Collage-style fish quilts are quite popular thanks in large part to teacher Susan Carlson’s collage methods presented in her magazine articles, her book “Free-Style Quilts”, and even an old episode of HGTVs "Simply Quilts". Our guild recently held a workshop in which about 15 members tried their hand at creating their own fantasy fish. This Angel Fish is one I made ahead of time to show how simple the designs can be and still produce fanciful results. There are just five or six fabrics in this one.
But the real fun begins when even more fabrics are introduced! Aggie started with a bold floral fabric, and just kept adding until her fish looked like this. It started with a striped tail, shown below, but she got some color going and added the brights in the tail and fins. Love the eye!
Hope had some soft pink feathers with her, and they wound up in the mix in her fish, below. We all shared our fabrics, which was a good thing. She’d brought some darker backgrounds, but we all agreed this bubbly light blue showed her fish off to best advantage.
Janice was pretty sure she wasn’t very creative, so she was pleasantly surprised when she put together her bits and pieces. She even had some bling bubbles to glue down, and a classmate had some seaweed-looking yarn to add to the composition.
We all shared tips while we worked. Suzy noted that a good source of copy-right free images could be located by doing an internet search for “coloring book images” on the desired topic. Her graceful fish pattern, below, was the result of her search.
I missed getting some of the stone and shell fabric, but I really like how it looks at the bottom of Freda’s vibrant ocean scene. I'll have to track down some of that.
Cathy meant business and brought all of her cutting tools ready to get to work. I liked how festive they look, and ready for duty.
I mentioned to the group that I was pretty sure that we’d all be “seeing fish” wherever we go after working on our projects. Sure enough- we took a day trip to Cedar Key, Florida, where fantasy fish were everywhere. Decorating a purple picket fence for one.
Swimming in a beautiful mosaic wall on the main street, for another.
And they showed up on advertising signs all over town. It was all fish all the time! I couldn’t put the camera away. I’m sure some of these will translate into quilts. I actually have two more fish in progress. As always seems to happen, while I’m working on one project, two more are trying to emerge. And THAT is how UFOs are born!