This was the first quilt block that I hand pieced for my mother’s quilt.  I hated the fabrics combined so I set it aside for over three years thinking I would never use it, throw it out or use it as scraps at some point.  I’m glad I kept it.  One day I came across it and thought it would be a great scrap piece to practice free motion quilting!  I added a layer of batting and a bottom layer of white muslin, basted it with safety pins and started free motion quilting. 

I didn’t really have an intention of making anything of it but just to practice and have fun on the machine with free motion.  One section I stippled, two others I made long spiral loops and the fourth I made an ocean wave with loops. 

After binding the block I thought it looked very empty!  I had never done beading before in my life so I got out my very first beading video and beading book, studied them thoroughly and finally went to town on that baby!  

I discovered that I LOVE BEADING!!!!   WOW IS IT FUN!  It’s actually scary how much I like beading because now I am afraid that every single project I complete from this point forward will be encrusted with beads! haha!

Here’s some photos of the block.  It is 12″x12″.

1 Ocean Wall Hanging - - Audra Kearney 20102 Ocean Wall Hanging - - Audra Kearney 20103 Ocean Wall Hanging - - Audra Kearney 20104 Ocean Wall Hanging - - Audra Kearney 20105 Ocean Wall Hanging - - Audra Kearney 20106 Ocean Wall Hanging - - Audra Kearney 2010

I used two different types of beads – a small green glass bugle bead and a clear blue seed bead.  I have no idea how many I used but it was alot.  Maybe I should have a contest to guess how many beads there are on it!  Sadly, I’d have to have my mother count them and I wouldn’t torture her like that.  haha  But it’s certainly a good idea for my next project! 

I made two loops at each top corner so she can hang it on the wall easily.  I thought that I may have to re-enforce the backing due to the weight of the beads but it seems pretty stable with the batting.  If my mother calls to say that the beaded loops broke and it fell to the floor, then I will fix it but until then, I am not worried.  ;)

If I had the patience I would encrust my mother’s entire Queen sized quilt like this but I think it would take me 20 years to complete it!!  I spent three weeks beading this baby after work and on weekends and it was non-stop work at that.  But to me, there is nothing better than putting on a good movie and beading away!

I could have put another backing on the block to hide all the bead stitches but I liked showing them off.  It may be “ugly” or “not neat” but I think it shows the hard work and true character of the piece!

I have it posted on for voting:

Thank you for reading and Happy Sewing!!

-Audra at

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One thought on “Ocean Wall Hanging

  • Hi Audra…Beautiful job! I recently picked up Terri White’s beading on quilts book and you’ve taken me one step closer. Your writing about the process is infectious too!

    I’ve got a website with a Show and Tell section called “Share Your Quilts” on the Nav Bar…I’d love to have you post this quilt and its story to my site for my visitors to see. Leave the link back here and I’ll make it live when it’s uploaded. If you’d like to add more than one photo, then email them to me at my email address.

    Again…great job…you inspired me…let’s inspire some more quilters to try their hands at beading!

    Julie Baird

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