Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Trapunto lesson from my mother

My mother has been passing along all the sewing techniques she's acquired in over 60 years of sewing.  Last week, she gave me a sample of a technique called Trapunto.  I have never seen the technique.

Mom gave me a sample of the technique that is partially completed, so I could learn from it. Trapunto is a quilting technique in which one 'paints' from under the fabric by stuffing colored yarn into a channel.  One starts by drawing a pattern on a single layer of a thin muslin, cotton, or organza.  This becomes the top layer of three with the middle layer a thin batting material and the bottom layer being something similar to the top layer.  The layers are basted together to stabilize them.  One then sews through all layers in an outline of the pattern drawn on the top layer, creating a channel.  With a darning needle, colored yarn is sewn into and pulled through the channel.  This fills the channel with colored yarn, and the color is seen through the top layer.  It is quilting with an embroidered effect.

Wikipedia says the technique is pre-14th century.  As an example of the technique, the wiki-writer provided a costume from Star Trek Wraith of Khan in which the collar is Tranpunto.

Imagine using a pre-14th century technique to jazz up the collar of a 24th century Starfleet officer.  Brilliant!!  I've got to try this in something.  Don't know what yet. 

Tonight I started on making a vintage Aloha shirt.  Here's a peek at the fabric I am using:

It was a 2 1/2 yard piece I'd bought at Fabric Warehouse in Belleville, NJ for $2.49/yard.  It's been in my stash for about a year.  I decided to do a non-serious shirt to help get over the loss of Xena.  All the pieces are cut out, I'll start sewing tomorrow.  I would have started sewing tonight, but I had to watch the Devils beat those bad-boy Rangers 5-3 to take the series lead.  If they can beat the Rangers in the next game at Newark, the Devils will play the LA Kings for the cup.  Somehow I think the Rangers will win the next game and we'll be faced with a deciding 7th game.


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