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