Friday, January 27, 2012

A Fish Story, Part 1...




You just never know what's swimming in your fabric stash until you try one of these playful fabric fish! Quilting friend Joanne used to say she "felt a fish coming on", meaning that she had the urge to dive in (pardon the pun) and get creative with fabrics to make a fish collage quilt. I didn't quite get it until she explained the process and I saw some of her results. So I decided to give it a try. Right away I understood why making just one of these could never be enough. It's a very free and creative approach to fabrics. You begin to see them differently and to combine them in unexpected ways to come up with a different fish every time... like snow flakes, no two are alike!



Once the fish itself was, ahem, hatched, then it was time to choose background and border fabrics. I was drawn to purchase the border fabric on this one, but had no idea where to use it. Until this project... the border makes me think of water, and currents. And the colors go nicely with the fish. This wall-quilt project is also ideal for practicing my free-motion quilting skills and I enjoyed combining designs in the piece.

 Once I got into the swim of it, (pardon the pun) I began to see fish everywhere. All shapes, all sizes, all manner of materials. I began to observe the shapes and snap photos of them when I could. Shortly after working on my first fish, we ate out at The Blue Water Grill in Melrose, FL. We've been there several times before, but this time, in addition to an excellent meal, I took a closer look at the wonderful collection of stained glass sea life the restaurant owner has on display. Hope you enjoy a peek at some of them here. Aren't they something?










The photo above shows the fish at the beginning when I was cutting up and auditioning some of the dozen or so fabrics that compose the colorful fellow. So, the first fish is done, the second one is underway, and yet another smaller-scale one is being worked into a fabric post card. My sewing room is drowning (again, pardon the pun) in all of the fabric scraps. But I won't let that stop me when I feel a fish coming on!

6 comments:

Susan said...

Looks highly addictive, my kind of project!

LynCC said...

Fun!! Yeah, that's perfect border fabric - great ocean-like movement and perfect colors.

Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

OH MY! Nancy! I am so in love with your work. The colours, the shapes, the flow of it all simply have me dancing. Do you put it together like a craze quilt -- just lay it out? Do you use an iron on backing to keep it together before you free sew? AMAZING. I'm addicted just to looking at them. They would make such great greeting cards. xoDonna

Nancy said...

Love, love, love that fish...Your color combination is awesome....

I did several of these years ago and I still love looking at them...One of mine, I used a piece of net over the collaged pieces and then free handed quilted it and it had an entirely different look.....

One thing is for sure, they do always turn out differently...I love the process of finding the fabrics that look just right together....

Oh no, I have sat here and typed until I feel a fish coming on......

ArtGirl said...

hey! that's an awesome fish! i LOVE the colors...

Robbie said...

these are SO cool!!! Reminds me of Susan Carlson's work!!! VERY nice!!!