The Grumpy Goldfish - Finished!

I’m throwing together a collection of my quilts to show tomorrow at the Artists’ Career Day at my kids’ school.  I think I’m the only quilter, and although I don’t do it professionally (although have taken commissions here and there), I’m happy to talk about it and the joy of making something with your own two hands.

The Angry Goldfish - Original PaintingA lot of my quilts are blanket-type things to be used on beds or to cuddle with on the couch, but I wanted to up the representation of more art-y type quilts.  I had been eying this painting my daughter did in her first art class a couple months ago (she does art in school, but we added an extra one outside of school because she enjoys it, and doesn’t do any sports like her brother).

I have a lot of respect for a fish that can maintain that level of anger while swimming in a peaceful ocean amongst the kelp fronds. That’s a real commitment to an emotion. So I did my own take on it as a small art quilt:

The Angry GoldfishI used a piece of blue batik for the base, and fused a piece of fusible interfacing on top of it. I then sprinkled small snippets of various blue batiks to give a little more texture to the water.  The fronds and fish are backed are fusible applique pieces as well, and the entire piece is covered with a single layer of tulle to hold it together while stitching.

The Angry GoldfishYou can see the tulle at this angle a little better.  Some of the stitching on the fish and plants was done only on the background as thread painting, but I did additional stitching after adding a layer of batting and muslin backing for more dimension.  The center stems of the fronds are actually on top of the tulle.

I threw in some Angelina fibers for good measure as I thought the grumpy fish needed a little more flash.

My ultimate goal is to get the original painting and the quilt mounted next to each other, but I’m not quite sure how to do that yet. In the mean time, I’m going to enjoy his commitment to anger at my desk!

9 thoughts on “The Grumpy Goldfish - Finished!

  1. What a lovely interpretation of your daughter’s work! I totally love the colors and techniques you used both on the back- and foregrounds. Fantastic! And they’ll look great next to each other wherever you’ll end up mounting them!

  2. I love it. I agree about the commitment to the emotion :-). You did a great job interpreting her art into yours. My granddaughter enjoys her art class outside of school and last time she was here I provided an inexpensive canvas, fabric scraps and modge lodge and she had a great time using the fabric like snips of paper and “gluing” them to the canvas with the modge podge. She made a great fish too.

  3. Love this! Thanks for explaining your process. I think you captured her work beautifully with these techniques. I think the kids at school will get a kick out of this.

    I have a favorite painting of Gracie’s did that would probably work in this way. Great idea.

  4. Looks like your daughter is talented like her Mom! Beautiful quilt. Bet you were a big hit at the show

  5. I am wondering if the goldfish is truly angry or if, like many people, he just has one of those faces that look angry when in repose, even though he might be feeling perfect placid. He might be getting fed up with people telling him to cheer up, asking what is wrong, offering comfort and care when he is just find thank you for asking but would you go away and leave me alone to enjoy my peace and quiet Thankyou very much! (I taught a child who had a grumpy face - nothing wrong just didn’t look happy when not actively smiling. She would end up cranky cause people kept asking her what was wrong)

  6. Both the painting and the quilt show great talent - WTG both of you!

    To Ozzypip’s comment, isn’t that called RBF (“resting bi*ch face”)?? Wish I didn’t suffer from that phenomenon myself!

  7. This is fantastic! And I can totally get behind the anger at seaweed. I used to live a block from Revere Beach, just north of Boston. It’s a lot of fun to walk along the beach there, all sorts of snails and hermit crabs and other ocean critters, and when the tide is out you can dig for clams on the flats if you’re into that sort of thing. But its less fun to actually, you know, swim in the ocean there. It takes until about August before the water gets above 66°, and when the heat finally forces you into the water, before long you’ll find yourself entirely surrounded by a forest of malevolent, creepy seaweed, and no matter which way you go it keeps touching you. Ugh. I totally agree with that goldfish.

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