Friday, February 13, 2015

Watercolor Iris

Another sample from a former workshop; I've used this design in workshops so much as it's well received and so versatile. It was almost finished when I came across it and decided to do a technique I learned from Patsy Thompson.
 Patsy does a "faux" trapunto which I think is very effective. To start, the top is finished as far as appliqué goes, you are ready for quilting - but before you start, turn it over to the back and place 2 layers of a higher loft batting over the area you want to trapunto. Pin it well.
 Flip it over to the front and stitch around the edge of the appliqué pieces you wish to have more batting. In this case, since it's such a simple design, I used the entire appliqué.
 And it looks like this on the back.
 Carefully cut away the excess batting, getting close to the stitching but not cutting it and leaving just the applique with extra batting.
 Next, cover the back with more batting; you can see the slight outline of the applique with the extra batting underneath. Ordinarily you would also put a backing fabric in place but this piece is being mounted on a pre-stretched canvas so I omitted that. Set your machine for free motion and quilt like crazy - outlining the appliqué and some of the detail lines inside. You don't want to stitch too much inside the "extra padded" area as it deflates it and you lose the effect of trapunto.
 This piece was mounted around a pre-stretched canvas. There is usually so much bulk at the corners;  I remove it VERY carefully using an exacto knife!
 Doing this will ensure a much flatter look at the corners where there is an excess of fabric.
The finished piece - Watercolor Iris. I like the use of the batik as a background. It adds some personality to the piece.
Til next time....Judy


  1. Your Iris is gorgeous! This is my favorite flower. Thanks for the lesson on faux trapunto!

  2. I like clever stuff like what you just presented with the iris. Thank you! I'm a new follower.

  3. Interesting...I used to follow Patsy and have two of her quilting DVD's! Thanks for the reminder...nicely done piece for sure!!!

  4. I love this method of trapunto... and it works quite well. It is so fun to think of the possbilities. Hard to see in the photos, but yours looks cool.

  5. Oh do I ever love this! It would make a super gift for my mum. I like you tip on getting the bulk out of the corners. I've now bookmarked your post for future reference. Will let you know what transpires. :-)

  6. Thank you all, like I said, this was a workshop sample and almost nice to get rid of those UFOs ...and Patsy's method for trapunto is so much easier and effective I think. I love the look but used to hate having to stuff extra batting in each section from the back.

  7. Gorgeous! I would have been worried that quilting without the backing would not work well, but clearly it does. Thanks for explaining the process.

  8. I love irises; they always remind me of my best friend, who is going through a hard time now. This one is exceptionally lovely. Beautiful work.

  9. Hello Judy,

    Irises have to be among my all time favourite flowers - the shape, the colours - and you have captured the beauty in your picture. Wonderful result, and the quilting like crazy stage must have been great fun.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv