Mar 04 09

Fish Quilt Update and a Stumper!

I finished the edges of all the pieces of the fish quilt in different ways…some are satin-stitched, some are free-motion satin stitched, and some have the EKG edge finish:

(I also swapped out the background fabric; it’s still a hand-dyed cotton sateen but I found a smaller piece so I didn’t have to cut up that other full yard piece). This is the center block and it’s still just a top; the fish is trapuntoed. Here’s a shot of the backside:

Next up, I added the inner vertical border, which I really like!

You’re probably wondering why there is so much “blank space” above and below that fish…well, I have something I want to try for the quilting in that area, and I’ll need some unobstructed space for it. This is the excitement (and the nerve-wracking horror) of being in love with free motion quilting. I have had this idea in my head for the quilting in this one part that could make this quilt totally cool, but if it doesn’t look good, this whole quilt will kind of be a waste of time! I hate having to get so far into a project to find out if this one thing is a good idea, but you have to take chances in life! Anyway, next job is to finish the edges of all the swirls, and I’m doing the EKG edge finishing for them:

Since I took these photos earlier today, I’ve added another border and sandwiched this baby for quilting-I can’t wait!!! Keeping my fingers crossed for this working out!

…and now for the stumper! Below are 2 pictures of all-over feather background fill designs. They both have the same end result, but they’re made in 2 different ways. Can you find the difference? It’s very subtle!!!

and number 2:


  1. Maggi Says:

    The fish quilt is looking so beautiful. I can’t wait to see it quilted – I am sure it will be good. I like the way that you have outlined some of the feathers on the the second background. You are right it is subtle buts adds interest.

  2. Helen Says:


    I like your fish quilt and the wonderful dyed fabric. For some reason, I like background No 1 the best. To me, the outline on the second background makes it look a bit more static. I can almost imagine the feathers moving around in the water in background no 1 where just that little bit of outline seems to not allow for the imagined movement in 2. Both are really nice and it is a very subtle difference.

  3. Sally Says:

    Very dynamic fish! I, too, liked the first background better. Anyway, have searched the photos for differences in the feathers. Help–are you going to solve the mystery? I can’t figure out the difference. Sally

  4. Alice (aka BCQuilter) Says:

    Wow Patsy! The trapunto and stitching have really enhanced your fish! It looks terrific. The borders compliment it quite well.

    I can’t see how the two quilting samples are different in how they were made. I see the difference in the quilting itself – some echo quilting of some of the feather plumes.

    I am waiting to see how you stumped us!


  5. Mary Engells Says:


    What a fish!! He looks fantastic! The way you stitched the edges and added the trapunto really brought his to life!
    Those swirls you added on the border remind me of how the water would move when he flipped up out of the water!!
    I think I liked the frist background fabric best but upon looking at it again I see I the less color in the fabric on this one so as not to destract from the fish. Can’t wait to see your machine quilting on it!!

  6. Julie Says:

    Hi Patsy…Beautiful stuff as usual…it looks like you’ve backtracked to both create the feathers and move around…the second there’s more separation between the feathers and you’ve echoed to get to the next feathered motif…

    Are you going to spill the beans and let us know?

  7. carol sloan Says:

    Love it! So cool!

  8. Suzanne Burke Says:

    Hi Patsy,
    Your fish looks great… I like the second picture as the outline of the feathers makes them more pronouced. I like them both for different applications!!

  9. Anita Heady Says:

    I eagerly awaiting the fill for the fish quilt. I like the outline for #2. It looks good, and it also subtly fills in a little more between the feathers so that you don’t get stuck in a corner (that’s my guess).

  10. Karen L Says:

    Your differences are very minor…….in #2 you used an echo to reach the next area where you wanted to start a new feather….in #1 it looks like you ran the stitching along the spline of the feather to reach the next area….both are done very well. You have done a great job on your “jellyfish” feathers….why I like them is they keep the spline of the feather from getting to thick.

    I really like the effect of the multiple edge finishes keeps the applique looking fresh. Anyway we have all those stitches on our machines, we might as well use them.

    Karen L