Feb 17 09

All’s Quiet on the (Mid) Western Front

This blog has been silent for awhile…TOO silent, but I have been working REALLY hard and everything I’ve been working on would bore the pants off of you all so I haven’t written about any of it. Suffice it to say that I have been spending many hours a day in front of a computer keyboard and it’s kind of driving me a bit nutso!

…but all that changed today with the beginnings of my fish quilt! It all started with a line drawing (shown below) and I use medical exam table paper for making my drawings because it’s cheap, it’s easy to see through if I want to trace a second drawing off this and then vary parts of it, and it’s lightweight so I can travel with lots of it and not be weighed down by my drawings:

I started fusing up some pieces and this was the main body as it was initially assembled:

Next, I added the head and the lower fin:

…and then the upper fin. I still need to add an eye (I just can’t decide about the eye color!) and I might add another lower fin as well”

The fish is all fused together (did you notice the Applique Pressing Sheet underneath? If you’re into fusing, that thing makes life a lot easier!) but the fish isn’t fused to a background yet. This is my favorite background so far, but I’m still in “search mode:”

I am so excited to quilt this thing but I have a long way to go before that happens! Stay tuned…


  1. Lee-Anne Gilbert Says:

    Cruising on by, I came across your blog… your fish really grabbed me…Just beautiful.. love the brilliant fabric choices… really nice… Lx

  2. Sally Says:

    Great fish! Can’t wait to see what awesome things you do with it. Sally

  3. Maggi Says:

    Just love the colourful fish. The background you have chosen so far really makes it sing.

  4. Julie Bagamary Says:

    WOW! very nice!

  5. peggy Says:

    a new subject! go patsy go! I love it.

  6. Charlotte Says:

    Love your work! I check in often! Sorry to be so dense, but how is the fish fused at first if not to a background?

  7. Patsy Thompson Says:

    Thanks to each of you for such nice comments! Here’s the scoop on “pre-fusing,” or fusing a multi-part structure together WITHOUT fusing it to your background fabric yet: either get “The Applique Pressing Sheet” or use the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper or use the release paper that comes with a fusible web like “Wonder Under.” This is your base surface. Start laying all the pieces that go together to comprise the structure in question, in this case, the fish. Once you’ve laid them out to your satisfaction, get the iron and fuse the piece together. Once the fabric/applique sheet have cooled, gently peel the structure off the Applique Pressing Sheet. You have a completely fused-together fish or flower or whatever and you can mess around by placing it on many different backgrounds. It allows you to “audition” objects easily. If you haven’t tried this yet, it’s worth trying!

  8. Alice (aka BCQuilter) Says:

    Hey Patsy!

    Glad to see you back! What a great project, I love the fabric choices and the design of the fish.

    I suggest a dark colour for the eye. What really comes to mind is those “googly” eyes, that is what I “see” when I look at the fish.

    I look forward to see how this project progresses! I can only imagine the quilting you will do!


  9. Jean Says:

    I really love your work! Where can I buy medical exam table paper? Thanks!


  10. Robin Koehler Says:

    Hello Patsy,
    What a vibrant fish! Can’t wait to see it finished.

  11. Mary Engells Says:

    Hi Patsy!
    I love your fish!! Can’t wait to see the progress of this project!!
    Would like to ask where you get your background fabric? The one you used for the fish just makes the fish spring up off it!
    I am a beginner to free motion machine quilting. I have ordered all you dvd’s and hope to start my first lesson soon. Just got to finish up a hand quilting project first.

  12. Libby Says:

    Patsy, I love this FISH! And I,too, love the background. I am going to print a couple of comments off so I can remember HOW you did this! Thanks.