The Design Studio Blog


August 9th, 2016 by Suzanne @ Camelot

In our Moody Monday we spoke of the new Star Trek collection that is launching soon and showed the panel we made in trapunto.    A few people asked me what I meant by trapunto so I thought I should explained this technique on our How To Tuesday!


The Trapunto is a quilting technique that began in the 14th century in Italy and consisted in adding an extra layer in the batting section to add more texture and giving a 3D effect.  It was traditionally made on a wholecloth.

It is often confused with Boutis but once you know both stories, you will easily see the difference.  Boutis is made with two layers of fabric (batiste) and you quilt your design on the two layers without any batting in between.  Once you have quilted you simply add stuffing by cording sections of the quilt, giving it a raised and translucent effect.  If you happen to travel to the South of France, you must stop at the Maison du Boutis to meet Francine Nicolle .  She is the founder of this small museum (although it can’t be called a museum, thus called Maison meaning house in French) and one of the most knowledgeable person on the subject.

Trapunto consists in two layers of fabrics with one layer of batting.   Once you have quilted as desired, you add a stuffing by cording sections of the quilt, giving it a raised effect only (cannot be translucent as you have a layer of batting).


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Should you want to try this at home and hate the idea of adding cording by hand, there are new ways: place a wool batting and cheese cloth underneath your panel and quilt with wash away thread a hairline inside the areas you wish to have raised. Once you have finished, you can cut out all of the excess wool batting and cheese cloth. Add a new layer of regular cotton batting underneath your wool batting and add your backing. Use your preferred quilting thread and quilt your piece ensuring that you quilt a hairline outside your wash away thread to ensure that the wool batting remains stable.

If you have a long arm machine and do not want to go through all the trouble of removing the excess wool batting. Than you can simply add a layer of wool to your layer of cotton between your top and backing and do some light quilting on the areas you wish to have raised and heavily quilt the other areas.

Time for a trivial fact:  The Trapunto technique was used for the inner-tunic collars worn in Starfleet uniforms from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Now it’s time for you to have some fun and test this new technique.


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