Ocean Waves Block

Ocean Waves Block

Having such a name, the colour scheme for this version of the Ocean Waves block seemed obvious. Looking at all those blue, green, and turquoise fabrics really makes you believe that you are sitting on a remote island looking out over the endless blue ocean. When you start to look closer, you might dream that you are snorkelling through a coral reef observing exotic fish and curious water plants…

But there are many different colour combinations that this block can get away with. It was very popular in the Depression Era, so there are quite a few Ocean Waves quilts sporting fabrics typical of the 1930s. And we have already shown you how dramatically the block changes when made up of striking solids from the Amish colour palette…

According to  'The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns' by Jinny Beyer, this particular 8 by 8 grid version of the Ocean Waves block, also known as Village Green, was first published in “Ten Piecework Quilts for Southern Homes”, ca. 1936.


Jutta got so hooked on the Amish colours that she decided to use them for the demonstration block for this part of the Ocean Waves directions.

Finished size of the block

12" (30 cm)


For 1 block

  • Square A: Cut one 6 ½” (16.5 cm) square from the dark blue fabric.
  • Triangles B: Cut 12 4 ¼” (11.1 cm) squares from the blue, turquoise and green fabrics. Cut the squares twice diagonally into four quarter-square triangles, making 48 B triangles.


For 1 block

Set out the block on your worktable as shown in the picture below. Arrange the blue, turquoise and green triangles so that the same fabrics and/or colours don’t meet. Bear in mind that the blocks will be sewn together without any sashing. Therefore, make sure you also have a variety of fabrics on the outside of the block. In the picture below, we have already grouped the triangles in preparation of the next step.

Block before sewing

  • Sew 4 triangles (B) together to make a triangle unit. Make 12.

Triangle unit

  • Fold the square horizontally and vertically and finger press a crease on each side to mark the centres. If you look closely at the square in the picture, you will be able to see the creases.


  •  With right sides together sew a triangle unit to the centre square matching the centre of the long side of the triangle unit with the crease on the side of the square.

Pin Triangle Unit

  • Repeat for the other three sides of the square
  • Join two triangle units together to form a corner of your block. Make 4.

Triangle units

Sewn triangle units

  • Sew these large triangle units to the block. Make sure that, when sewn, the seam joining the triangle units meets the corner of the centre square exactly.

One corner

  • Repeat for the other three corners.
  • Your Ocean Waves block is now finished:

Finished Block