Patches From the Past
Scraps of Fabric, Sewing & Quilting History

Making a Wholecloth Quilt With Trapunto

If you have read about the history of whole cloth quilts you are probably certain you won't be trying it. But thanks to the innovations of modern day quilters there are far easier ways to create a beautifully quilted whole cloth quilt. Can you believe, water-soluble thread? Another new product to make quilting easier. You will find instructions on modern methods on Trapunto at Wholecloth Quilting McTavish Style.

Even if you already know how to machine quilt it takes some added courage to machine quilt a solid white top. Again I suggest starting small. Just remember that other people don't notice the small imperfections that seem to leap out at us when we examine our own work. If you haven't tried machine-quilting Harriet Hargrave's book "Heirloom Machine Quilting" is a great guide with very detailed and clear directions. I go back to her book again and again.

I've discovered a site with some wonderful quilting stencils for whole cloth quilts. You will find stencil sets for both full quilts and smaller projects. These patterns could be done with or without doing any stuffed quilting.

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"Trapunto by Machine" by Hari Walner seems to be the most frequently recommended book on doing this technique with your sewing machine. Althea's Needle & Thread Online gives reviews on several other books on Trapunto.

A fun project would be to make a Trapunto Turtle by machine. This site gives instructions for this simple project. On the other end of the spectrum you might want to take on hand quilting a full sized whole cloth quilt like those found at Debbie's Quilts. I must say, I am in awe.

2002 Judy Anne Johnson Breneman (Do not reproduce this article without permission from the author.)

Recommended Website: Whole-Cloth Quilts: Subtle Beauty in Texture

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