Posts tagged #About Trout quilt

Custom Quilting Favorites

Today I would like to share some of my favorite projects that I have had the pleasure to custom quilt. One of the best parts of quilting for customers is the wide variety of tops I get to work on. I'm always amazed by the creativity of quilters.

My most recent favorite is this brookie wall hanging by Tese Shekitka. She made it for her cousin and allowed me the pleasure of custom quilting it. Each element of the quilting is intended to relate to fishing. I blogged about it here if you are interested in the details.

Another relatively recent project is this Star Struck quilt made by myself. Since it's a wall hanging, I used a double batting and quilted it to death. The density of the quilting makes this much too stiff for a cuddle quilt, but it's going to look lovely on the wall. I used three different designs in the bright stars, and each one was quilted in its own color thread.

For the back, I chose a solid grey that would really allow the quilting to shine. I love that each thread color pops against the grey.

One of the first quilts that I custom quilted for a customer was this Christmas trees quilt by L. Carter. I chose five different designs for the trees and scattered them throughout the quilt. To this day, this is one of the quilts I have had the most fun quilting.

I love it when people choose solid fabrics for the backs of quilts that are custom quilted. The quilting detail shows up so well on the solid fabric. It's like two quilts in one!

Another of my early favorites is this doggie baby quilt made by Linda Arness. She designed it herself, and I just love what she came up with.

If you look closely, you can see that I quilted puppies in the four outside blocks. You can also see some close-ups in the this blog post.

Linda also made this friendship quilt. Her friends snuck the fabric out of her stash and surprised her with the blocks. Linda added the maker's name to each block, then she designed this top to showcase them. I'm amazed at how balanced she was able to keep the design when no one knew what the other people were making.

The most unique request I have ever received was to quilt a mariner's compass in the center of this Home Sweet Home quilt. It took me a bit to figure out how to approach it, but it turned out wonderfully. The anonymous customer that made this quilt was thrilled.

I'll end with another of my own quilts. This is one of my favorite quilts that I have made. Since the piecing is improvisational, I wanted to keep the quilting free form, as well. The straight lines are really straight-ish because I quilted them without the aid of a ruler. The freehand quilting suits the organic feel of this quilt.

Do you have a favorite custom quilted project? I would love to hear about it! If you leave your email with your comment, I will be sure to respond to you personally.

Kyle's Brookie

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.

Trout of Montana Trailhead Country

This is the most unique quilt I have had the pleasure of working on. It was made by Tese Shekitka to benefit the Montana Trailhead Country chapter of Casting for Recovery. The quilt is currently being auctioned here. The auction will be open until 10:00 pm Eastern time tomorrow (12/11/2016).

Tese is an artist with exquisite attention to detail. She thought through every element of this quilt, and even modified the pattern to make it more true to life. The blue behind the fish goes from light to dark to look like sunlight is filtering through the water of a river. The border fabric is reminiscent of a woven basket that one might use when fishing. Tese hunted long and hard for the perfect fabrics to make each fish look like the real thing.

The five trout in this quilt are all found in the greater Yellowstone River area. From top to bottom, they are: Golden, Yellowstone Cutthroat, Brown, Brook, and Rainbow. 

The brook trout is a prime example of Tese going the extra mile for this quilt. The pattern doesn't include the stripes on the fins, but all brookies have them. Tese pieced three different fabrics and figured out where to cut them to make the fins look realistic.

Another fantastic detail is the belly. While most of the fabrics used to portray the trout are batiks, the belly of each one is Fairy Frost. Tese chose this to give the quit the beautiful shimmer that you see on fish in the river.

One of my favorite parts of this quilt is the rainbow trout. I really like the embroidery along the pink center stripe. I also appreciate the shine that Tese added to each trout's eye with a bit of white thread.

Tese spent a ton of time on the 28 flies that surround this quilt. They are all true-to-form for flies that are often used when fishing.  First up, the Royal Wulff:

Grizzly King:

Bead-Head Prince Nymph

Adams fly:

Last, but most certainly not least, is the hot pink Woolly Bugger. Tese made the Woolly Buggers pink as a tribute to the breast cancer survivors Casting for Recovery serves.

I was the lucky lady that got to quilt this masterpiece. It's quite possibly the most fun I have had on a quilt.

Naturally, the blue behind the fish is the water of the rivers they swim in. Since the water goes from light to dark as you move down the quilt, we chose a different shade of blue thread for each section. I quilted it with a horizontal stipple to look like water.

Tese's vision for the black background was to have loosely packed river rocks. I quilted loops of varying sizes and shapes to mimic the organic feel of a riverbed. I love the choice of a variegated thread here.

One of the goals for this quilt was to have each of the fish puff out. In order to do this, we used a double layer of batting, and I stitched in the ditch around each fish. There is no quilting inside the fish, but the areas surrounding them are quilted densely. This gives the fish a rounded, lifelike appearance. The double batting also has the benefit of providing increased texture to the dense quilting.

We continued the watery theme with the quilting in the borders.  The green spacer blocks are full of bubbles.  The outer border has a watery fern.  Since the inner border was too narrow for another fern, we decided on a ribbon that matches the feel of the outside.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoyed working on this? I am so grateful to Tese for partnering with me to quilt her work of art.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in bidding on this quilt, the online auction can be found here. Please share the link! All proceeds go to benefit our local chapter of Casting for Recovery. Remember, the auction is only open until 10:00 pm EST 12/11/2016.