Ships Ahoy! Make a Sailboat Quilt

Sailboat Quilt Tutorial - fb

Ahoy, matey! Nautical-themed quilt? No problem.  This easy sailboat quilt is sewn using a sailboat quilt block.  This charming nautical quilt is a perfect addition to a nautical themed bedroom or nursery, a beach or lake house or as a gift for someone who enjoys sailboats and sailing.

The quilt uses a classic quilt block, the sailboat block.  The quilt finishes at 33″ x 36″ but the size can be customized to fit a bed of any size.   

I made this quilt as a community service project for our quilt guild.  The guild is donating small quilts to Comfort Cases.  Comfort Cases provides a bag for kids who are in foster care to use to carry their belongings when they move from one house to another.  A blanket or quilt is included in the bag so they have an item of their own.  Please read more about this great organization by clicking the link.

New to quilting?  Check out our Beginner Quilting Series for a simple quilt using five-inch patchwork blocks.  Or scroll to the end of this article for more easy quilts to sew.

With these tutorials, learn more about and how to make a sailboat quilt by watching our video or keep reading this post.

Watch our video tutorial below or click the link if you prefer to watch Ships Ahoy! Make a Sailboat Quilt in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

HOW TO SEW A SAILBOAT quilt pattern QUILTSailboat Quilt


This nautical quilt design is brimming with colorful sailboats.  Have fun choosing the fabric for the multicolored boats.  The sailboat block can be a fabric scrap stash buster since the boats and sails can be any color.  

For the background fabric and binding, choose a fun blue or navy print.  The fabric I choose has light-colored circles that look like water bubbles. 

In addition, a fabric is needed for the border.  Before purchasing fabric, check your fabric stash, as I did, and use a fabric that compliments the sailboat blocks.  For my quilt, I chose a red fabric as a border accent.

And the last fabric needed is material for the back of the quilt.



This sailboat quilt is made by piecing together 9 sailboat blocks.  To piece the sailboat blocks use our FREE sailboat block pattern with one revision.   Above in the supplies section is a link to the free sailboat pattern tutorial.  

This is the original sailboat block pattern. Sailboat Quilt - Block sample 1

When making this maritime quilt, the sailboat block is made without the bottom horizontal 3" x 10 1/2" piece of fabric.

Below is an example of the block that will be used to make this quilt. Sailboat Quilt - Block sample 2Construct nine blocks in whatever color combination you want.  The boats can be different colors (as I did) or can be all one color.  The sails also can be one color or more than one color.


After completing the nine sailboat blocks, sew them together into three rows of three blocks. 

To do this, lay the sailboat blocks on the work surface in an attractive color arrangement.  Carefully take one row of blocks to the sewing machine in the order you want them sewn together.

At the sewing machine attach the quarter-inch piecing presser foot.  Sew the row of sailboat blocks together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Repeat with the other two rows. 

With an iron, press the seams flat by pressing them to one side.

A quarter-inch piecing presser foot is an essential tool for quilters.  Interested in purchasing a quarter-inch presser foot, Amazon has many at reasonable prices just be sure to purchase one that fits your sewing machine.


Horizontal sashing strips are used to sew the rows together and also on the top and the bottom.

Cut Horizontal Sashing Strips From The Background Fabric:

 4 -  3" x 30 1/2" strips

Do you have trouble with the quilt ruler slipping and sliding while you’re running the rotary cutter along the ruler’s edge?  Here is a tutorial on how to make a quilt ruler into a non-slip quilt ruler.

Sailboat Quilt - Closeup

Sew as follows:

1) With right sides together, pin one horizontal sashing strip along the top and bottom of the first sailboat block row and sew using a 1/4" seam.

2) With right sides together, pin the next row of sailboat blocks to the bottom sashing strip of the last sewn piece and stitch with 1/4" seam.

3) Sew on another sashing.

4) Sew on the last row of sailboat blocks.

5) Finally, sew one horizontal sashing strip to the bottom. 

6) Press the seams to one side.

The main section of the quilt is completed.


A border is a strip (or strips) of fabric sewn around the outside edge of a quilt.  For this sailboat quilt, the border adds a pleasing accent.

Sailboat Quilt - Top Closeup

To make the border complete the following instructions.

From Border Fabric Cut:

2 - 2" x 33" strips

2 - 2" x 33 1/2" strips

1) Pin and sew one 2" x 33" strip to each side of the quilt. 

2) Pin and sew one of the  2" x 33 1/2" strips to the top and one of the 2" x 33 1/2" strips to the bottom of the quilt.

The quilt top is finished.


Sailboat Quilt - Bottom Closeup Layer the quilt, quilt it and bind it. 

There are various methods for layering, quilting and binding a quilt.  There are many tutorials available.  These may be helpful:
Quilt Sandwich (Layer and Pin Baste)
Machine Quilting Tutorial
Basics of Hand Quilting
How to Tie a Quilt
How to Sew Binding on a Quilt

Use our binding calculator to figure out the number of strips to cut for creating the binding for this quilt.

The finished size of the quilt is 33" x 36".  However, you can customize the size by adding more sailboat blocks across the row, adding more rows down the quilt or adding additional sashings or borders.

I am extremely pleased with the way this quilt turned out.  This quilt layout is so easy and so much fun, I hope that you have as much enjoyment creating this quilt as I did.

Happy Quilting!

Sailboat Quilt - Sailboat Quilt Pattern


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

 DIY Quilt Tutorials

Baby Crib Quilt - fbBaby Crib Quilt Tutorial - Looking for another beginner quilt tutorial?  Check out this wonderful baby quilt pattern.

Beginner Quilt TutorialBeginner Quilt Tutorial - Click for another beginner quilt tutorial.

Easy Four Patch Quilt Pattern Easy Four Patch Quilt - This four patch quilt pattern is a wonderful quilt for a beginner quilter and is a wonderful way to use charm packs.

I Spy Quilt - An I Spy Quilt or Mat is the perfect interactive quilt for toddlers to learn to identify objects.

String Quilt - A fun scrap busting quilt!  This string quilt is made from foundation pieced string pieced blocks.  This quilt is a great scrap buster.  Click to learn how to make this beautiful quilt.

Woodland Animals Baby QuiltThis fast 3-yard quilt is perfect for a baby quilt.

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

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