Aug 30 11

Trapunto & Machine embroidered Applique

Even though my first machine embroidered applique has 2 big errors (I didn’t stabilize it correctly so the background fabric puckers and the applique shape I cut out didn’t exactly fill the stitched lines, so there is a “blank area on the right side), I simply could not throw this out! Remember, I’m on this path to experiment with this stuff, so I wanted to try one type of trapunto on this piece and used this experiment to create a new pincushion. (I know…I need another pincushion like I need a hole in the head!) Anyway, the first step was to cut out a piece of batting in the shape of the embroidered heart and then I lightly attached it to the backside of the fabric with 3 small spots of a glue stick:

(whew…that last photo really shows the waviness/puckering because of my stabilizer snafu!) After that, I spray basted a layer of thin batting underneath the entire piece of fabric and went to the sewing machine. In retrospect, I wish I had added a backing fabric because it would have helped augment the trapunto effect. I had invisible thread (Monopoly by Superior Threads) in my top needle and Masterpiece in my bobbin and stitched just outside some of the heavy thread outlines within the heart and then I stitched just outside the entire heart. My photos really don’t show much trapunto effect, but in this next shot, you can see a little bit of definition/texture:

…and if you’re at all confused about what I did, here is a shot of the backside that makes the stitching clear:

I switched to a rayon thread that roughly matched the background fabric and quilted that area with a small scale version of “Rudimentary Plumify-It” FMQ design:

I trimmed the size and attached a backside, stuffed it, then whipstitched that opening shut and here she is:

She is my current favorite, but please don’t tell the other pincushions…they’re like children and I love them all…


  1. Lynn Says:

    I so love all of your little pin cushions. They are just adorable!!

  2. FiberAntics Says:

    Hi Patsy:
    When I do machine trapunto, I put a “hunk” of batting underneath the motif I want trapunto-ed. Then, after stitching on top, the excess batting can be trimmed away with blunt nosed or applique scissors. This way, you don’t have to worry about being precise and exactly lining up the batting with the applique piece on top.

  3. Kay Says:

    The pincushions are really cute 🙂

  4. SewCalGal Says:

    I’m very impressed Patsy. You are a natural at machine embroidery and are going to do great things with this form of using thread and quilting. Love it.