Sand Dollar Applique Block

It’s no secret that I enjoy applique .  I have a long list of patterns to make, all using applique.  But lately I’ve wanted to make more of my own shapes and try an improv, free-form style of sewing with applique.  I guess this little sand dollar applique block is my first effort.  In all our years of wandering on the beach, my kids and I have become really good at spotting sand dollars.  We’ve found them as small as 1/4 inch in diameter, and as large as a few inches across.  They’re the ultimate treasure.

It feels appropriate to have a sand dollar block somewhere in a quilt.  So I cut some fabric and decided to try my hand at this little shape.  I ended up making two sizes.  I’ll likely play with my idea some more before deciding what to do with it, but this was a lot of fun.

It was also fun to tape them to random little spots for photos.

Here’s the thing:  I want to sew my story into my quilts.  I want them to tell the story of our lives, of my family, of my heart.  This feeling has been a guiding principle for a while now in my quilting, and it just keeps growing.  So this cute little sand dollar applique block is a little piece of that story.  And I can’t sew fast enough.  I’m sure I’ll never run out of things I want to say in my quilts.

I am deeply grateful for this form of self-expression.  It’s art I can wrap around my loved ones, and a way of saying things I don’t always have words for.  Creativity is such an essential part of life.  I am happier, more confident, more content when creating has space in my daily life.  Even if it’s stitching a little sand dollar in fabric.

Happy sewing!



  • The sand dollars are both beautiful, as is your post. It is indeed wonderful to have a way to express ourselves in art. I have been thinking about making an autobiography quilt, but I like your idea of adding your story to every quilt.

  • jennifer

    Shasta, I would love to hear more about what your autobiography quilt would include or look like!

  • Audrey

    Well said! I love the benefits of an established practice of creativity in my life. Like you, I want my quilts to be personal and hopefully resonate with my family, if not now, then later.:)

  • jennifer

    Thanks Audrey!

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