my fish

If you were given a bag of random assorted ‘stuff’, such as this one here, what would you make with it?
My art quilt group recently set ourselves this challenge- we all brought in a bag of stuff, which was then passed on to another member, and we then had to create a small quilted work, using at least some of all of those things in the bag.
The bag I received had some green felt, a bag of small green triangle confetti-sized bits, some large buttons and little tiny buttons, fabric scraps, some beads, cord, and wool. It took some thinking time to come up with an idea….
But, it was the little triangle scraps that made me think of fish scales so I thought a fish would be the go.. Then I remembered a book I had by Susan Carlson where she had made a series of fish quilts using a collage-type method of applique. I used her template for the fish shape and individual pieces.
I had to choose a range of fabrics for the fishy. I utilsed the paisley scrap that was in the bag and added to it a lot of batik bits which seemed to suit the colours.
To make the main body piece, the green triangles were placed in between some Solvy and randomly sewn all over to connect them all up. The Solvy is then washed away to leave the green made-up fabric.
Assembling the fish:
I had to constantly go back and check my bag of stuff, to work out where I could incorporate the various bits: the big green button could be his eye, placed on top of a circle of the green felt and a piece of the dark red fabric scrap could be his lip.
The assembled fish:
completed fish1
Now I had to work out the background, so I ‘auditioned’ a few pieces of bright fabric.
In the end, I went with a two-pieced background, using a bright print for the bottom on which I could build up the sea-floor.
I unpicked the piece that came in the bag with a strip of red, cream and print and used the pieces individually.
The cream became a rock, plus an octopus. The red was a rock, the print made a convincing coral outcrop, with the small buttons and bead. I twisted the wool and the cord together and attached it along the bottom. I added some more little fish cut from the paisley fabric, and some swaying seaweed from the green felt.
It was all topped off by lots of free-motion quilting.
Some rich emerald green was used for the borders, and my fishy was done!
I’m linking up here to Off the Wall Friday Check out some more art quilts!

4 thoughts on “my fish

  1. Hi Karen, I’m stopping by from the new bloggers blog hop (sorry I’m a week behind on my hoppin’). Your fish turned out great what a fun challenge. I love mixed media collage, so art quilts are right up my alley :) So nice to meet you!

  2. I’ve made Susan Carlson fish, (in fact from the same fabric) but never from such innovative made-up materials! I love the green triangle fabric to represent scaley fish! Your use of all the materials works so well! Great work! (You should shoot an email over to Susan Carlson!)

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