Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Fish Quilt

This is a wall hanging I am presently hand quilting (when I am not hand quilting my sampler quilt and my mariners compass quilt). It is a workshop I took a couple of years ago. You take a focus piece of fabric - the fish print - and then build a quilt around it using a kind of mathematical combination of design and colours. It was an interesting workshop. The fish print is an actual fish that had been painted and then stamped onto a shirt, which was my husbands shirt - which he never wore. The shirt was 100% cotton fabric - not sweatshirt material. It had two fish on it - one on top of the other. It really didn't look good as a shirt but it offered itself up happily to become this quilt.

A quilter named Pam Godderis taught the class. It was a good class to take because there is always a little piece of feature fabric around that you might want to turn into a little quilt but the question is how to frame the fabric so it looks good. I would like to do something like this with the fish batik fabric that I bought at the Fabric Depot in Portland.
The object is to use the colours that are in the feature fabric to frame the feature fabric -- my problem with this was my fish was only black and white with a little tiny gold eye. So I went with Japanese fabrics - with black and gold and then added a touch of colour here and there - plus a bit of white needed to be added to bring white to other parts of the quilt beside just the feature fabric. You take the bits of fabric and make small 4 inch blocks of various types - as you can see all the different blocks. You then just play around with placement of the 4 inch blocks to frame the feature fabric the way you want. The feature fabric is cut so it divides well into 4 inch blocks. I think the fish is was 16 inches by 10 inches so there is a little bit of "ocean floor" under the fish. The outer border is from a piece of fabric my manager brought back from Korea for me. It went really well with the theme I thought.

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