Creative articles about sewing

Sail-Along, part 6: Orca quilt block

Hey good morning fellow sailors,

today we will be sewing the orca quilt block, as you know the orca is also called Killer Whale.

Orcas can be seen off the west coast of Canada all the time. These animals are fascinating to watch. The orcas communicate with lots of different sounds. Based on the individual “sounds”, experts can make out the individual groups that communicate with each other. Observing orcas was an experience that made me realize how magnificent nature can be.

So obviously there have to be some orcas in this quilt, right?

Orca Quilt Blöcke

For our ‘Sail away with me quilt’  we will be sewing two orcas, both 12 “x 12”.

Who wants to sew just the orca?

You are not participating in the Sail-Along, but you love orcas? No problem, the pattern is also available separately:

Pattern of Olli the Orca

You are all getting better and better at sewing FPP patterns, I’m sure you have no doubts now that FPP is totally fun.

What is the difference between traditional piecing and foundation paper piecing?

First of all, FPP has many advantages over traditional piecing:

  • You can start sewing right away, there is no need to precut fabric.
  • You don’t have to pay attention to the grain of the fabric
  • You can use small fabric scraps
  • You can make super beautiful and detailed quilt blocks in a short time.
  • You can create a really special sewing project with only one quilt block
  • You don’t need to starch your fabric, just iron it.

There are almost no disadvantages:

  • You have to print out the segments
  • You have to remove the paper after sewing. 

Convinced? Just look at all the fantastic blocks you have already made in Sail-Along, isn’t that convincing enough!

Sail-Along, what is that?

You read about the Sail-Along for the first time?  Welcome aboard!

You can come on board anytime and sail along. Together we will sew the “Sail away with me” quilt made with FPP blocks with nautical designs.

Sail Away with me quilt mit Segelschiffen, Orcas und Delfinen

The patchwork instructions appear block by block on the BERNINA blog. Here you can find all previous articles:

Sail-Along on the BERNINA Blog

The best way to get started is to read my first Sail-Along article, in which I summarize the most important info: Starting the BERNINA Sail-Along.

Now let’s continue – let’s sew the Orca:

Fabric selection:

First, here’s my fabric choice for the two Orca quilt blocks in the “Sail away with me” quilt. As always in the Sail-Along, you are free to work with your own fabrics.

12 “x 12” block #1:

C12982 sky media (background)
C610 black media (Orca body)
C120 white solid (Orca bottom)
C6o5 pewter media (eye)

12 “x 12” block #2:

C12982 teal media (background)
C610 black media (orca body)
C120 white solid (orca underside)
C6o5 pewter media (eye)

1. For the orca pattern you have to print 4 pages per block. As you can see in the picture, 2 of the segments need to be glued together, those segments are segment A and C.

Orca Foundation Paper Piecing Schnittmuster

2.Then lay out the pattern pieces again as shown on the overview. 

3. Now sew the two orcas in the order you like best. As mentioned before, I always start with the parts that have no seams. In the case of the orca, these are segments E and D. Then I sew one segment after the other.

For those of you who are brand new here, we sew the segments using the foundation paper piecing method, just like we did with the starfish.

Orca Quilt block pattern

4. When all the segments are sewn, assemble the segments according to the instructions in the pattern. Remember to remove the paper from the seam allowance after sewing. This will make it easier for you to get flatter seams.

Orca Quilt Block

Well, what do you think? This orca almost looks real, doesn’t it?

But now I want to see your whales!

Did you have a whale of a time? The orca block really isn’t as complicated as you might think, is it? If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

I’m excited to see pictures of your blocks. Show them on social media or in the community section of the blog! On Instagram and Facebook, always use the hashtag #sailawaywithmequilt. In the community section of the blog, don’t forget to select the “Sail-Along” giveaway.

See you next time,
warm sewing greetings,



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