The ever talented Tese Shekitka made this wall hanging for her brother-in-law, Kyle. It features a lifelike brook trout and embroidered fishing flies.
Tese has made several of these quilts in the past, and each one is a little better than the last. Though, this one is so gorgeous, I'm not sure how she could improve it any more! One thing she did differently this time was to put a layer batting behind the fish to give it a bit more pop. Combined with the double layer of batting in the rest of the quilt, it provides a nice roundness to make the trout look realistic.
I enjoyed collaborating on this quilt with Tese. We worked together to decide what kind of quilting would best suit each space. Firstly, I stitched in the ditch around the trout to provide greater definition between the fish and the water. The water itself is quilted with a horizontal stipple that adds a suitable rippling movement. Next, I filled the spacer blocks with loosely packed pebbles of varying shapes and sizes to mimic a riverbed. Finally, the diamonds in the sashing are intended to give the geometric feel of a woven fish basket.
Upon examination of the borders, you can see the amount detail that goes into the three-dimensional embroidered flies. Tese has spent a lot of time figuring out how to get these to come out just right. Here we have a Royal Wulff on the left, and a Woolly Bugger on the right.
I quilted the inner border with a gentle S-curve to feel like a flowing watery fern. The spacer blocks are full of bubbles, and the outer border contains a second geometric design to balance the diamonds in the sashing.
This wall hanging was truly a blast to quilt. I always enjoy working with Tese on her projects. I'm happy to say that she loves it, and I'm sure her brother-in-law will, too.