Quilt Finish: Tidal Pool

Aren’t we supposed to be staying warm under our quilts? Then why have I been sitting on this one for so long? Let me La Perouse that for a second. Basically, I took pictures a few weeks ago, and they were all shades of boring! You’d probably never know it, but as a former student of photography, I find the picture taking both exceptionally challenging and creatively inspiring. It’s usually not until the last frame when I get to a place where I feel happy. I went on a trip to Brisbane this past weekend with Mr. Sparkles, and I thought the change of scenery might just be the photo inspiration I needed. What’s that saying about if you want different results, you gotta take different actions?


So I put the quilt in a suitcase and chucked it on board. I made sure that the ground staff put about a hundred of those hot pink “Fragile” stickers all over my suitcase though! I must say this is the furthest I’ve taken a quilt for a photo shoot! Granted, there’s nothing here too out of the ordinary, but the grey wooden planks I found at one of the Brisbane river docks provided a nice textured and neutral backdrop. (If you have these in your neighbourhood, check them out!) I lucked out with the lighting as well. Queensland is known for being quite sunny, but some clouds had rolled in off the ocean by the early afternoon, which provided a lovely amount of light diffusion. Here’s a tip: don’t take quilt photos in direct sunlight as it will wash out your fabrics. Wait for a partially cloudy day, and you’ll get an instant light box. The trade-off is that your pictures might appear a bit flat (such as these) because you’re not getting directional light.


This area was down a set of stairs, out of the way, and next to the river. When I arrived, I was the only one there so felt no shame throwing my quilt about, and standing on the benches to get my shots. I was rocking my gold Beats headphones, with the Spice Girls turned all the way up. Tell me what you want, what you really really want! I may have even been dancing like no one was watching for a bit–okay more than a bit. Except that’s when I realised that actually there were people watching from overhead. Oh. Awkward. Ah well, carry on dancing! I wanna, I wanna, I wanna zigga zig ah!


This quilt is constructed using my Tidal Pool Quilt Block tutorial found on Craftsy. It’s totally free so grab it whenever you like. I used the Tidal Lace fabric collection by Kim Andersson of i adore pattern combined with Kona Celestial for the background. I previously described my design process when I finished the quilt top, but here’s an excerpt in case you missed it:

It was dusk before I left; I literally shut the beach down. As I walked across the white sands away from the water, I turned around to see the moon shining, and the sun setting, both casting reflecting lights across the gentle waves. The colours! The ocean was a celestial blue, while the tips of each wave were bathed in varying pastels from reflective light bouncing across from the rocks, vegetation, beach, and sky. In that moment, the whole day rushed back into my consciousness, and I knew exactly how to make this fabric bundle work for me. The colour story was there before me, and I thought about the many tidal pools (aka rock pools) I had walked across during the day. Each tidal pool was full of small sea life, and they were all connected by slivers of water draining between them. Combine that with the flickers of light capping the waves at dusk, and it culminated in this block I have aptly called Tidal Pool.


I used my current flavour of the moment, Aurifil Brillo gold thread for the quilting. I wanted to add that last touch of sun-kissed sparkle that you see when looking across water splashing around in tidal pools. What better way to do that than with metallic thread? You might notice that this is the second quilt that I added the Aurifil Brillo thread to my binding. I like how this technique allows the quilt to become frameless, as the binding disappears. I wish I could capture how the quilt has a soft glisten from the thread, so you’ll just have to take my word for that!


So whew! Another quilt done and dusted! This one is also on my Q2 FAL list, so I can tick that box too. For anyone keeping track at home, that’s three for eight. Thanks for being patient with me as I slowly got this one done. Doesn’t it feel like a giant release to mark another WIP off the list?

12 Responses

  1. mary says:

    It looks fantastic, I often wonder what people think when they see us photographing quilts in the wild – we can only imagine…
    I’ve just created 2 more WIP’s and can’t even see when they will be ticked off, first I have to find some backing fabric that is just right.

  2. Trude says:

    Another lovely quilt! Love it! I always appreciate your photography! Your quilts tell us all a story!

  3. It always feels great to check or mark an item off a list. My current problem is that I am adding to the list faster than I am making, eek! And there is no shame in dancing in public, as my adorable 2.5 year old niece taught me 2 weekends ago. 🙂

  4. Tish says:

    Beautiful pictures and nice mental image of you busting a move to some Spice Girls. This quilt was definitely deserving of it’s quilty field trip into the wild. Now that I have bitten by the photography bug, taking snazzy shots of finished quilts is almost as fun/important as making them. Congrats on your finish. PS I’m still daydreaming about using your Brillo Thread.

  5. Brenda says:

    An absolutely lovely photo finish!

  6. kirsten says:

    A really beautiful quilt and fab photos on the boardwalks of Brissie too!

  7. I’ve been waiting to see this one finished. It does not disappoint! Beautiful work.

  8. Amy says:

    I WONDERED what had come of this! (Ummm, sorry, that wasn’t supposed to be a guilt trip.) Lovely. And that quilting? LOVE a diagonal line.

  9. Stacey says:

    So fantastic. Gorgeous quilt and fabrics!! Thanks so much for participating in the Finish-A-Long, on behalf of all of the hosts!

  10. Mary ann says:

    I especially love the thread through the binding. I will have to try and remember that technique. Great quilt!

  1. June 22, 2016

    […] Blog Post: Tidal Pool […]

  2. August 11, 2016

    […] gifted my Tidal Pool and You Learn quilts to two amazing women in Oklahoma. They received them this week, letting me […]

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