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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.

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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.

How do you feel when you run out of coffee?

Depresso.  And I am depressed.  Winter is hanging on.  The bronchitis is gone but I have no energy.  I am overwhelmed by everything I need to do.  Okay.  I have a solution.  Let me know if there is anyone out there who delivers chocolate with a maid/chef/personal trainer attached.  That’s a start!

I should have read my last post to see where I was but we’ll just start fresh by finishing up that black heart.

I wanted to add some small heart beads to the end of the streamers but even the 1/8-inch ribbon was too wide.  I cut the ribbon tail in half, threaded half in the bead, and then just moved the heart up and tied a knot in the end.

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Next I glued rocaille beads around the edge using Beacon 527 Multi-Use Glue.  This worked well but you have to hold each bead for a little bit until it’s ready to adhere on its own.  I used the same glue to insert the I-pin.  I was surprised at how well this held–I yanked on it with my pliers when my daughter mentioned using this as a purse ornament.  Well I didn’t get it done in time for her Black Hearts Ball but it will indeed hold up as a hanging ornament.  Next I knotted some more ribbon and twisted it around the doily, gluing the knots with the old handy-dandy glue gun.  To finish, I threaded on a ribbon hanger and added a mushroom hummingbird for a little color.  One of my daughter’s nicknames is Humminbird and I always glue something to the bird mouths in my projects.  Here it is, all finished and delivered.

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So on one of the days when I thought I was better, I ventured out with my daughter for art and lunch.  While she was at the chiropractor, I went over to the 21c Hotel in Bentonville.  21c is no ordinary hotel–it also houses art from all over the world–the owners have three hotels and rotate items from their extensive art collection about every four months or so.  Alexx mentioned that one exhibit we had really enjoyed was back.  I have some photos from a previous visit with my point/click camera and they are not very good in the dim light but you’ll get the idea.  Unfortunately, this particular exhibit was closed for a private party so I need to get back there next week for better photos.  There are four trees, covered in fabric and flowers representing the four seasons.

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The “ground” at the base of each tree is comprised of miscellaneous pieces of clothing and textiles.  I did manage to get some photos of other art and I’ll include those in my next post.  I’ll leave you with a photo of one of the mascots.  These are scattered around the hotel; you can request one in your room if you stay there, and sometimes you’ll find one outside your door in the morning.  And lunch?  Comfort food and tea at the Crumpet Tea Room.  Have a wonderful weekend.  I would really like to take off for Aruba or Tenerife where there is heat and sun but that’s not happening so I’ll look at my photos from Puerto Rico from a few years ago and turn all the lights on for awhile.  Be safe and healthy till next time.

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Where I’m from–an anecdote

While I can publish posts easily, setting up my blogsite is not intuitive.  It is frustrating, but Rome was not built in a day and neither will this website be.

That aside, I lived in the Washington, D.C., area until age 10 and then in the Orlando/Winter Park area until age 21.  Then I was a Yooper (resident of Upper Michigan for the uninitiated) for two years before settling in the Duluth, Minnesota, area for the next 36 years.  I have now lived in NWArkansas for eight years.  I have told you all that so I can tell you this.  We recently bundled our phone and now have call waiting for the first time (ever).  I know, I know.  I left my husband a message one day because he didn’t know how to use call waiting, but it never showed up on our phone.  It did, however, show up on the computer and when I retrieved it, I was quite dismayed.  I had no idea that I still sound like the Sheriff in Fargo.   When I related this to my daughter, she just guffawed.  Fine.  Just remember, dd–revenge is a dish best served cold, very cold.