munoz
    March 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Oh your quilt it&#39;s so gorgeous!!! I love it :)<br /><br />Nice and relaxing place, at least is what I felt looking at the pics,<br /><br />Have a great day!!<br /><br />Lluisa x

  • Reply
    Handmade by Hanki
    March 21, 2013 at 1:42 am

    You had a great getaway and quilt is really gorgeous. I would call it same as your post &quot;Quilt at the beach&quot;

  • Reply
    ozone3
    March 21, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Love the quilt!! How about &quot;Southern Cross&quot;. Don&#39;t know where exactly you were, but when I think of beaches, I always think of the South!!<br /><br />Hope you decide to do a pattern as I would LOVE to get it!!

  • Reply
    melintheattic
    March 21, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Fantastic quilt! I love that you thought to bring it to the beach to photograph.

  • Reply
    The Calico Cat
    March 21, 2013 at 6:17 am

    T-Zone – immediately came to my mind as a name for that quilt

  • Reply
    Tannon Davis
    March 21, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I LOVE that quilt. I don&#39;t care what you call it. I would have bought the pattern. LOL!

  • Reply
    Hayden
    March 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

    how about &quot;Off the Grid&quot;? sounds like you went off it for a bit which is always refreshing, and the pattern looks like an &quot;off&quot; grid!

  • Reply
    jodydeschenes
    March 21, 2013 at 8:43 am

    GORGEOUS!!!!!!!! (quilt, AND beach) !!!!! (:

  • Reply
    Elaine
    March 21, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Really nice and soft look. As I saw it I thought &quot;timeline&quot; since I&#39;m a teacher but then you never gave a name!

  • Reply
    halfstitched
    March 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Love the quilt, it reminded me of a Ladder Stitch…

  • Reply
    LindseyAnne
    March 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I think you should have desert somewhere in the title. The colours definitely say &#39;desert&#39; to me. It&#39;s lovely. Hope you do a pattern as I&#39;d like to try it.

  • Reply
    Books_Bound
    March 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Beautiful! I did a little echo quilting on your &quot;Chain Linked&quot; pattern and it likewise took forever. 🙂 But it looks so good when it&#39;s done!<br /><br />This reminds me of a spaced apart zipper, so I&#39;d name it &quot;Deconstructed Zipper&quot; though that might be a little too artsy-fartsy for a pattern name, I don&#39;t know. 🙂

  • Reply
    Donna
    March 21, 2013 at 10:04 am

    So glad you were able to have a get away, and to such a beautiful place. The first thing I see on your awesome quilt are the crosses, which make me think of the the amazing, redeeming sacrifice our Savior Jesus Christ made for us. So my vote for a name would be Resurrection, the story doesn&#39;t end at the cross but in the promise of eternal life that He gives us all! I love all the fabrics you&

  • Reply
    Ocouss
    March 21, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I think Climbing the Walls. It looks a bit like a trellis to me, or an old school video game ladder. Plus I think it fits the amount of time it took to finish.

  • Reply
    Martha
    March 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Beautiful quilt. The quilting was well worth the time. I would call it Fence Rows.

  • Reply
    Christal
    March 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Love the quilt design and choice of fabric. I would call it &quot;Positive Changes&quot;. It reminds me of plus signs moving/changing from dark to light.

  • Reply
    Patti
    March 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I knew I couldn&#39;t be alone in this one. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that quilt and am begging you to please make a pattern for it and soon. I mean really soon. I need it so I can make and have it finished by June 1, 2013. It&#39;s just stunning.

  • Reply
    Mom C
    March 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Railroad tracks, or tie bars. Very nice.

  • Reply
    Sewn With Grace
    March 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    How about &quot;Crosswalk&quot;? So pretty!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    March 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Lovely quilt…glad you followed through and took that beach vacation! This quilt reminds me of &quot;Almost Crossroads&quot; for what it&#39;s worth. Lot&#39;s of nice names being bantered about.

  • Reply
    Diane
    March 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Lucky Lady to have a wonderful and well deserved beach break… and with your family too! Can&#39;t say why, but &quot;Making Tracks&quot; comes to my mind. Totally love the quilting and know what a labor of love it is to complete a never-ending quilt project. Many thanks for all you share.

  • Reply
    Katie B
    March 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I hope you do write a pattern! Cool quilt.

  • Reply
    Gransie's Groove
    March 22, 2013 at 3:25 am

    I, too, thought &quot;Resurrection&quot; when I saw your beautiful quilt! I love the energy…fabrics and echo quilting really made it come alive:) Thanks for sharing it with us:)

  • Reply
    heartsease54
    March 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Love the quilt. My first thought was T-Bone. Then looked a little more and maybe Random Rails suits it better.

  • Reply
    S.Paton quilts
    March 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    love your choice of colors and the ombre effect!<br />how about T time? (and a pattern, pretty please!)<br />

  • Reply
    Leah
    March 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I&#39;d trade snow for the beach any day. Great photos and great quilt. You can call it &quot;Chutes and Ladders&quot;

  • Reply
    Afton
    March 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    How about &quot;Crossroads&quot;?<br />

  • Reply
    Jésabelle B.
    March 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Hey!? I was going to say &quot;Crossroads&quot; to… :)<br />Very nice quilting, it was worth it!

  • Reply
    KerryQ
    March 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Maybe it&#39;s a little macabre, but it reminds me of Frankenstein stitches. How about &quot;stitches&quot;. (I love the colors in this quilt.)

  • Reply
    riftraff
    March 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I thought it was an Easter quilt when I saw it. So I would call it Easter cross or Resurrection. Love the colours and pattern.

  • Reply
    diane
    March 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I love this quilt. If you don&#39;t write a pattern for it don&#39;t be surprised if it gets copied a lot. It&#39;s really beautiful and the echo quilting sets off the pattern perfectly.

  • Reply
    Di~
    March 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Love the quilt! seriously! &quot;You&#39;ve got talent.&quot;

  • Reply
    Jen Crutchfield
    April 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I would name it &quot;Season 3.&quot;

  • Reply
    Sugar Town Quilt Co.
    April 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

    who cares what you name it I love the pattern sew write it and get it out there. The 77 comments before me all had great names, you could just make the pattern cover with all of them like sweetwater does with there fabric

  • Reply
    Tammy Edwards
    May 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Love this quilt sew much!!! Please make a pattern 🙂 I love the name that Cathy,on March 20 at 5:19PM suggested, Tree House Ladder, because it also reminds me of the ladders we would make to our tree houses as well. We would hunt for any bits of wood we could find and our ladders as well as the tree house would be a lovily combination of differant colored bits of wood…much like a quilt:)<br />

  • Reply
    Lori Kae
    May 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I am really late at getting a reply posted but I am in love with this quilt. Serenity is the name which popped into my head first. It reminds me of peace and unity.<br /><br />I would happily purchase a pattery or this if you made one. :)<br /><br />I long for a trip to the beach with sunny skies. We are just south of Seattle and it is torentially raining here.<br /><br />

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