The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day 12 – The Sea
I am part of an online art quilt group that does quarterly challenges, The Endeavourers. For our twelfth project, the theme was “The Sea.”
I had a lot of ideas, but then I got distracted by a huge donation of fabric, and as time was running out, I chose the least ambitious of them, a simple underwater scene.
I am not a diver myself, preferring to view underwater features from the safety of an aquarium or a soothing streaming video, so I can fully take in the wonders without also having to concentrate on my breathing. 🙂 I have been to at least five aquariums around the US, but my best photos were from the Düsseldorf Aquazoo, where I took pictures in 2018, planning to use them in a different Endeavourers’ challenge, “Texture.”
Just as I started work, I read the book Appliqué Art Quilts: Inspired by Stained Glass, by Deborah Wirsu. Rather than using bias tape to provide the “lead” in stained glass window quilts, her technique involves leaving small spaces between appliqué shapes, and letting the background show through. I decided to try that for the fish —
and then I referred to the book Coloring with Thread by Ann Fahl, for tips on thread sketching on top of the appliqué.
I used two layers of Warm and White batting in the quilt, and I really liked the way the stitches sunk in. To make the coral shapes, I did some free motion embroidery with 40-weight and 12-weight thread, and then I very lightly quilted some watery lines in the background.
We went out of town for a weekend, and I brought the project with me to do the hand-beading, but forgot to take my reference photo with me, so I had to guess where the white dots should go around the fish.
I added touches of Lumiere textile paint, and hand-stitched some ribbon and trim at the bottom to evoke the waving coral fronds.
Today, in looking back through my photos, I found one that shows better details of the fish —
They are only 3 inches long!
I am really fascinated by biofluorescent fish and I wish I had thought of a way to portray them.
As with all of our challenges, there are things I would improve if I were to replicate this piece for a show, but I really enjoyed the process of making it, and of trying new techniques. I could happily add more detail to it with more hand stitching, beading, and embellishing.
All of our pieces will be posted on November 1, here at The Endeavourers blog.
I loved those fish when they were just ghostly white against the background. I thought they looked luminous – so what fun to read further on that you were interesting in showing luminescent fish!
Thanks — when I was at that stage of just the fish shapes, I was thinking that *some* people would manage to capture the fishes’ essence at that stage with just a few delicate touches — but I am not one of those people. 🙂 I like the process too much to stop so I rarely do anything minimalist myself.
Yes, I’m not a less-is-more kind of girl either. Too much of a good thing is never quite enough!
What fun to read about your process. I haven’t tried embellishing with beads yet, but I may have to give that a try. The applique with the background showing through is a great idea. Lovely piece!
Whoa, beading and all. You are definitely using your library.
Yes, I am a sucker for beading. Maybe because I live in an area so full of tree bark — I need to see some sparkle for balance! 🙂
Well, that was very entertaining and i do remember your Dusseldorf trip! Very clever getting all the details right. Loved it!
Thank you, Susan!
Very cool piece! I too am fascinated by biofluorescent fish!
I love your sliding image. It’s a great way to see your quilt together with your inspiration picture. I was also interested to discover the techniques you used to create this wonderful piece 🙂
Thank you, Janine, I am glad you liked it! 🙂
CONGRATULATIONS! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS at
Thank you, Chris
Loved the detail and the colours.. stunning,
Thank you, I look forward to hanging out over there for a while this weekend!
Sounds wonderful…look forward to the photos…
Well, that was fun to look at! I wonder if some of the metallic fabric paints and threads would help the bioluminescent fish. They are so colorful and unusual that I think they would make a great art piece!
I would love to revisit that theme and make the bioluminescent fish, but first I need to finish Plaid-ish, make that lattice quilt you made (I bought the book), and make the floating jewels quilt you posted last week! I cannot keep up with your cute quilts! 🙂
I’m so happy that you find quilts you want to make on my blog😀. If you’ll send me pictures when you finish each one I can share them on my blog and link to your blog.
If I ever finish, you will know because you will see fireworks going off!
I did finish two baby quilt tops this week — now I have one more top to make and then I will start actually quilting all the tops I have going! Really!