Friday, March 22, 2024

Rainbow Fish SAHRR Complete

It was another fun year of brain work in the Stay At Home Round Robin hosted by Gail of QuiltingGail, along with several co-hosts who gave a directive each week as to what to do for that specific round. My forlorn fish and heart blocks have grown into this adorable baby/toddler quilt and I just love how it all came together.

When I drove down Main Street earlier this week, I spied that mural and thought I think I should use it for a quilt photo of my fishies quilt! Thanks to some ‘rough surface’ tape, I was able to tape it to that wall. Don’t worry: I first checked in a small corner that it wouldn’t harm the mural. Eeee! I did a little squeal when I stepped back to snap the photo. It is good!

Here's a quick look back at the development of the quilt over the six weeks of prompts.

Once I’d finished the quilt, I gave it a light spritz of water as usual and blocked it on my design wall.

The quilt is going to be a gift, intended to be either thrown on the floor as a play mat for grandbabies or snuggled around said grandbabies as they snooze, so I first intended to do some kind of a meander over the surface. However, when I decided to treat the final two rounds as one, and the motif idea of weeds waving in the current struck me, the meandering went out the window, and the quilt got custom quilting.

I’d always intended on doing some ghost bubbles after the appliqué bubbles happened, but little did I know that bubbles would become a theme for all of the quilting!

All four paper-pieced fish were stitched in the ditch. I connected the two in the third last round with some flowing wavy lines interspersed with bubbles. The side borders of that round were begging for a little fussy treatment. I recalled a feather design that substituted large circles for the feathers that I’d done on my Pocketful of Sunshine quilt years ago. Thanks to that post from February 2015, I know that the design is one of Leah Day's, called Bubble Wand. It was perfect! I used my Quilted Pineapple ruler to make a more or less even flowing arc, echoed it, and then FMQ-ed the circles. They are purposely different sizes, and no they are not perfect, but step back and they look just excellent!

I used Essential cotton thread, named 'Sky' over all of the quilt except for a fuchsia in the pink and brown aquarium 'frame'.

A little rolling back and forth happened in the centre to get the long vertical lines and bubbles.

I showed you yesterday a wee surprise that happened. Did you guess what it was?

This was (eventually) a happy accident. We won’t talk about exactly how it happened or the very bad word I said not once but twice that even MacGyver heard from the main floor 😬 … I made a small hole in the fabric of the quilt. It happened after I’d finished quilting that beautiful (expensive) turquoise and brown shimmery wavy fabric that is the sand in my mind at the bottom of the lake/sea/aquarium. Yes. Tragic indeed. 

So eventually, after I’d calmed down, I hit upon the idea of putting some sort of appliqué over it, but what in the world to put there? A little heart? 

A SNAIL! Over to my laptop I went to look at some simple line drawn snail images, because my first thought was to cut one out of fabric. I took a look through my brown fabric scraps to see if I had a snail-esque one. Well, you would not believe what I did find: that spiral, but it was not a snail. It was on a hand! This is a batik fabric with Indigenous motifs over it. All I needed to do was cut the fingers off, keep the curved thumb as the head and then FMQ the antennae! I found the perfect, unopened spool of Coats & Clark variegated brown and tan polyester to do the FMQ. It has a beautiful sheen to it when the light catches it. I think this little snail just adds that je ne sais quoi to the whole quilt. Snails are necessary in water and this little guy is helping to keep that water crystal clear!

The backing is a vintage Oshkosh cotton I’d bought years ago to make my girls outfits… yep, high quality cotton and nope, the outfits never happened, but at 140 cm wide and carefully stashed all these years waiting for the right quilt… “It us!” the fishies said. The pink and turquoise of the girl and boy is absolute perfection with the front of the quilt, and for the girl and boy grandbabies that this quilt is for.

The binding created more excitement. I thought turquoise but then wondered if I’d have enough of that fabulous Benartex fabric by Weeks and Ringle that I’d used in the paper-pieced fish and final border… yes! 

My friend loves and appreciates the cloth labels I always attach to a quilt.

I just had to take another photo in the flower boxes outside of the optometrist where the mural is. I thought the quilt colours were perfect with the Easter décor.

Here in the mural on the building without the quilt for reference. We have so many great old buildings in this town and now that we’re adding murals everywhere I have much fodder for quilt shoots!

The 6 pm light was perfect to show the beautiful vibrant colours in this quilt. Lots of new benches are showing up around town too. I like that! So the quilt is going to a good friend and neighbour who loves quilts, loves my work, and has bought several pieces from me. She has two precious grandbabies who I think will have many good times upon or underneath this quilt. She lives right on the lake, so the fish and water theme is perfect for her home. I know those grandbabies, both not even a year old yet, will enjoy gazing at the bright colours and shapes in the quilt.

Thank you Gail, and thank you Kathleen, Anja, Wendy, Brenda and Emily for such fun once again this year!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: my own design according to prompts from hosts
Size: 41”x 42"
Fabric: scraps and stash
Batting: Fairfield 100% polyester
Backing: Oshkosh cotton
Quilted: on Avril 47 234 stitches
Threads: pieced on my Bernina and Featherweight; quilted with Essential cotton; Bottom Line in the bobbin

Linking up with Quilting Jetgirl for the Favourite Finish celebration!


  1. Fish theme is cute. It is like an aquarium.

  2. What a fun quilt, Sandra! From beginning to end it is a treasure trove of exciting elements. (love all the bubbles!) And I know the snail wasn't in the original plans, but oh my! What a perfect and fun element!

  3. Oh my, where to begin! I’ve loved watching your quilt develop, and I knew that your fabulous custom quilting would not disappoint. But then that happy accident with the hole and the snail and having the perfect piece of fabric and the noodle to use it creatively. Just Wow. As soon as I saw the quilt on the mural I wondered how on earth you mounted the quilt on the wall. Might need more details please as we have murals popping up all over here that have got me thinking about making quilts to match them. So all in all a very successful SAHRR for you! It’s been a fun ride.

  4. I love the quilting to finish this off, Sandra, and I am very sorry about the snag in the quilt top but the snail really does round out everything about the design. It's fantastic when you know right where the quilt will be going, and I know they will get years of use and love out of it!

  5. It has been really fun to follow along as you designed this fun quilt! The bubbles have always drawn my eye, so of course you needed some quilted ones, too. I love the snail - perfect way to cover up a boo-boo. It's a wonderful finish, Sandra!

  6. Hi Sandra! Love, love, LOVE this finish!! The rainbow fishies are just so fun and that backdrop for a photo shoot is fab. I think your snail addition is brilliant. Great job all around. {{Hugs}} a bunch ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Oh my goodness, everything about this quilt is just so right! That little snail - it just had to be! And now the quilt goes to live in a home where it will be loved and used, right by a lake! How cool is that? Your photo op with that mural is the best!

  8. Your quilt makes me smile! Perfect for someone's grandbabies. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Way to turn an apparent tragedy into a happy accident. If you hadn't shared the behind the scenes story no one would that the snail wasn't your original intent.

  10. You definitely made lemonade out of lemons. That had to just stop your heart when it happened. A beautiful finish! It's been such fun to see how everyone interpreted the prompts.

  11. This turned out fantastic, Sandra!! I'm glad your accident turned into a happy one! The little snail is just adorable! I love your photo shoot too. Thanks for quilting along with us this year.

  12. Can I just say, Sandra, you bagged it again this year! What a great quilt with all the details and the interpretations of the clues. It's so fun to see what comes out of your stash to make the perfect border or bubble or snail. The quilting is so wonderful and the photo shoot was just right with the flower box and the mural and the bench. Your neighbor will love this and those grandchildren will be so charmed by all the detail. Congratulations.

  13. Fabulous quilt!!! I love what you did with each prompt!! So fun!!!
    Thank you for participating in SAHRR '24 and linking up!

  14. It turned out so well, Sandra! I smiled when I read that your meandering plan went out the window. I feel like that happens to you fairly often!

  15. What a wonderfully creative quilt, and so beautiful! Thanks for sharing the eye candy.

  16. This is specatular, Sandra. I love every little fun detail in it. I just ran across my fabric similar to yours from Sarah/ConfessionFabricAddict and might try to incorporate it in another SAL this year (wink wink). The quilting is so perfect...sometimes these quilts really do talk to us - and to you very often!

  17. Hi Sandra, what a beauty! I love your design and the quilting is awesome! Thanks so much for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks! Have a great Easter weekend.

  18. its a perfect finish - snail and all! He really adds to it ! Love your photo shoot too!

  19. This quilt is wonderful and I love your photos with the mural and flamingos :)

  20. Thank you so much for linking up with Favorite Finish!

  21. This is such a cute quilt. I absolutely love the addition of the snail. My dog recently took some nibbles out of one my freshly finished quilts. I think I'm going to applique dog bones or dog paws over the impacted areas, and maybe it will be a fond memory! Maybe! lol!

  22. Super cute SAHRR, Sandra!!! Wow, the photo with the mural!!! Fab! And I love that you used the Oshkosh print for the backing! I have some fabric like that, too, that didn't become dresses for my girls, but may become backing for quilts now.