Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Trapunto and Italian cording, and hand-stitching, here I come!

The best place to start a quilt is from the centre, I believe, so that is where I will start as the quilt has a central image. The central motif is what the quilt is all about and that has to be bold.  The Celtic knots which encase the image also has to be eye-catching but not fighting with the main image, so I have done then in colours which compliment each other and, as they are using similiar techniques (one trapunto and the other Italian cording) they will not clash.  The central image caused me no problem, but the Celtic knots!!!
First, I machined around the intricate knots, then halfway through (tell a lie, quarter way through) I discovered that it wasn't as easy to manipulate as I thought, there was a lot of stopping and starting and it didn't lay flat, so I gave up and rediscovered the joys of hand stitching.
Design ideas

Central Adinkra symbol and Celtic knots in various stages
Now with hand stitching one has to have the right size and comfortable needle, waxed thread and oh, a thimble is a must! The more you stitch, the more uniformed the stitches become.  It is one of the most calming activities which you can do - so if you have a demanding and stressful job/ life, take up hand-stitching.  Once all the hand-stitching is done then comes the threading of the wool for the Italian cording.  I bought a soft super chunky wool mix, but next time I think I would get something not so soft because all the pulling through of the wool through the narrow channels does add stress and makes it come apart.  Once I had finished all those 4 pieces, I was quite pleased with the results.  It gave me a sense of achievement to have finished the hardest part; I equate the sewing of strips to make my Roman Stripes and Courthouse Steps as easy.  I have also discoved another patchwork block which I quite like, but I am thinking 'how am I going to intergrate it with the others and will the quilt finish bigger than the given size?' 
I like projects which give me a challenge: the more complicated the project, the better I thrive.  The only thing which I don't want to do with this quilt is overwork it, so I have to occasionally step back and review what I have done.  Next step - the letters!


  1. Ooh very interesting- and not at all what I had imagined! I really like the trapunto effect.