The Learning Process

I’m a self taught quilter.  Many years ago, as a young newly wed who was trying to decorate on a budget, I kept seeing quilts in magazines and loved how homey and comfortable they made a room look.   I wanted one..or maybe two?  When I finally ran across a couple for sale I was floored at the prices.  I realized if I was going to have a quilt I’d have to make it myself.

I didn’t know anyone that quilted, there were no quilt shops, but there was a library!  It had a couple of books, which I brought home and started reading.  This was waaay before the internet.  It was over 30 years ago!  The knowledge I got from those books and the pics in the magazines was sketchy.  There were a lot of blanks.  I saw what I now know as Trapunto.  I loved the look and wanted to try it.  This wasn’t my first quilt, but it was early in my quilting.

snails-trail-wall-quilt-009-e1313076791805-294x300-4690763I decided on a wall quilt, which I thought could be draped on a dining table as a decorating option if not hung?

I thought if I quilted a nice feathered vine border and then densely quilted the background area I’d get that look.

Umm..well, sort of?  I didn’t realize I was supposed to stuff the feather and vine bits!  LOL

snails-trail-wall-quilt-004-300x225-2302532I quilted it ridiculously close. I quilted the bejeebers out of it.  The rest of the quilt isn’t quilted as heavily, so it’s kind of a fail?  It isn’t perfectly square.  I could add more quilting, but it’s kind of pointless to spend more time on it

I was disappointed with the  outcome and folded it up and put it in a cupboard.

I thought maybe I’ll try that again later sometime?

I pulled it out recently and was surprised to see that one of the blue fabrics I used had a fugitive dye.  It’s fading, even though it’s never been exposed to light.


The cream colored fabric is just muslin.  It’s what I could find back then in the years when Polyester was king.  The blues were just what was available in my local fabric store.  Not heirloom quilt quality, so no matter that the quilt didn’t turn out the way I wanted.  It was a learning experience, as I like to say when things don’t go as planned….

Skip forward to a couple of years ago.  By this time I’ve read more books, seen more quilts, and magazines, and the wonderful internet is here! I have a better idea of how to do Trapunto.  I gave it another go…

oak-leaf-trapunto-007-300x225-5110435This time I chose to do a whole cloth quilt.  It has a wreath of Oak leaves in the center, with branches of Oak leaves with acorns coming out from it, in a spoke-like fashion.   Very hard to photograph.

Like the other quilt, this was folded and smushed into a cupboard so it has creases, and was pinned over another quilt for taking pics.  It’s not pretty.

oak-leaf-trapunto-0101-300x225-3373453It’s so difficult to get a good pic on this one.

I did better this time.  I stuffed the raised pieces with yarn that I thread through after quilting.

I’d like to tell you I’m very happy with my result this time…but I don’t want to lie to you.

Seriously, why did I use brown?  The finished piece has the appearance of a very fancy moving pad.  You know, the ones that are used to protect your belongings when packed on a moving truck?

oak-leaf-trapunto-001-300x225-2569232I don’t know what I was thinking?

Oh well…it was a learning experience…..  ;


Tags: hand quilted, Snail’s Trail quilt, Trapunto, Whole Cloth quilt