Tutorial on how I made my very own
"Water World" * quilt
with the "One Day Quilt Frenzy" gang"...

All instructions are written with the best intent and only a personal account of my sewing my blocks together to make my quilt. It is not intended as a pattern source or guide and I can't be responsible for personal interpretation if yours does not come out the same!

For  a quilt with this many blocks, I figured out that I needed eight (8) strip cuts from 
selvage to selvage of each fabric for my quilt.

2) Based on what I learned from putting together my first quilt of this type, you can see how I determined the final look of  my quilt, how I figured out the fabric amounts and strip widths. I used some quilt software and my CAD program to figure the final quilt sizes. 

I also used the web photo's of this quilt, quilt listserve discussions,  magazines and various other sources to create my first quilt of this type. Here is a graphic and digital photographic documentary of the process of me making my quilt with the "One Day Quilt Frenzy" Internet gang... oh my... that is better than it sounds! 

Several list members have made this quilt from Mary Ellen Hopkins brochure  and just loved it, brought the idea up on the One Day Quilt Frenzy List to have a Friday sewing together session making this quilt... and we did.

It was so exciting to see the pattern come together.  You can see the final results of many of the quilts we made through the links on this site. 

3) Our first exposure to the pattern was the Instructions on Dawn Pages

This page inspired some of us to investigate the pattern further...

4) Our second expose was Marnie who has a whole page of these quilts for you to see... 

Kay from Australia lent us her tips, and how to make the "quilt block sandwich" which got the ball rolling for Karla and I who worked out a lot of the details in Electric Quilt 4 and my CAD. 

5) Our third exposure was from the ideas of 
Mary Ellen Hopkins who developed this style of quilt and taught her "Hidden wells" since around 1989.   It  is over 10 years old... just imagine that... and it is still very popular!  You can purchase the book "Hidden Wells Quilt" from her web site  and I urge you to do so and make a quilt of your very own. 

I have to warn you though, we found out that you can't stop at just one... you will start to dig through your fabric stash and come up with more and more combinations for more and more quilts. 

I have seen Mary Ellen on TV and you can tell right off  that she has a bubbly personality and  is truly a very personable quilter.  So if you get a chance (and I never have yet) be sure to take a class from her. 

6) From the many suggestions contributed by the quilters that have made these quilts,  I put together this  web page  with old hints and new techniques for sewing quilt blocks together and coming up with quilt design options of your own. It is nice to have a pattern in hand, but it is better to add your own finishing touches, like fabric choices and color schemes that make it your personal quilt..   Hope you enjoy my little story about how I made my very own Hidden Wells quilt!

I took pictures with my digital camera of each step of making my quilt. I worked up my fabric and size chart in my CAD program and the graphics where developed in Electric Quilt computer software. 

I hope you enjoy the trials and tribulations that myself and the "pat of frenz" experienced. 

7) I compare this quilt to being easier than my first log cabin quilt 18 years ago!  As long as you have a uniform seam allowance and a lot of spray starch, your seams will match very easily. 

I choose this quilt block for my online sewing tutorial because it was so much fun to do and because it teaches a lot of quilting techniques... from rotary cutting to pressing... to the surprise element of a secondary design.

Once I came up with some basic strip set sizes and figured out how to figure out how much fabric I needed to use, the rest was easy and fast. 

8) At first the thought of all those bias edges scared the heck out of us... but we found that with careful handling and stiff fabric from the starch, it really wasn't that bad at after all.  Some had stretching and ripples, but they next time they where more careful and it worked out better. One quilter even ironed some interfacing over the bias edges right after cutting the squares to help her keep them flat.  Or if you are having a lot of trouble as some feed dogs on older machines are very aggressive, you could try to do a basting stitch around the edges of each block right after you cut the squares.  Last but not the least, if you do a rippled top, lay it out flat on a clean sheet, spray it with water, walk away until it is dry, and when it dries, it will get flat!!  Trust me... this is my "Lone Star" quilt trick...
Supplies that I used:

I decided that I would need 5 to 7 (most used 7) different fabrics with a lot of contrast. My first quilt you will see here, I used 5 fabrics.  The second quilt I used 7 fabrics.  They where both pleasing... 5 fabrics was easier and 7 was more graphic. 

There are  samples I made for myself for choosing  fabric colors and quilt sizes on  Page 1

Spray starch... I believe that you can't have too much starch in the fabric. I make my fabric stiff for sewing... it is wonderful to work with that way, does not pucker of shift and your end results are worth the mess of getting the fabric that way ~  A lot of starch !

Sewing machine

rotary cutter and mat

large ruler (6" X 24" recommended and large square ruler  if you have one)  You will need two rulers if you don't have a large square one.

neutral thread.  Depends on your fabric colors. I use a  medium gray to sew together the completed blocks but I used matching threads to fabric to sew together the strips. 

Yes, I changed the top and bobbin thread for each strip addition!  Yes, I am anal...  look for the flamingo head in the instructions for anal things ~ lol...


Page 1... how I choose my quilt size and how much fabric I needed to get.

Page 2...    How I sewed my strip sets and pressed them.

Page 3...    How I cut my strip sets and sewed them into blocks

Page 4...  Sewing the blocks into rows

Page 5... Borders and binding

Page 6... Some quilts by our frenz...

Page 7.... Quilting inspirations

Three fabrics only version

Back to  "Water World" Introduction  Pagehere

page 1
page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6
quits by frenz
page 7
Back to Main One Day Quilt Frenzy Archives Web page
Back to Main One Day Quilt Frenzy Web page
All graphics and pattern interpretations, charts and page designs are
copyright of Mary Ann Beattie.  November 1999
Credit to Mary Ellen Hopkins for the original "Hidden Wells" pattern

Share this site but don't sell any printouts for you own profit... I will send the fairy of rusty needles and dull rotary blades after you!

All instructions are written with the best intent and only an account of my sewing my blocks together to make this quilt. It is not intended as a pattern source or guide and I can't be responsible for personal interpretation.  If you find an error please email me. 1