Fishing Pilchards with Seine Net by Stanhope Forbes
The pilchards were salted, arranged like the spokes of a wheel in barrels and then pressed. The fishery like many has been in steady decline due to changing tastes and over-fishing. Nonetheless it was an important part of my father's early life.
So what have pilchards got to do with quilting? Plenty! My plan is to make a quilt block for my Cornish hexagon quilt, The Meadery, that represents the Cornish pilchard fishery in Newlyn and Mousehole. Pilchards and mackerels were often use to make starry gazey pie, a dish that my father ate as a boy. The fish are baked in a pie crust with their heads poking out of the pastry crust so that they appeared to be gazing heavenward! I've already made a quilt which I call Starry Gazey Pie. I used a fabric with fish to make the six pointed stars. I fussy cut them so that their heads and tails were used to create interesting effects. I should take a better picture of this quilt and some of the blocks (it is officially on my to-do list).
But I digress. I've designed my block that will represent the pilchard wheel. To begin I pieced six pilchards from hexagons. There will be connecting pieces to join them and to add shading. There will also be an outer ring to represent the barrel. So here are my pilchards. I used three fabrics and made one pair of fish from each. I liked the silvery grey colours I chose because they reminded me of fish, salt and fish scales.
Before I put it all together there is one more step and it will be magic! These little strips of hexagons don't look much like pilchards but with a little help from a dark blue Sakura Pigma pen they are transformed!
They need a little more work before they are ready to be sew together. The spots on their lateral lines should be solid and I may use a black Pigma pen to add a little more depth to my fishies! I have a few other pens that aren't intended for fabric but what the heck; I may just use them to add a little more shading to the fish. If you want to try drawing on your fabric practice on paper first. Once you are happy with your design use a non permanent marking tool (I used a Frixion pen) to draw the outline of the image. When you are happy with it you can take your permanent marking pens to the fabric.
Before I go I wanted to thank ES for the comment she left about Men-An-Tol. I wanted to send you a little note but sadly you are a no-reply blogger. I reply to every comment so if you don't hear back from me it means there is no email address attached to your profile so I have no way to contact you unless you provide me with an email address OR you send me an email.
That's it for today! Time for me to sew these pilchards together and then get cracking on the next block for my quilt. So until I post again, happy sewing!
What an imaginative idea. I can't wait to see this one sewn together.ReplyDelete
At the first time I didn't see the drawing. I thought, is there a fishfabric? But then I read it again. The fish is very nice, I cann't see it is a Pilchard. In the Netherlands they also know Pilchard, you buy it into a tinbox. It is fish with tomatosauce. I eat it with Bread. Succes with the fish in the wheel. Groetjes. DientjeReplyDelete
Your fish drawings work so well with the fabric that if you hadn't said you drew them on, I would have thought they were part of the fabric!ReplyDelete
Wow! You always seem to find a higher level! I was impressed by making our own fabric for EP, now the idea of drawing on our fabric, wow!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the history lesson - interesting. I saw the rows of hexagons and with the comment on the fabric thought they could be fish and then I saw your drawings. Wow - that is really going to look like the wheel. You are so creative. I invite you to link to WIPs Be Gone and share your genius.ReplyDelete
You are so clever and creative Karen. I love your drawings.ReplyDelete
Interesting - and very clever drawing on the fish - wow!ReplyDelete
absolutely fantastic hexagons....you're really so clever and creative...ReplyDelete
Well, here goes, the 3rd try to do a comment. Guess it is the desert surroundings that is messing with the internet.... This project is really bringing out your creativity!ReplyDelete
I love the way you worked through the selection of the right fabric and then drawing the fish body outline onto the fabric. Great idea. From Hot and Sunny AZ!
I love how you are incorporating your family history into your quilt designs. And such an interesting history lesson on the pilchards too!ReplyDelete
Another inspired idea Karen! The fish in the barrel...............perfect!!ReplyDelete
Excellent way to get your fish going on fabric, very clever indeed!ReplyDelete
Your little fish are amazing. An absolute match, with the colour of the fabrics and the pigma pen, they blend so beautifully. Do you also do paintings at the end of the day to unwind from quilting?? ;) So multi talented. Love it. Thanks for the history lesson too.ReplyDelete
emilyste7ens at gmail dot comReplyDelete
Great idea with so many memories. You are so creative!ReplyDelete
Have a nice day!
I love what you've done with those pilchards,you are one creative lady!ReplyDelete
I am really loving the stories that go with this project. And your fish are beautifully done!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing the story about pilchards -- I've visited Cornwall but didn't get to the western tip -- so it was interesting to learn more about that beautiful area. Can't wait to see the block!!ReplyDelete
Fascinating! I'm talking about the quilt idea, the block idea and the way you have chosen to show the fish. This will be a very interesting quilt.ReplyDelete