More painting on the Fish quilt

I promised that I’d let you see how my latest fish quilt is progressing so here are a few more photos. I’ve finished all the free motion quilting and have made a good start on the fabric painting that I always love to include in many of my quilts. Because my quilting extended right to the edges of the quilt I was able to attach the binding before everything else was complete. I love losing all the rough edges! The binding is pieced from monoprinted scraps and some of the same fabrics that appear in the quilt.

The quilt top involves a very limited range of colours. There are the blue greens of the base fabrics which have been modified by the layers of acrylic paint when I’ve monoprinted the fish and the fronds. There is also the pale yellow checkerboard on the left hand side which I pieced from a monoprint I didn’t like so much! I used crimson paint for a bit of contrast to surround the yellow fish towards the top of the quilt and because I never like to see one colour in isolation I am using the same colour to add details to some of the fish.

What is so interesting to me is how some of the design elements are favourites I’ve relied on for years! I guess that if you have made quilts for as long as I have you do develop a certain approach even when the source of inspiration might be very different. If you’ve read our recent post about the chameleon box I made 27 years ago you’ll recognise the bubble shapes created by the quilting. With the box I was looking at the bead-like shapes on the chameleon skin – with this piece I was aiming to suggest air bubbles in water. I’ve accentuated that effect by painting some of the bubbles. Not all the bubbles though – I’ve considered how drifts of them would rise to the surface creating a sense of movement.

I’m in danger of getting carried away with the painting! It’s something I love so much that it’s tempting to paint every part of the quilt. I have exercised restraint however and I think it’s almost finished now. I shall have a final look after an interval and if I don’t spot anything I may have overlooked I’ll call it done and just need to add a label to the back.

As you can see this is only a small quilt but it has been pretty time consuming because of the amount of stitch I like in my work. It’s that density of quilting that provides the opportunity for the painted details. I’m a painter at heart and I consider my quilts purely as a canvas for painting. Isn’t it great to be able to combine all the things you enjoy in a single piece? I always like to have a title for my quilts – I’ve called this Six Fish. Not very imaginative but it fits the bill!

I hope you’ve been interested to see how this has evolved – I’m back to my sketchbooks now to see what ideas there might inspire what I’ll do next. I’m not happy unless I have project on the go!

Thanks for reading this today – Linda

You might enjoy these workshops...

Quilting and painting a new fish quilt

Linda’s working on a new quilt featuring monoprinted fish. Take a look at the piece in progress and see how she’s adding the quilting and painting.

Antique Drunkards Path Quilt

Take a look at an antique Drunkard’s Path quilt which caught Laura’s eye recently.

Digital Quilting with Sketch

Laura demonstrates the Sketch module of Premier+ embroidery software to show how it can be perfect for creative quilting.

Using Tonal Value: Scrap Quilt Fade

Join Laura in the studio to explore how important tonal value is in quiltmaking and learn how to piece a tonal fade effect using scrap fabrics. This exciting and contemporary approach to scrap quilting is easier than you might think!

This post is only available to members. Please login to here view the content of this page

Scrap Quilt Tips

Working with scraps to make your next quilt can be so satisfying, but also a big challenge in terms of design. In this workshop join Laura to take a look at a new scrap quilt Linda’s been sewing as she shares her tips for a successful scrap quilt. 

This post is only available to members. Please login to here view the content of this page

Text on Textiles: Handwriting

Join Laura to see how she uses her own handwriting in sketchbooks and on fabric as a method for mark making. Watch her sampling process and see how to use text at different sizes to suit your own project.

This post is only available to members. Please login to here view the content of this page


Use monoprint with stencils to create a bird motif on fabric before adding appliqué and stitch to make a beautiful stitched textile that could be displayed as a wall quilt or made into a cushion.

Screenprint, Monoprint and Stitch

Learn how to create one-of-a-kind printed fabrics using a fabulous screen printing method with stencils, then overprint with monoprinting to add graphic marks. Laura will then guide you through planning piecing ideas in your sketchbook before sharing her tips for quilting the results.

Fabric Art Diary

Work along with Linda to make a fabric art diary. During the project she’ll demonstrate a wide variety of techniques you can use to record daily events and inspiration including stamping, stencilling, appliqué and drawing.

Festive Favourites

We’ve grouped together our popular festive video workshops to help get you all set for the season. Make your own stitch paper greetings cards, pop them in funky printed envelopes, then decorate your home with easy to sew bunting and a fantastic wire and stitched leaf garland.

What’s the Story? Fractured

Discover the inspirational sources that Linda brought together in the making of her quilt ‘Fractured’. Linda also discusses the techniques that she used in the making of the quilt.

Introduction to: English Paper Piecing

Discover how to sew geometric designs with English paper piecing. Laura guides you through the simple steps for this satisfying method of patchwork that works beautifully for piecing even small shapes with accuracy.

Monoprint Landscape

Work with Laura to explore monoprinting methods including how to use paper stencils to print on fabric and paper. She’ll show you how to make a series of sequenced prints. Next work on a landscape design on fabric with a central scene and border design. Add stitching by hand and machine to complete your mini quilt.

Stencilled Iris

Join Linda to use stencilling techniques on fabric to create a beautiful floral wall quilt. She’ll show you how to use paint sticks such as Markal to stencil your design to fabric for a painterly effect. Next she’ll talk you through how to approach the stitching to add detail and interest. There are two workshops in this collection.

Patchwork Portholes and Pockets

Learn how to create a circular opening that can be cleverly sewn into a patchwork project, think funky porthole that enables layering of colour with glimpses through to underneath layers, or a circular feature that can be added to a garment as a decorative or functional pocket. There is lots of creative potential with this fun method. There are three workshops in this collection.

Fast Piecing Techniques

Whether you’re new to patchwork or an avid piecer, we think you’ll find these three fast methods are essential. Learn how to quickly and efficiently sew some of the most useful blocks in patchwork and you’ll speed up your quiltmaking time no end! In this archive collection of three video workshops we’ll show you how to fast piece Half Square Triangles, Flying Geese and Tumbling Blocks with our favourite machine sewn methods.

Millefiore Patchwork

In this archive collection of 2 video workshops join Laura to design and piece and quilt your own millefiore or mosaic patchwork. This project is beautifully intricate, but surprisingly easy to design and sew following Laura’s simple steps.

Story of a Quilt – In and Out of Love

Discover the story behind Laura’s recent quilt ‘In and Out of Love’, a digitally printed photographic quilt.

Stencilling Sampler

In this archive collection of 3 videos Linda demonstrates a wide variety of creative techniques using stencilling to produce beautiful and unique designs. She describes her favourite products and explains every step of the process to make a really attractive wallhanging. Finally she explains the hows and whys of completing the work with machine quilting. Linda proves that you can achieve lots of very different results using just one stencil. All of the techniques she includes could be used in many different projects.

Creative Quilting Techniques

In this collection of four videos you’ll discover some of the techniques Linda and Laura use to introduce fascinating texture, colour and pattern to their quilts. You’ll see how they use basic utility stitches on their sewing machines in innovative and unpredictable ways and how hand worked embroidery stitches can be used to bring exciting, painterly colour effects to an art quilt. Forget free motion machine quilting and simple running stitches for a while – this is an unmissable collection of creative ideas that will increase your repertoire of art quilting techniques!

Attic Window

Work along with Linda to sew a traditional Attic Window patchwork quilt with a twist! Add your own applique shapes, quilt and add details with acrylic painting. Along the way, take a look at her quilt Precious Things.

Winter Table Runner

Brighten your home with a winter themed table runner using fabric painting and quilting.

Kantha Quilting

Discover Kantha style quilting and make a beautiful decorative item for your home.

Still Life- Quick Drawing to Fabric Collage

Start with quick sketches, explore tone and draw with colour. Take what you’ve learnt to create a fabric collage with machine stitching. Linda and Laura will show you step by step how to record your chosen still life objects using graphite pencils. How to introduce colour with water soluble pencils and finally, how to translate the still life arrangement into a small textile piece using appliqué and both hand and machine stitch.

Banjara Inspirations

Linda looks to the traditional textiles of the Banjara for inspiration. Join her to look at some examples and to study the colours, techniques and patterns of these decorative and heavily stitched cloths. Using them as inspiration, Linda demonstrates how you can start your own stitched cloth in the Banjara style.

Art as Inspiration

Art, and paintings in particular can provide a rich source of inspiration for textiles. In this series of video workshops Linda guides you through how she’s been inspired by the paintings of Paul Klee to make a small art quilt.

Collage Seascape

Work along with Linda in this two-part workshop to create a fabric collage seascape.