Monday, March 1, 2010

QUILTERS' UNIVERSITY Lesson #3: Trapunto

Trapunto will enhance a quilt block more than you can imagine. I think of it as "sculpturing" in fabric. My favorite method of trapunto is done after one has appliqued an object such as a flower, onto a quilt block. If I have appliqued using freezer paper applique, I remove the paper from the back of the flower or petals by clipping a small hole in the background fabric; moisten the paper and gently pull the paper out of the block.
Using a very very thin piece of fabric, such as cotton organdy or even a dryer sheet that has been used in the dryer and softened, pin this to the back of the flower or petals. Using invisible thread, stitch around the flower or petals using a long basting stitch that may be removed later after the block has been quilted.
Trim the excess fabric away leaving about an 1/8th of an inch of the thin fabric. With sharp scissors, make a tiny clip in the thin fabric and then make a slit of about an inch long.
Using very small pieces of "Polyester Fiberfil," poke the "fluff" in through the inch slit until the flower petal is filled, especially to the points and edges of the flower. DO NOT MAKE THE PETALS VERY "FAT" Just a small amount will look like a lot when the block is quilted.
Once the petal is stuffed the way you want it to look, hand stitch the slit up in the thin fabric on the back.
Quilt around the flower as you normally would, when you're ready to quilt the whole quilt top.
Trapunto makes a normal quilt block look very elegant when done in this manner. It is most effective in areas in the border of a quilt as well. "Feathers" and "Leaves" look beautiful when done in Trapunto.