I've been working on a series, which is mainly water themed, using fabric, felt, and hand and machine sewing, etc. I don't really consider these quilts in the true sense of the word since I don't plan to have a batting and backing fabric. I also plan to permanently mount them to canvas.
I thought I'd taken photos of the patchwork backgrounds but I couldn't find any, so I guess I forgot and will include some in a future post. I attached rectangles of fabric to a base fabric (it's either light canvas or heavy muslin). All of the fabric edges are exposed, and I just used a straight stitch to attach them, following the fabric edges. I made about four of these patchwork backgrounds. One has coral made of red felted wool and is finished, photo posted below. One will have a tree in winter with detailed branches, another will have koi fish, and the third has a coral stamped image on it.
For the finished coral piece, I did add batting and a backing fabric so the free-motion stitching would stand out. I just did a wandering free-motion horizontal line with a very shiny blue/purple iridescent thread. I then added the seaweed/plants using two colors of blue sheer polyester that I had. I then hand stitched the coral on using a long blanket stitch. I am glad I hand stitched the red coral since it really makes it more dimensional. It took a long time though, and was hard on my hands with all the fabric layers I had to go through. I then wrapped the "quilt" around a 14" x 14" canvas and stapled it to the back. I really like the way it turned out.