Butterfly Coloured Trapunto Wall Hanging

Butterfly coloured trapunto wall hanging

Butterfly coloured trapunto wall hanging

I made the butterfly coloured trapunto wall hanging to show you how easy it is to colour your trapunto. The idea of trapunto is that you place extra wadding behind some of the shapes in order to make them stand proud from the quilt.  It looks very effective when you see colours showing through the fabric of a quilt.  I have used a plain white cotton fabric for the background of this wall hanging, then added red felt behind the fabric.  It shows through as pink against the white fabric.

The only fabric used was 1/2 yard of white fabric – that’s enough for the front and the back of the wall hanging – together with four 6″ squares of red felt and 1/4 yard of pink butterfly fabric for the binding and the hanging sleeve.  I also needed an 18″ square of wadding.  You can buy these fabrics in this week’s special offer, but please note that I won’t be able to post it till Tuesday.




Pin felt behind the butterfly

Pin felt behind the butterfly

Prepare the fabric

Cut two 18″ squares in the white fabric – one for the front and one for the back of the wall hanging.  Print and cut out the template – if you want to use mine then you can download it from this link.

Then use a fabric marker to draw round the template four times on the white square.  Pin a red felt square behind each butterfly drawing.

Sew the shape of the butterfly

Sew the shape of the butterfly

Working on the front of the wall hanging, sew all round the shape of the butterfly.  Some quilters use a soluble thread so that they can wash it off afterwards, but I have used a pink thread to match the zigzag stitching that I will use to outline the butterfly later.

Cut the felt around the stitching

Cut the felt around the stitching

Cut the butterfly shapes

Working on the back now, cut the felt squares as close as you can to the stitching.  You’ll need a small, sharp pair of scissors and a lot of care.  The obvious risk is that you will snip the white fabric accidentally.  I try to position one finger between the scissors blade and the fabric and take lots of small snip rather than trying to cut the felt too quickly.

In the photo in the previous paragraph you can see that the two butterflies on the left have been cut out but the two on the right have not.

Zigzag the outlines

Zigzag the outlines

Returning to the front of the wall hanging, stitch all round the butterfly shapes again, this time using a close zigzag stitch.  I used stitch width 2 and stitch length 1, using a pink quilting thread.

You can see that I have added a couple of lines to mark out the body and one line around the bottom of the head.  This made the butterfly more realistic but also it meant that I could do all the zigzagging in one go without having to sew over any lines twice.

The foot on the right works best

The foot on the right works best

With my zigzag stitch I was following the original line of stitching marking out the butterflies.  I found it quite difficult to keep to the line at first so I swapped to a different sewing machine foot.  The foot on the left is the one that I usually use.  The foot on the right was much easier for this work because I could see through the plastic and it had a much wider open section to help me see the line that I was following more clearly.

Layer the wall hanging and quilt

Layer the wall hanging and quilt

Layer and quilt the coloured trapunto wall hanging

Lay the second square of white fabric with right side down, add an 18″ square of wadding and then lay the wall hanging with right side up.

Pin the three layers together and quilt.  I drew a small flower in the middle and did not quilt within the petals so that they stand out a little – but not as much as the butterflies.  The blue you can see is my fabric marker pen:  I was using white thread for the quilting.

Micro meander quilting

Micro meander quilting

Then around thie flower I used a very small meander quilting to really flatten the fabric down.  I think it’s technically known as vermicelli quilting, but it’s basically just micro meander quilting.

Swirls around the edge

Swirls around the edge

This obviously takes longer than larger quilting designs so I changed to a larger swirl design around the edge of the wall hanging.  This served two purposes – it stopped me from getting too bored with the micro quilting and it made a nice frame for the wall hanging.

Bind the wall hanging

Bind the wall hanging

Finish the wall hanging

Finally I trimmed the edges, added binding and a hanging sleeve.  Full details on binding are given here and how to make a hanging sleeve is given here.

Here’s the video:

 

Church in Moseley

Church in Moseley

I love visiting churches because they always feel so peaceful and restful.

They can also provide some great quilting ideas.

Adjoining church in Moseley

Adjoining church in Moseley

These two churches drew my attention because they are so close together.  They are both large and are just the other side of the road from each other.  They are in an area of Birmingham called Moseley and unfortunately they were both closed when I noticed them and stopped to take photos.  So I can’t even tell you if they’re similar to each other inside or not.

 

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Comments

  1. Love what you’ve done here! Those butterflies and the flower are very effective, as are the bordering swirls. Plenty of technical words that are beyond me but I’m always amazed at how diverse your quilting projects are. The churches look forbidding in these photos.

    • Sorry June. I always try not to use jargon but must have failed this time. The photos of the churches were taken early in the morning which is probably why they are quite dark

  2. Nice to see something totally different and explained so well. Thank you.

  3. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Nice work. I too have heard of this method but I never heard of using felt behind the objects. I heard of using more of the wadding and building it up that way. I am going to have to try this especially on a wall hanging. I think it would look neat.
    We are having more snow now. Can’t wait for Spring. Glad your games went well. Hope they go as well this weekend. The Winter Olympics are starting in South Korea. May watch the opening ceremony.
    Hope you have a great weekend and Happy Quilting.
    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra. You certainly can use wadding to build up trapunto but felt does give you some lovely colour variations. Like you I am longing for spring to arrive. The winter Olympics should be really interesting.

  4. Barbara Starr says:

    I love your quilts! You make it look so easy..

  5. Rose, I love this and I can think of many ways to apply this to an art quilt. Will you please stop filling my head with all these new ideas. All the best for tomorrow I always feel sick when the six nations are on. Thank you for all your hard work. Love Gwenda. Come on Cymru xx

    • Hi Gwenda . I am so pleased that you feel that you can build on the trapunto ideas. Sorry your team did not win – but pleased that mine did!

  6. Eleri Williams says:

    Hi Rose. Have done trapunto, but never thought of doing it this way, what an interesting method with very effective results and a lot less hassle that stuffing between stitched lines. Thank you for that
    Eleri

  7. Christine Southgate says:

    What a lovely idea Rose. Thank you. Will be adding this to my ‘one day’ to do list!!

    Christine

  8. I love to get new ideas from you!! I love to make wallhangings with texture and decorative stitches !! Got to busy doing other things lately but want to get back to sewing and designing!!,

  9. Hi Rose,
    I have never seen or heard of a quilt done with trapunto. Your little wall hanging is just adorable – great for any baby or child’s room or for any room for that matter. So far and when I have the time and no arthritic flare ups, I’ve been working on both Owl and Pussycat and Sunbonnet Sue. I’m looking for fabric that matches your O & P background fabric.

    Just curious: Have you done ANY embroidering on your embroidering machine? If I remember, you bought it when you lived in Ludlow.

    • Hi Claire. Glad you like the trapunto idea. I can’t remember which fabric I used in the Owl quilt. I will have a look at it when I get home.

  10. elizacross2003 says:

    Love your the Trapunto method, so much easier than when I made a wall hanging and cut holes behind an area that had to be stuffed to be sewn up afterward he

    • Hi Eliza. I agree – this method is much more simple. I think that you could get more lift with the other method, but this gives enough to suit me.

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