Thursday, July 22, 2010


Fishes, Flowers, and Frogs, Oh My!
This painting titled 'Fishes, Flowers, and Frogs, Oh My! is by Pierre H. Matisse... grandson of the famous painter Henri Matisse. I am a HUGE Henri Matisse fan and was THRILLED to see his grandson inherited some of his talent and sense of color. When I saw this picture about 7 years ago I knew IMMEDIATELY that I wanted to make a quilt like this... someday. I was drawn to the clear, bright color combination and the fluid movement of the fish. It reminds me of 2 of my favorite vacation spots... Hawaii and Maine. I downloaded and printed a copy of it as a subtle reminder that one day when things calm down I intend to make a wall-hanging quilt using this picture as my inspiration.

Two years ago the crinkled paper copy surfaced in my craft pile... OK, craft mess. I had forgotten all about it. I was so excited I went right out that very day to select fabrics for the background, fish and lily pads. One day turned into another, the bookstores needed my full attention and so the fabric and picture were pushed aside and eventually lost in a pile in my bedroom closet. Until.... my whole house sale!!! This morning I was mucking out my closet and EUREKA... the most fabulous orange fabric with metallic gold splotches and dots peeked out from the top of a bag. I thought to myself... gee... that would be the perfect choice for a goldfish in that quilt I want to make. Duh!!!! It slowly dawned on me those were the exact words I said when I spied the fabric bolt in Pennington Quiltworks 2 years earlier.  I gleefully plucked the rest of the fabric out of the bag as the picture floated to the floor. Ah.... it was like seeing an old friend. My heart warmed as I broke out in a gigantic smile.

I did a little research on this painting before I started blogging today. I was totally surprised to learn that this painting is offered as a 'limited edition' giclee print, signed and numbered from many sites including... wait for it.... are your ready? Amazon! Of course, I should have known. At least all the sites are listing it for the same price... $800.00! Like we all have that kind of money in our back pockets... geesh! AND... most of the sites are pushing it as a picture to hang in a child's room!! Naturally, MY quilt will be priceless and will hang in a place of honor :-)

Can't you just see it in your mind? With so many new embellishing techniques out there it will be hard to choose which ones to try. Right now I envision machine applique for most of it... maybe with a tulle overlay to make the water more realistic. Embroidery on the flowers and shiny beads... lots of shiny beads. Meandering machine quilting on the water and more leaf like stitching on the lily pads. Oh... I can't wait to get started!!! I'll keep you updated as the project moves along. At least I already own everything I need to get the job done... so there is no reason to delay.



  1. OH WOW!! My DIL loves Matisse and I have always been "going to" make one into a guilt for her. Even went so far as to draw out the pattern pieces but no farther. I too probably have it laying crumpled in one of my many piles. Can't wait to see your progress. I'm cheering you on!!

  2. Fruedian slip there maybe...Quilt not Guilt! LOL

  3. Cheri... thanks for the support. I live by myself and sew by myself... it is really helpful knowing someone out there is waiting to see pictures. It keeps me motivated!!!

    Pull that pattern out and start cutting and sewing!!! Which painting did you use as a pattern? I brought my kids to a Matisse exhibit once many years ago. We were all surprised at the size of some of them... they were HUGE!!! One painting has a few 'well proportioned' naked women dancing in a circle... with a blue background. You can see that when he ran out of the specific blue he mixed, he didn't care that the new mixture didn't match. It was funny really.