Saturday, February 7, 2015

“Fancy Goldfish” in progress

I’m working on this piece to submit to The Alliance for American Quilts’ 2015 Contest, “Animals We Love.” It will be 16" square when finished. The photo above shows it painted but not yet quilted. I just painted the background tonight, and may do some additional work on it tomorrow before I start stitching it.

All submissions to this contest become the property of the Quilt Alliance, and are auctioned to support the mission of the organization: “to document, preserve, and share our American quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation’s diverse peoples and their communities.” This group does amazing work, and I’ve wanted to create a piece to donate to them for several years, but never had time. 

My piece is based on drawings I made of some fancy varieties of goldfish. It is wholecloth painted, and once I finish the background, I’ll quilt it. Here are some photos showing its progression. 

My ink drawings of goldfish:

The first goldfish painted on fabric:

The second goldfish in progress:

and finished:

and all three goldfish painted, before the background:

Have questions about this technique? Check out my post “FAQs: Wholecloth Painting.”


  1. Wow, that is so beautiful! Have you been painting all your life, or is it something you took up as an adult? I follow your work, and every new piece is even better than its predecessors.

    1. Thanks, Phyllis! No, I didn't really paint until about 6 years ago, when I started painting on fabric. I am not formally trained as an artist, and didn't even consider myself to be an artist until about 2007. I've just figured out techniques to help me work around my lack of skills!

  2. Just lovely Susan, thanks for sharing your process with us. I look forward to see how you quilt this beauty.

  3. So nice! I imagine this will be a stunning quilt when finished.

  4. I love your eye for putting color and patterns together. Wish I could do that !


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