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Trapunto Quilting on a Fabric Panel

If you’re like me, once your friends learned
you knew how to quilt, everybody wanted one. So I like to have a couple of quick quilting
tricks up my sleeve. I’m going to teach you today how to use
this panel to make an awesome quilt in a heartbeat. Let’s get started. I’m going to walk you through a couple of
really quick ways to dress up a pre printed panel. Now you know I love the panels because they’re
great for applique. They’re great for practicing or stitching
on. But they’re also a wonderful way to make
a quick gift in just a few hours. Unfortunately we don’t get much quilting
time on these. So real quick, let’s talk about some of
the things we’re going to use as I walk you through both the borders and the trapunto
and the machine quilting today. So let’s, let’s get started. I’m super excited. For the machine quilting I always use my Machinger’s
gloves and the sew slip mat. That’s going to make the bed of the machine
glide. So we’re going to need these in a little
bit. So I’m just going to set them aside for
right now. I’m also going to use my duckbill applique
scissors when I do my trapunto work. These guys right here, they’ve got this
flat edge. That way I can go underneath fabric and cut
without making, cutting into the bottom layer. So I’m going to show you how to use these. So if you have them awesome. If not you can also use just a small pair
of little scissors for nibbling away. That’s pretty cool. And, oh there’s my gloves. We need those, like I said. So let’s now start talking about prepping
the panel with our borders and our inner flanges before we do our trapunto work. So I have created a quick tip on how to put
on an outer border and this inner flange. Now this flange here, hopefully you can see
it, is a nice three dimensional piece. And it is stitched in at the same time that
I put on the blue outer border so that if I don’t sew perfect, when I open this up
you wouldn’t see the sewing that would hold the yellow in place. So basically I’m trying to tell you I have
stitched the blue through the yellow to the background panel. And I’ve done this all the way around the
panel to create a nice border. And the flange, I often choose a color that
is a pop color. So follow me for a moment to the quilt if
you will. One of the things that I loved about this
particular panel was the glowing of the moonlight through here, the elements of the snow, the
glowing of the windows at the church in all of this. And I was really, really excited to do so
I chose the yellow to highlight the yellow within the church itself and the yellow highlights
on the snow and in the water. So that’s why I chose that bright yellow
as that inner flange. That’s a really good technique to create
a little extra emphasis or pop to your project. So when I do those inner borders as a flange
I start always with a one inch strip pre cut. And I basically then will take a press it
with my right sides out and it’s basically set inside as I said earlier and stitched
in when I put my outer border on. Use whatever size outer border you like. These particular ones are about three inches. And I do a little bit of my math to make sure
I don’t go over 44 inches wide so that my backing fits. It’s just another easy trick. So you’ll need a little bit of yardage for
that. Put those one and this works with any panel
of course. Now I also have another video I’ve put out
in our Free Motion series on doing trapunto. Now trapunto, if you do not know, is the technique
where you’ve added extra batting to the back of your whatever quilting you’re doing. And in the first video I did we basically
made a sewing machine, the Man Sewing logo come to life through the thread and through
the batting in trapunto. But today we’re using trapunto to embellish
our scene so we want to consider what are we doing in our scene before we know where
to put our trapunto down. So let’s talk about our panel with a little
bit more of an artist’s eye instead of a construction eye here. So what I’m going to look at is I want to
create elements of loft in the project. So the church itself and these trees I have
over here and the trees I have over here and this snowy area down in here is what I want
to have the most lift in the project. This water area down here and the background
of these trees behind the church I want to be the flattest so that everything works together
to create additional perspective in the scene, right? We can do it with our thread color choices
but we’re going to prepare ourselves by putting batting. Now I have scraps of batting that I keep laying
around so we can literally put chunks around. Trapunto is often done by using polyester
batting in the back. But what I wanted to do is just test what
would happen if I used a few layers of cotton batting. So this is actually scraps. So for me it would be 80% cotton, 20% polyester
because that’s what I love. And I actually did use two layers. And now what you can see, I’ve already been
doing some of my pre cutting, is I stitched basically around all of that snowy tree that
I wanted. You can see here the outside of the church. Maybe down in here you can see where I’ve
already cut away where that water is going to be. So that’s the area that I don’t want any
loft in. So we do all of the sewing work getting of
our batting, whether it’s a couple of big chunks, a bunch of scraps, whatever we need
in place. And then we’re going to go ahead and we’re
going to cut away so we have places for our machine quilting. Now the cutting away trick is pretty cool. And this is where these flat scissors come
in real handy. And the way these are designed to be used
is what we’re going to do is we’re going to use this flat built portion underneath
the area we’re cutting so that I don’t cut into the bottom fabric or that panel. And then I’m going to use this and I’m
going to just kind of slide and I’m lifting. Now the batting always wants to grab your
scissor blade. There’s no way around that really. But so I just kind of work my area but I left
this piece intentionally to show you it’s not always going to be real easy to get into
these small areas. So that’s where I’ll go ahead and I’ll
take my little scissors as well. And with my little scissors I really just
kind of nibble. So this is a little thing you’re just going
to work at for a little bit. And the machine quilting, you’re going to
push up against this batting on the other side. But if you don’t cut perfectly along the
threads no one will ever be able to tell because that’s part of the loft, especially in this
snow scene because that snow is going to have a graduation in its elevation. And now I sound really smart, don’t I? Or maybe it’s just the glasses that make
me look so smart. I’m not sure. Anyway, there we go. I’ve cut this away. And now basically everything is ready to begin
my machine quilting process. But I need to get my backing and I need to
get my batting underneath here. So I’ll be right back to show you that. And then we’re going to fire up the machine
and get this free motion done. Hey thanks for waiting for me. I wanted to make sure I got plenty of safety
pins in the basting. And basting, in case quilting is really new
to you, is the conversation of putting together our backing layer. So I’ve got my backing here. And then I had all of my batting. So that’s one full piece of batting you
can see floated around on the edges. And then the quilt top, the panel scene all
that trapunto prep work is all in place. I use a curved safety pin to hold all three
layers together in the quilting process. And I’m going to still start on the quilting
process as near the center as possible. Now free motion machine quilting, let’s
just say all machine quilting is recommended that we start near the center and we move
outward like a pebble being dropped in a bucket and all those ripples moving out. And that causes the backing and the batting
and the quilt top and everything to just move its way nicely to prevent ripple and prevent
wrinkle and pucker on the backside especially of our quilt project. Today we have this batting, extra and we want
to be able to quilt around the whole church scene to trap that batting in there intentionally. So we’re going to work slowly and we’re
going to work intentionally along those same lines at first to hold the batting in place
for trapunto. So my first safety pin I put in the center-ish
of the quilt is here. And I’m going to sew along this line. I want to be able to leave this pin in place
as long as possible because I want to be able to hold all these layers. Something else I want to point out real quick
before we start the machine quilting. When you have borders and everything secured
and a lot of this flat area out here, this happened on both of these panels and it’s
happened for me many a times, it looks like it’s kind of rippled. But again what we’re doing is we’re going
to massage this batting in our favor. So once we get it up to this area it will
flatten down. So I actually have not pinned my outer borders
at all because I want to leave plenty of space to let that extra batting push its way out
as we go. Ok so here we go. I’m going to approach the sewing machine
and right now I have my blue thread in because I’m going to do the outline work I want
to with the same thread that I started with earlier so I don’t have to be so darn accurate. And I’m just going to move in here near
the edge of this church. I can put more detail in and I had my wonderful
gloves here. These Machinger’s gloves are great because
they allow me to get a little extra grip on top. And I was starting to say we’re going to
add a little extra detail as we go along so we don’t have to go all the way around the
church at first. We can go around the roof line and come back. I’ll show you. We’re going to focus on that and talk a
little bit about some of the water and some of the highlights and get you started on your
very own. Ok so if you don’t know anything about free
motion machine quilting what I want to do is I want to get my bobbin thread up on the
top. So I’m going to actually hold onto my top
thread. I’m going to take a single stitch here and
drop that through and then I can either pull or I’m holding my thread like dental floss,
sliding it underneath here. And now I’m capturing that bobbin thread. What’s going on there? Ok here we go. So now I have that secure and I’m going
to go ahead and take a few stitches to lock it in place. And then we’re just going to go ahead and
free motion machine quilt along the snow on the roof line. And that is actually the line where that batting
was. And I like to just stop for a second and get
those thread tails out of the way so that I’m not tripping over them the whole time. Ok, so now what we’re going to do is we’re
going to follow this roof line over to where the bricks meet. So now I’m looking at the panel as the actual
seam that it is. I’m going to come down this roof line. And I’m trapping that batting in there. Now we don’t want to get over carried away
with our blue thread or whatever color is our background thread because we want to be
able to come back later with our highlight threads and still create extra loft. So see I’m hiding that between those layers
there, coming down, kind of up in that shadowed area. And then I’m going to hug this snow line
back down this way. And then I can also use the same sewn line
as that highway back to where I need to go because I’m going to have lots of areas
where I have layers and layers of thread. So it’s ok to stitch over an area in this
process. And now what I’m just going to do for a
second is I’m going to try to spin this hopefully so that maybe the cameras on the
other side of the machine can see a little bit better. Oh probably not but, oh there we go, beautiful. I trapped all of the batting that I created
earlier in this area. So that’s going to always be really cool
and lofty. That’s going to be that big pile of snow
you hope doesn’t fall on your head when you walk out the front door to go build your
snowman. So anyway, that’s what we’re looking for
and that’s what we’re going to do throughout this whole technique. We’re going to trap that trapunto batting
and then we’re going to quilt down the background. And we’re just going to follow this here. A little further. Ok now I feel like I’m in a position where
we should talk about a couple of quilting rules. When we’re following or tracing outlines
on things we’ve often been told you should never rotate the quilt. And I do agree with that. But the rule is you should never rotate the
quilt while the needle is moving. It would be much easier for me to work right
now if I was able to move this in a different direction so to see differently. So I’ve left the needle down and I’ve
rotated the quilt so that now I could see different. And I can work along a line that is a different
path for me. Same line though. So you’re welcome to rotate your quilt just
never while the needle is moving. See how much easier that makes it for me to
keep that straight line. Ok, we’re going to stop here and we’re
going to come down around this roof line and then I’m going to do a couple of other things
for us here. But I want to tie off this thread and hide
it in a spot. Because I don’t want you to have to wait
three hours of me machine quilting all of this to get to the next step so let me go
ahead and bring up this thread. This is a great way to finish when you’re
done with your free motion. Whoops let’s take about three or four more
stitches in place. There, we’re going to bring this up here
and then I’m just going to slide my thread out. And if I pull this up, my little scissors
are hidden down here. And then when I cut here I have cut the bobbin
thread most of the time free. So now I can move around. Now let’s go back to a section right here
where we’ve been working. Now let me bring it out here so we can talk
about this a little bit better for us first. Ok now hopefully you can see the wonderful
loft that’s already forming around the steeple on the church. So again we’re just going to go all the
way around the church. We’re going to go all the way around that
snowy tree. But I want to show you how to deal with this
background area while I’ve still got your attention. So what we’re going to do now is we’ve
already sewn the batting down on this area. So let’s work in this area also. I’m going to pull the safety pin out, put
it back in my bowl. Let’s bring this right back under the machine
and now we’re going to change our technique a little bit. You can change your thread colors if you wanted
to. You could put in a darker color like so right
now I’m using blue so maybe you want to go with a little bit of a purple or something
that falls into the background. And now what I’m going to do is some basic
what would be like stippling but I’m going to follow the snow on the trees and it’s
going to crush down the backing even more. So I’m going to bring up this needle to
bring up this bobbin thread here like we do every time we start and stop, drop that back
down. And now what I want to do is I”m going to
lock these stitches in. And I’m going to do some really micro quilting. You see how I’m following that around that
snow that’s on that tree in the background. But in this dark area I’m going to really
stitch it down because what that does is I come up against the area where the roof line
was on that steeple is it’s really causing the batting that I left behind to stand up
tall. It’s a really neat technique and it sure
dresses up these quilts like this and it’s a lot of fun as well. So we’re just going to do our micro stippling
in the background. But you could just follow the tree line. You don’t actually have to do actual stippling. Watch I’m just going to come up here and
just follow the shadow of that tree in the background. Now one thing I’m going to recommend is
you don’t get too carried away with your decorative stitching here because this is
the background so we don’t want to show it off too much. You can also play with different kinds of
threads. Polyester threads have more of a sheen. So maybe on the yellow on the windows, a poly
thread would be awesome to use. But the cotton thread here in the background
is a flatter color, more of a matte finish. So that’s a really nice choice to use to
make things not show up so much but still get the quilting to hold everything down. So that’s one technique now. We’re just going to do this in the background
around all the layers. And let’s start talking about a little bit
of what we call thread painting in the water area. This is really cool. But I’m going to go ahead and stop sewing
here. Take a few stitches to lock it, bring that
back up. Do the same thing we did earlier. And I want to quickly change to a yellow thread. Now I use the same color bobbin that I’ve
used throughout the whole process. But if you wanted to change bobbin threads
you certainly could. There would be no problem with that. So I want my nice bright yellow here. And one of the things I do on any machine
that has a big series of loops instead of clips for thread guides is I just tie it on
and pull it through so I can deal with it while my gloves are on. And a lot of us that have quilting machines
like a this Jane or the Jukis or the Baby Locks or any of the other Brother 1500, those
kinds of machines, they have that are set up. So see how fast that was. Like my Pfaff grand quilter that I grew up
quilting on. I love that old machine. They just don’t make those anymore. Alright here we go. I’m going to thread that real quick, gloved
and all. Oh, first shot. It’s my lucky day. Ok so now we’re all set up with that. Now what I’m going to do of course, I want
you to make sure you get all of this sewing down here in this snow first. Always working from where you have quilted
to where you’re going to be quilting. That way you’re working with the loft. But I want to show you how to handle this
fun water area down here. And so what I’m going to do is I’m just
going to cheat a little bit. So in order to do that I’m pulling this
fabric over really taut right now to make sure I don’t create any new ripples or puckers. And what I want to do is I’m going to start,
let’s see right where I see these highlights. Let’s start right here. I’m going to take that stitch down, bring
that bobbin thread up. Oop, let’s move that out of the way a little
bit better. Ok here we go. We’re going to start here, take a couple
of stitches, lock it down. And now as I go around in this water area. I do want to cut that thread tail. I do not want to stitch these thread tails
down in this area because I’m going to lay down a lot of little stitches real quick here. And I’m going to follow this here. And I don’t want to add too much highlight
because this highlight, this yellow is the reflection in the water of the lights in the
church. So don’t get too carried away adding too
much yellow where you don’t see it already in the design or the print. But you certainly can add a little extra highlight
in here. So we’re just going to follow like it was
the water itself. So I’m just going back and forth in the
water. And if I need to get another area I can go
backwards this way. But you see there just kind of like a zig
zag here. And here I’m going to put on one highlight
out here. Again I don’t want to go too far out there. I can follow these lines. So this is going to be a lot of this little
stitching. So what this does for us is one, it allows
us to float these pretty colors in here. But it also, again, it’s pushing all of
this fabric down on the one single piece of batting which adds so much loft to that background
trapunto work we’ve done which makes this just an awesome, awesome looking panel when
we’re done. So I tell you what, while I zen out on this
here and I start getting lost in my sewing, you better pull me back into reality. And let’s go ahead and wrap this up so you
can get started in your own sewing world. So again I just want to encourage you to look
deep into some of those fantastic printed panels that are out there. You know I recommend using them as practice
pieces in the past. But this is an amazing way to put together
a really fast and easy quilt. And I tell you what, if I was to receive a
quilt that looked like this as a gift I would be really touched because I know even though
it was printed there’s a lot of work that went into this and it is so cool looking,
I can’t help but keep touching it because that snow, well it makes me want to get out
to those mountains. So I’m out the door. I hope you enjoyed today’s project. We’ll see you next time here at Man Sewing. Thanks for being a Man Sewing fan. It’s great to have you out there encouraging
me to create fantastic new content. If you’ve missed any of the videos we’ve
got links for you here and here. And when you’re checking those out make
sure you’re subscribed. We don’t want you to miss any of the action.

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