Aye Aye Captain!

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

One of the fun things about living with a 3 or 4 year old is their always-going imagination. My son has been in a pirate phase for months. He walks around with a cup on his foot (his peg leg), his finger curled like a hook and he’s even given himself a couple pirate names. Depending on the day, you can call him either Captain Willypanels or Captain Root Beard. That’s why when I saw Sarah Jane Studios fabric line Out to Sea, I knew it would make a perfect quilt for him.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

This quilt was really easy to make. I combined several of the Out to Sea prints with other coordinating fabrics from my stash. These include some of Moda’s Mono Pez, Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelets, Sarah Jane’s Children at Play, and Aneela Hoey’s Little Apples. I think one of the keys to making a quilt that really pops is using different shades of each color. As you can see, there are several obviously different shades of blue. But also, the yellows and reds are different. The prints with the white background give your eye a place to rest.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

I cut each rectangle 3″ x 10″ and the quilt has 6 columns and 24 rows, for a total of 144 rectangles. The finished size is 57″ x 60″.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

I had a definite picture in my head when I started this quilt, and that vision included rounded corners. I found a circular picture frame in my house that was just the right size, and used that as a template to cut the corners. It’s such a nice detail that softens the look of all those rectangles. Just don’t forget to use bias binding when you make something with round edges, or your finished product won’t lay flat.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

I also knew I wanted to quilt with wavy lines. It gives a nice texture and reminds me of the ocean which is perfect for this quilt. I’ve mentioned this technique before, but as a refresher, I use the Running Stitch on my machine (Bernina stitch #4) and max out the width and set the length to 4.0. I use my walking foot while quilting.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

The backing is a dark navy minky, which made for messy quilting! I had to really work the carpet in my sewing room with the vacuum after I was done basting. The binding is a dot from Sarah Jane Studios Children at Play line.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

My son loves the quilt. While I was working on it, he told me he wasn’t going to use it. I called his bluff though, and luckily I was right! It’s quite a nice feeling to know he’s spending time now cuddling under something I’ve made.



  1. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    This quilt looks great! I have a question that may seem really elemental, but I look at you quilt and just want to know what your tricks are for getting *all* of your seems to match up so perfectly. I mean, is it really just precision in cutting and sewing your seams, or are there other tricks that help in getting everything to line up? I feel like if I attempted a quilt like this one, each column would end up slightly “off” as compared to the other columns. I appreciate any tips you have!

    • Reply


      April 4, 2013

      Precision cutting and accurate scant 1/4″ seams are really important for getting corners to line up, but I also find that pressing seams in opposite directions helps to keep everything locked together when it comes time to sew rows or blocks together. I also find that sewing “compound blocks” from my quilt blocks rather than sewing rows really works better for me. Trying to line up a million seams along a long stretch of quilt blocks is not easy, but you can mitigate that by sewing the “compound blocks”. (I’m not sure this made any sense at all. 🙂 )

    • Reply


      April 4, 2013

      Hi Faye! I think it’s a combination of a few things. Yes, it’s important to cut everything the same size (I mean, a millimeter isn’t going to cause you headaches…), sewing everything with a consistent seam allowance, and then pressing your columns in opposite directions. For example, press all your seams for column 1 down. Then all your seams for column 2 up. Down, up, down, up. Then when you sew your columns together, the fabric will “lock” at the seams and give you those perfect matches.

  2. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Simple, easy to make and very cute fabrics. I am sure your son will love it.

  3. Reply

    cathy erickson

    April 4, 2013

    My son is 27 and was and is a total pirate nut. His girlfriend could not believe how excited he was to visit the “Goonies” house in Oregon last year! so funny! I love the pirate names your son has chosen. Great quilt!

    • Reply


      April 4, 2013

      I gotta say, as a 35 year old who grew up with Goonies, I’d probably go nuts if I got to see the Goonies house too! lol

  4. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    That is so cute. Thanks for the tip on how to quilt it. I have a new Bernina and hadn’t thought of using other stitches to quilt.

  5. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Love the name Captain Root Beard. Kids have the best imaginations.
    Very cute quilt. Love the rounded corners.

  6. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Very cute with gorgeous fabrics!

  7. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    This quilt definitely pops. 🙂 Captain Root Beard is cracking me up.

  8. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    So cute! I really like your wavy quilting. It really goes well with the fabric print theme.

  9. Reply

    Heidi @ Fabric Mutt

    April 4, 2013

    Such a darling quilt! I love your mix of colors and prints!

  10. Reply

    Barbie Mills

    April 4, 2013

    Captain Root Beard. Hehe. I love that. This quilt is a perfect pirate quilt, I’m glad he loves it.

    My daughter has had pet dragons for almost a year and a half. She talks about them all the time, very much like your little guy.

  11. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Love this quilt, and the rounded corners are perfect!!

  12. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    I love how this turned out! It is really nice and I am glad your son likes it too!

  13. Reply

    Christine Sherman

    April 4, 2013

    This is great, I love the quilting!

  14. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    What a sweet little boy you have ~ love the quilt!

  15. Reply

    Rebecca Grace

    April 4, 2013

    Captain Root Beard? How awesome is that! Love it! This quilt is adorable; I love the subtlety of the small-scale pirate fabric and the mix of colors and prints. The rounded corners is a nice touch, too. I love Minky backing for little ones’ quilts! Do you use batting when you quilt with Minky, and if so, which kind?

    • Reply


      April 4, 2013

      I do! As a rule, I pretty much always use Quilter’s Dream batting, Cotton Request Loft (their lowest loft).

  16. Reply

    Jeannie D

    April 4, 2013

    Gotta love a boy who loves pirates! This quilt is super cute…glad he likes it and is using it!

  17. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Love this quilt, so much fun, really adorable.

  18. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    This is gorgeous! Love the colors–all of it! Great job!

  19. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    totally adorable, Faith. Love how boyish and modern this quilt is. And the minky on the back makes it even more special.

  20. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    I cannot resist telling you that I laughed when I read your son’s pirate names, particularly “Captain Root Beard”. Adorable! I’m a grandmother so these things really give me joy . . . love those fresh, innocent (sometimes mischievous) minds. The quilt is gorgeous, so bright and colorful! Love your blog!

  21. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Awesome! I love the rounded corners!

  22. Reply

    Elise Lea

    April 4, 2013

    I love the names your son came up with for himself. Captain Root Beard is the best pirate name i have heard in a long time!

  23. Reply

    Danneel Mitchell

    April 4, 2013

    LOL!!!! I can not get passed the cup on the foot! That is so funny! I just love innocent imagination!. I do not feel sorry for you, I envy you! Just try and avoid walking the plank!!! 🙂 The quilt is absolutely wonderful. Your quilts keep me inspired and…broke!!! Love the blog!

  24. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    AARGH! to Captain Root Beard! Love the quilt. This would make a great, quick charity quilt. Thanks for sharing

  25. Reply

    Vicki Lou

    April 4, 2013

    Thank you for that lovely story about the adorable quilt and your creative son! I enjoyed it immensely.

  26. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Oh it’s adorable! The wavy quilting lines are so perfect for it. I know what you mean about the kiddos and their non stop imagination…. my youngest daughter has been “Felice the dog”, on and off for about 3 months now. Maybe it’s a four year old thing! So cute!

  27. Reply

    Karen Schulz

    April 4, 2013

    It is gorgeous. I am hopping over to my bernina now to look at stitch 4!!

  28. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    I love your quilt!! :o)
    So cute that your son plays
    at being a pirate with a peg leg!
    That is so sweet. :o)

  29. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    This is such an adorable quilt and I have a grandson who would love it — looks somewhat easy to make — thanks for sharing !}

  30. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    My son is 22 and he is still a pirate. He wore a bandanna around his wrist and a pirate costume vest almost daily after we read Treasure Island when he was four. He was mortified with Disney’s version because it didn’t follow the book. Then I found the Charlton Heston mini series on VCR and he wore it ragged. Christian Bale plays Jim Hawkins. We still recite lines from that movie. It is the only VCR tape we still own beside home movies. We also have a huge collection of fisher price pirates. His pirate collection ranks up there with his bikes and his guitars/banjo/mandolin/amps/recording collections.

  31. Reply

    Dianne Shepherd

    April 4, 2013

    What a gorgeous quilt for your little boy! I can see this in other prints as well and love the effect that using a repeated basic shape has created.

  32. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    I really enjoy and am inspired by your blog since I discovered you a year ago and should have told you sooner. Your son’s quilt is terrific and he’ll have a great time making up stories for some of the “picture fabric”….set off my a really inventive mix of fabric. Thanks for such content rich posts and well designed quilts!

  33. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    I just finished a nautical quilt as well and did a similar quilting style. You need to let him play with the dough hook from your stand mixer (assuming you have one).

  34. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Adorable quilt! My son would really love it too. I really appreciate the tip about fabric colors. I find myself concentrating too hard on perfectly matching colors. The end product can look really flat. This reminds me that having fabrics that are NOT “matchy” actually work better in quilts. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  35. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    REALLY REALLY LOVE IT! I am going to check my Bernina and see if I can do that stitch. Thanks for all the tips on how you did it. Janita

  36. Reply


    April 4, 2013

    Cute quilt for your little guy. So glad he likes it after all! And I love the dotty binding. What a lovely finish.

  37. Reply


    April 5, 2013

    I love every aspect of this quilt, and the story. I’ve been looking for inspiration for my nearly four year old son and this is completely delightful. Appreciate peoples advice about keeping the lines straight too. I’m pretty new to this game but it is very addictive! How do people not spend every cent on fabric?!

  38. Reply

    Debbie Watton

    April 5, 2013

    I love this quilt, sometimes the simplest arrangements are the most pleasing to the eye. Great mix of fabrics.

  39. Reply


    April 5, 2013

    big smile over here. 🙂 It always warms my heart when my daughter uses something I made for her or when she asks if I sew for her when I’m sewing (often I sew late in the evening so that’s really rare). A strip quilt is on my list, too.

  40. Reply


    April 5, 2013

    I love it! Everything about it, the design, the colours, the story. My last name, Rothe, is of German descent and my husband tells me it comes from the word rotte, German for red, and their is links in their history to the pirate Red Beard. Your sons pirate name Captain Root Beard reminded me of this! His imaginative pirate names just crack me up! I love the minds of little kids.

  41. Reply


    April 5, 2013

    diggin on those rounded corners!

  42. Reply


    April 6, 2013

    I LOVE the rounded corners – what a fabulous idea! Thanks for the tip on that, I will have to try it for my next quilt 🙂

  43. Reply

    Carol Sulcoski

    April 8, 2013

    Spectacular! I am really impressed with the way so many thoughtful details — rounded corners, wavy quilting lines — add to the whole.

  44. Reply


    April 8, 2013

    OMG!! It is cute beyond words. Love the wavey quilting. Rounding off the corners makes it even cozier. Minky? Of course he’s cuddling under his new quilt, who wouldn’t?

  45. Reply


    April 9, 2013

    I just love this Faith! Perfect quilt for a little boy!

  46. Reply

    amy smart

    April 9, 2013

    I LOVE this Faith! So simple, but so perfect – esp with those fabrics!

  47. Reply


    April 10, 2013

    This is a great quilt! I love the colors and fabrics you chose. Love the wavy quilting and rounded corners.

  48. Reply


    April 22, 2013

    I love the quilt and love the story of Kyler having a peg leg and pirate names. So cute! I’m glad he loves the quilt. As it’s getting warmer I have mixed feelings about how much Hayden loves his quilt and owl blanket. He gets buried deep underneath them, and when I check on him before I go to bed he is always sweating, bless him.