Trapunto – An Elegant Embroidery Technique for Quilts
Trapunto is a beautiful technique that produces a raised surface on the quilt. The technique is used over the entire quilt. There is a puffy effect to the quilt which is achieved by inserting additional fabric between the quilt layers.
This beautiful quilting style uses patterns such as leaves, grapes, vines, flowers and so on. This style lends itself to the delicate designs of nature. The vines and leaves are created by sewing decorative threads or cording through them using the channel method. The grapes, flowers or other fruit are created by inserting batting into the back of the quilt into the areas of fruit or other rounded areas to produce the raised effect. This technique is called stuffing. The area where the extra batting is inserted is a small opening in the quilt back, which is closed after stuffing. Another layer of quilt backing fabric is then added to cover the stuffed area creating a normal quilt back.
The stuffed quilt is then quilted around the stuffed area, with a sewing machine stitching technique such as stippling resulting in a beautifully quilted raised effect.
This technique gives the quilt a Victorian look. The quilt is a departure from those quilts that are created from blocks. The quilt for this type of design is generally a single piece of fabric.
This method is good for fabrics that have a design that can be stitched around and stuffed or with a pattern specifically designed for this type of quilting.
There are some books devoted entirely to this technique on amazon.com.
There is also a section of the book, Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting that talks about the technique.
There is also a very good You Tube video on the trapunto technique youtube.com The piece is from an experienced quilter. Her point is a good one. This technique is one that you cannot really do justice through the printed word. This is one technique that really should be seen.
Through watching this video one can also see how nicely this technique can work with appliqué quilts, making designs on the quilt top stand out.
Off all of the quilting techniques trapunto is probably the most elegant. This is another technique that is worth trying once some experience has been gained as a quilter, especially if you want to make a potentially ordinary quilt stand out. The resulting quilt can be not only fun, but beautiful as well.