As promised, here is a fishy tale ready for the end of the merry month of May. As the first of my Journal Quilt pieces I thought I’d start off quite basic, and try to combine a few techniques I’ve used before with one or two I hadn’t.
I started off by thinking in design terms of what I was trying to do. I had only just written a father’s day card (a whole month early) and so was thinking of my dad. Those who know him, will know he is a fisherman. Not your blow-the-wind-southerly-fishing-for-a-living type of man, but an avid angler who never seems as happy as when the rod’s in his hand.
So fish then. A good theme. I did a little sketch of the sea floor with some seaweed and a few fish swimming by – it was very Finding Nemo. It was also very bad (and I’m not showing you!). So I created a new sketch, trying to turn my somewhat naive seafloor into something more abstract. This is what I came up with.
Well it’s a starting point! From paper to fabric then! I started by splitting the design into 4 segments, creating the background of each segment then embellishing individually before appliqueing all together.
1. Sun-dappled water
I made this by doing some simple square patchwork using hand-dyed fabric, so it looked sort of watery. I mixed up the colours to give the impression of sun shining through the water (aaah). White bubbles were then added using the most wonderful Bondaweb – which fuses the fabric onto the top layer. These were satin stiched around the edges to make them look more bubbly.
These were actually really easy – as they are essentially flying geese (or should I say flying fish) made by using applique triangles bonded onto the background.
3. Deep water
This was a good excuse to practice some more free motion quilting in new designs, by leaving the background plain and then quilting the waves ontop. I had thought to add seweed but decided it looked a bit naff.
4. The bottom.
Ok, so I really cheated here and just used patterned rock fabric. Well wouldn’t you if you had some perfect sea-floor rock fabric just lying around?
Each of these segments were sewn together using a blind-hem stitch of my machine. Never actually used that setting before and am rather impressed I have to say. Think it’s normally used for trouser hems (though I best not tell my HB that, or he’ll expect me to fix his). Once it was all one piece, I added backing and wadding and quilted it all together. I got a bit over-excited when doing my waves, and thought to try out another new technique: stitched writing – that incredibly fun, even if I need a bit more practice! The geordies in the audience might recognise the lyrics…
The finished piece:
I’ll keep this for when the boat comes in 🙂