Have you ever cut a hole in your quilt?
Have you ever cut a hole in your quilt, & then it went on to win
Best of Show?
I have and then it also went up in the running for Best of Australia award.
Would you like to know how to fix a cut in your quilt?
Particularly when creating trapunto.
It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s just knowing how, that makes all the difference.
Before I start to explain how I fix a cut within my trapunto work where
you’ll never actually see that cut ever again, I want to explain something
else briefly first that’ll then make sense when you read "How I fix a cut within
a quilt or trapunto work".
I always have a small dish with safety pins in it, and on those safety pins
I have small pieces of different coloured ribbons pinned to the pin.
Some pins will have one piece of red ribbon, another pin a piece of blue ribbon etc. The length of the ribbon is not important and mine are approx 2 cms long.
As I can often have a few thousand safety pins in my quilt at a time
when I’m quilting etc, if I need to mark something that I need to go back to,
to fix, by placing a pin with a coloured ribbon I can easily find the place I
need to return to.
The reason that I use a few different coloured ribbons is that the colour
may represent different mistakes, and it’ll be the coloured ribbon that’ll identify what the mistake is, that I need to fix.
When I’m busy quilting, if I make a mistake, and because most of my
quilts are too big for pulling out of the machine all the time, I just pin one of
these pins in the position of where I need to go back and fix a mistake.
So I may use a pin with red ribbon on it if I need to undo some “crooked”
stitching, another colour for something else and let’s say I’ll use a pin with
red ribbon on it if I have accidentally made a cut into my fabric while trimming
my trapunto wadding. On saying this I have only ever made accidental cuts
into my fabric when cutting trapunto maybe 6 times in many many years and many many hours of cutting trapunto.
When cutting the trapunto for my “A Caterpillars Dream” quilt there was
3 months of cutting the trapunto wadding alone in that quilt. Massive work
gave me massive results. On saying this, trapunto is very easy to do, it’s
just that I take mine to absolute extremes, but that’s just me, and what I like
to do. There are many times that I do pieces that only take me an hour or
so to create. You can also learn how to do trapunto, as it’s a really fun
technique when you see your work become more 3 dimensional.
This image here is of my Through the Garden Gate Quilt.
So let’s move on to fixing that cut; that you accidentally cut.
You’ll need a tube of liquid stitch, and just a normal quilting pin.
You’re happily and carefully cutting your trapunto wadding when all of a
sudden you feel the scissors go right into your fabric...you “feel it”, you
“hear it”, and there’s no stopping the scissors. You’re feeling a little sick maybe, disappointed, annoyed and shocked all at the same time. What are you now going to do?
You’re going to carry on cutting your trapunto so you are completely
clear of the cut.
This is what you need to do.
I take a small piece of the same fabric that I’ve just cut, but a little larger
than the cut itself. Then using a pin as my spreading tool, I place a small
amount of “Liquid Stitch” around the edge of the cut on the inside of the fabric.
This is important....
Only place the liquid stitch around the very edges of the cut. Do NOT spread it around, this is the reason you use a pin. It may seem a little tedious but this is one of the tricks to making this cut undetectable once your quilt is finished.
Next I layer my little piece of matching fabric over the glue making sure
that I have placed the right side down onto the glue, so it’s the right way
facing on the front of the quilt.
Do make sure the cut edges are butted up as close as you can.
Most cuts within your trapunto will be almost arrow shaped. You’ll understand
that if you do ever cut your fabric.
Next I place one of my ribboned marking pins near this cut, and I then
leave the piece to dry for approx 24 hours. When the glue is dry the next
day, I remove the ribboned pin and I then trim the small piece of fabric
very close to the glue.
I then turn my quilt top over and place a ribboned pin right near the
mended cut, so later when I’m quilting I can easily identify where this cut is.
This is then how it stays until I’m ready to quilt my piece.
When I get to the quilting stage, because I have marked this cut with
a ribboned pin, I know that when I quilt this area, to make sure that I quilt
over the cut itself without it being obvious that I am stitching down this
little cut. As I use lots of stipple quilting which marries well with trapunto,
it’s actually very easy to make sure that I totally quilt over that cut.
Done correctly this will never fray, come undone or be noticed by
friends, recipients of your quilt or the judges. One of my Best of Show quilts
had one cut that was fixed as above and it was never noticed, as I took my
time to do the above simple steps properly.
Liquid Stitch is permanent glue that does not wash out. It also dries a
little stiff, so do not over use, but use just enough to make it work.
The reason that you trim your fabric patch back once the glue has dried
is that you don’t want this patch shadowing under your top fabric which
would then allow you to see it.
Using the correct scissors for cutting trapunto also helps to avoid
cutting your fabric. I only ever use Duckbill scissors but I use these differently than most people do. Remember I’ve been doing trapunto for well over
30 years now, closer to 40.
I use my scissors upside down.
I use the “flat” edge of the scissors against the fabric, not the other way round.
There are so many things in life, where the really small tricks are the
things that can make the biggest difference.
I also only use Superior Vanish Extra thread when sewing my trapunto,
the reasoning being that “Extra” means thicker, which then also means
it doesn’t dissolve in the warm weather against the warmth of your hands like many of the thinner brands do.
Superior make two different Vanish or Water Soluble threads, depending
on what you choose to call this thread... sometimes I call it wash away thread
and other times I call it water soluble thread. It’s the same thread just two
Anyway the differences are:
Superior Vanish Thread - is a thinner thread
Superior Vanish Extra - is a thicker thread.
I truly hope that this’ll help you somewhat if you ever make an accidental
cut within your trapunto work or your quilt and you didn’t know how to fix it.
If you’d love to know how to do trapunto, and you’ve never tried it before,
then do check this out. video. It's much easier than you may have imagined.
If you already do trapunto but would love to take it the more extreme level
that I do, then check this video here out.
Do check out my Gallery page.
With all this now said & done, I’ll leave you here for today as I’m now planning on playing with some fabrics today.
Have the most beautiful, creative & inspiring day