Sunday, 29 May 2016

Here Fishy, Fishy

Let me introduce to you Here Fishy, Fishy. My entry in this year's Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge.

Here Fishy, Fishy

You have to get a shot of the fish near the water, right?

A while ago now I bought this print from Studio Cockatoo and as soon as I saw it I thought "That would look really cool turned into a paper pieced pattern". But then life, and other quilty projects got in the way.

My inspiration shot, and some of the lovely things people have made for me (including my unicorn from Moo)

Fast forward x number of months (years?) and I see on Instagram that the guys at Umbrella Prints have launched their Trimmings Challenge. Basically, you buy a Challenge Pack (off cuts of their fabrics), use it to make something awesome and share it with the world. Now I have had grand plans to enter the challenge before. I have even bought one of those cute little packets in the past (with names like Mountain Girl and Luxury Cherry Bubble Cake who could resist?) but stalled when it came to actually making something. This year though, when I looked at the options and saw all those lovely shades of orange, my mind went to the fish print, angels sang, the clouds parted and a beam of celestial light shone down striking me with inspiration, etc etc, and I knew what I wanted to do. Couple that with the fact that I was going on a family holiday for a couple of weeks and needed some hand sewing and I had a plan.

Basically I used a simplified version of the print as a template for EPP. Even so it was pretty challenging as some of those pieces were small! The whole exercise was made extra tricky by the fact that I didn't take any scissors away with me - I had to trim all the fabric with thread snips. Needless to say, I made more progress once I got home.

When I was taking a break from this, I did some hand sewing (sneaky holiday shot)

I used the Luxury Cherry Bubble pack in combination with the contents of my scrap bin to make the fish.

Work in Progress

For the background I used one of the print's from Jeni Baker's Color Me Retro line. I think it is the perfect print to use - it certainly made me think of splashing water. As an aside, this was the very first fabric bundles I ever bought, and Jeni's blog was one of the very first quilting blogs I started following. Awww. That fabric had been in my stash for WAY too long.

The finished top

Once it was all pieced I knew I didn't want to have a binding - the piece is quite small and delicate and I thought binding would be too chunky so I sewed the backing on right sides together and flipped it inside out. I then set to work quilting it. I used four different colours of thread on the fish and four for the water, so eight all up!! 

My thread collection... in a fish bowl

I went for jagged triangular shapes in the water and then gave the fish body some dimension by quilting in some contours. I even FMQ-ed around the fish's goggle eye. That was scary since I hadn't done FMQ before and was worried I would ruin the hours and hours of hard work. But I just dialled the speed on my machine waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down and took it really easy. It isn't perfect, but it is perfect for what I wanted. With all that quilting, at least I know my hand piecing isn't going to come apart!

Eye FMQ detail

I am super pleased with how my little fish turned out. My husband asked who it was for and made a big sad face when I said it was for me, and I am taking that as a huge compliment because he isn't a quilty kind of guy.

Head over to #umbrellaprintstrimmingschallenge to check out the other pretties that people have made (there are some AMAZING things) and be inspired for next year!

Name: Here Fishy, Fishy
Pattern: A simplified version of the Goldfish 1 from Studio Cockatoo
Method: EPP
Dimensions: Approx 7.5" x 10.5"
Fabric: Umbrella Prints 2016 Trimmings Challenge Pack (Luxury Cherry Bubble Cake), various scraps (fish) and the Dulcette print in Lobella from Color Me Retro
Quilting: Machine, Aurifil 50 wt in 2024, 2720, 5006, 4093 (water) and 2135, 2145, 1133, 2225 (fish)


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