Sep 19 11
Can you see how the thin black thread line that outlines all the pieces of this applique really adds a nice definition to this quilt? It’s just like the narrow black outline that we see so often in line drawings, and it’s stitched here using a very heavy black cotton thread. Most of the time, I outline with invisible thread, but sometimes, adding that thin black line can really add a cool intricacy to a design.
A couple years back, I started a large applique quilt that featured giant-sized Queen Anne’s lace. I mean really over-sized Queen Anne’s lace, like each one is many feet long. I wanted to add a thin black line to each of the applique shapes, except on that scale, that thin black line really needed to be a satin stitch that was fairly wide. I put many feet of temporary stabilizer behind the quilt top and started embroidering it. This first shot shows part of one of the flowers before I’d added the black line:
…and this next shot gives you a bit of a sense of how that black line helps define shapes:
Here’s a close up of part of the black-outlined Queen Anne’s lace:
Once everything was finally outlined in a black satin stitch, I tore away all the stabilizer, and I free motion embroidered the irregular swirl design inside the flowers. I then decided that these giant flowers really needed to be trapuntoed. I was really kicking myself at that point, as I’d thought long and hard about the option of trapunto before I added that satin stitching (since I could do the satin stitching and add the trapunto layer at the same time), and I’d decided against it. Rats! So I pinned some batting behind all the applique and added a trapunto layer by outlining everything with invisible thread. I cut away all the excess batting and then basted my final quilt sandwich together. I’m picking this project back up now, and here is the beginning of outlining those large appliques, and you can see how the trapunto layer helps emphasize the applique shapes:
Fun, fun, fun! And this is before the background fill stitching has even started!