Friday, May 01, 2009

Trapunto try-out

I have had this quilt top waiting in the wings forever, it seems. I decided early on that the big appliqué hearts were perfect candidates for trapunto. After watching the Ricky Tims' DVD Grand Finale, I had a go at drawing my own feathered hearts, and decided to try his technique of marking the motifs with watersoluble thread. Exciting, but a bit daunting too, so somehow I just haven't got round to it before, but here goes! I'm adapting techniques as I go along, based on the materials I have, so here I've just used some brittle paper made for foundation piecing to print my pattern on. The roughly cut out heart and a piece of batting underneath is placed on the back of the appliqué heart on the quilt top and frehand stitched by machine with watersoluble thread.

So far so good, but then comes the job of removing the paper...
The larger pieces came off easily, because the stitching had perforated it quite well, but I find that I need to sit down with tweezers to get all the little pieces off. Then I have cut around the heart, removing the excess batting, being careful so I don't cut into the fabric along the way. This takes quite some time, and is probably best done while having one's mind occupied with something else, like watching TV or listening to a podcast.

Here is my first heart from the front. If you click on the picture you'll see the outline of the feather there. The idea is to layer the top with batting and backing, and then use the water soluble stitches as a guide to quilting the actual heart that will remain in the quilt after washing (because all my work so far will vanish in the washing machine!). With the extra layer of batting under the feathered hearts, they should appear thicker and fluffier than the rest of the quilt. We'll see how that goes, once I have stitched the rest of the hearts and removed all the paper and excess batting. Right now it looks rather flat, so I'm thinking I should have used high loft batting, but I just used what I had on hand, and we'll see how that goes. Luckily there are only six of these large hearts in the quilt top, which makes it the perfect project for testing this out: enough to get some practise, and not so many that I'll be inclined to give up along the way. And since the hearts are made from a rather busy small-print floral, it will probably disguise any first time feather flaws.... That's my theory anyway - we'll see how it goes!


Cheryl said...

Beautiful job!

Thanks for visiting my blog - I ordered my transfer artist paper direct from Lesley. No backorder there! LOL.

urban craft said...

I adore the feathered heart. Lovely!