Sunday, August 4, 2013

Well, stuff my trapunto and call me a stippler

Yes, it's that quilt again. Sick of it yet?

I decided to do what I think might be a form of trapunto, except there's no stuffing involved, and I have a feeling that trapunto without stuffing is like, I dunno, ersatz trapunto or something. Knock-off trapunto. Poser trapunto. Anyway, I did the thing where you put on batting but no backing, and then stitch around the parts you want to get all puffy (in this case, the star, natch) and then cut away the batting around and just up to that stitching line. Then you add full batting and backing and quilt as you normally would, and the parts with extra batting are a little puffier. Then I did my usual stipple-the-living-crap-out-of-it in the background. The picture above doesn't really get across the nice tactile quality of the puffy parts and the nice contrast with the stippling.

I liked this so much, I decided I really needed to do it again, and fortunately my daughter's frenemy across the street was having a birthday, so what better gift than a handmade doll quilt? Of course, I had sworn never to give away another quilt because I put too much of myself in them and the recipients never seem to give a shit, but I just decided to consider this an exercise in some kind of Zen letting-go-of-personal-expectations thing. 

I had a bunch of Sarah Jane bits and pieces that I got in one of her clearance boxes she puts together sometimes. Turns out that with her last collection, Michael Miller started using their "Cotton Couture" fabric and at first I thought it was voile. It's much thinner and lighter than regular quilting weight and I haven't decided if this is a good thing (oooh, soft!) or if it's like Old Navy and my t-shirts. Old Navy used to make really good basic t-shirts and I wore them constantly, but now they're made of the dust that cotton leaves behind when you shake it. Not exactly sturdy. I'd be much more inclined to go along with it if they just said, "You know what? Cotton prices are going through the roof, and so we have to make our fabric thinner so that you don't have to take a second job as a pole dancer to afford it" rather than trying to put one over one us with, "Our tissue-weight cotton tees are perfect for layering!" Layering it on with a trowel, I'd say.

Anyhoodle. The lighter weight of those fabrics made this one a wee bit trickier. The set-in seams that went on where I had one or two of those fabrics were a nightmare (and yeah, I starched the hell out of them, don't worry), but I discovered that there is some truth to the phrase, "That'll quilt out." 

Yeah, I gave it the exact same trapunto/stippling treatment. I call it STRIPUNTLING! Or maybe TRAPIPPLO! I'm sure I can finesse a book deal out of it, or at the very least a free demonstration at the retirement home down the street.

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