Navajo Fish

Navajo Fish

Hand-quilted cotton

6’ x 6’


Navajo Fish Quilt

After taking my first and only quilt class that was based on typical Navajo design motifs, I was inspired by their basic fish design. I thought that the scales of the fish would be represented by equiangular triangles in the colors of a gold fish.

Fish use a clever method of camouflage in that the top of the fish is dark and the bottom of the fish is light. Imagine looking down through water, the darker it gets, hence the top of the fish being dark. Looking up through water is lighter hence the lighter bottom.

This basic theory would also apply to the water around the fish having the lighter blues at the top of the quilt and the darker blues as the water depth increases.

I decided that I only wanted to see the basic shape of the fish and the linear lines representing the rays of sunlight through the water on the back of the quilt. The scales of the fish would be quilted with an intermediary fabric.

Once I had designed and colored the inner panel I was struck by the thought that we see the fish and the water in lovely color but what if the fish only saw in black and white. So that inspired the border of triangles to be monochromatic to represent this thought.