Friday, September 25, 2009

Teensy Tiny Stippling -- My Secret Weapon!

Got back to my project for a little while today -- free motioned around the trapunto areas and now I'm ready to do stippling in all the cutout background areas to "pop" the trapunto out even more.

The free motion stitching around the trapunto is done with a medium grass green 40 wt. rayon thread, but I will probably use a lighter thread for the stippling; most likely, a soft white for the two blocks with the white background and either a pale or variegated grass green for the green background blocks.

Stippling is a technique that I just love to see done in tandem with trapunto; in fact, pretty much the only time I ever stipple is to flatten out the background areas and make the trapunto stand out even more. I can't think of a quilt that I have ever stippled that was not done as an adjunct to trapunto. This gets into the whole concept of "quilting density" -- I'll have to do a post or two or nine on that!

That means that my main goal in stippling is to get it as tiny as possible in order to flatten that background area as much as I can.

To get my stippling as small as possible, I have started using the magnifying glass set that is available for Bernina machines. I have used them for other things over the years and started using them for stippling about a year ago. The main reason is that by looking through the lens, you are fooling your brain into thinking you are making larger hand movements than you actually are.

I honestly didn't think I would be able to stipple this small until I tried the lens trick. This is my view through the lens. I can see really clearly so that I am less likely to cross over and more likely to accurately fill in the stippled areas. At the very bottom you can see a little stitching that is not magnified -- can you see the difference?

In the above picture, part of the stitching is through the magnifying lens and part of it is out so that you can better see the difference in size that the magnifier makes. This is using the smallest magnification, which is D5. There are three lenses in the set: D5, D6 and D7. The larger the magnification, the smaller the stippling with the same hand movements on the sewer's part!

Here's the center of one of the green background blocks stippled using a variegated rayon thread and the D5 magnifying lens.

Today is actually a cooking day rather than a sewing day -- we are having friends over for our monthly "gourmet dinner and wine tasting" event. It's pretty cool: One month I cook a four course dinner and my husband Dan chooses the wines; the other two couples come over and eat and drink. For the next two months, Dan and I just show up to eat and drink and the other couples do all the cooking and wine matching. We've been doing this for years and years with the same group of friends -- way fun!!

Tonight I am making a spinach salad with toasted walnuts and pomegranate kernels (serving with Champagne), an eggplant and tomato tart (Chardonnay), salmon and potato/chard pancakes (Pinot Noir) and a killer NY style cheesecake that I made last night with a sauce that I made by reducing an entire bottle of dessert wine to syrupy yum-ness (served with a second bottle of the same dessert wine) -- can't wait!!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I think you've also inspired me to get one of those magnifiers for my Bernina. Reading glasses just don't seem to be cutting it anymore.

    I can't wait to make a Trupunto Quilt using your techniques. Love it!



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