Rainbow Trout Pillow

This pillow was for my brother-in-law who loves to fish. I wanted to do something related to a river fish as he likes to fish from his kayak. I’d been searching the internet for photo’s of river trout when my husband got his Northern Woodland magazine containing an article with a gorgeous picture of a rainbow trout taken in the river.  Rainbow trout are absolutely stunning fish with a myriad of colors – perfect for thread sketching!

For this pillow I had the brilliant idea to create reflective water as the background and place the fish on it. As you can see from the photo’s this was a terrible idea that I didn’t acknowledge until I’d cut and ironed the fish down!  The water was all wrong; the fish was lost in all the business. It was awful. I nearly ruined the entire pillow and all my hard work to that point! TALK ABOUT PANIC!!!!

I took a breath and left it for a few days. I knew I needed to get the trout onto a white background to really let him shine. Luckily the water pieces were on a white background  so I pulled off all the ironed on ‘water’ surrounding the fish up to about 4 inches. Then I cut the rest of the fabric off and attached 2 strips of the white on top and bottom for a new pillow front.  I finished the pillow with stippling.

The trout was around 75 pieces when I finished as I cut all the colored dots with 2 circles and free hand cut the dark gold plates across his back. I particularly love the stippling  in variegated thread to finish the pillow but it wasn’t enough – I wanted it to look like water. I came up with the idea to completely fill in the stippling with thread sketching along the bottom of the fish. Then, I decided to do the same in yellow to portray a ray of sunlight coming down through the water touching his tail. I really love this – hope you do to!

Here is the gallery of the creation of rainbow trout pillow: