30 March 2007

Taking a Quilt Trip

Pattern: Vogue 2934 - Vogue Vintage Model - Original 1950 Design

Size: Small (8-10)

Fabric: black faux Persian lamb for one side and black silk dupioni for the other side; both from Fabricland

: I saw an article in an old Threads magazine (February/March 1997 # 69, p.28) by Jane Conlon. The article focused on adding texture to garments using trapunto quilting. I just happened upon this article as the SWAP contest was beginning (back in December 2006) and I had an epiphany. I could use this technique to embellish my required reversible garment.

Trapunto Quilting (Silk Side):
Before any quilting could begin, I had to decide on a design. I was enamored of the dragonflies that were quilted on the feature garment from the Threads article I spoke of above. However, I felt the design needed something more than just dragonflies. This jacket pattern has a slightly Asian feel to me and I wanted to stick with that flavour. I wanted something graceful and understated - I certainly didn't want to overdo it. After sketching out several ideas on paper, I finally settled on three cattails with one dragonfly. To the right, you can see the final design sketch on the front pattern pieces. Drawing on the full size pattern pieces allowed me to tweak the design placement before proceeding with the actual quilting on the fabric.

The trapunto technique requires an underlining stitched to the fashion fabric along the design lines. I used cotton batiste as the underlining. The design was traced onto the semi-sheer batiste (see photo at left) and then the batiste and silk were pinned together. I stitched along the design lines using black rayon embroidery thread.

The design was then stuffed, in this case, with acrylic yarn, to raise the design. I used a large eyed needle and threaded it with up to seven strands of yarn (depending on which area I was stuffing). I kept adding more yarn to each area until I felt the design had been raised enough with respect to the non-quilted regions of silk. To complete the actual stuffing, on the back of each motif to be stuffed, the needle was used to separate the threads of the batiste backing. The needle was then passed into the motif, between the batiste and silk fabrics and drawn along inside, carrying the yarn with it. Drawing the yarn through each motif was difficult and time-consuming work. I estimate it took me 2 hours per jacket front to complete the stuffing.

Up Next: Construction and Project Photos

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