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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Trapunto Experiment

By Marjorie Rich
Back in September, I promised to let you know how my trapunto experiment went....

First, I adapted some of Esther Aliu's flowers from the Heart's Desire pattern into a center motif.

On a practice panel (which is part of a larger planned quilt-as-you go project), I traced part of the motif using a white pencil and the "light box" more commonly known as "the dining room window".

Using white thread in the bobbin and wash-away thread on top, I used the free motion foot on my sewing machine to attach a high loft polyester batting.

I was trying to keep 1/8 inch inside the design.  It will be evident from the photo why I prefer the accuracy of hand quilting.

With small, pointed embroidery scissors, I cut away the batting close to the stitching line.

Next, I sandwiched this with a piece of bamboo/cotton batting and a backing fabric and based everything in place.  In this picture I was trying to capture how very fluffy that poly batting turned out to be.

I used coated quilting thread from the stash (Red is Guterman, Green is Coats & Clark).  Although I usually quilt with a size 11 quilting needle, I found that a Size 10 between from Richard Hemming & Son, being a bit longer (and originally purchased for applique) did a dandy job getting through the fluffy batting.  The background stitching straight line fill, roughly 1/4" apart.

My only complaint is that it was hard to get even stitches on the back through the thick batting. (You may have to click on the photo to be able to see what I mean.)  I don't think it will bother me nearly so much on the planned quilt which will be white on both sides with white thread so the missed stitches won't be noticeable.

I'm half done with this prototype and already wondering if the extra puffy section will feel too "heavy" on the final quilt.  It will be the central rectangle in this quilt.

What do you think?


  1. Excelente trabajo. Creo que nunca podré hacer eso.

  2. Great work Marjorie! And also great to see how others do their work. I would interpret this method as patched quilting. Trapunto is for me the technique where the space is filled from the backside and has more raise, but also the risk of not filled corners or filled too little or too much. Thanks for your tutorial!

    1. SewCalGal blog has a tutorial today on this method of machine trapunto as part of the free motion quilting challenge.

  3. Wow! It looks perfect on your photo. If I understand well, you are using the trapunto in the center; but not on your appliqué. I think it will work if it is not too much. The texture and shadows created by the stitching might compete with the gorgeous corner work and confuse the eyes when you look at it. But do what you love. It seems to pretty from this side of the blog.

  4. I think the Idea is brilliant...I look forward to seeing more!

  5. What do I think??? It is absolutely stunning!!! Congratz!


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