Trapunto

In 2011, I did a monthly series called “A is for Applique” for Calico Cut-Ups Quilt Guild in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Part of the June lesson was about faux trapunto. Here is an excerpt.

Faux Trapunto. Trapunto (Italian for “to embroider”) was originally a handwork method of stuffed or raised quilting, usually seen as a whole-cloth method. The backing fabric would have been a looser weave so that the motifs could be stuffed from the back of the work with a heavy yarn or the fabric would have been slit to allow for stuffing. Here we will use a machine method to make a raised design in a fun block.

Method 1. Using an air-soluble marking pen, draw a design on the background fabric. Layer this top piece on the high-loft batting. Pin the layers together and stitch on the drawn line. Carefully trim away the high loft batting outside of and close to the stitched line, being careful not to cut through the top layer. Layer your trapunto piece with low-loft batting and backing. Stipple or echo quilt around the drawn shape with a dense design to make the drawn shape pop.

Bunny trapunto

Bunny trapunto


Method 2. Fuse your appliqué shape to the background fabric. Finish the edge of the appliqué shape with the high-loft batting underneath. Continue as before. Click on the link for illustrations.

Doc2

Bunny applique

Bunny applique

Bunny appllique with blanket stitch and fluffy batting

Bunny applique with blanket stitch and high-loft batting

Trimming away batting

Trimming away batting

Stippling around trapunto applique

Stippling around trapunto applique


For a tutorial video of Patsy Thompson’s method for trapunto, go to the following website and then scroll down to “Fun Free-Motion Techniques Series” and click on the ABCs of Quilting Trapunto 101, Parts 1 and 2. Patsy has lots of excellent videos and books. Check her out!

www.patsythompsondesigns.com/free-video/

As I near completion of my Christmas quilt, I am getting back to my Self-Portrait II quilt. I am still weaving in thread ends. A couple of projects ago, I decided that I would weave in thread ends as I quilted a project instead of waiting till I was finished quilting. I did not do this because I had seen a neat quilt at Paducah where the thread ends became texture on a quilt. You may remember this.

High Voltage Birds, detail

High Voltage Birds, Susan Bianchi

That was fine for this quilt, being about nesting birds. I decided all these loose threads were not fine on my face, reminding me too much of the whiskers I pluck/shave every week. I know, TMI.  I weave in threads for at least 40 minutes every day and may eventually get finished. In the meantime, I had just rewatched an episode of The Quilt Show (Episode #606) with  Philippa Naylor’s Showstopping Trapunto technique and thought that some of my features (eyes, nose, lips) would stand out better if they were trapuntoed. When I was cutting out my shapes, I double cut some and changed some others so I sewed the leftovers to a scrap so I’d have something to practice different techniques on such as using paint sticks, dyes, colored pencils, and glitter or whatever. I decided to give it a try. Check out Philippa’s website.

www.philippanaylor.com

Philippa does these whole cloth quilts wholly with stitching and trapunto in different areas but you can apply this to applique as well. First I put down my free-motion slider since I would be stitching with batting next to the bed of the machine.

Free-Motion Slider

Free-Motion Slider

Then I placed two pieces of batting behind the applique and stitched inside my existing stitching line with YLI Wash-A-Way Thread.

Two layers batting for trapunto

Two layers batting for trapunto

Wash-A-Way Thread

Wash-A-Way Thread

Next trim away one layer of the batting and then the other. Be especially careful not to snip into your fabric top as you do this or you will be cryin.’ Cutting the two layers one at a time allow you to grade the batting layers.

One layer batting trimmed away

One layer batting trimmed away

Trimming away second layer of batting

Trimming away second layer of batting

Use a soft wet (unused) toothbrush to scrub away the wash away thread. I used a hair dryer to dry the project before quilting.

Removing Wash-A-Way Thread

Removing Wash-A-Way Thread

Finally, add your usual batting and backing and stipple very closely around the trapuntoed area to make it pop. HINT: Philippa uses a piece of grip shelf liner instead of quilting gloves in one hand and grips the quilt with her other hand. Cheap and handy. I had something similar cut in circles.

Stippling around trapunto shape, front

Stippling around trapunto shape, front

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Stippling around trapunto shape, back

Gripper, quilting gloves

Gripper, quilting gloves

I am going to try this again using my original method for two reasons. One, I have some high-loft batting that I’m going to use for more loft and second, after removing the wash away thread, there were needle holes remaining in my applique shape. This is why one should always try these things first before ruining one’s project (again, you’ll be cryin’).

Till next time, may all your tears be tears of joy.

About icandyet.com

Hi—I’m Candy P. I live in beautiful Northwest Arkansas and write this blog about quilting. I love the entire process of quilting from design to piecing and appliqué, to free-motion quilting on my Janome. I have been sewing since I was five and started quilting in 1991 with a group in NE Minnesota. We used cardboard templates and scissors and did everything by hand. I have since made traditional quilts, donation quilts and Quilts of Valor; I’ve done paper piecing and foundation quilting but now really enjoy improvisational piecing using scraps from my stash or my hand dyed fabrics and making art quilts. I am also currently trying to finish any and all unfinished projects. I am so far behind I can never die. I have always been a maker, a sewist and needleworker, running the gamut from hand embroidery to macramé, knitting, crocheting, crafts, book binding and mixed media projects. I have taught a lot of handicraft classes including fabric painting, origami, and calligraphy, Dancercise (who remembers that) and my own exercise classes. When I’m not in the garage dyeing fabric or in my studio, I’m at Zumba or walking on local trails and photographing art or whatever catches my eye. I currently belong to Crystal Bridges, AQS, The Quilt Show, NWA Modern Quilt Guild and the Van Go-Go Girls (a local art quilt group). I occasionally make it to the piano and the golf course and enjoy cooking with my husband and generally wreaking some kind of havoc with my daughter. You can read my previous blog at Kandykwilts.blogspot.com but you cannot read my blog as northwind at The Quilt Show, apparently lost forever. I write about my current projects, mistakes and all, and often tell you what products I use (with no compensation). I am open to suggestions about blog posts and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about my projects or posts. Comment or email me. Feedback is most welcome—just be kind.

Posted on June 29, 2016, in Applique Techniques and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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