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!