Friday, 23 May 2014

Patchwork sting ray tutorial - sort of : )

The antibiotics are working.
I've managed to make at work and at home : )
At home I've made up a patchwork ray fish, which is one of several things that we have been making at the Fish Friday Workshops that will form a display in the local Artlink Gallery.
Brigit Murray an artworker at Artlink, came up with the pattern for the patchwork ray and in case you fancy making one similar, you may get the idea from the pics here.
 I did ask her if it was okay to post the design on blog and she said yes but please credit her if you pass it on.
( Bridgit Murray, Artlink, Hull, UK)
First you piece the 4" ish squares, although you may notice looking at the pattern layout above, that I stitched the 2 on the left too high, so I had to adjust that bit before I went any further.
The calico below will be the backing and general shape of the ray.
      There needs to be a layer of wadding and also an insert central area
             - pattern shapes below.

 The inserts are machined into place onto the back of the patchwork  to give some shape to the body.
The smaller 'fillets' tucked under the larger shape.

Then the wadding  is laid on the backing calico,
the calico is laid on the right side of the patchwork
and you machine stitch round the ray shape.
However leave enough space at the tail to turn the whole
thing inside out!
 This below is what you end up with and at this stage
 if you machine round the edges to form a sort of pathway,
you can insert some sturdy wire, which will enable you to manoeuvre the wings into undulating positions later.
But make sure you cut enough wire to insert up the tail end, pushing it right round and leaving enough to run down along the length of the tail too.

I understand they intend to hang these from a ceiling, so the fact that there is wire within, means that they can shape the wings to suggest swimming movement. 
Clever idea Bridgit!
I enjoyed making this and quite fancy the idea of floral fabric rays, cavorting in the wind in my garden, rather like Prayer Flags!
I am going to have to make a blue/grey one for my grandson now.
But maybe half the size, so it doesn't scare the bejaybabs out of him if he wakes in the night!
I was once lucky enough to be flying from Belize to Chapel Quay, then an idyllic little island in the Mexican Gulf, in a light aircraft that was as noisy as hell and held together with gaffa tape
- it seemed to me at the time!
Our RAF VC10 crew were housed on the Quay for a couple of days because all the hotels in Belize were full with actors and film crews.
They were filming The Dogs of War there.
It was hell of course.
White sand, stunning sea, king coconuts sprouting into trees on the sand dunes, naïve style colonial rooms and the most wonderful rum punches from the bar!
As we flew low from the army camp to the quay, the sea was see through aquamarine and swimming beneath us was a family of Mantas!
We were all stunned by how big the adults were, 2 of them and how lucky we were to see the group like that, from above.
My camera was in my case sadly.
It's stayed with me that stunningly beautiful sight, so there was more than a bit of nostalgia in making this fabric manta!


  1. so glad you are feeling better-your stingray is cool

  2. Love your stingray! It is so exciting to see all of the sea creatures that are being made!