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I have long been fascinated with trapunto quilts-- as a child I called them "marshmallow quilts"-- because parts of them were puffy like marshmallows.


Trapunto, from the Italian for "to embroider," is a method of quilting that is also called "stuffed technique." A puffy, decorative feature, trapunto utilizes at least two layers, the underside of which is slit and padded, producing a raised surface on the quilt.

Below is the Tristan Quilt, currently housed the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is a linen quilt representing scenes from the story of Tristan and Isolde and was made in Sicily during the second half of the 13th century.
I am amazed at the handiwork that went into this quilt!

I am (slowly) working on a piece that utilizes trapunto stiching...
There is a crochet motif that I am quilting around and then stuffing between.  Doing this by hand is REALLY slow, but I really feel like I am creating something unique.  I really love working with unbleached muslin--it becomes a canvas to create on.  

This is a handmade trapunto photo album cover that was entered into a "Nature's best Quilt" contest I found online:
The combination of the embroidery and the quilting really makes the butterfly pop!

The background quilting stitch for stuffed work is often a stipple. Stippling consists of randomly placed little stitches, close to each other, that create a dotted texture. Because there are many stitches close together, the stippled background lies flatter that the rest, making the stuffed parts stand out even more.  This is the part that moves really slowly by hand--machines can do some really neat stipping: machine stippling in color

Trapunto stiching shows up in some pretty unusual places... check out this Star Trek uniform from The Wrath of Khan (one of my favorite Start Trek movies!) Trapunto collar!

And just an observation: toilet paper is most often "quilted" to look like trapunto stitching!


Information about this technique for this diary came from the following links:
Art: Quilts and Quilters-Techniques

Trapunto Quilting Wikipedia link

Today is my 12th wedding anniversary... when this posts, I will be at dinner with my husband (who is fairly patient with my textiles/fiber addiction).  I will pop in a little later to comment and rec all your wonderful comments!

Originally posted to mommyof3 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK Quilt Guild.

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