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Trapunto by machine

Trapunto by machine

Old 03-04-2011, 05:35 PM
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I just love trapunto work and found that doing it by machine is really easy if you take a little bit of time and care. It can take a ho-hum quilt to "wow" status in a heartbeat...so add something new to your skill set...here we go....

1st- Select your pattern. Any quilting pattern that has sections that will "puff" up well will turn out great. I chose this one because I want to try it in some triangles to put on a quilt that has on-point blocks.

Step 2- Trace your pattern onto your fabric using your favorite marking tool. I like to use the disappearing purple marker. (Be sure to test to make sure it disappears!) Mark ALL details of the design onto your fabric. It is best to do this step after your quilt is assembled.

Step 3- I recommend that you use a Poly batting for this next step. I use either high loft poly or 2 layers of regular poly (whatever I happen to have). I Don't recomment that you use cotton batting! Especially if not pre-shrunk. (Think granny's bra)

Step 4- Pin your poly batting behind your design. Make sure that you have covered the entire design. Pin securely in place.

Select your pattern
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Mark your pattern on the fabric
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Pin batting securely to your block
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:44 PM
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Step 5- Using WATER SOLUABLE thread on the top (you can use regular white or beige in the bobbin because it will be released, but will be between the 2 layers of batting) sew on the OUTSIDE lines of the design only. There is NO need to sew the detail lines at this point.

Step 6- This is the only critical/scary part. Carefully...carefully, trim away the excess batting from the design. Trim as close to the sewing line as you can without cutting the fabric. I hold my finger behind the batting to lift it up and slowly trim the excess. I end up leaving about 1/8" of batting outside the line of stitches. I sewed some extra lines on this design, but all you need to sew is the outside.

Sew outside of the design
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Trim away the excess
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Your design will look like this
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:52 PM
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Step 7- Sandwich your quilt as normal.

Step 8- When you get to this area in your quilting, sew around the outside of your design, but sew INSIDE the water soluable thread. This way, if you trimmed too close in any area, this line of stitching will catch the batting and when the water soluable releases the batting, it won't be loose.

Sew all the details as you normally would when quilting.

Step 9- When finished...soak the area to release the water soluable. I sometimes soak the entire thing in the bathtub (if its a small quilt) If its a large quilt and I don't want to actually wash it yet..I will spread it out and spray water on these areas until soaked and the thread disappears. I lay it flat to dry or hang it to dry.

Another tip is to use a slightly darker thread when quilting your trapunto design. It seems to give the appearance of receeding and making the design pop up more.

Quilt as normal - inside the stitching line
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:52 PM
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Why do you use water soluble thread? Won't the trapanto work disappear when the thread disappears? I have always wanted to try this.

OOPS, I see you are still posting now. Sorry
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:56 PM
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The final step if you choose to do it, is to pebble or meander around the Trapunto, this will make it pop up even further.

Viola'...done! Its really easy, just take care in trimming your excess batting away. If you should cut the fabric...well, you'll just have to applique a little piece on top..its not the end of the world. Have fun and make some spectacular quilts!

Micro stippling makes it pop up
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by knlsmith
Why do you use water soluble thread? Won't the trapanto work disappear when the thread disappears? I have always wanted to try this.

OOPS, I see you are still posting now. Sorry
I guess I have the same question about the water soluble thread. I can see this would take patience and practice.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:28 PM
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You use the water soluable to "temporarily" hold the poly batting in place. You will secure it when you do your regular quilting over it, but if you use regular thread, you will have a double stitch line showing and you don't want that. This way, it will disolve when you no longer need it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:29 PM
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I'm not understanding why using water soluble thread when you are going to use regular thread to stitch around it. Seems like a waste of time or am I NOT getting something.

Patti...just come to my house and teach me!!
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:34 PM
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You have to secure the poly batting so that you can trim it prior to sandwiching your quilt. You don't want to use regular thread for that. So you aren't thinking through that you will be trimming. If you used regular thread for that set, then trimmed, then stitched...you would either have to take out the first stitch lines, or you would have a double row. I'm not good enough to do it twice and hit the same holes. This way...it doesn't matter.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:38 PM
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Ok, this is what I'm understanding.
You use the water soluble to hold the batting.
THEN, once you get quilt done, ready for quilting, you go over what you did with the batting to begin with, right?
Or...do you need to come here or do I need to extend my trip to Laurens house and head over to your house for a lesson?
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