Ponderosa and the Faux Trapunto

So I’m stitching, preliminary to quilting, preliminary to further embroidery quilting — all in the name of the Ponderosa Pine, quintessential Underwood-ish (although Jer says maybe I could blame it on my family of birth, the Oechlers.)  And all this stitching comes after improvisationally piecing a largish background and painting the Pine on a piece of cotton sateen and laying it on the background, so I could laboriously cut around the branches and blobs of needles to reveal the improvised pieced background.

The “faux” trapunto that I have now finished stitching (the preliminary to the preliminary)  is an attempt to visually pull the tree away from the background by adding more stuffing to the batting. Normal trapunto is done by first doing all the quilting on the fully sandwiched quilt and then inserting extra batting from behind, slitting the backing of the quilted art. That seemed even more insane than I could imagine, so I laid a second layer of batting on the back and stitched around the tree.

You can see the extra batting that I’m cutting away from the tree shape, vaguely visible in the second batting photo. (The odd coloration is caused by the various lights that shone on the white wool batting as I was photographing it. I actually kind of like the various colors and am even fond of the stitched batting. Maybe someday I’ll make a reverse quilt — put the fabric inside and the batting outside. It would be harder to follow a shape that way, though. I’ll have to think on it.)

The actual piece, which now is ready to be sandwiched in the normal fashion — top, batting, backing — and quilted in the “normal” fashion, probably won’t be seen on this blog, since it’s the sort of thing that might make it into an exhibit that wouldn’t want to have it shown publicly before it gets seen in the exhibit. This is one of those rules of the game that make me crazy, but since I’m already a bit daft, scarcely anyone notices. So here’s the closest you’ll come for a while to seeing what it is that the top of the quilt (with the faux trapunto drawing it up somewhat) looks like.

The photo was taken with the top laying flat on the sewing machine table so it is skewed worse than it will be when hung properly.

But it occurred to me, as I was whining to myself about the foolishness of undertaking this project, that some people, daughter Jan, for example, write novels that take a year to write and a few more to edit. I’ve only been at this for weeks. So I stopped the internal kvetching and finished the faux trapunto and trimmed off the excess. Next I get to back the whole thing and stitch the pieced background within an inch of its life to flatten and distance it. Then I go back to the tree and quilt it properly. Anyone need a basket full of wool batting scraps? –June

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4 Responses to Ponderosa and the Faux Trapunto

  1. june says:

    Sheila, I don’t think it’s possible to make myself work with more difficulty than you — your recent blog certainly made me gasp.

    And Jan, here’s hoping you need to test lots of microphones. BTW, my prof. assoc. says Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Website, Twitter, and Blog — “necessary platforms.” Which may or may not need microphones. See, I was listening last Sunday!

    Barbara, I think you are on to something — the stitching this evening is making the piece look feasible instead of just confused.

    Like

  2. daughter Jan says:

    I just like the term “faux trapunto.” I’m going to start using it whenever I need to test a microphone.

    Like

  3. Sheila says:

    Fascinating! You have officially surpassed me in the “Wait! How can I make this more difficult for me” category. But it will be magnificent with that trapunto. And I admire your bravery, trusting that the pre-made background would work once you cut away around your tree. Are you SURE you shouldn’t be working with textiles more? 😉

    Like

  4. Barbara says:

    Stitching will take this beyond beautiful – honest.

    Like

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