My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fish. Mullet to be precise.

I took this photo of mullet swimming near the wharf back in April.  How could I not try and make a quilt from it?

I also knew I had the perfect piece of hand dyed silk organza to work with.

Behind the organza is hand dyed muslin (not quilters muslin, but a very loose woven cotton that might be called cheesecloth in other countries, but I've always called it muslin), and then a white cotton quilting weight fabric as a base.

The freezer paper fish are templates that I use to cut out fish from cotton or organza fabrics.  Then I can place them in the layers to give the feeling of depth and fuse them in place with mistyfuse.

This silk organza fish is on top, but the transparency of the silk can be deceiving, just like water.

And then I've added borders of these two hand dyed cottons.  I wanted a link to the industrialness of the wharf that surrounds us, while showing a glimpse of the secret animal lives going on just under the surface.

And now to quilt it.


  1. Oh wow - this is just amazing. The fabric piece looks sooo real - amazing! There is a BBC series on New Zealand at the moment and I keep seeing 'pictures' in it that I would like to transfer to fabric but I have no idea where to start!! Hopefully one day, with a bit more time on my hands, I can start playing!

  2. Love the transparency and depth of this! Have to admit, I wasn't attracted to that photo, but I like what you've done with it.

  3. Wonderful Charlotte! The transparency is perfect, colours also and hope we see more of these pieces in future posts.

  4. I am not sure I understand? You have 3 layers base, then white muslin and then your beautiful silk? The fish arefused to the muslin but under the silk?
    This is very very beautiful! I want to understand more
    fully how you made this-to create the fish underwater look.
    i love it!

    1. Hi Pam, sorry I wasn't clear. I have a base layer of white fabric and then a layer of hand dyed muslin (which is semi transparent) and then a layer of silk organza. The fish are organza and normal cotton fabrics and they are interspersed through the layers of muslin and organza. The fish have mistyfuse on the back of them and then I cut little squares of mistyfuse and dot them here and there through the layers also, mainly near the edges to help stabilise it. I hope that's more understandable.

  5. Great idea. They fish look just blurry enough to be under water. A true fisherman. You might have enlarged the SIZE of the fish ever so slightly!

  6. Very clever - you have really achieved the illusion of depth

  7. Best yet I think. Particularly like the way the fish are placed.

    I'm doing a rethink of my pieces at present as the iron on just isn't holding up. I've started free motion quilting them which does at least stop them from falling apart. I hope to get some good photos of these in a fortnight when I get to hang them briefly for a tutor review so you might actually get to see them!


  8. Lottie this piece is just beautiful! The colours, transparency, depth and movement stunning. Look forward to your quilting!

  9. You are super clever - it looks so much like the photo, what a great eye you have for colour mixing - great work!

  10. Very successful depiction of your mullet in the murky water. I enjoyed reading some recent posts, particularly because I'm nearly through reading "Land of the Long White Cloud" by Sarah Lark--set in New Zealand.


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