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Corded trapunto

This technique is very similar to Trapunto quilting, but the design is worked in narrow, parallel lines and the channels created are filled with yarn rather than stuffing.

Material and Design Notes

  • The design is made up of channels created from two lines of stitching a few millimetres apart.
  • In the sample shown the channels are 6mm (¼in) wide and two strands of chunky-weight knitting yarn is used to stuff. Smaller channels and finer yarn could also be used.
  • Straight lines and wide curves are best as short channels and tight corners are difficult to stuff. The yarn stuffing has to come out of the fabric at each turn, so lots of turns would create many holes in the backing.
  • Use washable yarn if you intend to launder your finished piece or wool yarn if not.

Basic method 

1). Prepare the fabric layers as Trapunto, Basic Method, step 1 and transfer the design to the top or backing fabric as you prefer.

2). Stitch the parallel lines of the design by machine, running stitch or backstitch, as required. Press your work when complete.

3). Thread a doubled length of yarn measuring 50–60cm (20–24in) into your needle, matching the yarn ends. Starting in the middle of a straight channel insert the needle through the backing fabric only and along the channel, pulling the yarn through.

Basic method Corded trapunto A

4). Push the needle through to the corner or turning point and bring the needle back out of the backing. Cut the exit hole slightly bigger if required. Pull the yarn right through, untangling any knots, so it lies flat in the channel. Pull through until 3cm (11⁄₈in) remains sticking out of the first hole.

Basic method Corded trapunto B

5). To turn the corner, reinsert the needle in the same exit hole and work the yarn up the next channel. You may find it easier to pre-cut the exit holes at corners and tight curves.

Basic method Corded trapunto C

6). When the stuffing is complete, cut the ends of the yarn close to the backing fabric and tuck the fluffy ends into the channel.

Corded trapunto A

Corded trapunto B

Corded trapunto C

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Ruth Singer