About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trapunto {trah-poon-toe}

If you haven't seen "Red Autumn" - I posted it yesterday, or click here.  There's a lot of pictures, in hopes it will show up well for ya'lll out there!  (That's for you Linda Sue!)

Begin by layering a piece of batting onto the back, underneath the leaf.
 Stitch around the perimeter, from the front side of the fabric.  In this case, I used my Bernina #39 foot, and couched a thick thread (Razzle Dazzle) around the edge of the leaf using a narrow zig zag stitch.  Be patient... take your time around all those little angles. Afterwards, carefully trim away the excess from the stitching line.  I like to use my applique cutting scissors for this part.
 When couching, be sure to leave tails and then you can attach a tapestry needle to pull them through to the back of the quilt top.
 Here's a refresher picture of the #39, in which I'm just a the point of finishing up my stitching around the leaf stem, and will sew over the previous line of thread, just as an extra securing measure, before I pull the tails to the backside.
 These are the two Razzle threads I used on the three leaves for "Red Autumn." 

 It's not noticeable that there is a layer of batting underneath that leaf, is there?  Time to layer things up.  Take another piece of batting, add your backing fabric, to make your 'normal' quilt sandwich.  Begin to quilt around the leaf.  And magically (well almost), the leaf will begin to poof up.

I think it's important to note that it's helpful to apply a dense quilting design to help the leaf to pop up.

 Ah... my favorite Superior tri-lobal polyester. I used this variegated purple for the green leaf block. 
 And I switched to the green tri-lobal poly Rainbows for the other two blocks on each side of the green leaf. It does help to have alot to pick from!  But it's also worthwhile to have that awesome selection of threads to experiment and ask... "What If?"

And when you get into a tight space like below, just 'echo quilt' your way out of it!  No need to try and make tiny circles/swirls... unless you want to, that is!
A bit of fraying sometimes happens with tri-lobal polys... and I had to rip just a bit; but will trim that frayed thread.
I quilted the vein lines on the leaves.  Not all.  Just some, so the leaves wouldn't be punched down.  It creates dimension, shadow, and of course, another opportunity for a bit more depth of color!  This one has pinks, turquoise-green, and a blue-purple cast that goes well with the existing tones of the batik fabrics, yet has that 'take a closer look' feel.  
 While the Glitter thread wasn't alot of fun to quilt with in this particular feature, I gotta say -- I was asking alot of it, going through the paintstik'd layer of the leaf, fusible web, two layers of batting, plus two layers of fabric... and it was worth it, even tho it broke several times.  But tenacity pays off.  It wasn't always 'pretty' - but it got the job done.  And you may have noticed that the small leaves don't have the trapunto effect.  I wanted it that way. I wanted a deliberate change of landscape, so to speak.  And I think it would have been too predictable to have trapuntoed all the leaves in the piece.  Now each one has it's own 'place in the sun' on the quilt top, and shines just the way I hoped it would when I asked myself "What If."
Green thread on the left; purple thread on the right!  I love the contrast, and yet the compatibility!
I often remind myself that it's fun to take chances.  To go where no man has gone before... Oh, wait, that's a flash back to Star Trek and Captain Kirk!  Truly though,  remind yourself to approach with an explorative mind; not to fuss if things aren't (perfect!), or as smooth and trouble-free as you hope.  And remind yourself it is... 
The Pursuit of Excellence!

As my friend Elle, says, ask "What If!?" 

Have you asked yourself "What If?" today?  Pursue! Go see where the next star galaxy --- err, I mean, your next quilting session takes you! And Excel and Delight in your discoveries.


EnJoy your day!

2 comments:

garden clippings said...

i'm a sucker for leave patterns. this is gorgeous!!!

elle said...

oh, Leslie. This is stellar! Great idea to echo in those corners we often 'paint' ourselves into. Luv the extra effort to get colours. Very clear how to's! ooh, what if we did pumpkins???

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